Geometrics Shape Up the bath

The fashion scene in 2013 saw the return of geometric shapes, with strong lines and simple colors like black and white making bold statements. The minimalistic trend continued this past spring, with sharper lines and blocks of color added to the mix.

Geometric shapes have long been a staple in home décor, but their resurgence in the fashion world has given them new life. While they are particularly at home in contemporary design, designers are coming up with innovative ways to incorporate them into transitional and even traditional style rooms.

One of the rooms where geometric shapes work best is in the bath, due, in part, to the number of elements incorporated into the room’s design. Tile, sinks, faucets, mirrors, lighting and other fixtures and accessories can all encompass a number of different shapes, and can be mixed and matched for a simple or bold design.

Inspired Design
Many believe that the popularity of geometric shapes in home design is due to the fact that the patterns often take their cues from nature, such as the herringbone, honeycomb and fish-scale. The desire to bring the outdoors in and connect with nature makes geometrics a thoughtful addition.

Still others embrace Feng Shui, which indicates that all patterns are infinite in structure. This concept is very true for geometrics in the bath, which features patterns that can continue indefinitely, such as with a tiled bathroom wall. Many of the shapes – from square to oval to hexagon – all have special meaning with regard to Feng Shui design, such as the circle, which has no beginning and no end, and represents balance and unification.

Most notably, today’s popularity of geometric designs is a retro nod to the 1960s mod looks, as well as the Art Deco style of the 1920s and ’30s. Both eras featured bold geometric shapes and rich colors, with Art Deco providing more of a glamorous, luxurious design than the funky, bold look of the later decade. Art Deco bath style incorporates shiny surfaces, such as high-gloss countertops and tubs, and interesting decorative mirrors and lighting, while 1960s mod can be reflected in bold, bright color choices and irregular patterns.

Beyond Contemporary
The contemporary bath is the place where geometrics are most at home. Paired with neutral tones, the shapes provide a clean, streamlined look.

Many contemporary-styled fixtures and fittings feature sharp angles and strong curves that complement a minimalist aesthetic. To keep the effect from being too harsh, designers often mix geometric patterns – such as chevrons with circles – and incorporate faucets and fixtures that are angular but feature softened edges. The mix of shapes play off of each other, with the result being a clean yet inspiring design. And, the selection of a geometric design with curved or flowing lines, as well as areas of solid color, can provide a break for the eye.

Today’s bath fixtures, such as sinks, tubs and toilets, are playing a key role in the softening of the geometric elements. New materials are allowing these fixtures to be molded and shaped into designs that were previously impossible with materials such as cast iron and porcelain. Hard working and durable, these new materials are inspiring a plethora of fixtures that play into the popularity of geometrics without being stark, hard-edged and predictable.

While contemporary design is what comes to mind when discussing geometrics, more recently these shapes are being incorporated into baths that are more traditional in style. Mixing modern geometric shapes with classic materials, such as marble, provides a softened transitional look. And pairing softer patterns, such as florals, with geometrics will yield a softer result than pairing two geometric patterns. In addition, shapes such as hexagons, diamonds and stripes lend themselves to a more transitional look, as do geometrics in pastel hues, such as with tile.