Winning a European design tour had interior designer Eileen Middleton’s head spinning with the latest emerging trends. The Kitchen and Bathroom Design Institute awarded her National Bathroom Designer of the
Year for 2010 and sent her to see, as she describes, “everything that’s new in the world”.
“Some of the lighting was incredibly different,” Eileen says. A new organic LED light source can cover the ceiling or be integrated with the cabinet finish. “The potential of this product is incredible,” she says. “You can put this film all over the ceiling and the whole ceiling is illuminated. “To make it interesting you could put a perforated mesh that covers the whole ceiling.”
“The big trend is texture in a way we have never seen before,” Eileen says. “This means deeper grooves, so instead of visual texture on laminate or texture on veneers there is more relief.” She says this can be applied to any typeof cabinetry.
Neutral palettes are at the forefront for timber. Timber shades are medium to light, such as blonde, medium amber and warm grey. Incorporated in that colour palette is the look of recycled timbers. Eileen says wide-board timber is in and a new product caught her eye called banana-leaf flooring that is being developed and funded by a Danish prince. “It is attractive to look at and has a textural quality that links in with the trend,” she says.
Doors, says Eileen, are more prominently featured with textured finishes and imposing panels. She says the trend is towards a petrified wood or drift wood look that exposes deep grooves in the timber. An applied finish or stain like a charcoal over the top gives this a modern look.
“Use texture with tiles, floor and wall finishes, but contrast with simple clean white finishes on cabinetry,” says Eileen. “Try to achieve a natural stone or concrete look. “With tap ware find something simplistic with a point of difference in its design.” She says clever storage ideas for mirror cabinetry and wall hung cabinetry can optimize storage in the vanity unit. Her final advice is to conceal lighting and drainage to achieve a seamless approach to all elements in the space.