As a vital part of any office, washroom areas are increasingly designed to complement or tone in with the interior design scheming throughout other common areas of the building.
With a wide range of different materials, finishes and colours to choose from for toilet cubicles and vanity units as well as varied décor such as flooring and tiling, it’s never been easier to create a washroom to fit in with a specific design.
Industrial-inspired design continues to be a popular theme and is being replicated in office washrooms using metro tiles, exposed light fittings and pipes as well as more industrial, less polished taps and accessories.
While modern new build offices can be a blank canvas for interior designs, period properties have their own style and personality which clients are often keen to reference as part of the design.
A recent office refurbishment for an Art Deco style office building in London is an excellent example of this with its dark woodgrain and bronzed effect ironmongery which is intended to match the art deco style lighting also installed.
This year has seen many architects and designers move away from standard stainless steel washroom accessories which include toilet cubicle locks, door hinges, handles and taps, opting instead for a range of different finishes such as brass, copper, bronze and powder-coated matt black effect.
Seeing washroom accessories as an integral part of a washroom design, rather than simply as a purely functional item has opened up a whole world of new design possibilities with more opportunities to inject colour and style into a washroom.
Choosing a material like brass which may have been used in other areas of the building, for example, is the perfect way to link the washroom design to the rest of the office, creating a cohesive design scheme.
As materials have evolved, especially solid surfacing materials such as Corian and Silestone, it has provided yet more design possibilities and as a result, washroom design is not limited by what can be achieved technically as it would when working with natural stone for example.
Creating unusual shapes rather than opting for perfectly straight angles and edges is now something which washroom designers are able to take full advantage of.
Over the last few years, Washroom has delivered several projects which reflect a trend towards softening a design by using curves – whether on the corners of mirrored units or vanity units.
While trough style sinks continue to be popular the versatility of solid surface materials such as Corian allow for even more design variance. This year Washroom manufactured a bespoke Corian trough vanity which incorporated an unusual wave design to create a unique finish.
Above all, office washrooms need to be practical so that they can be kept clean and tidy without increasing the cleaning burden on facilities managers. Waste bins are key to keeping washroom spaces tidy but they can themselves look messy – spoiling the overall washroom design.
Creating inset waste bins within a vanity unit complete with pull-out drawers underneath for cleaners to empty is an ideal way to solve this problem, while installing wall-mounted taps and soap dispensers also helps keep the vanity tops clear and clean.
Additionally stylish mirrored units, which can be installed directly above the vanity unit, provide concealed storage space for washroom consumables.
The innovative Dolphin Alavo modular wash, soap and dry system also removes the need for separate taps, soap dispensers and even hand-drying facilities as it’s all in one place.
Clients in the office sector are ultimately looking for something that is simultaneously modern and on-trend while also being unique enough to stand out. By carefully considering material choices and utilising a mix of materials and finishes it’s possible to create truly one-off washrooms which will wow visitors.
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