What springs to mind when you think of a classic? Golden Gaytimes and Alf Stewart perhaps. But would you also call them trendy?

Nailing ‘classic’ and ‘trendy’ is a hard nut to crack. But when it comes to bathroom design, it’s more than doable. We spoke to interior designer, Emma Blomfield and professional renovator, Carly Schulz to find out how.

They shared their tips for creating a bathroom that you’ll still call current in a decade.

Hidden hardware

Exposed fixtures in black or chrome are a beautiful, intentional design detail. Heavy-duty hardware like toilet backings and under-sink pipes are not.

Urbane toilet

Hidden hardware can save space and look cleaner in a bathroom. Picture: Caroma

Cue hidden hardware, the trending trick in bathroom design. Focused on finding new ways to conceal these functional elements — by inserting them into walls or floors — hidden hardware is a design hack that’ll never go out of style. It’s aesthetically pleasing and functional too, making better use of the space.

“Bathrooms are usually always the smallest room in the house so to be able to conceal pipes and tap tubes is an advantage to making the room feel larger,” says Emma.

Freestanding baths

There’s something about a big giant freestanding tub that makes you want to dive right in.

Built in 1883, the first household bathtub resembled that of the classic claw-foot baths we see today. While other designs have come and gone, the original freestanding tub has been (and dare we say, will be) around forever.

“Freestanding baths are a must-have item for a timeless, luxe bathroom if you can fit one in,” says Carly.

But she warns against it if you don’t have room. “A freestanding bath will only work if there is the space for it. There is nothing timelessly or stylish about an unusable space or a bath that you can’t clean around.”

A touch of timber

Although the bathroom is synonymous with a warm soak in the tub, more often than not, it’s a space that’s always been known for being cold (think tiles and bare feet). Using timber in the design or styling will help keep it classic and current (when have materials from nature ever gone out of date?) while also injecting warmth into the space.

Urbane shower

If timber vanities are out of budget, a wooden stool can suffice. Picture: Caroma

“Timber is timeless; it’s been around for longer than bathrooms themselves,” says Carly. “Plus, natural timber can warm up a space, which is perfect for a bathroom where it is all tiles.”

“Natural timber vanities would be my pick but if that is out of your budget, a wooden stool can suffice — perhaps paired with a natural leather planter and a real plant.”

Trendy tapware

Whether matte black, chrome or gold, trendy tapware has emerged that pays homage to antique styles while transcending time.

“When matte black tapware first came onto the scene, we thought it would be tacky in no time. But, ten years on and it really has cemented its presence in timeless bathroom design,” says Carly. “It can be paired beautifully in dark palettes as well as clean crisp palettes. It’s here to stay and really can look very classy and timeless.”