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Bathrooms

Loft bathroom spaces with industrial flair with Duravit

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Loft bathroom spaces with industrial flair with Duravit

Products from the Luv series by Duravit showcased in an urban ambience…

The “Walzmühle” former mill in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, has a long tradition as an industrial manufacturing location.


Since 2013, the site has been home not only to a range of businesses and studios, but also residential spaces. The design and construction by the team around Mia Kepenek (Kepenek GmbH) has breathed new life into the former factory hall in the form of eight generously proportioned, expressively styled lofts, each fitted with Duravit products from the Luv series.

The smart spatial design is finished with high-quality materials, and the residential concept combines family homes with lofts and a nearby recreational area. To preserve the industrial flair of the site, the natural brick façade was retained.Two-story buildings, each with a floor area of 180 m2, feature room heights of up to six meters. They each have their own inner courtyards and terraces, and sawtooth roofs ensure the lofts enjoy ample daylight.

 

Three basic loft types were created to meet the varying needs of future residents. The style of each loft type is underscored by the different materials used in the bathrooms. With its proximity to the city and cultural amenities, the “Variable” loft is an elegant contemporary living space that offers flexibility for young families with one or two children. The eye-catching feature in this bathroom is the Luv back-to-wall bathtub with its matt optics, which set it apart from the tiled blue wall.

The second basic variant, the “Structured” loft, is geared towards middle-aged couples. This living space is arranged in a manner that is both classic and forward-looking and impresses with high levels of comfort. A visual highlight is the dark tiled wall in the bathroom that frames the minimalistic design of the Luv above-counter basin. The micro- mosaic used for the wall consists of shredded TV screens – an extraordinary detail with an iridescent effect.

Image credit: Luca Zanier

The “Lofty One” offers young people who place equal importance on their career and leisure a generous living area in an urban style. This creates a place of retreat far from the hustle of everyday working life. The open style of the lounge area is designed for convivial living. In the bathroom, the generously proportioned Luv bathtub overlooking the panorama window offers pure relaxation.

The Walzmühle site is a strong demonstration of the variability of the Luv series. The simple elegance of the products fits unobtrusively into the different styles, creating countless design opportunities.

Duravit is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Image credit: Duravit/Luca Zanier

5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

Following the launch of Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers, Hotel Designs catches up with Ian Gell, the brand’s head of new product design…

The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that the shower brand is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK. In order to understand the technology behind the new products – as well as some of the major challenges that come with driving innovation in the bathroom – we spoke to Ian Gell, Aqualisa’s head of new product design.

Hotel Designs: As Head of New Product Design at Aqualisa, what was the initial brief when creating the latest Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

Ian Gell: We wanted to create a first truly Smart shower that would improve the showering experience even further and offer connectivity across our Quartz Digital collection in an ever-growing IOT market. We also wanted to develop a feature rich product at an entry level price. Aqualisa are known for designing world class showers and we wanted to go that one step further making our showers that little bit more special.

A modern shower.

Image credit: Aqualisa

“From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

HD: Can you explain some of the main challenges you faced when designing these products, and the solutions you came up with to rectify these?

IG: The development of the app was the biggest challenge for us. From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging. There is no ‘off the shelf’ solution that you can incorporate and use so we had to develop something from the ground up that could communicate with all our products. As well as developing the app, we had to develop the software and hardware in our valves and controllers. Allowing all new controllers and valves to communicate with each other was key.

HD: What makes this collection truly unique from anything else on the market?

IG: Aqualisa invented the digital shower back in 2001 and we have been market leaders in this area since. Having a truly connected shower to offer is the icing on the cake for our well-loved brand as it enables so many exciting and innovative opportunities to become possible.

HD: From concept to launch, how long did this collection take to design/create?

IG: At the back end of November 2018, the designers picked up their pens for the first time and started creating some concept sketches and schemes however, the project really didn’t pick up traction until February 2019 and was launched in March 2020 so it took roughly a year. Most of the work has been developing a connected solution with some purpose. This resulted in the app being created and the hardware and software requiring a major overhaul to allow our product to become connected which took most of the time.

HD: Technology in hotel bathrooms has traditionally divided consumer opinions? How user-friendly is the design of the Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

IG: A smart shower provides a personalised experience with safe and precise water control.   Our smart and digital showers are in fact easier to use than most traditional showers. We have all used showers in the past where you need to stop and analyze the controls and work out what lever turns it on and what lever controls the temperature. Sometimes it’s the same lever and takes a bit of experimenting! In most instances, the user normally gets a cold wet arm whilst trying to get the water to the correct temperature for their liking.  This is not the case with our product.

