Neo mint, AI aqua, living coral… the ‘it’ colours of the moment certainly pack a bold punch. But gorgeous as they are, they can be hard to reconcile with the average Kiwi bathroom. Add in the choice of metallic finishes, plus the plethora of patterns available, and you’re in danger of creating a space that is more chaotic than calming. But it is worth dipping your toes in these trends. Colour and pattern are not just fads, they are ways of making your bathroom stand out, adding value – and creating a space that is uniquely you.
The five step plan for bringing the bold
1. CONSIDER THE MOOD YOU WANT TO CREATE
Do you want something light and bright that instantly lifts the spirits? Or are you looking for a dark and sensual atmosphere? If it is the former, ‘sherbet shades’, essentially pastels with zing, add instant freshness – Pantone Colour of the Year neo mint falls into this category. If you are after a softer, more soothing look, consider earthy tones, such as terracotta or a sun-soaked mellow yellow, enhanced by textures and prints reminiscent of the natural world. For a more dramatic space, seek out deep, rich hues like navy and ripe olive, enhanced with splashes of gold and intricate geometric prints.
2. TRY IT FOR SIZE
Be aware that your choices will impact on the perceived size of the room. A shade such as the electric blue AI Aqua will reflect light and create a bigger, more open feel, as opposed to an all-black option – which may be striking, but will condense the space. Similarly, patterns can distort reality, for example, vertical lines up the wall will make the ceiling seem higher, while an elaborate design could compact the space.
3. DECIDE WHERE TO MAKE A STATEMENT
Although a good starting point for colour and pattern is on floors and walls, don’t feel that’s the only place to include it. Increasingly baths, basins, vanities, tapware and even toilets and flush panels come in a variety of shades that allow you to make a splash, from soft pastels to striking metallics like gunmetal and gold. Patterns are also transforming bathroom furnishings into pieces of art, with stunning florals appearing on basins, and the new wave of tapware stealing the show with intricate prints.
4. LAYER WITH NEUTRALS
While bold can be beautiful, you also want to avoid looking like a rainbow has exploded in your shower. This is where layering helps, building colour and pattern against a backdrop of neutral colours. Light grey, beige and champagne are in vogue, but don’t feel you have to discard white completely – the clean crispness of a smooth white basin and freestanding bath is often the perfect foil for drama elsewhere.
5. CONSIDER THE FLOW WITH THE REST OF THE HOME
Bathrooms are places where you can be a bit more playful, as they tend to be closed off from more open plan areas, however you don’t want them to completely jar with the rest of the house. If you have pared-back, neutral living spaces, creating a bathroom that screams exuberant decadence may not be a good move. Instead, use it to amplify design ideas, pushing the boundaries a little more. The powder room provides a particularly great opportunity to do this.
Mico Bathroom Expert Louise Cook says: “Our team will be able to walk you through what sort of colours work well with the theming you’ve got. If you want to go bold but are concerned about resale down the track, plan your bathroom and pick products that can be interchangeable. For something like a vessel basin or tapware, as long as it’s in standard position, it can be an easy fix for someone else coming on board.”