What’s happening in bathrooms, 2018

When it comes to bathroom design, like fashion trends interior trends evolve every year.

When it comes to designing a bathroom area, authenticity is key. Embrace a trend or style that you love today and will love long term. If you are updating an existing bathroom add fresh paint, paper or accessories from the current trends and express your own style.

So, what’s hot for Interiors in 2018

Warm, dusky and earthy colour palettes and a whole lot of individualism are strong themes for 2018. Craftsmanship, authenticity, organic textures and uniquely made items are the focus of the bathroom design of today. Moody blues, smoky elegant charcoal tones all set against authentic metals such as burnished brass. Rich greens are also trending in 2018 for finishes and lush tropical leafed plants are perfect for hanging or in textural pots.


Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

What’s hot for Bathroom Design in 2018

1. Colour

White ceramic fittings will always be popular but our quest for individuality is seeing the rise in the popularity of colour and texture especially for basins. Dark basins and toilets are a safer way to add drama to your bathroom. Bathroom colours are becoming richer and moodier with deeper charcoals, greens and blues appearing in walls of tiles, painted surfaces and accessories. Soft muted colours, such as millennium pink, and sage green are teamed with natural textural elements in bathroom design.
Must have: Kohler Petaline Basin

Petaline’s profile cuts a sharp and striking silhouette.

2. Authentic Metallics

Gold is definitely experiencing a renaissance now, but not the showy orange type. Gentle champagne and rose shades and brass are the it metallics this season. Metallics are being used to create utilitarian glamour not over the top tackiness. Beautifully shaped and honed tapware, sleek accessories even gilded tiles can be used to add the modern metallic edge.
Must have: Kohler PURIST BASIN MIXER in Rose Gold

Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

Purist Basin Set in stunning Rose Gold

3. Exotic Tropics

Lush energising green is this year’s essential element. Bold oversized tropical wallpapers (still trending), or painted walls in rich green tones are design elements to incorporate in to your bathroom in 2018. Lots of potted green plants with big textural leaves will create a bathroom that is fresh and current. Add some beautiful new towels in a rich emerald tone to your existing bathroom for a fresh yet opulent look.
Must have: A beautiful Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese) Plant

4. Warm Toned Wood

The over-loved pale Scandi look is evolving to darker more opulent timber tones for both accents and bathroom furniture. Organic or refined, classic or contemporary design, natural timber in a bathroom evokes a sense of warmth and design balance when matched against cool ceramic elements. We are seeing warm rich timber floors as an elegant and modern choice.

Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

One of Kelly’s recent townhouse renovations, incorporating the Kohler Terrace basin + vanity, Composed Basin Mixer, Memphis bath spout.

5. Textural Statements

The artisan movement is a strong trend across interior design this year and the bathroom is no exception. Natural stone tiles, basins and baths, hand crafted basins in glass and metals, more and more people are looking for uniquely made items for their home. Wooden floors or ceramic timber look tiles are still a strong look but being laid in pronounced patterns such as chevron or herringbone. Combing textures is trending, the layering of tiles and wallpapers and crafted accessories is a simple way to add the modern wow factor to a bathroom.

Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

The stunning Derring Wading Pool Self Rimming basin.

6. Classical Contemporary

A strong trend in 2018 is looking back to traditional styling with the increasingly popular wainscot walls. The modern look is sharp edged panelling in a matt painted finish. It can be singular feature walls or the more traditional lower half, but make it squares. The factory style window is a strong look for showers especially in black and is suitable for tradition style or modern urban bathrooms. Traditional tapware is trending and to give it the modern edge use a brushed finish version in an industrial style fit-out.
Must have: New KOHLER Artifacts Basin Set – due for release in April 2018

Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

The new Artifacts range by Kohler.