Our product is activated by a simple on/off button so there is no confusion. Furthermore, our showers can be activated remotely by remote control, through an app also by voice command (if you a have an Alexa or Google home device), so users can turn the shower on from outside the shower. All our showers will indicate when the desired temperature has been reached giving the user confidence the shower will be at the perfect temperature before entry.

As well as having user benefits, our smart showers are quick and simple to install. As the hot and cold water is mixed away from the showering area, there are no bulky valves to fit into the wall. Our valves can be fitted out of site in a convenient location i.e. in a cupboard, in the loft space or under the bath resulting in easy access if needed.

“Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

HD: How does the range of products enhance the bathroom experience?

IG: Smart showers are sleek and modern devices and will compliment any bathroom interior from the more classic approach to the most contemporary design. Quartz Touch is great for tech enthusiasts out there as an LCD display is present showing the user the exact temperature. The user can also access different menus allowing full control for flow. Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app. You can set your preferred flow, preferred outlet and temperature with a simple touch of a button.

Our showers are also compatible with Alexa and Google so once the Aqualisa skill has been downloaded, Aqualisa showers can be added to people’s smart routines. For example, “hey google, start my relaxing bath routine” could turn up the thermostat, dim the lights and start filling the bath from your Aqualisa controller, all via that one command. With the smart technology out there, the options are limitless.

HD: How have you designed these products so that they are eco-friendly?

IG: There is growing pressure to find ways to reduce water consumption per household and per person. We all understand the benefits of reducing water usage and how it effects the environment and household bills. As showers are one of the biggest contributors of wastewater, we wanted our customers to be aware of how much water they were consuming from their shower.  As a result, we have incorporated a water usage dashboard into our app that shows how much water has been consumed for each user as well as the entire house over a specific period. This could be over the last week, month or six months. The app will clearly show who is using the most water and costs associated to them.

We also have a water saving mode on our handset that reduces flow by around 20 per cent.  Our optimised spray pattern still provides an enhanced showering experience whilst using less water.

Our Quartz Classic and Unity controllers have a boost function. The boost option allows users to have added flow if required or users can choose to have it turned off to a lower flow rate and save water.

Our Touch and Optic controllers have three flow settings, Eco Medium and Max. Our Eco setting reduces flow by 40% compared to the Max flow setting.

All of our packaging used for our smart products is made from fully recyclable material. Around 70% of the packaging components we use is made from recycled material. 100% of the waste produced during the production of our packaging is collected and recycled back into paper.

HD: For hotels looking to renovate their properties in the wake of Covid-19, why is the Smart Quartz Collection a good option?

IG: We are continuously improving the installation features of all our products but there is a particularly good replacement and refurbishment story with smart showers around less pipework and push fit cable connection. For example, the major benefit of upgrading from a traditional shower is moving the SmartValve, the brains of the system, completely out of the showering area – and potentially away from the guest bathroom altogether which is so easy for any future adjustment and maintenance.

Also, freeing up more space in the showering area itself opens up much more design and décor flexibility.  Perhaps even more compelling in the post-Covid economy is the ability of hotel management to monitor water usage and costs, if necessary, adjusting the water flow through hotel bathrooms.  Assurances around hygiene and safety have surely never been a higher priority in terms of the hotel guest proposition and contactless smart shower technology clearly meets that brief.

Aqualisa is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

New for 2020, hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range to include on-trend Matt Black for an extended number of product lines…

hansgrohe’s latest additions to the FinishPlus range of showerheads, basin and bath mixers, shower hoses and accessories, allows for a seamless and cohesive design aesthetic across the whole bathroom.

Perfect for styling with white or coloured ceramics, crittal-style shower screens and statement lighting, Matt Black offers pared-back, refined elegance; emphasising the striking silhouettes of hansgrohe’s award-winning brassware. The Matt Black finish will be available from September as existing stock, ensuring immediate availability and minimal delivery times.

line of finishes

Image credit: hansgrohe

When opting for FinishPlus, users are guaranteed to enjoy all the quality features they have come to expect from hansgrohe. Offering the ultimate in bathroom customisation, FinishPlus provides modern alternatives to the classic chrome standard, elevating bathroom design and welcoming individuality. With FinishPlus comes the opportunity for a homogeneous design scheme. From the basin mixers and showerpipes, through to overhead showerheads and valves, hansgrohe ensures all brassware parts are available in one consistent colour. Alternatively, the flexibility of FinishPlus means contrasting finishes can be contrasted for a truly unique visual effect.

