In conversation with: Stephen Ewer, CEO, Bathroom Brands Group

With bathrooms continually taking centre stage when it comes to questions of design trends, we sat down with Stephen Ewer from the Bathroom Brands Group to discuss the brands within the group portfolio, looking at what makes them unique, and what they have in common…

portrait of Stephen Ewer CEO Bathroom Brands Group

Bathroom Brands Group is a UK based company which has spread its wings and developed into an international business. The Group develops and sources products under its portfolio of brands – with key brands being Crosswater, Burlington, Clearwater and Britton – giving a breadth of designs to appeal to a wide range of tastes and price points, for bathrooms with a classical and traditional style or for those with a sleek and modern feel.

Hotel Designs: What one thing do all these brands/products have in common?  

Stephen Ewer: At the core of each brand is design, quality, and performance. Renovating a bathroom is a big undertaking for any consumer, both financially and emotionally, so it’s important we provide all consumers with bathroom solutions they trust – a dynamic collection of core products that deliver longevity, innovation, and style.

HD: Why is it important for each brand to have their own identity?  

SE: Each brand in our portfolio has a unique offering, targeted to specific consumer profiles with a focus on design, performance, and budget. For continued success, it is essential each brand stands alone, with its own distinct identity within the marketplace.

Crosswater is a premium contemporary bathroom brand that operates in most key bathroom categories. The unique brand offers an expertly curated and comprehensive range of quality bathroom products, that lead the way in innovation and performance. Burlington is the biggest and most successful traditional bathroom brand in the market. Quintessentially British, the heritage brand delivers traditional bathroom products inspired by eras of great design. The product range is extensive, reflecting four periods of history in bathroom design: Classic, Edwardian, Victorian, and Contemporary. Britton Bathrooms is a trend-led modern brand created for consumers navigating small bathrooms and more restrictive budgets. Loved by first-time buyers, the contemporary bathroom brand creates products that are both functional and fashion-forward. Finally, Clearwater is a premium bathroom brand offering an expertly curated selection of luxury baths and complementary basins, ranging from the conservative to the unconventional. Whether modern or traditional in design, Clearwater’s extravagant bathing solutions provide advanced thermal performance with style and comfort at the forefront, all built with longevity in mind.

Although Crosswater, Burlington, Britton, and Clearwater have their own distinct identity, products from each brand can work homogenously with one another. This is hugely advantageous for the Group, as some brands still have gaps in their product offering. Ultimately, our future aim is to ensure each brand offers ‘total bathroom solutions’, so that consumers only crossover to another brand in the portfolio out of choice, not necessity.

minimalist bathroom design with freestanding bath by Crosswater

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group / Crosswater

HD: How does Bathroom Brands Group expect the wellness mega trend to evolve?

SE: The wellness industry is growing rapidly and, with it, the trend for incorporating wellbeing into every aspect of our lives, homes included. The bathroom is taking centre stage in the interior wellness trend, with many consumers keen to achieve a spa-inspired aesthetic in their own bathroom space. As a result, products that promote self-care and serenity – whether through the use of colour, innovation, or design – are taking priority. To meet this growing consumer demand, we’re focused on designing products that embody wellness – from shower heads with varying jets and flows, to baths shaped to provide the most relaxing and indulgent soak. We ensure all product designs consider wellness from a usability point of view, for example, soft close furniture drawers, easy clean finishes, sensor taps, and innovative storage.

marble and brass in a statement hotel bathroom design by Crosswater

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group / Crosswater

HD: What are your plans for the group between now and 2030? 

SE: Our focus for the future is continued growth in size, brand development, innovation, and design. We also aim to expand within the specification sector, working with architects and designers to help create interesting and engaging spaces. Expansion in commercial experiential spaces, such as hotels, resorts, and spas, is also key, as is targeted premium residential sectors. Growth in these areas will also extend out to international markets, with an initial aim to translate our successes into key European territories.

HD: How is the company blurring the lines between luxury and lifestyle in the bathroom? 

SE: In recent years, bathrooms have gone from a clinical space to a real showpiece within the home. Consumers still expect hard-wearing and high-performance products, however they are now tempted aesthetically, whether through striking silhouettes, luxury finishes, or on-trend tones. To ensure we deliver on these luxury demands, our brands now place a greater importance on style and interior trends. Using colour, innovative design, unrivalled performance, and premium materials, we enable consumers to indulge in their luxury desires whilst still ensuring their lifestyle needs are met.

textured wooden surfaces in the bathroom

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group / Crosswater

HD: When did you see consumers start to demand colour and texture in the bathroom? 

SE: Over the last five years we have seen the rise in demand for both colour and texture within the bathroom.
Coloured ceramics and furniture are well established in the market; however, we have seen a real uptake in colourful brassware finishes. Black had become one of the most popular brassware finishes in recent years, ahead of warmers tones, such a gold, brass, and bronze, that are also rising in popularity. In addition to taps and shower fittings, we are seeing demand for colour within other brassware products, ranging from shower enclosure fittings and flush plates to radiators and furniture handles.

Modern Britton bathroom

Image credit: Bathroom Brands Group

Aside from colour, one of the biggest trends in bathroom design is texture. From wooden slat vanity units to knurling bathroom taps, we’ve introduced several products across the portfolio that feature three-dimensional texture to elevate bathroom design. Naturally occurring textures are also taking precedent, with stone, concrete, wood, and marble – whether real or faux – creating a unique focal point in any bathroom.

HD: And finally, what is the company doing to be more conscious about the environment without taking the focus away from quality products? 

SE: The quality and performance of our products is critical to our current brand standards; however, sustainability is now playing a big role in product design. To ensure performance and durability isn’t compromised, our focus is to adopt sustainable changes that also enhance our product offering. 3ONE6, for example, is a new brassware collection from Crosswater that utilises 316 stainless steel, a sustainable raw material that is 100% recyclable. It can be regenerated and reused time and time again without any reduction in quality. However, in addition to its sustainability credentials, 316 stainless steel also offers superior corrosion resistance, impact resistance, and durability.

Crosswater is the headline partner for The Brit List Awards 2022, while Bathroom Brands is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Bathroom Brands Group