With the aim to capture emerging bathroom design trends as we step into 2023 we caught up with Roberto Palomba, Ideal Standard’s Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder of renowned Italian Design Studio, Palomba Serafini Associati (PS+A)…
Despite trends being considered somewhat subjective, design is and has always been influenced by all that surrounds it, from the everyday needs of users and cultural values, through to design philosophies of the past and expectations of the future.
Roberto Palomba, Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder of renowned Italian Design Studio, Palomba Serafini Associati (PS+A), to reflect on the current and future trends of the bathroom sector, many of which Ideal Standard showcased at Salone del Mobile in June 2022.
1) The increasing availability of luxury
Ideal Standard made its debut at Salone in 2022, with the show focusing on how luxury and beauty are becoming accessible for everyone as pleasures we encounter every day. Why should we not demand the same from our bathrooms? Social media and the complete connectivity it provides have brought luxury style to the masses, and premium brands have had to adapt to the values held by this new audience. Luxury now extends beyond look and feel, into the quality, functionality, and sustainability of products. It’s on the strength of these broader values on which modern luxury brands build their reputations.
In 2022, the industry saw designers showcase products that looked incredible, with sustainability and accessibility credentials that were as integral as the aesthetics. Adapting to this new landscape means more collaboration and more cross-pollination, as designers connect with experts from other fields to meet customers’ needs and create designs which have these aspects at their core.
2) Back to the future
A theme of 2022’s Salone was one of collective nostalgia. Designers were focused on breathing new life into iconic pieces from history, regenerating them for the 21st century. There was a return to the past – not to simply recycle it, but to revisit the design values and philosophies of the work that made us who we are.
It’s no different for Ideal Standard, which has a design heritage full of the values that have been instrumental to decades of identity-defining style. But the brand didn’t go to Salone to show off imitations. Instead, it wanted to showcase something new! Bathrooms are unique – they are designs that form a major part of our routine, every single day. The values and philosophies that the brand brought back to Salone this year have stood the test of time, and with it thousands of mornings and evenings of use. Ideal Standard didn’t have to break into the store cupboard and blow the dust off these collections; it encountered them repeatedly since they were first created, and each time our understanding of the values they represent has evolved.
3) Colour is key
“When we created Atelier Collections,” said Palambo, “we knew we could return confidently to the roots of our original pieces with the knowledge that it was also our philosophies that we were revisiting.” Ipalyss is a prime example. The design team at Ideal Standard created 12 different colours for the ceramics in the collection to allow its customers to explore their own design philosophies and let their bathrooms become truly personal spaces. Some of the palette was inspired by designs that made a splash in the 20th century and others are completely new. “We let the design philosophies which shaped our heritage, guide our interpretation of new trends,” the designer added.
4) Singular: an architect’s mosaic
The team wanted to put the power to create great designs into the hands of those that know their projects best. Ideal Standard’s Singular philosophy allows all its collections to be combined and intertwined to create the perfect bathroom, whichever way you want it. The collections that the brand displayed at Salone provide paths to follow for end users, while also inspiring designers to draw upon their own values, knowing they won’t have to compromise on functionality or quality.
This is only possible because these collections don’t exist in isolation; they share the values and philosophies that underpin all our collections, a single thread that runs through function, size, shape, and colour. Ideal Standard provides the tiles; the mosaic is yours to make.
5) Technology driving design forward
“Confidence in the technology within our products means we can focus on creating visually striking designs,” said Palambo. “Exhibited for the first time at Salone, Solos is a great example of this. It is all about modern minimalism. The basin’s straight lines and thin edges are fully integrated with fittings that float effortlessly on the ceramic surface.” Nothing is there that does not contribute to the overall finish. The brand exhibited Solos alongside its more classic collection, Calla, as a celebration of design’s pluralism, with the two approaches coming at either end of a spectrum that caters to every taste. “We want to do more than keep up with the latest trends, and instead create a comprehensive, multifaceted offering through which designers can take the route that best suits them,” added Palambo.
The new collection, Linda-X, celebrates and re-energises the Linda collection created for Ideal Standard in the 1970s. Modern technology means the brand is in a better position than ever to celebrate the design values that embody the collection, as its Diamatec ceramic lets the design team push the boundaries of its basins, making them thinner, stronger and more durable.
Sustainability is one area where Ideal Standard is forging new values on which we can build on in the future. The company leads by example when it comes to providing water-saving solutions to help homeowners reduce their consumption – flow regulators and delay fill technology make it easier to save water. But it is also looking internally to understand how to begin re-using and recycling materials in its manufacturing processes.
Salone del Mobile 2022 was an exciting first for Ideal Standard, a celebration of the design values that have defined our journey so far. The brand left with a determination to continue promoting its name in this space as one known for pushing the boundaries of what is possible aesthetically, functionally and sustainably.
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Main image credit: Ideal Standard