All FinishPlus surfaces offer exceptional robustness, durability and scratch-resistance; the result of the exhaustive research and development of the wider Hansgrohe Group. Produced in hansgrohe’s state-of-the-art PVD (physical vapor deposition) chambers, the surfaces are hand-finished by expert technicians. Brushed or polished until immaculately smooth, they offer the perfect finishing touch to any luxury bathroom. Since the finishes are manufactured at hansgrohe’s own plant, all products can be reproduced in the same surface finish for up to 15 years after purchase.

FinishPlus is comprised of five colour options that suit a range of bathroom styles, including: Matt Black, Matt White, Gold Optic, Bronze and Black Chrome. All colours are also available in both the polished and brushed finishes, to ensure maximum personalisation when designing a new or renovating an existing scheme.

hansgrohe is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: hansgrohe

Hotel bathroom furniture solutions from Ambiance Bain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel bathroom furniture solutions from Ambiance Bain

Ambiance Bain has been developing innovative bathroom furniture and shower spaces for more than 60 years. The company understands that bathroom furniture for the hotel sector needs to be robust, functional and stunning…

Bathroom brand Ambiance Bain has worked with leading designers to develop a range of bathroom furniture specially created to provide the functionality required by the hotel sector, with no compromise on style and quality.

The high volume of continual use in hotel bathrooms lends itself to requiring a durable washbasin and worktop whilst allowing a practical space to store extra towels and toiletries.

With a wide range of sizes and a choice of ceramic or SMO™ vanity basin worktop, you can be sure there is an option for every hotel shape, style and affordability required.

Whilst the ceramic basin offers a slightly more competitive solution, the SMO™ basin worktop, complete with up-stand to protect the wall from splashes, allows much more flexibility in design with a choice of matching shower trays and wall panels to add a touch of luxury.

SMO™ is an exclusive material particularly suitable for hotel spaces.  Moulded from a single piece, the products are completely seamless making them easy to clean and maintain, which is particularly key with hygiene and deep cleaning of great importance to everyone at the moment.

It is also possible to repair SMO™ products using our repair kit should they become damaged, ensuring the longevity of the facilities.

The innovative hotel vanity units have an open shelving feature combining high storage capacity with ease of maintenance and all units are delivered fully assembled ready to install.

Available in a range of colours to suit your style, Ambiance Bain hotel bathroom furniture together with our shower spaces offers the ideal solution to every style and design.

Ambiance Bain is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Ambiance Bain

Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

Success in design is based on pleasure, beauty and imagination. Innovative bathroom brand Gessi dictates the recipe to create a happier present: to revert to dream big…

Forward-thinking bathroom brand Gessi has always worked in tandem with the excellences of Italian fashion, food and furniture.

This includes collaborations and exchanges of ideas from which products and concepts transversal to the different disciplines are born, intended to interpret the present, improve life and plan the future.

Image credit: GESSI

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” wrote Eleanor Roosvelt; this time full of uncertainties filled the man with anxiety, leading him to give priority to negative information and feelings, so it became more difficult to focus on good things, to imagine the future, especially an attractive future.

Stress and anxiety prevent us from being able to dream. By drawing on imagination and dreams, it is possible to model the future with hope and optimism, such as the launch of a holistic Architectural Wellness program.

2 modern showers in ceilings with marble walls

Image credit: GESSI

Have we stopped dreaming?

“When my daughter was seven, one day she asked me what I was doing at work. I told her I was working in college – my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me in disbelief and then said: “do you mean that they forgot hot to draw?” – Howard Ikemoto (artist and art professor).

There is something wonderfully simple in the way children see life. it’s a way of seeing where everything is possible and this means that they don’t see any reason why they can’t grow up to become an astronaut, a cowboy or a princess.

For some reason, we stopped dreaming. We actually stopped believing that dreams were possible.

“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream at night In the dusty recesses of their minds wake up during the day to discover that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, because they can carry out their daydreams, to make it possible.” – T. E. Lawrence

The founder of Gessi talks about the horizon line that goes away every time you try to reach it. “The real meaning of life” says the entrepreneur, “is in that path that brings you closer to the goal, not the goal itself and the values that accompany this path are as fundamental as the people who get on the boat with you.”

