The way we socialise has changed significantly as has the way we use space in our homes. We place more importance on having a low-maintenance and high-functioning space that caters for our individual needs and desires.
There seems to be a heightened awareness of how the spaces we work and live in impact our lives and happiness, success and productivity. The concept of mindfulness is proving to be invaluable in all aspects of how we move through life and interact with others.
The home has always being a place where we recharge, rejuvenate, and socialise — a ceremonial place of gathering friends and families together in a comfortable setting. Being aware of what we want and need from these spaces has pushed the boundaries of design for the Australian home. This is evident in the way our homes have transformed from single rooms to open-plan living and the notion of connecting indoor and outdoor spaces to allow for social interaction and a connection with our environment.
Trends are showing that this mentality is flowing through into the private spaces within the home, as we place more emphasis on how we prepare and put ourselves together each morning and similarly unwind at the end of the day. Therefore, we are seeing spaces such as bedrooms, walk-in robes and ensuite bathrooms becoming sanctuaries (or wings) where one can find solace and rest.
Through the synthesis of design and the desire for one’s wellbeing, the need for these preparation and restorative spaces are changing from what used to be a room to shower and bathe in, to spaces that mimic a luxury resort style of living — a space that makes you feel and look good. For this reason, we are seeing these spaces take up a larger proportion of the home and strategically placed to take advantage of natural light and private courtyards to reinforce our desire to reconnect with ourselves, reminiscent of holidays at resorts.
We are seeing lavish layouts for master bedrooms with adjoining walk-in robes that connect to these wet areas, with an emphasis on using natural and luxury materials to create warmth and grandeur. The use of large slabs of stone, which wrap from the heated floor and up the walls to create an almost cave-like environment, remind us of connecting with nature. Greenery and garden spaces are influencing all spaces in the home but particularly significant in creating an ambience in these rejuvenating spaces. Bathrooms, once seen as light and bright spaces, now feature dark and moody tones with the use of stone and tiles.
Natural finishes, such as stone, warm timbers and greenery, are contrasted by large oversized mirrors and decorative lighting that highlight the vanity, which are generous in size and minimalistic in design. The use of matte and metals, such as aged bronze and brass, are increasingly used for tapware and accessories to contrast against these textural materials and lift the space.
Bathrooms are no longer small rooms with one function, they are spaces for reconnection and reflection, to restore and relax. The bathroom has become a sanctuary for the home; a place where design can play a vital role for our sense of wellbeing.
Claire Kneebone is an interior designer