Living Bathroom: How can a bathroom double as living space?


The Pop up my Bathroom magazine dealt with the topic of Living Bathroom on the last day of ISH digital 2021. VDS managing director Jens J. Wischmann invited Andrea Wirges-Klein, Jennis Jäger (SBZ) and Frank A. Reinhardt ( as live guests.

“Today we’re talking about the living room … No: we’re talking about the bathroom,” said ISH presenter Carina Bastuck in her introduction to the cosiest of the topics featured in the Pop up my Bathroom Magazine. On the final day of the ISH digital 2021, the programme focused on the Living Bathroom trend. Having been in evidence at the ISH for some years, this trend is now entering the decisive round and changing the way private bathrooms are planned all over the world.

In a video statement, bathroom, spa and interior design specialist Torsten Müller called for bathroom planning to be rigorously human-centred: “We’re living in such fast-moving times that the bathroom has become a place of retreat, a kind of haven – a place that we should be able to experience with all five senses.”

Christian Wadsack, an interior designer, planner and speaker at the firm ho.w Innenarchitektur, emphasised that it’s not only the furnishings and sanitaryware that need to be designed accordingly in a Living Bathroom; ideally, the planning should include the layout of the bathroom and the positioning of rooms within the floor plan as well. “For years now, when it comes to the evolution of the Living Bathroom, we’ve been observing that the space allocated to the bathroom in standard buildings is still far too small.”

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin | Living Bathroom: How can a bathroom double as living space? What turns the bath­room into a feel-good space? Which fur­ni­ture will be enhanc­ing the bath­room in future? And what does holis­tic bath­room plan­ning mean? On the final day of the Pop up my Bath­room Mag­a­zine series, we’ll be focus­ing on the top trend towards cosi­ness in the bath­room.

With the right planning, however, a cosy bathroom can be created even in a small space, as demonstrated by interior designer Andrea Wirges-Klein: she presented a project in a 19th-century house where the space couldn’t be increased because of the building’s heritage-protected status. “When you’re planning a Living Bathroom, the feel-good factor plays a crucial role. Finding the right combination of functionality, materials and emotionality is the biggest challenge – but it’s also what makes planning a modern lifestyle bathroom so incredibly interesting.”

Host Jens J. Wischmann, Managing Director of the VDS, was impressed by the level of complexity and cooperation between different trades that this kind of project involves: “A Living Bathroom has to be based on a holistic approach to planning. The many different requirements a planner has to meet when creating a private spa call for the involvement of a corresponding number of different talents.”

Denis Jäger, editor-in-chief of SBZ, a trade journal for the HVAC and bathroom sector, pointed to the increased requirements the sector’s trades have to satisfy: “The ‘universal genius’, the multitalented, all-round bathroom planner, is like a little Leonardo Da Vinci – they know their materials and tools, they know all about colours and the relevant technology, and they have to be capable of getting customers on board. Our sector’s bathroom planners have to be able to meet all those requirements – otherwise customers will just opt for an off-the-peg bathroom.”

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin zum Thema Living Bathroom

Colour expert Dr Hildegard Kalthegener provided some interesting insight into trend colours.

Trend researcher and design journalist Frank A. Reinhardt’s enthusiastic comment on the diverse topics involved with bathroom planning: “There are all sorts of stories a bathroom planner can tell, from sustainability or a smart bathroom all the way to a highly individual interior design. The increasing degree of cosiness people want in their bathrooms is the common denominator.”

Colour expert Dr Hildegard Kalthegener provided some interesting insight into trend colours: “The wonderful colour blue that expresses the power of water as a natural force is nowhere to be seen in most bathroom showrooms. Black is being propagated as an on-trend colour for the kitchen and bathroom, but to me it seems more like a marketing gag than a genuine sales driver. There’s so much more you can do with colour in terms of generating an atmosphere and emotions,” she said, appealing to bathroom planners to make more active use of colour. Asked by Jens J. Wischmann how to inspire confidence when it comes to colour, the expert responded: “I can only encourage every bathroom planner, tradesperson or architect to try: using colour is something you can learn. You don’t have to experiment; you just need to address the theme of colour in the early stages of a project.”

The Pop up Magazine’s conclusion? A Living Bathroom is all about creating a more sensuous experience in the bathroom; it’s a question of identifying users’ needs and reflecting them in the form of a holistic bathroom design. The bathroom has to suit its users, and right now the Living Bathroom is the planning model with the greatest common denominator.

The complete shows of the Pop up my Bathroom Magazines you can watch on our new YouTube channel.