Modern bathroom

Image credit: GESSI

In a few words is expressed all the philosophy of Gessi: a continuous trend towards improvement, positivity, courage and a success based on people, humanity and feelings. In a nutshell, the ability  to dream big.

“The important thing is to start dreaming again,” says Mr. Gessi, “we need to imagine big, almost unthinkable things; new Eiffel towers, new pyramids, we need to go back to the moon”.

That’s true, a pragmatic  need for tangible things, bridges, road, seems to be prevalent but we also need a new access to the poetry of things, to return to see butterflies in the city, to recreate an access to the imagination of beauty, of the magnificent.

Why is it important to dream?

Gessi recalls, according to scientific researchers, that once we project ourselves into a dream, changes begin to occur in our brain, we establish neurological traces that literally change our brain to make it look like the brain of the future. In other words, the brain begins to make us feel that the future we want to create has already happened.

When we feel the emotions of our future- whether it’s gratitude, joy, freedom, abundance, enthusiasm, love and so on – creative thoughts in the mind can become real experience: the body receives the chemical signals of these emotions, essentially the body receives the signal that the event has already occurred.

The greatest projects, the greatest entrepreneurial stories always arise from imagination. This is more true than ever for food, fashion and design industries.

Gessi has always thought of the bathroom as “private spaces” of the living, where personal needs, exceeding the functional aspect, are satisfied at an higher level and in a high and “other” dimension by the everyday and the usual, therefore places that go beyond the reality of their hygienic function, they draw on the dream, the emotional sphere, the psychophysical pleasure.

The bathroom brand believes that innovating means fulfilling dreams and anticipating needs. Its projects are born from creative freedom and from an always original trait, with a passion for objects that free themselves from codified and prescribed function to reinvent themselves to new uses: empathetic, friendly, enjoyable objects. Objects that improve people’s lives.

Gessi is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Gessi

PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater introduces matt white finish to MPRO range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater introduces matt white finish to MPRO range

After much anticipation, bathroom brand Crosswater has introduced a new matt white finish to its much-loved MPRO collection. Hotel Designs explores…

The striking matt white colour joins the four existing finishes to continue the evolution of the iconic MPRO collection, which is as beautifully crafted as it is designed.

The latest finish, which emerges after the brand launched its carbon black finish to the MPRO Industrial collection, combines established high-end specification with beautifully considered aesthetics to create brassware that truly stands out, whilst also delivering on performance and reliability. The matt white look is perfect for a contemporary bathroom, either with crisp monochrome tones or as the neutral centrepiece to a more colourful palette.

The dynamically crafted matt white finish is available in everything from showerheads to shower arms, handsets to hoses, and taps to accessories, to ensure a fully cohesive look across any bathroom space. Matt White is even available in Crosswater’s innovative Crossbox, known for its easy installation method and superior range of water outlet options that create the perfect showering experience.

The established choice for high-quality bathrooms everywhere, MPRO continues to evolve with this contemporary addition to the range. Combining the finest components and materials, MPRO delivers superb function and precision design. The result is a complete collection of bathroom mixers, valves, showerheads and complementary accessories that meets the exacting standards of today’s modern bathroom.

The finest components and materials ensure that MPRO delivers on flow performance and, just as importantly, safety and water efficiency, with WRAS and TMV2 certification.

Crosswater is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Crosswater

“The bathroom is a sanctuary in times of stress”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“The bathroom is a sanctuary in times of stress”

Bathroom solutions from Kaldewei create wellness oases for your home-from-home interiors…

People are currently spending a lot of time within their own four walls – what with working from home, childcare and other daily duties, we often have little room for relaxation and soothing moments.

At times like these it is the bathroom that is the best space for calm, retreat and silence, where we can recharge our batteries. As a manufacturer of premium bathrooms Kaldewei sees itself not only as a lover of design but also as a source of inspiration for a relaxed wellness areas. With the perfectly coordinated design combination of Miena washbasin bowl, Meisterstück Conoduo bathtub and Conoflat shower, the bathroom is transformed into a stylish place for regeneration.

