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Black is the new chrome – the most elegant non-color makes its way into the bathroom

There is one dominant trend in bathroom design at the moment: the color black. But why is it so popular? Patrick Speck, Leader, LIXIL Global Design, EMENA, shares his opinion on the trend and gives tips on how to incorporate black into the bathroom.


Black is one of the trend colors in interior design and has made its way into the bathroom. Why is this color so popular and what does it stand for?

Black is a color that has always played a huge role in the world of design, be it fashion, art or interior design. Despite its boldness, it is a neutral shade, that is versatile and easy to combine with more vibrant colors to balance them out. Black is always associated with a certain sophistication and luxury, while never feeling dated. That's why people are often drawn to it, because it is elegant and modern at the same time. In the bathroom context, it helps to elevate the space by giving it a sleek look and feel. 

Some people think that it can be tricky to pull off black in the bathroom because it makes the room feel dark and gloomy. What are your design tips for making black work in this specific area?

Balance is key to make black work in the bathroom. Black can be paired with light colors or natural materials to create contrast and prevent overwhelming darkness. Playing with natural and artificial lighting ensures that the space remains bright and welcoming. For darker bathrooms, I recommend using small accents like black cabinets, accessories, and faucets. People can try out different finishes and materials to create a more interesting look or integrate other colors. Lastly, glossy, or reflective surfaces add depth and create visual interest.


Critics of black fittings say they're prone to residue such as fingerprints, limescale, etc. What should consumers keep in mind when choosing black products?

Consumers should always check the materials and coatings of black products – especially for the bathroom. Faucets and shower solutions need to have a certain quality to withstand time and limescale. For example, we use a special lacquer-coating technique for our GROHE Phantom Black products to make them repellent to fingerprints. They are also more durable, as well as more resistant against corrosion, fading and scratches than black variants treated with powder coating. So, they require less cleaning and are easy to take care of – perfect also for hospitality environments. 

What would your advice be to people who want to incorporate this trend into their bathroom? Where should they start? 

Some people may feel overwhelmed, thinking they need to paint the whole room black – but that is not necessary. You can make a big change with small details like black accessories, faucets or shower solutions. As people become more confident and comfortable with a black style, they can gradually introduce other elements such as textured tiles and different finishes. For example, matte finishes for fittings are a good option as they are more subtle and easier to incorporate. These different elements will help to create a visually dynamic look.


Potential timeless classic or short-lived trend – how do you rate the longevity of Phantom Black?

Phantom Black is definitely a timeless classic, as black is a color that never really goes out of style. To ensure its longevity we need to consider the broader context of bathroom design first. And for that, Phantom Black has two very important characteristics. One, its versatility to be combined with materials and colors. Even when black is not the focus anymore, it is easy to combine with other colors that may be trendier at that time. Second, it is the adaptability to match different bathroom designs and styles. Phantom Black has all the ingredients to transcend short-term trends and to become a timeless classic.