7. Black & White

This combination is always on trend, it is how you use it and style it that gives it a modern interpretation.
Use blocks of warmer tones of black and white in bold deliberate zones of colour. Stark clinical white is certainly not the look for 2018. The beautiful array of textural black & white tiles now available will make a bathroom look current especially teamed with natural materials such as timber and stone and accessories that include cane & raffia. Add pop with brass accents.


8. Stunning Lighting
Feature lighting is a very strong element in the 2018 bathroom. Lighting design has quite possibly become the most expressive form of design in recent years. Unique, eye catching individual pieces featuring metal, glass, stone or timber add design kudos to any bathroom. Wall sconces either side of a bathroom mirror have been a common element in northern American bathrooms for decades. They are now appearing in modernised forms and materials across the globe.
Must have: Tom Dixon STONE WALL LIGHT

9. The Smart Bathroom

Technology is more than just creeping into the modern bathroom. Take intelligent toilets for example, Intelligent toilets address the combination of technology,
culture, personal hygiene and bathing habits as well as contributing to environmental sustainability through a reduction in water consumption and toilet paper waste. Kohler’s new Kohler Konnect system – voice-enabled technology whereby, for the first time, consumers can customise their bathroom experience by simply saying the words! We can’t wait til that new technology reaches our shores! Must have: Kohler VEIL INTELLIGENT TOILET

Design Trends 2018 - Kohler Australia

The Veil Intelligent Toilet has an integrated bidet, is rimless, features heated seat, heated water and dryer and remote control!


2018 Bathroom Design Trends Series. Thanks to our guest blogger Kellie Gammie of Oval & Co Bathrooms

Our guest Blogger Deborah Bibby from Real Living on bathrooms

Our guest Blogger Deborah Bibby from Real Living on bathrooms

Our Guest Blogger this month is the amazing Deborah Bibby – editor-in-chief of Real Living – one of our favourite magazines!

The gorgeous Deborah Bibby, editor-in-chief at Real Living magazine

The gorgeous Deborah Bibby, editor-in-chief at Real Living magazine

Last year Deborah visited the home of Kohler and has generously offered to share her Kohler experience with us. Here’s her story …

“Imagine my excitement at being invited to Kohler, Wisconsin, in October last year to meet editors from around the world, hear all the HOT trends in kitchens and bathrooms and, I suspect, be spoilt a little (shh). I couldn’t pack my bag fast enough. On the way there I took a sneaky stopover for a week in Kauai, Hawaii (first proper holiday in two years!) That was heaven but so much more to come: landing in Chicago and being chauffeured to Wisconsin I felt like a rock star arriving at the beautiful five-star, five-diamond-rated The American Club, built in 1918 and restored to its beautiful self in 1981.

Kohler’s The American Club – this Tudor style red-brick building once once a dormitory for Kohler’s immigrant workers!

Kohler’s The American Club – this Tudor style red-brick building once once a dormitory for Kohler’s immigrant workers!

There were two serious highlights for me – besides the luxurious lavender rain shower at Kohler Waters Spa, OMG! and learning how they make a bath at the foundry, who would’ve known? – was the visit to the Kohler Design Center before all the crew arrived. I had one day to myself and got completely lost in there for the entire day. It is packed with solutions for bathrooms like I’ve never seen before and, as it was the year of my renovation, I gobbled it up – a genuinely inspiring space to solve any design dilemmas.

The Kohler Design Center – Kohler, Wisconsin

The Kohler Design Center – Kohler, Wisconsin

The Kohler Design Center

The Kohler Design Center

The other highlight was listening to the trends delivered by global creative director Tristan Butterfield and director of new product development Mark Bickerstaffe. They both got me super- charged, inspired and scribbling notes like a crazy woman, no kidding!