Treat your senses with the Meisterstück Conoduo

The Meisterstück Conoduo forms the basis of a soothing bathroom. This bathtub is key with its sophisticated design and impeccable aesthetic: architectural, geometric and seamless. For the perfect bathing experience, the Sound Wave bathtub audio system is available on request. This system turns the bathtub into an elegant sounding body. With a smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can enjoy your music collection via Bluetooth in a completely new way. Now all you have to do is lean back and relax – comfortably propped up, perhaps, with a Kaldewei bath cushion that moulds itself perfectly to your neck. with, a valve that allows you to adjust it to your required level of cushioning at will.

Image caption: The Meisterstück Conoduo | Image credit: Kaldewei

Floor-level Conoflat shower rounds off design concept

For superb comfort with no compromises, Kaldewei also offers accessible solutions that are a must in the modern bathroom. Thanks to the ingenious design concept, the floor-level Conoflat shower is the perfect visual complement to the tasteful Conoduo bathtub, it provides an extremely flat design with no tripping hazards. The enamelled waste cover integrates smoothly into the floor-level surface of the shower. This delightful feast for the eyes in your own bathroom is completed by the Miena washbasin bowls. Delicate, fine-edged, in gorgeous colours and in minimalist design, the venerable company’s classic product line fits perfectly into the coordinated concept for wellbeing in the bathroom.

Sustainable, hygienic and long-lasting: Kaldewei steel enamel

Hygiene is particularly important in times like these – especially in the bathroom. As with all of its high-quality products, Kaldewei also uses its unique material – Kaldewei steel enamel – for this bathroom concept. The non-porous vitreous surface guarantees hygiene and ultra-easy cleaning. When you wash your hands, dirt and germs are simply rinsed away with the water – no tiresome wiping and cleaning required. In addition the material is exceptionally robust so it can’t be damaged by cosmetics or cleaning agents. A further plus for steel enamel: it is 100 % recyclable. In other words, this elegant combination of steel and glass not only looks fabulous but also allows you to do your bit towards resource conservation.

Kaldewei is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Miena washbasin bowls, Meisterstück Conoduo bathtub and Conoflat shower | Main image credit: Kaldewei

Bathroom inspiration: 400 colours by Bette to choose from

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom inspiration: 400 colours by Bette to choose from

German bathroom manufacturer Bette offers its baths, shower trays and basins in more than 400 colours – and also creates bespoke colours for large projects…

Bathroom brand Bette can create its baths, shower trays and washbasins in more than 400 colours because of the way its products are made.

Each item is individually manufactured in titanium-steel, before its durable BetteGlaze enamel finish is applied and fired. Bette mixes colour pigments into the BetteGlaze enamel finish, prior to application, which is why such a huge range of colours, including gloss, matt, shimmering and glittering options, are available.

Bette’s unique finish not only allows more than 400 colour options, but the glazed titanium-steel results in products that keep their good looks for many years, are easy to clean, 100 per cent recyclable and come with a 30 year warranty, making them ideal for both contract and residential projects.

22 matt colours

Some of Bette’s most popular colours are its 22 exclusive matt options. These colours are often selected for Bette’s flush-to-floor shower trays, as well as its baths and basins. The colours take their inspiration from natural stone colours, and also include matt white.

Bespoke colours

In addition, if customers working on large projects require a specific colour that Bette does not currently produce, the company offers the option of creating a bespoke colour.

Bette’s approach to colour

Sven Rensinghoff, head of marketing at Bette comments: “Our glazed titanium-steel baths, basins and shower trays can be given attractive visual depth through the colour selection. Our goal is to not only use colour as a decorative element, but to support the spatial effect of our products.

“Coloured products can provide eye-catching dashes of colour, for example, the spotlight can be put on the washing area by selecting the round BetteCraft washbasin in luminous green or a soft shade of blue. Eye-catching special effect colours, such as our Midnight black glitter colour, or the ever-changing Forest colour, can create impact and visual interest that changes as the lighting alters.

“In addition to innovative and eye-catching colours, Bette also offers a wide range of timeless, discreet shades including pastels, earth and stone colours and matt options. These can help to radiate a calming effect and convey a natural cosiness and are some of our most popular colours. For example, more than 40 per cent of Bette customers currently choose timeless, natural, matt colours for their Bette glazed titanium-steel shower floors.”

