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Neale Whitaker’s bathroom trend advice

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Individuality is the future trend of bathrooms according to Neale Whitaker, speaking at the launch of Canberra’s Tile Republic.

Interior trends, much like fashion, are continually emerging and evolving. However, embrace them too late in the game and spaces can feel dated, even if they’ve just been newly created.

Bathrooms are such an expensive space, the last thing you want is to do is design one that will quickly feel past its used by date.

Tile Republic cofounders Sonia Ciancio and Bruno Ciancio with special guest Neale Whitaker.

Neale Whitaker is undisputedly one of Australia’s top Interior Designers. You most likely know him as the stylish English judge on ‘The Block’ and lead designer and co-host of ‘Love It Or List It Australia’, but his knowledge and expertise come courtesy of his successful publishing career of over a decade at the helm of Aussie style bibles Belle and Vogue Living.

On Friday night, Neale visited Canberra as special guest at the Tile Republic showroom launch where he shared the future trends in bathrooms.


Embrace ‘Individuality’

Without hesitation, Neale said the biggest bathroom trend at the moment is ‘Individuality’.

“I’m loving the fact that people are taking more risks with interior design and interior decoration than we’ve seen for a very, very long time.”

“People are starting to have fun and not necessarily conforming to the rule book any more. They’re mixing it up and that extends to the bathroom.”

Mixing up materials is one of the ways people are expressing their individuality – concrete or marble, combined with coloured or ceramic tiles are just some of the ways people are putting their own spin on bathrooms according to Neale.

“Basically, people are just having a lot more fun with design again.”

Forget hiding everything away

Gone are the days where everything in the bathroom needs to be hidden away.

“I’m seeing a lot more stuff and by that I mean there’s a trend to having a lot more out on display again, which I love.”

“We’ve been through a period of 10 or more years where everything in the bathroom and kitchen had to be behind closed doors and we’re starting to see people putting a value on showing things again.”

“I’ve never been very good at being a minimalist so I’m embracing this trend.”

Using glass-fronted cabinets, shelves and open pockets in joinery are just some of the ways you can display items in your bathroom.

Embrace colour

“I’m also starting to see a lot more colour coming through.”

Neale said anything in the green spectrum is very on trend and a beautiful choice. For example, he pointed out a stunning Parisi basin in a deep forest green colour in the Tile Republic showroom.

Play with shape and finish

Many people prefer a more neutral palette and Neale says you shouldn’t feel pressured into using colour.

“Neutral doesn’t mean boring,” said Neale. “There are so many different finishes and textures now that you can easily create interest within a neutral palette.”

He mentioned his own home where he has a white laundry and a white and grey kitchen.

“You could say I’ve gone very neutral but what I love about my own home is that we played around with pale greys and whites to create interest.”

Explore tapware finishes

Neale says another way you can create a bathroom with individuality is by exploring different tapware finishes.

“I do love the brushed metal options that are around at the moment – I particularly love gunmetal but also brushed copper and brushed brass. I think they’re absolutely beautiful.”

“But I’m still a big fan of black tapware. It’s a very strong design statement. I don’t see it going anywhere, anytime soon.”

Of course, Neale reiterated “Trends can be difficult things. I’m not the biggest fan of trends for trends sake. In the home, it’s really important that we use the things we love and bring joy. If you love the trend, if the colours that are on trend are the ones you love, great. If not, then ignore them. Go with what you love.”

Discover the Tile Republic showroom on 121 Newcastle Street in Fyshwick, or follow them on Instagram for plenty of bathroom inspiration.

Photography credit: Thorson Photography

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