Chilling out with global creative director – Tristan Butterfield

Chilling out with global creative director – Tristan Butterfield

This is what I learned:

  • Don’t follow trends, understand them.
  • Watch out for Jumbled Colour and Ombre Chic with high-colour saturation. Since my return I’ve come across ombre glass, ombre mirrors, ombre hair, ombre towels, linen and the list goes on…
  • Playful pattern clashes will arrive and sour green is about to happen.
  • De Gournay too – how right you were, Tristan, just look at Gucci’s new range: De Gournay through and through.
  • Geometric tiles – yes, they are everywhere and delicious
  • Figured marble – well, marble everything.
  • Grey – can we get enough of it? Concrete grey, silvery grey, charcoal repeat…
  • Bleached neutrals won’t go away and neither will Scandi style, especially in Australia. I think it’s the new Aussie Beach Style.
  • Elevated mundane – I love that because, yes, we do need to elevate everything mundane.
  • Retreat and reset in the bathroom – don’t we all. Especially now with the pace of things. Give me a book and a bath – aaaahhh!
  • Metallics a beautiful mix of metallic rose gold, brass and Champagne. Rose gold is next in jewellery too – right again, Tristan.
  • Smokey Iridescence – yum.
  • Modularity – everything visualised in grid format like Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Captured atmosphere and extreme landscapes – they’re all being translated on homewares. Look at Aussie brand Pony Rider.
  • Texture that engages the fingertips – tactile, soft, gentle – stone, leather, ceramics.
  • The raw, the handmade, craft. Cork, ply, birch, terracotta, cement – the perfect example and arriving in Australia, foraging restaurants Hello NOMA. And how about Ilsa Crawford’s cork range for Ikea? I wasn’t quick enough – damn! Everything “Ilsa” sold out in a flash.
The design presentation by Mark Bickerstaffe and Tristan Butterfield at Kohler

The design presentation by Mark Bickerstaffe and Tristan Butterfield at Kohler

Trends from Kohler presentation … #Grey

Trends from Kohler presentation … #Grey

Contemplate Well-being encompasses natural finshes, satins, pastels and bleached naturals

Contemplate Well-being encompasses natural finshes, satins, pastels and bleached naturals

Kohler Trends presentation – playful patterns and colour clashes!

Kohler Trends presentation – playful patterns and colour clashes!

Listening to Tristan and Mark was like seeing a fortune teller and then watching it all unveil as 2016 arrived. I need to speak to Tristan and Mark at least once a year – Kohler, please bring me back or bring them to us!

I cannot wrap up without a mention of the swim in the heated pool at private club Riverbend. Only one person at Kohler could persuade you to jump into a pool at midnight – the charismatic chairman and chief executive Herbert Kohler. He reminded me of Hemingway and he too could’ve made me swim at midnight in winter!”

The secret pool at The Riverbend in Kohler, Wisconsin

The secret pool at The Riverbend in Kohler, Wisconsin

Global bathroom design trends …

Global bathroom design trends …

Kohler Asia Pacific has recently launched a new regional design blog called Designful. The blog includes information on trends, designs, new technology, Kohler and the Arts, product videos and so much more about what’s happening around the region.

A new video series on the blog focuses on ‘Global Design Trends’ where we interviewed experienced designers from around the world to get their insights on the latest kitchen and bathroom trends.

Our first guest was Kelly Gammie, design manager of Eucalyptus Design & Interiors from Auckland, New Zealand.


Top 5 new bathroom categories in 2015…

Top 5 new bathroom categories in 2015…

Following on from our last blog talking about the 5 leading trends from Kohler’s Director of new product development, Mark Bickerstaffe, this blog looks at the top 5 new bathroom categories in 2015…


Digital printing and texturing has revolutionised tile and surface design recreating natural, vintage and seemingly authentic materials. Huge strides in the manufacture of thin, tough ceramic sheets at large scale mean we can now do almost anything. Smart glass is also transitioning from external to internal architecture – think self-cleaning and optically adjustable.

Kohler Loure and Ladena

Contrasting surface design, printing and textures makes for an interesting bathing experience. Featuring Loure tapware and Ladena undercounter basin.