Bette is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bette

PRODUCT WATCH: AXOR Edge, transcending boundaries in bathroom aesthetics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: AXOR Edge, transcending boundaries in bathroom aesthetics

13 years after the first collection with French designer Jean-Marie Massaud, Hotel Designs speaks to the designer about AXOR Edge; a striking symbiosis of geometrical form and precision manufacturing…

Using a new ultra-precise manufacturing process ordinarily reserved for diamond milling and space construction, the collection still transcends boundaries in aesthetics and technology. Asymmetrically combined cubes set smooth polished surfaces against intricate texture to yield a design that is strong yet delicate.

black scene showing the AXOR Edge range

Image credit: AXOR Edge/hansgrohe

Design: geometric, architectural, and asymmetrical

The collection is defined by avant-garde expression, celebrating the interplay of perfectly proportioned plains and edges in an asymmetrical form. Partially enriched with a fine texture, the three-dimensional mixer offers a more tactile experience with water. For those who prefer a more minimalistic appearance, AXOR Edge is also available without texturing.

Every element of the mixer, including the handle and the spout, has perfect 45° chamfers. Ordinarily recognised in the field of construction as a safety measure, here the chamfers pay testament to the small architectural details and overall virtuosity of design.

Technology: precision at the heart of design

Especially developed for the production of AXOR Edge, a state-of-the-art diamond-cutting machine assures accurate planes and contours. The diamond-tipped tool, which is more commonly seen in the space and laser industries, is used here to mill the chamfers with the same high base quality required for diamond milling.

With high speeds of 60,000 revolutions per minute and hyper-controlled temperatures, allowing a variation of barely 0.1 degree, the result creates tolerances that are 600 times finer than conventional methods of milling brass: ultraprecision. Line by line, precision-pointed pyramids are created in this way, reflecting the interplay of light and shadow in a such a way to inspire a pause in a world of fast-moving transience.

Jean-Marie Massaud tells Hotel Designs: “In my collaboration with AXOR, we always seek to provide a better user experience. With AXOR Edge, we have answered the demand for refinement and uniqueness. More than a mixer, each product in the collection is a jewel, a masterpiece, a unique architectural object drilled from a brass block and then dressed with personal finishes. A real functional piece of art that shares your intimacy for life – that’s my understanding of luxury.”

Close up of tap

Image credit: AXOR edge/hansgrohe

AXOR Edge is available for the washbasin, bath, bidet and with shower thermostat modules. Manufactured in the vacuum chambers of the AXOR production plant, AXOR Edge is available in five polished AXOR FinishPlus surface colours, from Polished Brass to Polished Black Chrome.

hansgrohe is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: hansgrohe

3D printing in bathroom brassware design: GROHE publishes first RIBA-approved CPD seminar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
3D printing in bathroom brassware design: GROHE publishes first RIBA-approved CPD seminar

GROHE published the seminars 3D Printing for Advanced Bathroom Fittings on July 2 and 8, sharing its expertise on 3D printing manufacturing innovations and its potential to transform the bathroom design landscape…

GROHE, global supplier of complete bathroom solutions and first leading European sanitaryware brand to launch 3D-printed taps, is now able to share its expertise on the innovations behind 3D printing manufacturing and its potential to transform the bathroom design landscape, with the architect and design community via its newly RIBA-approved CPD seminar.

3D Printing for Advanced Bathroom Fittings dissects 3D printing technology, its place in the manufacturing sector and its ongoing growth across many industries due to its ability to create small batch custom manufacturing in a much more sustainable and accessible way. The seminar delves into GROHE’s application of the technique and how the brand has instrumented a new design freedom for interior architects and designers, providing them with the opportunity to procure customised products for bespoke client specifications in the future. The session also sheds light on the positive sustainability impact 3D printing can have on reducing CO2 emissions and saving water thanks to less wastage and more efficient use of raw materials.

“Now we have acquired first-hand experience and understanding of 3D printing, we want to share this knowledge with architect professionals to challenge the status quo around manufacturing processes and help inspire a more widespread shift in thinking when it comes to considering sustainable options.” – Glen Wilson, Head of Projects at GROHE UK.

“Sustainability, along with quality, design and technology, are at the core of GROHE’s brand values and are implemented across all of our processes; from carbon neutral production across all our global plants and our pledge to remove all plastic packaging by 2021, to the exploration of alternative sustainable production methods and the consequential development of its Icon 3D range”, says Raj Mistry, GROHE Marketing Director at GROHE UK, who developed the latest training seminar. Glen Wilson, Head of Projects at GROHE UK adds, “Now we have acquired first-hand experience and understanding of 3D printing, we want to share this knowledge with architect professionals to challenge the status quo around manufacturing processes and help inspire a more widespread shift in thinking when it comes to considering sustainable options. The more information architects have at their fingertips, the more they will understand the potential of this technology for bathroom specification”.

