In 2020, Mother Nature will be the mother of all design trends. As sustainability becomes a key focus among architect and designers globally, kitchens and bathrooms will home in on biophilic design. This building concept increases a structure’s connectivity to the environment by, directly or indirectly, incorporating natural elements. And by consciously including Nature in our interiors, we unconsciously reconnect to Nature in our constructed environments.
The fresh and forward-thinking kitchen and bathroom design schemes of 2020 will incorporate a combination of organic textures, earthy palettes and warm metallics. Sustainable surfacing materials will also emerge as attractive, healthy alternatives to traditional options for achieving this look.
In recent years we’ve seen natural elements weave their way into our living rooms and bedrooms. In 2020, kitchens and bathroom design will be heavily influenced by such organic textures as wood and natural stone.
Wood cabinetry and cladding make a comeback with fresh interpretations in various design aesthetics, from transitional to modern. The wood grain itself becomes part of the look when such species as walnut or white oak are flat cut or bookmatched. The soft, Zen-like quality of wood also allows more dramatic features, such as natural stone, to stand out.
In 2020, stone slabs evolve from surfacing material to works of art in both the kitchen and bathroom. With the planet top of mind, natural stone slabs will give way to more ecologically sound products such as sintered stone. Sintered stone is made of natural minerals and is manufactured in ways that mimic the natural formation of stone. Natural minerals, including crushed stone, are subjected to high heat and pressure, resulting in a man-made stone slab that’s lightweight and durable. It is free of resins, VOCs, and other potentially harmful substances. Sintered stone products, including Neolith and Lapitec, can be difficult to distinguish from natural stone. Marble Trend, the exclusive distributor of Neolith in Canada, carries an impressive array of natural stone textures, including Bianco Carrara, Calacatta, and Estuatuario. These can be paired with Neolith’s La Boheme, inspired by the wood trunk of Lebanese cedar, to create additional layers of organic texture in a kitchen and bathroom.
Kitchen and bathroom tiles will come to life with a tactile, three-dimensional appearance. Using the centuries-old technique of relief, tiles will add drama by acting as sculptural surfaces. They will combine organic textures with geometric shapes and vice versa for a playful, modern interpretation of the natural look.
DOWN-TO-EARTH PALETTES AND PIGMENTS
An array of natural, eco-influenced hues will be unearthed in 2020 as muted palettes continue to gain popularity and gently permeate our interiors. Drawing inspiration from the sea, sand, forest and sky, subtle shades of terracotta, caramel, sage green, soft floral pink, blue, and burnt yellows will define the naturalist palette. This warm collection of colours will dominate kitchen and bathroom design, lending a look of health and tranquility to these utilitarian spaces.
Alternative, sustainable surfacing options will also present innovative ways to introduce nature-based colour into the kitchen and bathroom. Durat Palace is made with up to 28 per cent recycled plastic from the medical and cell phone industries, and is 100 per cent recyclable. This surfacing material can be used for kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs, shower bases, backsplashes, shelves, tables and benches. It comes in 12 “pure earth” colour combinations made from natural pigments that are ground by a 17th century Dutch windmill.
Metals with such warm undertones as brass, copper, gold and rose gold will be sought-after finishes for kitchen and bathrooms in 2020. Gunmetal will also emerge as a softer alternative to matte black.
Milwaukee-based Graff has introduced a new portfolio of finishes for bath products that includes rose gold, black onyx, gunmetal, and unfinished brass. The company’s new MOD+ collection of faucets, tub fillers and shower components blend warm metals with a choice of three marble accents: green-forest marble, black-storm marble and smoky-white marble.
Living finishes, such as ROHL’s unlacquered brass, will also trend in 2020. These faucets develop a patina over time; the imperfection of this natural oxidization process is the driving force behind its appeal. ROHL is also set to introduce satin English gold and rose gold as new finish options for 2020. An industrial stainless-steel sink in a copper colour will be available to complement the rose-gold faucet finish.
Warm metallics will also add their soft glow to lighting and such accents as cabinet inlays and hardware. Custom fabrication opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities for the creative integration of warm metallics in the kitchen and bathroom. ElementAl heavy is a surfacing material made of up to 83 per cent recycled scrap metal from wires, tools, copper pipes and brass fixtures. The combination of these metals gives this material its authentic shimmery, metallic quality. It can also be backlit to enhance the sparkle factor. Proving what glitters can be a golden idea, ElementAl heavy presents a fun new option for statement countertops and an unexpected way to infuse metallics into a design scheme. •
Columnist Barbara Milner is an interior designer and principal at South Hill Interiors, a design firm that serves the Greater Toronto Area and Kawartha Lakes region. The firm’s real estate arm offers realty services with Forest Hill Real Estate Inc.