In conversation with: Jorge Hernandez – Head of Design, Bathroom Brands Group

Focussing on the trends changing the game in hotel design, Jorge Hernandez, touches on illuminating luxury, wabi-sabi and other sensory considerations on the Bathroom Brands Group agenda in the year ahead…

Jorge Hernandez – Head of Design, Bathroom Brands Group

Hotels are pushing boundaries in luxury bathroom design and innovation and the 2024 trends changing the game, are set to redefine the guest experience. In the world of luxury hotel bathrooms, where every aspect is carefully considered to enhance the guest experience, there are powerful elements that play a role in shaping the overall sensory experience. It’s all in the details.

backlit mirror in bathroom above vanity with plants on either side

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Illuminating luxury
When designing a hotel bathroom, it’s important to ask, how does the space deal with sights, sounds and scents and what are you aiming to achieve? Lighting plays a big part in the experience and often we see bathrooms in hotels that offer very little control over lighting, except perhaps a very low mood light and a very blindingly bright neutral light. Giving guests more control over lighting and even being playful with hues can add a huge benefit to a hotel experience, particularly incorporating chromotherapy into the shower.

We are seeing an increased focus on innovative lighting solutions that elevate the sensory experience of a hotel stay. When a guest enters their hotel room and is introduced to a specially curated scent that invites them to relax, this should be combined with the right level of mood lighting and finally the tactility of materials that evoke nature – think textured wall panels, natural materials and fluted finishes – that combine to create a better, and more memorable, hotel sensory experience. A soft, warm glow creates a subtle shift in ambience and a welcoming environment.

double round backlit mirror in bathroom with bathroom lights on either side above a wall hung wooden vanity

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Hotels are recognising that bathroom lighting is key and you can expect to see more colour-changing LED lighting systems that allow guests to personalise the lighting to suit their personal experience.

Thoughtfully designed lighting is also being used more and more to accentuate luxury design features in hotel bathrooms – including textured furniture and accessories, premium fixtures and other high-end finishes. It is being used to draw attention to the finer details that define the space, rather than simply being a practical solution.

Illuminated mirrors are functional but can be used to make a design statement. Set the tones with Crosswater’s versatile designs and complement a luxurious bathroom space, with options to match warm and cool metallic tones to brassware and other accessories.

Bathroom Brands Group bathroom

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Wabi Sabi for tranquil escapes
Japanese aesthetics has been trending for some time in commercial and hospitality interiors and is very prominent. The trend is showing no signs of slowing down, however, I expect we’ll see a true representation of the Wabi-Sabi philosophy in hotel bathrooms this year. More than just muted tones and curved features which nod to the trend, it takes a bold approach and design skill to place very asymmetrical, free-flowing and unconventional silhouettes into balance in a bathroom space. We expect to see more abstract, curved accessories – such as Crosswater Mada pebble-shaped mirrors – and natural materials.

pink and blue patterned bathroom tiles with pink basin and round mirror

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Bold statements
Neutral palettes continue to dominate but a parallel luxe-retro trend is encouraging the use of accenting primary colours to create focal points in expertly layered neutral spaces. Anticipate seeing bold colours – from statement-making furniture to retro lighting and tiles in big-hitting hues – used to create visually striking bathrooms, adding a touch of drama.

Warm metallics
Stealing the spotlight in 2024 is warm metallics. Seen in either one statement piece, or more subtly used from brassware to accessories that tie in the overall design, a rich brushed bronze hue is a celebration of contemporary and luxury design. The warm tone is seen across a range of Crosswater brassware bathroom accessories, from lights to shower heads, and is the definition of all-out luxury, Brushed Bronze brassware makes a sleek and dramatic statement while mirrors and shower screens with Brushed Bronze frames are the perfect finishing touch, allowing hotel designers to match colour accents across their bathroom design. Inspired by rocky shades found in nature, the rich, earthy tones imbue a sense of warmth and tranquillity, perfect for a bathroom sanctuary.

door open on to cloakroom with mirror and brushed bronze bathroom fittings

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Sensory considerations
Beyond aesthetics and functionality, hotel bathroom design is pushing the boundaries to engage the senses. Texture has been big for some time, but we expect to see this being more carefully considered. We know that texture adds interest and invites exploration and there is a growing trend for hotel bathrooms to include textured design elements allowing guests an opportunity to engage the sense of touch. Brands are experimenting with the use of different materials – from sustainable shower trays crafted from engineered stone to wood-effect furniture finishes – and these details elevate the bathroom experience. Hotel designers are using the art of layering textures and combining these to create a visually luxurious environment.

One of our main priorities when developing new products is user interaction, especially when it comes to texture. We’re always looking for ways to add this element into bathroom designs – from ‘clicking’ shower controls, to tap handles to drawer fronts – as there is so much value in having haptic feedback through texture on these touch points. As designers, we want to know that people aren’t just enjoying products because of the functional value that they add, but also because of the design techniques and striking features that cause an emotional response, When we see a heavily textured surface, we often have an instinctive urge to touch it and explore it, making texture an extremely versatile tool for designers looking to optimise and enhance user experience with tactile elements. This is particularly relevant for hotel bathrooms when the aim is to create an unforgettable experience of relaxation and indulgence.

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Main image credit: Bathroom Brands Group