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Updated: Nov 22, 2020

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.

Chrome , pewter and nickel all have light reflecting qualities so work best in small spaces. I've created the below board to show you how on a budget of £3,000 you can create a high end shower room.

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.

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