Mark Walker

Mark Walker is the UK sales director of Dubai-based bathroom manufacturer Bagno Design. Mark has held his position at the company since its UK launch in 2012, and has many years experience in the bathroom industry, having previously worked for leading names such as Vado and Ambiente Design.

The new tradition

Posted 23rd Aug 2013

Hands up, who will admit to having a few pairs of flares, or shirts with big collars lurking at the back of their wardrobe, just waiting for a 1970s revival of that most outlandish of fashions? Chances are you'll be dusting off the mothballs again soon, as fashions come around again more frequently than many of us care to remember. The same can be said for bathroom design.

The trend for traditional styles appears to be taking something of a back seat in favour of a more modern, contemporary design, yet it never disappears completely. Take the freestanding bath as one very good example. As much as we like to redesign it to make it more sleek and contemporary, there will always be a market for the classic roll-top, claw-feet option.

The fact is, there is more than just a subtle yearning for yesteryear happening in the bathroom world at present, with a new take on traditional styling coming ever more into focus. While the temptation may be to go down the less-is-more, modern minimalism route, retailers not taking stock of more traditional ranges are at risk of missing a trick.

A new era of classic design is dawning, taking its influence in some part from the trend for vintage styles seen throughout the rest of the home and the passion for Art Deco interiors. The result is the 'new traditional' – a bathroom design that blurs the lines between classic and modern, with traditional cast iron freestanding baths now crafted from stone, washbasins mounted on legs rather than pedestals, and brassware available in a greater variety of finishes.

Let's face it, ripping out a bathroom and starting afresh is a big investment, regardless of the budget available, and consumers are looking for assurances that the fittings they choose will stand the test of time above all else. Of course they need to look the part, and it goes without saying that they need to be durable and hard-wearing, but with the average bathroom being re-fitted around every 15 to 20 years, homeowners also want something that won't date too quickly.

So here's a prediction for you. By the time the chimes of Big Ben ring out to mark the beginning of 2014, retailers will be taking more and more orders for bathrooms that hark back to the 'good old days', albeit with a nod to our very modern way of living.

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