By Claudia Simone Hoff
Most of us spend all our lives in the fast lane: one appointment following hot on the heels of another, mountains of paperwork threatening to bury us, our mobile ringing endlessly. And most people want their bathroom to be a refuge, somewhere to find relaxation and to slow down.
The bathroom is becoming a feel-good room
So it’s no wonder that architects, designers and manufacturers are increasingly seeing the bathroom as a room with wellness qualities and recreation opportunities. Whereas until only a few years ago health, fitness and well-being were sought mainly externally at establishments such as (wellness) hotels and fitness clubs, today it is also possible to treat the body in one’s own four walls. Sometimes consciously taking a break is enough to escape from the daily grind. It can take the form of a relaxing session in a sauna, a warm bath with essential oils or a refreshing shower. The product ingredients for a wellness day at home range from accessories such as scented candles, room sprays, cosy kimonos and woollen blankets to expensive investments such as large-scale hammam and sauna combinations, programmable shower scenarios and Japanese-style baths.
Things large and small
Today’s bathroom is considered as a whole, especially as far as the design is concerned. That is why in the interior design, traditional sanitaryware such as the WC, washbasin, shower tray and bath is complemented by the matching bathroom furniture, designer heaters, complex (LED) lighting solutions, tiles, textiles and accessories. Room boundaries are gradually disappearing, especially in new-builds: From luxury hotels, for instance, we get the idea of the bathroom and bedroom becoming one. So the room for showering, bathing and wellness is getting bigger – becoming a veritable living-room, in fact. And it should be as homely as possible, because as well as serving hygiene purposes, the bathroom is also used for keeping us healthy, for resting, reading and sleeping. Manufacturers are drawing from unlimited resources to transform the bathroom into a private wellness temple – with large and small things. We’ve found the loveliest products for you!
BetteLux Shape, Bette
The bathroom becomes a living room where you should feel comfortable and at home. The ingredients: sanitaryware, furniture and lights. The striking frame construction of the BetteLux Shape collection removes the optical heaviness from the bathroom products, giving it room to breathe.
Photos: © Bette
Wonderful water: showers & baths
Gloss and glamour
A hot bath is the wellness classic for the home. As soon as you slide in, the world starts to look different! As with BetteLoft Ornament. The new colour Midnight brings a little glitter into the bathroom.
Photo: © Bette
Onsen, or the art of bathing
The bath in the Immersion collection by Agape – designed by the Chinese design duo Neri & Hu – is based on traditional Japanese and Chinese bath tubs. Despite the compact size, the bather sits deep in the water, and in fact is able to glide into it almost completely, which is extremely beneficial when relaxing.
Photos: © Agape
A level surface made of metal from which four wing-like elements appear: Axor ShowerHeaven 1200 combines four spray types – Mono, Rain, Body, Powder – with integrated mood lighting, raising showering onto the big stage.
Photo: © Axor/ Hansgrohe
Sauna meets hammam
Quel luxe! BodyLove is a professional sauna and hammam system that was designed by Rodolfo Dordoni and Michele Angelini for Effegibi. It consists of a sauna with wall-mounted benches and a hammam with a bench made of Corian and accessories in teak, plus a rain shower.
Photo: © Effegibi
Small is beautiful: Accessories
Windows? Mirrors? The New York architecture office Bower plays with the classic architectural motif of the arch, its Arch Mirrow mirror providing optical illusions. Make sure you check it out!
Photo: © Charlie Schuck
Round and round I go …
Jewellery, lipstick, bits and pieces: the lid of this decorative box by Hartô is a mirror. Designed by Piergil Fourquié for the French label, this storage container is made by hand, then dipped in pale blue, sulphur yellow or pale pink paint.
Photo: © Hartô
Sound and soul
A small round speaker called Reykjavik from Denmark that brings excellent sound into the bathroom and is extremely homely to look at. Reykjavík by Vifa is available in aluminium, all in black or covered in grey Kvadrat fabric. Practical: the leather strap makes it easy to carry around and hang up.
Photo: © Vifa
All in one
The work of the Dutch designer Edward van Vliet, the Equilibrium collection by Rosenthal and Pompd’or includes sanitary items and furniture, plus accessories such as tooth mugs, magnifying mirrors and soap dishes.
Photo: © Rosenthal
Stuff for stories: Textiles
Sense & sensuality
Bette has upholstered a free-standing washbasin and a bath, and covered them in (functional) fabrics. The BetteLux Oval Couture collection by the Potsdam design offices of Tesseraux + Partner brings home comfort into the bathroom. Unusual!
Photo: © Bette
Kotori, Christian Fischbacher
The velours shower towel by Christian Fischbacher has a digital flower and bird print, and is quite Japanese in style. Lovely and fluffy!
Photo: © Christian Fischbacher
Linen, Georg Jensen Damask
After bathing, wrap yourself in a kimono and snuggle on the sofa. For added comfort, choose this design by the Danish label Georg Jensen Damask, which is made of woven linen. Wonderful!
Photo: © Georg Jensen Damask
Päre, Lapuan Kankurit
The sauna is a Finnish invention that makes the body stronger and more resistant. Lapuan Kankurit from the far north has the matching accessories in its range: Sauna cushions and seat covers in the Päre collection, which looks cool and refreshing.
Photo: © Lapuan Kankurit
Smells good! Cosmetics & room fragrances
Photo: © Diptyque
Marcel Wanders, The Five Seasons, Alessi
Now you can smell Alessi as well! The Dutch designer Marcel Wanders collaborated with perfumers in Grasse to create four different fragrances for the Italians: as candles, room fragrance atomisers, leaf fragrance diffusors and diffusors made of lava stone. Pleasantly fresh: the smell of summer – Hmm.
Photo: © Alessi
Witch hazel bath, Susanne Kaufmann
Susanne Kaufmann opts for holistic, natural skincare. The Austrian cosmetics label with its own spa hotel now offers over 90 products, including a bath foam that smells of witch hazel and is particularly beneficial for dry skin. The transparent bottle with the white screw-top is similar to a traditional apothecary bottle.
Photo: © Susanne Kaufmann
What do you do in the evening after a long, stressful day? What do you do to treat yourself? And what is the bathroom to you – just somewhere functional, or is a certain feel-good atmosphere important to you?