The ability to respond to people’s diverse and dynamic needs sits at the heart of timeless, enduring and universal design. And there is no doubt that over the last few years there’s been a palpable shift towards that design ethos – especially as our collective understanding of a sustainable built environment evolves, and the ambition to create enduring, comfortable and safe dwellings that evolve alongside their inhabitants emerges as one of the most crucial focal points.

As this shift gains momentum, the notion of inclusivity is informing layouts, spatial decisions and fit outs in many forward-thinking developments. Unsurprisingly, bathrooms are at the centre of this shift. They’re not only one of the most essential spaces in our homes, they’re also the most renovated. This interesting overlap highlights a growing need for proactive design that celebrates the diverse tapestry of our needs and experiences, and evolves with our changing circumstances.

Caroma’s Urbane Universal Accessories: Form meets function

Caroma’s recently launched Urbane Universal Accessories range is a prime example of how form and function can come together to deliver a timeless bathroom experience that welcomes change with readiness, grace and optimism.

“The Caroma Urbane Universal Accessories are a considered extension to the popular Urbane Collection, providing practical support, comfort and convenience as well as unique customisation options to enhance the function, safety and design of your bathroom for all stages of life,” explains Dr Peter Sweatman, Caroma’s Accessibility Design Expert.

Spearheaded by Dr Sweatman’s expertise, Caroma’s innovative work in the bathroom design space enables Australian designers and specifiers to reimagine the potential of bathroom spaces with a proactive, inclusive approach that celebrates the human experience in all its stages – be it recovering from an injury, getting pregnant or ensuring that elderly visitors can use their host's bathroom safely and with confidence.

And with a quarter of the Australian population soon to be over the age of 65, there is an increasing need to ensure Australian bathrooms are safe and comfortable to use. “Most people want to be safe and independent in their own home for as long as possible, so it's important to make the right design choices to enable this,” Dr Sweatman points out.

Details that make the difference

This sentiment underpins the range. Building on Caroma’s renowned Urbane series, the new expansion introduces a selection of rails, an accessory shelf, a hand towel rail, a toilet roll holder as well as a robe hook and rail shower. All these accessories have been designed to meet the demands of daily bathroom tasks and support users of all abilities and life stages.

"When considering a bathroom for someone's forever home, think about how the design will make everyday tasks easier and safer," says Dr Sweatman. "This collection provides the right amount of support in convenient locations, as well as offering handy storage for toilet paper, towels, and other items."

Generously sized rails have been tested to withstand multi-directional force of 110 kg, while visually blending into the wider design scheme. The refined, contemporary rail shower boasts a smooth hose for ease of cleaning, a twist-lock slider for secure height adjustment, and Caroma’s signature Vjet® spray technology for ultimate control, while offering utmost support with a robust and load-tested rail mounting point. Discreetly positioned, the elegant accessories shelf accommodates products within easy reach, while eliminating the need for visually disruptive retrofitting.

From the visual language of the collection it’s clear that, for Caroma, the emphasis is not on overtly specialised design, but on seamless integration. And this is precisely what really makes their offering stand out – the aesthetic appeal of the accessories has been considered just as much as its performance.

The wealth of carefully considered functionality, engineered with key industry standards in mind, underpins the nature of the collection – but with its smooth contours and a palette of timeless finishes, the elevated design language of the Urbane Universal Accessories belongs in any sophisticated, modern bathroom.

Beyond accessibility: Design for all

Through this thoughtful fusion, Caroma’s proactive design ethos reinforces the potential of any bathroom to be both beautiful and desirable, as well as universally inclusive and functional.

“With premium aesthetics and colour finishes, the accessories are designed to be installed as part of a complete bathroom that enables ease of use for everyone. For instance, used around the bath they help people get in and out as well as being helpful when bathing children,” Dr Sweatman explains. “When installed next to the toilet, they complement the comfortable taller height of an Urbane suite by providing extra stability and durable toilet paper storage. In the shower, the flexibility of an adjustable rail hand shower is enhanced by being a secure hand hold while washing feet or shaving legs.”

In combining beautiful design, cutting-edge technology and consideration for the many intricate accessibility needs, Caroma’s product range celebrates the diversity of human experiences and normalises the idea that ageing, or shifting life circumstances, don't necessitate a sacrifice of personal style.

That, in turn, opens up an opportunity to create bathrooms where the presence of safety features provides a welcome, aesthetically pleasing reassurance, rather than a visual declaration of limitation. In contrast to the traditionally medicalised design of bathroom elements that prioritise safety and accessibility, Caroma’s sleek rails offer quiet support rather than dictate movement, and storage seamlessly accommodates changing needs without drawing attention. As a result, the user experiences the space as an environment tailored to promote their comfort, independence and self-confidence across all ages, abilities and circumstances.

Plus, from a purely financial point of view, employing principles of proactive design – in Caroma’s case also backed by a 20-year replacement warranty – are bound to help minimise those avoidable renovation costs.

The Urbane Universal Accessories collection reinforces the idea that the future of bathroom design isn’t about reactivity – it’s about integration. By championing ranges that are both beautifully designed and cleverly considered, Caroma helps designers and specifiers create stunning, enduring and functional bathroom spaces that truly celebrate the rich plethora of the human experience.