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.


Do you find vanity units a complete minefield of quality, size and price?

Below we’ve broken down a few of our high street favourites along with an outline of considerations on purchasing a vanity unit that is fit for purpose.

Vanity units are essentially bathroom cabinets that sit at the base of a sink, these the most common types of built-in furniture. You can have one that covers the sink pedestal or, to make even more use of the space, consider having a ‘floating’ basin that sits on top of a unit or is embedded into it. The above industrial vibe is a mix of storage and shelving allowing you space to conceal toiletries whilst having easy access to towels. You can also get combination bathroom vanity units that adjoin a sink and toilet to create one large cabinet. These are good if your bathroom is small as they make use of often-wasted space between a sink and toilet. 

Vanity units, depending on their size, have various storage options. Think again about what you’ll be storing – Do you need to hide the copious bath toys? Would you want shelves inside the cabinets for bespoke makeup storage? Will soft close drawers make for a an easier life? Will you need to make space for, a loo-roll holder and the storage of toilet paper?

Vanity units also allow you to play around with materials and colours. There are a lot of different worktop options, from marble effect to stone, that can bring another layer of design and a different feeling to your bathroom. Mixing materials are a huge trend at the moment and the below is a perfect option to add a bespoke marble countertop, this can be sourced locally from a stone mason for around £150.

If you have quite a lot of space, you could have a much more expansive vanity unit that spans the width of a wall . Most of the big-name brands sell a range of vanity units, but if you have the budget and want something very specific, you could also consider asking a builder to make bespoke bathroom storage for you. Many different options and we would always recommend asking your designer and fitter before you purchase for their expert opinion on what will work best for your needs.

Now you have selected your new vanity unit, its time for the fun to begin! Below we have created a high street bathroom accessories board to help you shop the look.

Madras towel hook – £12.99 – Anthropologie

Jute bathmat – £17.99 – H&M

Jute linen basket -£24.99 H&M

OLOGE terracotta planter – £95 – La Redoute

Scenario pale green face cloths -£8 – la Redoute

Calamus rattan chair – £269 – La redoute

Trocadero double vanity unit and basins – £1,289 – Masions Du Monde

Curve green wall mirror -£89 – Oliver Bonas

Raised design bathroom set – starting at £7.99 – Zara home

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 or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling .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. Thank you x

Happy shopping bathroom bunnies x