Kohler DTV+ revolutionises what we think of as a shower experience. For the first time we can design a whole body experience and provide it without unnecessary complication. This new technology means we can now seamlessly interweave water, steam, light and sound into the spa experience and customise to individual needs.

Kohler DTV+

Kohler’s new DTV+ revolutionises the showering experience.

Kohler Watertiles

Seamlessly interweave water, steam, sound and light into your spa experience.


Lighting remains the oft-forgotten essential to good bathrooms. OLED and digital technology now allow optimisation of hue and intensity to suit the time and task.

Lighting in Kohler bathroom

Subtle bathroom lighting to complement the time and task.

Lighting_Kohler bathroom

When it comes to task lighting, lights on either side of the vanity are essential.


The humble and ubiquitous toilet is undergoing a revolution. The intelligent toilet has become a new category – technology now enables us to improve hygiene by killing bacteria, controlling cleaning cycles for ourselves and the bowl and optimise resource consumption so as to use only what is required. Kohler’s Numi, Veil, Karing, C3 series, Pureclean and Purefresh are all examples of this.

Kohler Veil

Kohler smart toilets – the new Veil integrated toilet.
Where technology meets art.


Sustainability is already integrated into the products we see and use in the bathroom and codes and standards continue to drive improvement. What is lagging behind is consumer sentiment, driven in part by an individual’s available resources.

Kohler invests heavily in understanding the science behind what we do and need in a bathroom so as to explore new ways to minimise resource consumption without sacrificing the quality of the experience. This has led to such innovations as air induction and spray improvement in showering. Digital control, in which Kohler is a leader, is another. This allows the user to tune water consumption, temperature and duration so as to deliver a customised experience while also conserving resources such as water and energy.

Cleaning and hygiene is a hidden tale of sustainability. The reality is the impact of cleaning products on the environment is most often far more significant than the manufacturing of the product in the first place. By concentrating on this Kohler products are made easier to clean and maintain long term.

Kohler's new Touchless Toilet

Kohler’s innovative Touchless Toilet


Kohler’s five leading trends in bathroom design

Kohler’s five leading trends in bathroom design

In a recent address to Australian audiences Mark Bickerstaffe, UK-based Director of New Product Development, Kohler Co, outlined five leading trends in bathroom design – WELL-BEING, ENHANCED EVERYDAY, COMMUNITY, ENGAGING and CLASSIC TECH.


There are two strands to the WELL-BEING trend leading new architecture and design – CONTEMPLATIVE and PRO ACTIVE.

CONTEMPLATIVE WELL-BEING prioritises emotional restoration and carefully selects a harmonious collection of natural material, colour and texture. Think natural finish, satin metals, linen, pale pastels and bleached naturals.

Kohler bathrooms

Natural finishes and satin metals meld together in this bathroom

Contemplate Well-being encompasses natural finshes, satins, pastels and bleached naturals

Contemplate Well-being encompasses natural finshes, satins, pastels and bleached naturals

PRO ACTIVE WELLBEING is grasping one’s own destiny by building confidence in oneself through physical and mental fitness and working and applying the latest understanding and technology to achieve this. This is being expressed through modern and purposeful design – expect polycarbonate tints and tones, stoneware, technical fabrics and the avant garde.

Kohler trend_Avant Garde

Exploring variation in textures, tones, materials and styles

Enhanced Everyday

The ENHANCED EVERYDAY is more about ‘we’ than ‘me’, embracing new technology and solutions to make life easier and better. Again there are two strands – the SEAMLESS whereby oaks, light brushed steel, white on white and black come to the fore. OVERSTATED, on the other hand, embraces walnut, raw concrete, tan leather, satin steel, biomimetic architecture and iridescence.

Kohler Leading trends White on White

White on White

Kohler white on white

Kohler white on white bathroom featuring Reve basin and Purist Polished Gold basin mixer

Our Community

OUR COMMUNITY represents personal connection and relates to crafts. In many ways this is a traditional lifestyle whereby we happily focus on and utilise what is within local reach. Expect local ply, concrete, black, blown smoky glass and smoky iridescence. And lots of DIY.

