How fashion-forward finishes have taken accessories to new heights

BathroomsFeatures Tue 11th Jan 2022 by Nicola Hanley

How fashion-forward finishes have taken accessories to new heights

How fashion-forward finishes have taken accessories to new heights

Feature by Nicola Hanley | Tue 11th Jan 2022

Nicola is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about interiors for 15 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, she has also worked in PR and is now a freelance writer specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. More

There’s been a real change in the perception of bathroom accessories in recent years. While still highly functional, these little gems are now also super-stylish and can help consumers inject real individuality into their bathroom spaces. Nicola Hanley takes a look at this growing market.

For a long time, accessories were seen as practical essentials that provided the finishing touches to a bathroom and were often considered something of an afterthought. And while this is still the case for some designers and homeowners, more and more are viewing them as key parts of a complete bathroom design. 

“There has been a noticeable shift in the importance of bathroom accessories and their significance as part of the overall design of the bathroom in recent times,” says Paul Bailey, leader, category specialist UK, Lixil EMENA, responsible for Grohe bathroom product category in the UK. “Consumers now have a greater choice with many opting to co-ordinate accessories, taps and ceramics to achieve a complete and seamless look.”

Consumers can co-ordinate brassware and accessories with Grohe’s minimalist Allure range. Combining glass with Grohe’s StarLight chrome finish, the wall-mounted soap dispenser and tumbler have concealed fixings for a clean finish

Hansgrohe says that its AddStoris accessory range, created in collaboration with Phoenix Design,  offers discreet, minimalist, pared-back solutions for every style of bathroom. Products include a toothbrush tumbler and liquid soap dispenser, which come in six finishes, including brushed bronze, pictured

Manufacturers have really upped the ante and are constantly innovating and extending their ranges, offering complete accessory sets and providing homeowners with more designs and finishes that combine aesthetics and practicality in equal measure. “Consumers are looking for functionality with style and individuality. Forget boring and clinical. It’s all about expressing their individual style,” says Sofia Charalambous, sales and marketing director at Bathroom Origins.

Clients can keep clutter to a minimum while ensuring toiletries are close to hand with the Quick shower shelves, created by Valencia-based Sonia and available through Bathroom Origins. They come in matt black and aluminium finishes as well as this matt white, which is set to launch in January

Roca has recently added brushed titanium black, pictured, titanium black and rose gold finishes to its Tempo collection of freestanding and wall-mounted accessories. Designed to withstand wear and tear, they have an anticorrosive plating and also come in chrome

So what colours and finishes are trending in the bathroom? “Accessories are mirroring taps in terms of finishes and styles and we have seen a shift away from chrome-only ranges, with options including matt black and brass being particularly popular,” notes Ben Bryden, sales and marketing director at RAK Ceramics. 

Ideal for consumers looking to create a co-ordinated look across the bathroom, this double towel rail with single towel rail beneath is part of RAK Ceramics’ comprehensive RAK-Petit Round range. Seen here in chrome, they are also available in matt black, brushed nickel and brushed gold

Bathroom Origins’ Charalambous says matt black, matt white and brushed finishes including nickel and brass are winning over consumers. It’s a similar story at HiB. “We have seen a strong increase in sales of black accessories and have also recently released our brushed brass finish, which is growing in popularity,” says sales director Ash Chilver. For Grohe, bold metallic finishes and warm golden and deep graphite tones offer a stylish edge, says Bailey.

A grab rail and storage space in one, HiB’s multifunctional Shower Shelf with Squeegee is practical, safe and stylish. Newly available in a black finish as well as the original chrome, it comes with a magnetic squeegee, which fits discreetly under the shelf

Also seeing an increase in demand for stylish, high quality accessories is PJH. Product manager Julie Lockwood says sales of its Italian Accessory Collection grew by 62% over the last year and believes more interesting finishes and textures are really tempting consumers. However, she says there’s another factor also at play. “Much of this increase in sales can certainly be attributed to lockdown periods as consumers have been spending so much time at home, updating their interiors. Bathroom accessories can make for a perfect, quick and easy bathroom makeover, won’t cost the earth and will instantly refresh any bathroom, en suite or cloakroom.” 

The comprehensive Vitti range is from PJH’s Bathrooms to Love Italian Accessories Collection.  Backed by a 10-year guarantee, the wall-mounted Vitti soap dispenser and tumbler, pictured, feature an angled ceramic design and a chrome finish

HiB’s Chilver predicts that we’ll see more unique finishes coming to market.  “Manufacturers will continue to provide more textures and colours to offer customers more choice,” he says. Multifunctional products that cater for the UK’s small bathrooms will also be a focus according to Grohe. Bailey says the brand has seen demand for accessories that offer storage and convenience and will be adding hairdryer holders to its collection in 2022.

Designed for VitrA by Tom Dixon, the new Liquid bathroom range is characterised by generous curves and soft lines. Accessories include an eye-catching white ceramic shower stool and matching shelf, a double soap dispenser and robe hooks, all pictured

Measuring 450mm long, this towel rail is part of Vado’s contemporary Shama range of bathroom accessories. Pictured in brushed gold and also available in brushed black, brushed nickel and bright gold, it comes with a 15-year guarantee

“It’s exciting times for the bathroom design market including the bathroom accessory category,” says Bathroom Origins’ Charalambous. “As more consumers look to their homes, especially their bathrooms, as a space to escape and retreat from the frenetic world we live in, they will want to invest more in the way their bathroom functions, looks and feels.”

This chrome-plated and aluminium shower shelf is part of Keuco’s Edition 90 Square range of brassware and accessories, which features strong contours and precise 90° angles

Tags: bathrooms, features, bathroom accessories, towel rails, toilet roll holders

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