Bathroom focus: How quiet luxury became the essence of refinement

BathroomsFeatures Mon 22nd Apr 2024 by Lisa Hibberd

Bathroom focus: How quiet luxury became the essence of refinement

Bathroom focus: How quiet luxury became the essence of refinement

Feature by Lisa Hibberd | Mon 22nd Apr 2024

Lisa has a background in working on consumer titles, and as the former associate editor of Your Home magazine, over 15 years' experience writing about kitchens and bathrooms. She now works as a freelance, contributing to both consumer and B2B platforms. More

One of the latest trends to steal the bathroom spotlight is 'quiet luxury' – a carefully curated style that whispers rather than shouts. Lisa Hibberd explores this subtle yet sophisticated look that’s designed to elevate everyday moments.

“First seen on the runways, the trend for quiet luxury has quickly made its way into our homes,” explains Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. “Generally, bathrooms follow other rooms in the homes in terms of style, with quiet luxury first entering in the kitchen around 18 months ago, before working its way into living spaces and now the bathroom. However, unlike many trends we see, this one is arguably not even a trend at all – it’s less about a specific look and more about creating an atmosphere that is timeless and evokes a feeling of understated elegance. The overall aim is to create a sophisticated aesthetic that reservedly whispers luxury, rather than one that screams extravagantly expensive and OTT.”

BC Designs’ handcrafted Antique copper boat bath, available in both 1500mm and 1700mm lengths offers a high end look without shouting about it. Its antique finish is achieved by applying sulphuric acid and chalk powder before sealing with lacquer

An extension of Grohe’s premium models, Atrio and Allure Brillant, The Private Collection offers customisable design with choice of colour, finish, material, and handle options. Grohe has extended the collection by partnering with Caesarstone to offer options of white or black Caesarstone Quartz knurled knobs or levers in a range of finishes – shown here is Warm Sunset

“In today's fast-paced world, people are increasingly valuing moments of tranquillity and self-care, especially within the private sanctuary of the bathroom,” says Simon Boocock, MD of CRL Europe. “This trend emphasises minimalist design, muted colour palettes, and high-quality materials to evoke a sense of calm and sophistication. There is a focus on wellness, creating a spa-like experience and a minimalist aesthetic. Quiet Luxury is also very much about quality over quantity; investing in high-quality materials and craftsmanship rather than flashy or ostentatious displays of wealth. Consumers are willing to spend more on durable, sustainable materials that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also stand the test of time.”

Designed for the perfect fit in any space, CRL bespoke showers use high quality minimalist hardware for the latest in frameless showering. Shown above is Prima Antique Brushed Copper Meteroa Gris Cosmopolitan grey

“The beauty of this pared-back interior scheme is that designers can focus on what is necessary and be guided by minimalist ideals,” suggests Stefan Gesing, CEO of Dornbracht AG & Co. KG. “Luxury in the bathroom is very individual and isn’t just about an aesthetic goal. Less is more with Quiet Luxury and designers should focus only on what is needed and strip back elements which over complicate.”

This stunning bathroom features Dornbracht’s Tara wall-mounted basin mixer in Brushed Durabrass (23kt Gold). The architects, OHLAB, chose iconic Tara for ‘a timeless style-conscious aesthetic that makes it a classic choice for a historic residential building that is fully committed to modernity’ | Image credit José Hevia

These Mirrored Gold marble-effect porcelain tiles from Lapicida provide a stunning backdrop in this indulgent bathroom, replicating the variations and beauty of natural marble for an authentic look, while offering consumers the practical benefits of porcelain

Jorge Hernandez, head of design at Crosswater, says: “Designers can achieve the quiet luxury aesthetic by combining unique features – from furniture and wall coverages to brassware and accessories – that encourage user interaction and make us pause, reflect and take into consideration our surroundings. There are many ways to achieve this, for example fluted finishes on vanity units and brassware, and big-hitting visual textures. The key thing is to balance texture so it’s not too overpowering, ideally focusing on one element or area of the bathroom. Another way to achieve the look is harmonising finishes across the entire design – for example brushed bronze brassware that matches other items – from shower screen finishes to statement-making basins.”

A combination of different textures work together to elevate this simple scheme which champions the ‘less is more’ philosophy. Crosswater’s Halo lights in Brushed Brass offer the perfect finishing touch

Mike Whitfield, bathroom interiors expert at Lusso, recommends that designers focus on a ‘less is more’ approach, avoiding unnecessary accessories and instead allowing high-quality, statement fixtures to become the focal point. “Opt for an understated, neutral colour scheme of soft, neutral hues such as creams, whites and beiges to enhance the beauty of these fixtures. While the colour palette should remain muted, look to add visual interest by embracing natural materials and textures. Pay attention to the smaller details such as high-quality hardware and finishes to capture the subtle high-end look and feel of this trend.” 

Travertine stone is a superior material favoured for its natural texture. Lusso’s striking handcrafted bath is sealed to ensure strength and is filled with a clear resin to showcase its natural impurities

A non-ostentatious take on luxury, Impey’s Aqua-Dec Linear 1 with Brushed Black 800mm drain is complemented by the Sealskin duka acqua 5000 double sliding door

Ben Bryden, sales and marketing director of RAK Ceramics UK, suggests that particular materials and finishes lend themselves best to this look. “Natural stone inspired materials have a unique veining pattern and soft hues that create a luxurious ambience,” he says. “Additionally, natural stone has a tactile quality that adds to the sensory experience. Matte surfaces, too, whether on tiles, brassware, or fixtures, offer a subtle, sophisticated look, while subtle accents such as brushed metal finishes, frosted glass details, or decorative elements with a minimalist aesthetic add visual interest without overwhelming the space, contributing to the overall sense of quiet luxury.”

Fluid lines inspired by geometric swirls combined with changing shapes like clouds produce a soft enveloping effect on RAK-Cloud, the designer collection by RAK Ceramics, ideal for creating a sense of serenity and calm in a client’s most personal of spaces

“With a timeless look such as this, it is all about focusing on high-quality products that are known for their longevity rather than popular fads which can quickly date,” says Faye Young, senior designer from Ripples Bournemouth. “Investing in quality sanitaryware and classically-shaped brassware will ensure a bathroom design stands the test of time. Brassware finishes such as chrome and brushed nickel might not be the newest on the market, but the beauty lies in how understated they are and the elegance they can bring to the room. Marble is also a great choice as it exudes luxury and is an ageless material which will never date.” 

This project by Ripples offers a carefully curated sense of indulgence, featuring its freestanding bath with silk matt finish in Polished White, freestanding bath mixer, ceiling-mounted shower arm and shower head all in brushed brass, and marble-effect porcelain tiles

Tags: bathrooms, features, quiet luxury, opulent minimalism, ripples

In other news