Candles, kaftans and cheery splashes of colour: a spirit of wanderlust awaits this autumn (in design, if not in reality), with the rise of the hacienda-style bathroom.
Whether it’s the balmy fronds of the Philippines or Cuba’s riot of pastel-hued streets, there’s a travel-shaped hole in most of our lives right now.
But thanks to an emerging trend, we can at least grab a small slice of escapism in that most sacred of spaces: the bathroom.
Hacienda-style bathrooms are heating up the world of interiors this autumn, with photos of distinctive archways and brightly printed tiles seeing a 304% increase on Pinterest.
This dreamy interiors theme fuses a huge range of global design influences; whether that’s the clean lines of Moroccan Tadelakt, the exuberant colours of Mexico (hello, Frida Kahlo vibes) or the woven neutrals of an Andalusian backyard on a sunny afternoon.
And, of course, a healthy dose of tropicalia is the perfect finishing touch to complete your hacienda bathroom retreat; as illustrated above by an al fresco bathroom at the achingly hip Uxua Casa Hotel in Bahia, northeast Brazil.
Here are a few ideas and products to get you started on your own hacienda-style bathroom journey – those cold winter days ahead just got a frisson of (aesthetic) sunshine…
A simple foundation
Though the hacienda bathroom thrives on the odd splash of flamboyant colour, the overall feel is quite neutral. Even if you can’t go the full length with Moroccan Tadelakt plastering (above), it’s still worth channelling the sense of space and serenity captured by this effect.
Blending old with new
One of the delights of the hacienda bathroom is its ability to draw together a mish-mash of different design concepts. This includes the ability to blend antique-style mahogany or mango wood furnishings with bold and daring infusions of colour (e.g. via a Mexican Talavera sink).
Creating the illusion of space
A warm yet laid-back ethos is central to the hacienda look, meaning you need to create a sense of space. But since most of us don’t have miles of bathroom mileage to work with, you can use a few tricks here: large mirrors, pared-back motifs (for example, rustic woven baskets) and a carefully curated palette of earthy and natural shades will all help to make your space feel larger than it is.
Warm and expressive colours
Burnt oranges and bold blues: the hacienda bathroom is an expressive medium so you can allow yourself a slice of artistry here and there. Warm, febrile colours such as terracotta or Tuscan yellow work especially well; either as blocks of painted colour on the wall, or via an statement piece such as an upcycled Windsor chair. Accessories are another lovely way of introducing colour to your bathroom, from tropical plants to a collection of masks.
Introducing textural accents
There’s a fine balance in bringing textural layers to your hacienda bathroom (you don’t want it to become too crowded). But nevertheless, there’s plenty of scope to mix things up. The bathroom above contrasts the warm golds of the tap features with the cooling grey ceramics of the sink itself; both balanced by natural-themed hues of the tiling and wooden vanity unit.
Tiles, tiles, tiles
Moroccan, Turkish, Mexican or Portuguese. The world is your oyster when it comes to wondrous tiling patterns for your hacienda bathroom, and you can while away many happy hour pondering the best colour and shape combinations. When it comes to design, bathroom tiles are a veritable treasure trove of inspiration, so don’t hold back: this is where you really get to have fun and bring a little more individuality into proceedings.
Mirrors and lanterns
Ambiance is the hacienda bathroom’s middle name: this is a place that’s all about you and taking time out. So it’s a good idea to set the tone with plenty of mirrors and lanterns. Again you can see from the photo above how woven baskets and intricate, antique-style furnishings add to a sense of laid-back elegance, too.
Minimal yet indulgent
It’s true that less is more in the hacienda bathroom: if you have beams or brick walls, these are all the better exposed to add to that feeling of a free-wheeling sanctuary. At the same time, a few dashes of indulgence won’t go amiss, be that a rainforest shower head, a bath with a view or bowlfuls of romantic hanging vines.
Bring the outdoors in
As a style concept, the hacienda is about interweaving indoor and outdoor influences together in harmony. Of course, the best version of this would be to have a beautifully crafted alfresco bathroom somewhere hot (hello, life goals). But failing that, try introducing as many snippets of greenery as you can into your bathroom space. Think of this in terms of different levels and features, too: freestanding bowls, hanging pots and shower-based succulents all work a treat together.
Candlelight and charming nooks
Finally, no hacienda bathroom is complete without on-point lighting: no strip lights here, instead you need lanterns and candlelight all round, along with homely fabrics and a mix of tactile marble/ceramic/wooden surface layers. If you have the option to add a little nook by way of a curtain or screen, make the most of it: it will only add to the overall feel of tucked-away charm.
Shop the look
Give wings to your hacienda-style bathroom by shopping these key accessories: top off with a bathside mojito.
From £29.95, Nkuku
£59, Lola and Mawu
Gold and glass jewellery box
£10, Maison du Monde
Sunset orange plant pot
£16.50, Oliver Bonas
Woven laundry basket
Small Mexican tiles
From £3.50 each, Etsy
£39, Barker and Stonehouse
Images: Uxua, Instagram, brands’ own