Undoubtedly the busiest rooms in the house, we look at what’s new in kitchens and bathrooms as we move into 2018
Words: Sarah Giles
A new year always brings exciting new developments in bathroom fixtures and fittings, and the start of 2018 is proving to be no exception. The Grenada frameless shower enclosure , from the new Island collection by shower enclosure specialist Lakes Bathrooms, is a case in point. It has a fresh, modern, boutique hotel look and is ideal for corner installation.
Measuring 2,000mm high, the Grenada door and hinge panel come in four standard widths, are fully reversible and feature concealed fixings and innovative rise and fall hinges, which allow for up to 45mm adjustment to make installation that much easier. What’s especially interesting about the Grenada is that it also incorporates the company’s PureVueHD glass – an optically superior ‘low-iron’ glass that reduces the green hue found in standard glass, plus AllClear® stay-clean coating, which is applied to both sides of the glass to help you keep your enclosure looking sparklingly clean with minimal effort.
Elsewhere in the world of bathrooms, the Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection has recently been updated with the addition of a new hand-painted steel grey finish to its Langham furniture range (also available in hand-painted cotton white). Ideal in period homes, units feature curved pilasters, delicate leg styling and five-piece doors with subtle beading for a softly romantic, timeless look. Soft-closing doors and chrome handles are a nice finishing touch to the classically styled units.
Helen Shaw, Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection’s Marketing Manager, says: “Langham’s new, on-trend soft steel grey finish really accentuates the delicate beading on the units’ doors and elegant styling on the legs and beautifully sets off the ceramic basin, giving consumers an additional, on-trend shade to complement their traditional decor.”
If boho-chic is more your thing, take a look at luxury bath specialist Waters Baths of Ashbourne. Their freestanding baths make a fantastic centrepiece in the bathroom and one of the stars of their Elements collection of stone freestanding baths and complementary basins is the Haze tub . Its elegant shape allows it to be styled in a number of distinctive ways for an individual look and feel. It’s made from unique DQ Cast, a natural material made from crushed quartz and limestone with modern polymers and UV stabilisers and you can personalise the outer shell with any shade from the Farrow & Ball (01892 512121) colour palette.
For a thoroughly modern look, on the other hand, the new Euro Ceramic range from Grohe  has recently been launched. It’s their first range of ceramics, created to work with their taps, flush plates and accessories for a coordinated look, and includes sophisticated toilet bowls with rimless flushing technology, super-hygienic ProGuard finish and a HyperClean surface, which uses silver ions to reduce bacteria growth by up to 99%.
But the biggest innovation is its Triple Vortex flushing technology, which uses three separate outlets to generate a powerful swirl to flush the inside of the bowl both more effectively and with less noise compared to a conventional bowl.
Sinead Trainor, Kitchen Category Manager for LochAnna Kitchens, has identified a number of key trends for 2018. “With beautiful, bold, bright colours and mixed textures making an emergence in the kitchen, 2018 will be all about personalisation,” she says, adding: “The tail end of 2017 saw the emergence of more bold colours and textures in kitchen doors and this will follow into the New Year. The mix of striking solid colours and woodgrains will continue to prove popular, whilst more industrial finishes like concrete will sit alongside these to really create interest in the kitchen.”
Anticipating this, LochAnna Kitchens  has recently launched 18 new colours in two of their traditional kitchen ranges. And if you can’t decide between two colours, or you feel that more than one colour or texture defines your personality better, the best way to solve this whilst still being on-trend is to use both… “Go with a lighter colour on the wall cabinets and the darker on the base units,” suggests Sinead. And after years of being banished from view, she says that handles are coming back! “Think beautiful, ornate handles against modern cupboards and bright coppers/rose golds on shaker-style kitchens.”
On the subject of dual-effects, the Arcos laminate collection from Schmidt is available in an attractive Marmor marble effect, which looks striking teamed with their Nogueira wood finish . For a sleek, seamless design, the Marmor marble-look laminate can also be used for worktops and splashbacks as well as a flowing waterfall effect on islands and base cabinet runs.
“A timeless colour palette is very on trend,” explains David Roy of Schmidt. “With Dulux choosing Heart Wood as their Colour of the Year for 2018 and interior designers forecasting a mix of craftsmanship, tactility and a distressed look with worn materials, there are plenty of elements within our Arcos collection that can complement these looks.”
Melissa Klink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones Kitchens, agrees that the kitchen is a good place to express your creativity. “It’s the perfect environment for experimenting with colour on both a large and small scale,” she says. “But when deciding on your shade, consider your space first – kitchens with lots of light can take a bolder, darker colour than a more enclosed space.”
Harvey Jones kitchen cabinets can be painted in any colour, and Melissa suggests introducing a sense of mystery into a kitchen scheme by contrasting dark cabinets in a deep, saturated colour with white worktops, then adding metallics and bronzes for a really contemporary look .
Extractor fans are moving into the realms of high-design these days, and the striking Mare extractor , a high-performance recirculation extractor finished in a stylish circular design in either black or white glass, is just one of seven models in Falmec’s e.Ion collection. Not only does the Mare offer excellent rates of extraction but the patented e.Ion system within it works to sanitise odours, irritants and pollutants in the air.
All e.Ion models are designed to measure and neutralise the quality of indoor air by releasing atmospheric ions into the air – and the quality of the air can be monitored by a leaf-shaped sensor which gradually changes from orange to green as the air is purified. Thanks to the automatic mode, when the sensor detects a deterioration in air quality in the room, the system switches on by itself. Clever stuff!
And talking of high design… Hi-Macs  has long been associated with super-stylish work surfaces that are highly resistant to stains, and easy to clean, maintain and repair. Their new Shape collection of sinks and basins is manufactured using a high-tech casting process to give maximum design flexibility and includes 18 models that can be used in any combination with any Hi-Macs work surface – just what’s needed if you’re planning a sleek, seamless and ultra-contemporary kitchen this year.
Images: Rowen Photography & Jake Eastham