Bookings for 3D Printing for Advanced Bathroom Fittings sessions are available for all design professionals to book now. All RIBA-registered architect attendees who complete the sessions will acquire one hour of continued professional development.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Enter UK Bathrooms Design Awards today!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Enter UK Bathrooms Design Awards today!

UK Bathrooms, one of the leading online store for premium designer bathroom products, has launched the UK Bathrooms Design Awards…

The size of your project isn’t important, from the smallest cloakroom to a spacious house bathroom, all entries for the UK Bathrooms Design Awards are welcome.

The expert panel of judges will be looking at sources of inspiration, clever use of space, product choice, overall design and lifestyle features.

Entering couldn’t be easier, you simply need to take photos of your space, preferably before, during and after shots, log onto the website and complete the online entry form. A bathroom space is not always the easiest to take photographs of so UK Bathrooms offer the following advice:

  • Prepare the space first by starting with a blank canvas and then add back in a few *lifestyle items, maybe a candle or plant
  • Ensure everything is spotless and gleaming
  • Pop the toilet lid down
  • Focus on the best feature in the space
  • Try to balance the brightness form any window by switching off flash
  • Give a sense of space by stepping back as far you can in the room
  • Check reflections in mirrors and shower screens – make sure you’re not in them
  • Try different heights but usually best angle is from waist height or from sitting down
  • Avoid unwanted corners of furniture or parts of items around the edge of your shot
  • Avoid extra photo filters try to keep as real as possible

Once you have taken your photos you only need to decide which category to enter, choosing from best design, where the prize is £500 Love 2 Shop Vouchers, best traditional bathroom or best contemporary bathroom and win Villeroy & Boch Tableware worth £500.  There are also three categories for professionals who can enter to win best architect/interior designer bathroom, best hotel/guest house/restaurant bathroom or best trades bathroom and enjoy the prize of £500 worth of products from www.ukbathrooms.com.

Graeme Borchard, Managing Director at UK Bathrooms explains: “As the leading online store for premium designer bathroom products we sell to thousands of homeowners and professionals and decided that it was time to give something back and to recognise some of the stunning bathrooms that are being created in homes and businesses across the UK.  The UK Bathrooms Design Awards have been launched to recognise innovation in bathroom design.”  Graeme continues “We are extremely grateful to our manufacturers and distributors for their help and support, these currently include Arnolds, Bayswater, Barwicks, Crosswater, hansgrohe, Keuco, Matki, Perrin & Rowe, Victoria+Albert, Villeroy & Boch, VitrA and Zehnder Bisque.”

The panel of judges will carefully consider all entries before making their decision in October 2020. For further details including full terms and conditions visit the website.

UK Bathrooms is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: UK Bathrooms/VitrA

PRODUCT WATCH: Shower spaces from Ambiance Bain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Shower spaces from Ambiance Bain

Bathroom brand Ambiance Bain is continually striving to deliver new, innovative, exciting products, has succeeded again with a comprehensive range of shower trays and wall panels…

Manufactured in its own factories, Ambiance Bain’s new collection of shower spaces is created from a unique solid surface material SMO.

Developed by Ambiance Bain, SMO is a mixture of natural stone powders and low-density mineral granules from recycling and a binder, which is then coated with a 1mm thick protective gel coat for durability and strength. This material can be cast in one single piece with no seals or bonding to deliver an easy to clean, hygienic finish.

Image credit: Ambiance Bain

Meticulously finished by hand down to the last detail, we have developed a manufacturing process which enables us to produce individual shower trays and panels within bespoke configurations as well as small and large runs for our collections and major projects.

If you already have a bath and want to replace it with a shower space, Ambiance Bain SMO shower trays and wall panels are the ideal choice.  Considerable costs can be saved by installing a shower in the space left behind by a bath.  Existing drain lines and water supplies will already be in place and this will significantly reduce plumbing costs.  Our comprehensive range of shower trays and wall panels can transform your bath area into a beautiful, accessible shower space, which will use less water and is easier to clean.

Image credit: Ambiance Bain

Choose from four adjustable shower trays, Origin, Oka, Altima and Altimax or two made to measure options Universal and Elegance, all with co-ordinating shower wall panels, which complement our SMO worktops for a completely harmonious design.

