Guess who’s back…back again…Chrome is back. CHROME is back, CHROME IS BACK!

You’d be mistaken for thinking that chrome had been banished to the naughty step for being too well…safe. It’s been a bathroom staple since the late 70s when it was cast to the shadows for its golden competition – brass. The 1980s saw brass come home in a big way, much like gold was the metal of choice for jewellery, soon to be replaced by a trend for platinum and silver. I think this move is set to happen again in the form of brushed chrome and nickel making its way through the door with icy blues and cool greens.

Tonal Palettes

As we think about how to use chrome with tonal colours in the form of sanitary ware, one beautiful piece springs to mind – the resin and marble vanity unit. Screaming Italian minimalism, it works as part of a master bedroom washroom. Pair this with a linear pattern in flooring.

If you are opting for brushed, polished or matt chrome, consider the surroundings, by which I mean the other elements in the room, to ensure they scream uber luxe. The colour of the hour, minty green, will merge into ice blues (I predict this will be a strong combo in 2020) and pairs well with freestanding marble basins along with weathered woods for freestanding towel rails.

How do I stop it looking cold?

Chrome can give the illusion of being awfully standoffish compared to brass. Particularly when teamed with flat greys it can resemble masculine and unisex spaces on the urban and commercial side. When I look at this for my client’s homes, we think about the 6am Monday morning shower and how we need to feel invigorated. Texture and warmth can be added in reflective, calm aesthetic tiles.

Consider wall art and wallpaper for a zone two space. Look at how this will bring all the cooler elements together consider large floral patterns. Start with the ceiling if you’re planning on having a bath, as the majority of your eyeline when using it will be on the ceiling above, so why not give yourself something to look at!

Freestanding baths also work well with chrome as V & A offer a bespoke colour finish option for the underside of the bath. Opt for high shine to contrast the matt finish of brushed chrome, or the opposite if you’re heading towards a polished chrome tap.

Which finish is the best?

When deciding on your taps and showerheads, start with the natural light in the room, and how that light is reflected. If you’re looking at an en-suite or master bathroom with artificial light, black taps and showerheads are going to absorb any light from the space – which could work in your favour if you choose a matt look for the cabinetry.

To help you on your way we have created the below colour suggestion chart, this will enable you to select a tonal base to build your bathroom design around.

Matt black Farrow & Ball ‘Smoked Trout’                      

Brushed brass Farrow & Ball ‘Calamine’

Brushed chrome Earborn “Toms bakery”

Brushed nickel Farrow & Ball ‘Borrowed Light’

Chrome Farrow & Ball ‘Matchstick’

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have alternatively email

With thanks to the following for the use of their beautiful product images.


Today we are looking at what’s hot in the world of bathrooms. From ceramics and minimalist furniture to complete modern bathroom collections that have an eye on sustainability.

Strap in…. bathroom finishes are in for a huge shake up!

When exploring bathroom materials, I’ve noticed trends fall into two camps this year. The natural camp focuses on craftsmanship and earthy materials and the other embraces the artificial, changeable and experimental finishes.


Long has it been the case when deciding on bathroom finishes that clients tend to think in the 6 10 year realm, often trying to predict what they will still love in 10 years. Trying to create a scheme that’s future proof…. basically white. It dawned on me that this is so far removed from how we live in our modern world, with a fast pace of adaptability in almost every element, food, fashion and other elements of residential interiors. Why has it taken bathrooms so long to join the party?

With this in mind I was excited to see the introduction of organic & sustainable materials that were never thought possible in the world of water, step up wood, cork, terracotta and rattan.

These additions shatter the illusion that bathroom materials are cold and unforgiving with a new focus on earthy elements that bring natural warmth to the space. Reclaimed wood cabinetry is a hot option this season. I’m excited to see that Axor is offering this as an upgrade to the standard brassware, as seen below in the ”My edition” range.

How about repurposing existing wooden furniture in to the bathroom space?

If you were to take an existing dresser or cabinet I would advise (as a minimum) a class 2 protection. FYI – class 2 timbers have occasional moisture content greater than 18% and it is essential to add a water protective finish like oil or varnish. Some types of wood reach class 2 conditions when protected such as pine, red oak and elm.


It’s here…. visionary finishes such as glass illuminated with LED light. Brassware furniture with ombré surfaces. This all sounds like an outtake from “BACK TO THE FUTURE” but it’s a reality and actually incredibly appealing.  

At Milan Design Week 2019, Odd Matter showcased liquid-look furniture with ombré surfaces. They were blurring the lines between natural and digital design by embracing gradient colours across what we would see as a traditional surface.

These are all far fetched for our domestic environments, I can’t see this making it into your local John Lewis. However as with high fashion elements do filter down to the high street. I think we will see these in the form of colour-changing and glossy metals and ceramics with liquid reflections and subtle texture.

The beautiful pieces below are a subtle take on this movement, working in harmony with a traditional white basin and pan to bring it up-to-date, yet future proof it with the interchangeable elements of the “So” basin mixer. The dials can be swapped and changed fairly simply to refresh the look, prolonging the bathroom’s design life.

In conclusion, I’ve interpreted the natural and futuristic elements into a cohesive and considered design. Inspiration, not trends are a minefield of fads, however the mood board screams longevity; it creates the feeling of a bespoke space, with a nod to a traditional bathroom vibe.

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have alternatively email

All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma Merry Styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them.

With thanks to the following for the use of their beautiful product images.http://www.cphart.com