Concrete and timber merge to create a stunning yet simple space

Concrete and timber merge to create a stunning yet simple space

Kohler leading trends_Elevated Mundane

Community – locally sourced materials keep the concept true to ‘localism’


ENGAGING is the new post-modernity – a worldly eclecticism, individual expression – seen in warm wood grains, texture, leathers, surrealism, pattern clashes and augmented 80s influence.

A 'mash-up' of patterns and styles - featuring Karbon sink mixer

A ‘mash-up’ of patterns and styles – featuring Karbon sink mixer


And finally, CLASSICISM endures. Luxury rooted in the traditions of exclusivity, rarity, glass and glamour is evolving. Expect to see polished metals and metallics, oily finishes, ebony and crafted leather.

Kolhler black and bronze bathroom

Kohler black and bronze bathroom

Kohler black and white bathroom

The enduring black and white bathroom

These trends demonstrate that technology is everywhere and will continue into our bathrooms. The most profound effect of technology – beyond controlling water, light and sound – will be in wellbeing. The bathroom will become the place where we monitor and enhance physical and emotional health. Looking ahead, we expect to see sensors, for example, embedded in products and the environment that will allow us to measure vital health statistics and secure communications will allow us to use the environment as a portal to our chosen healthcare provider.

Our next blog will talk about what Mark believes are the top 5 new products and/or categories in the bathroom space.

Bathroom design embraces art deco style

Bathroom design embraces art deco style

Take the renovation of a 70’s architectural home, combine the client’s love of Art Deco – and our guest blogger Kelly Gammie of Eucalyptus Design’s desire to give it a contemporary edge – and this is the outcome.

Reve Basin with Stance tap

Kohler’s Reve Basin & Stance Basin Mixer.
Courtesy of Eucalyptus Design

I wanted to create a distinctive look that has the warmth of timber to give a natural balance to the classic combination of black, white & grey.

The bathroom spaces for this father and son duo needed to have a sense of masculinity – but nothing too oppressive.  My inspiration came from their interest in cars which is reflected in the race track starting grid pattering of the tiles.

The combination of angular fixtures with the tiles and timber shade creates a winning combination.

The combination of angular fixtures with the tiles and timber shade creates a winning combination.

Working with this family in mind made the selection of black tiles easy with no hesitation from the client. I love the drama of black especially when off set with warm timber features and the more light-hearted grid pattern.

I specifically chose Kohler’s popular Stance and Reve bathroomware to both compliment the edginess of the fit-out and to give it a completely modern look.

The clean, sharp lines of the Stance tapware continues the drama created by the tiles as well as being extremely functional.

The theme and choice of key fixtures continues in the powder room. Courtesy of Eucalyptus Design.

The theme and choice of key fixtures continues in the powder room.
Courtesy of Eucalyptus Design.

An enameled Reve Cast Iron freestanding bath and the Reve wall hung basin have a solidity to continue the masculine theme, their beautiful softened square lines hint at furniture from the Art Deco era.

The Kohler Flipside Slide Shower is always my shower slide of choice. It is sleek in design, attaching flat to the shower wall and is so easy to use with it’s magnetic sliding mechanism. Coupled with the RainCan showerhead, it’s the perfect pairing.

Showering tapware includes the Flipside Slide Shower, Raincan Square Showerhead and dual Stance Shower Mixers

Showering tapware includes the Flipside Slide Shower, Raincan Square Showerhead and dual Stance Shower Mixers

The large open level-entry showers enabled me to create indulgent double showers with an essential double mixer arrangement allowing two people to shower at the same time.

Using a round mirror relieves what could be a monotony of angles giving the whole space an unexpected pop.

Images courtesy of Kelly Gammie, Eucalyptus Design