Bathroom design: 6 trends and highlights spotted at ISH 2023

BathroomsFeatures Wed 5th Apr 2023 by Emma Hedges

Bathroom design: 6 trends and highlights spotted at ISH 2023

Bathroom design: 6 trends and highlights spotted at ISH 2023

Feature by Emma Hedges | Wed 5th Apr 2023

Editor of KBBFocus Emma has been writing about design and interiors for over 25 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, her work has been published in a wide variety of leading trade and consumer titles. More

ISH 2023 came and went in a blaze of colourful glory, and brought with it the unveiling of some exciting new products and innovations – Emma Hedges rounds up 6 key trends and highlights from the global bathroom event in Frankfurt last month.

After some initial doubts over which exhibitors were actually going to be at ISH 2023, the show itself turned out to be a great comeback event for Messe Frankfurt. While there were some notable gaps in the floorplan (but much in the same way we've come to expect at trade shows these days), the stands that were there were full of vibrant displays, and by day two, most were very busy. Overall, the fair attracted some 2,025 exhibitors from 54 countries, along with around 154,000 visitors, 44% of whom were from abroad.

But, when it comes down to it, why should retailers and designers take the time out to go and see a show like ISH? The answer is that moving from stand to stand in an exhibition this size enables visitors to spot common threads and develop fresh insights into upcoming trends in a way that a single visit to one brand's showroom can't. Those visitors will leave with a new kind of visibility when it comes to product design – an understanding of the direction it is taking that can inspire them in their work and give them a key advantage. Now that's got to be worth the price of a plane ticket.

6 key takeaways and innovations from ISH 2023:

The first thing to note about the show in comparison to previous years were the liberal splashes of vivid colour, along with some imaginative ways of using it. 

Created to co-ordinate with Duravit's colourful Vitrium washbasin series, the Millio toilet designed by Antonio Bullo uses resonant jewel tones combined with two surface textures – a grooved and patterned relief – and features a ceramic toilet body and a panel made from the brand's DuroCast material

The Miena washbowls from Kaldewei were showcasing the breadth of creativity and colour combinations that can be used with the brand's steel enamel, enabling homeowners to achieve something truly unique for their bathroom schemes


In a logical backlash against the ubiquitous Matt Black tap of the past few years, White taps – both Gloss and Matt – were making an entrance.

As well as coming in a three vibrant brights, Roca's new Nu range of taps designed by Inma Bermúdez comes in a clean, Glossy White. Inspired by the French word for 'nude', the taps feature a slender 35mm diameter body, and three different styles of handle. A playful detail of the design is the use of coloured dots to indicate hot or cold water, so when the handle is tipped back, it creates a 'smiling face'

Hansgrohe was displaying its AXOR One taps in an elegant new Matt White finish, shown here alongside the brand's new AXOR Starck Basins, which are set to be launched in the UK in October


Basins with a smooth, matt finish were in vogue featuring glazes that offer reduced light reflection and accentuate curves, but are also pleasingly velvety to the touch.

Designed by Daniel De Biasi and Federico Sandri, the RAK-Variant washbasin collection from RAK Ceramics now features Matt Black and Matt White finishes, which will be available in the UK later this year


Washbasins with curved asymmetric shapes were being highlighted as a new way to reflect the continuing trend for creating a natural, spa-like ambience in a bathroom environment.

The new Antao washbasin collection from Villeroy & Boch is inspired by the shape of dewdrops – the basin comes in 4 sizes, with similarly shaped mirrors, WCs, baths and brassware complementing the range

The new over countertop Ohtake basin designed for Roca by Ruy Ohtake, shown here in Matt White with the Ona basin mixer, is set to be launched in the UK in the next couple of months


The latest flushing technology creates an elegant swirl rather than a raucous splash, and as a result it is substantially quieter, as well as more hygienic as the amount of bacteria distributed in the room is reduced.

VitrA's Quantum-Flush is based on the laminar flow principle so the water flows steadily but without energy loss on an optimally curved line at every angle so there is no splashing – it will be available in the UK later in the year

Laufen's WCs in its new MEDA collection feature the brand's Silent Flush technology – although not quite silent, the vortex flush conveys the water precisely through the interior basin, generating fewer turbulences and less noise


As ever, ISH was the place to be to see how manufacturers are pushing back the boundaries to respond to different consumer trends and needs. 

Hansgrohe was presenting its Green Vision Beyond Water: Rethinking Bathroom Culture – the concept study of a bathroom with a 90% reduction in water and energy consumption, and 90% fewer CO2-emissions

RAK Ceramics was highlighting its new 3D printing approach, demonstrating how it can be used producing ceramic basins

Finnish design company Woodio was showcasing Block – a wall-mounted toilet that is formed entirely from wood composite, and causes a reduced environmental impact in its manufacturing process compared to ceramics

Burgbad was displaying the prototype of a newly developed trap that it claims will revolutionise washbasin drain technology. The odour-free system is positioned under the basin and reduces the build-up of potentially harmful germs

Together with water specialist SIAMP, Roca has integrated all flushing technology into the bowl of the Hydro In-Tank toilet so it requires no pre-wall installation and no power connection

Save the Date: The next ISH will take place from 17th - 21st March 2025. 

Tags: bathrooms, features, ish 2023, trends

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