More than functional

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More than functional

Thursday, 19 March 2020 | Ayushi Sharma

More than functional

Bathroom accessories are not just visually appealing but also capable of delivering an indulgent experience with therapeutic benefits, says Ayushi Sharma

Bathrooms are not just for functional needs any more. These are spaces where you spend some ‘me time’, reflecting and rejuvenating. Elegance, mood lighting and world-class amenities are some of the upgrades that we are looking at. So some careful thinking and planning are the order of the day in conceiving a bathroom with the right materials, textures, lighting, accessories and facilities that can uplift one’s mood and relax completely.

But the question is how and why traditional bathroom accessories are getting an uber upgrade? Sandeep Shukla, Head Marketing and Communication, Global Operations, Jaquar Group, feels that with evolving requirements and increasing income, the way we use our spaces is being re-imagined and that includes bath spaces as well. “From a purely functional space, bathrooms have emerged to becoming aspirational and designer. Consumers want to build a retreat, away from all the stress and strains of modern, urban life. Often our bathrooms are that wellness haven. This, in turn, has driven consumers towards bathroom accessories that are not just visually appealing but also capable of delivering an indulgent experience with therapeutic benefits,” says he.

The discerning customers seek luxury and at the same time want their bathrooms to reflect their personality. “This has led to an increase in mindshare of bath spaces,” believes spokesperson from Kohler. And Monica Chawla, Founder and Principal Designer at Essentia Environments, concurs with it. She says, “Having travelled abroad, Indians have got more exposed to a refined lifestyle and designs. They want the same in their homes.”

Bathroom accessories were usually monochromatic but during the past few years, colours have been adding character to bath spaces. The spokesperson from Kohler tells us that colours can give your bathroom a new lease of life. Another aspect is faucets. It is an “important design element in your bathroom and so is its finish, which can fundamentally change the look and feel of a bathroom. One needn’t stick to the standard steel grey faucets as there are a variety of finishes to express your style — vibrant brushed nickel, transitional like vibrant brushed bronze or chic like vibrant rose gold,” adds the spokesperson.

Aesthetics that follow a common plan in the entire bathroom with a uniform design of fixtures in faucets, showers and sanitaryware clubbed with technology is the rising trend, Sandeep shares. Consumers are customising not just their living areas but are taking a keen interest in ensuring their bathrooms are just as luxe and visually stunning. He says that they are experimenting with light-play in showers, tuning into music as per their moods or features such as automatically regulating the water temperature and flow through touch-enabled smart controls.

Moreover, with water scarcity imminent in the near future, conservation without compromising on the experience is something that the customers are actively exploring. “Also, consumers are more conscious of investing in sustainable products and therefore, there are numerous options that companies now offer. For instance, we have the Jaquar Air Shower that can save up to 30 per cent water and the Jaquar Maze Shower that offers improved performance even in low water-pressure conditions. Products like the Jaquar iFlush save space and can be installed directly in regular pipelines. Whereas, the Dual Flushing systems with beta valves are designed to save up to 50 to 60 per cent water daily,” adds Sandeep.

Experts share that wallpapers have travelled beyond the living and bedrooms to the bathrooms imparting these spaces a personal touch. They suggest that wallpapers are the best way to transform a room’s mood. A wallpaper doesn’t take up much space yet instantly injects personal style. There are a lot of nature-inspired 3D wallpapers that people are choosing more for their bathrooms as they make the space more interactive.

Cabinet spaces too blend into the changed asthetics. Monica tells us that bathrooms will display simpler ways of life as they minimise item storage and the space required. “Compact storage closets, cabinets, shelves which are simple and promote minimalist habits are the way to go. Even if your other rooms are not as minimal, the bathroom is a relaxation sanctuary and compact storage can effectively provide just that,” she says.

In today’s era of stress, pressure and fatigue, personal wellness, relaxation and luxury are important features in bathrooms. Many brands have a range of wellness products that help you relax your body, calm your nerves and invigorate your senses. Sandeep says that a caressing and stimulating power bathing experience is therefore a must, today, to unwind, replenish and recharge our stressed-out bodies. A lot of bath and sanitaryware companies are focussing on premium bath and wellness quotient. For instance, there are swimming pools with UV filtration system, ozone filtration and much more as the demand for indulgent bath and wellness has risen. With that, products such as spas, whirlpools, saunas, bathtubs and steam cabins have also become an essential element in urban households, he says.

The role of technology in the evolution of these products has expanded. “The importance of therapeutic treatments such as hydro and chromotherapy in spas has become a crucial feature. The primary motive behind such features is to accentuate and customise experiences offering maximum benefit to customers. They often want spa-like features in swimming pools where they can swim as well as rejuvenate. Our wellness models such as the Jaquar Swim Spas with the swim and spa zone options cater to that very trend. They have multiple features including the in-demand UV sterilising system and Ozone filtration for maximum benefits and hygiene,” he shares.

Another example comes from Kohler — One Touch Spa at Home DTV+, which brings in a multi-sensory, ultra-luxury spa experience via a cutting-edge touchscreen shower technology.

Besides serving a functional purpose, a bathroom is also a private space which enhances your unique lifestyle. Call it a freshness boost, a relaxing massage, a cleaning ritual or in short, dub it as ‘power bathing’, the modern-day bathroom is very much a personal sanctuary that spells the ultimate in relaxation.

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