Available in an array of beautiful gloss, matt and sparkly colours, you can be sure there is an option for every style of hotel design. You can even choose your own RAL colour if you need a completely bespoke look.

All our shower trays and wall panels can be cut to size as per your specification or easily adjusted on site and are quick and easy to install.

With hygiene and deep cleaning on the top of everyone’s priority list at the moment, it makes sense to choose products which are robust and easy to maintain. Ambiance Bain SMO shower trays and wall panels, with no grout lines, make cleaning a pleasure whilst helping protect the environment, without the need for cleaning agents, they can be maintained merely with a lint free cloth and mild soapy water.

Ambiance Bain is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Ambiance Bain

Wellness is boundless with Rainfinity by hansgrohe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wellness is boundless with Rainfinity by hansgrohe

The bold innovative qualities of Rainfinity by Hansgrohe have taken wellness in the bathroom up a notch to not just meet but exceed the expectations of modern travellers, argues editor Hamish Kilburn… 

Since 1901, leading luxury bathroom manufacturer hansgrohe, has continuously pushed the boundaries of bathroom design and manufacturing to create products that combine intelligent functionality, outstanding design and enduring quality.

With its aim of helping people enjoy the beauty and simplicity of water, its latest range Rainfinity represents a new benchmark in modern shower design, marrying superior engineering with innovative technology and contemporary finishes. Offering the ultimate in showering indulgence, Rainfinity is truly unique.

The bathroom is increasingly the place to unwind and relax. With functional, clinical aesthetics being replace by spaces that enhance wellbeing, bathroom design is having to adapt to meet the demand. Due to its large circular showerhead and adaptable wall connection, Rainfinity offers the flexibility to envelop the entire body in soft cocooning water. The innovative wall connection allows the shower head to be tilted between ten and 30 degrees, eliminating the need for a conventional shower arm, making for a more comfortable showering experience and enabling the user to keep the head and face dry if required. The shower experience is further enhanced by Rainfinity’s slightly concave surface and its diffused arrangement of jet disc holes. This combination ensures spray isn’t limited to the head and shoulders but softly showers the entire body with aerated droplets.

Rainfinity’s shower head has three spray modes, designed to transform the daily shower routine into an extraordinary wellness experience at the simple click of a button. Inspired by the warm, misty droplets of the rainforest, PowderRain provides maximum relaxation. Thanks to six fine openings in every jet outlet, water is transformed into a fine spray that wrap the body in an ultra-quiet blanket of water for a velvety-soft sensation. Located in the centre of the jet disc, the Intense PowderRain mode uses a more concentrated jet of ultra-fine droplets to make light work of rinsing out shampoo. The invigorating RainStream mode delivers consistently high spray intensity through targeted jets, perfect for massaging the shoulders and back after a long day.

“The Rainfinity collection also comprises a comprehensive range of hand showers, available in either the traditional or geometric rod shape.”

The unique shower head design is available in the strikingly minimalist matt white and classic chrome finishes, with contrasting graphite spray discs. The Rainfinity collection also comprises a comprehensive range of hand showers, available in either the traditional or geometric rod shape. The range also boasts streamlined shoulder showers which enhance relaxation by sending powerful rain jets directly at the shoulers. Keeping the head and face completely dry, these shoulder showers come with integrasted shelving and concealed controls for a truly cohesive bathroom aesthetic. All parts come with the standard five-year manufacturer’s guarantee as an assurance of quality.

International, industry-wide recognition for Rainfinity confirms its quality and function are unparalleled. Its success in being awarded the ‘Best of Best’ Red Dot Award in 2019, iF Design Award 2019 and ‘Best of Best’ Iconic Award 2020, heralds Rainfinity as the shower range for discerning wellness and design enthusiasts.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

Achieving carbon-neutral production is an important milestone in GROHE’s 360-degree sustainability strategy, and is now working to ensure that all sales offices are climate-neutral by 2021…

As one of the first leading manufacturers for full bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, GROHE has now achieved carbon-neutral production, achieving its pledge the brand announced in November 2019, a pivotal milestone in its long-term commitment to sustainability.

“The initiative ties in seamlessly with the numerous measures in our plants that promote the reduction of the carbon footprint and conserve resources. We are very proud to be a pioneer in our industry with GROHE goes ZERO,” said Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO of Grohe AG. “And we are directly aiming for the next step: by the end of 2021 we want to make all our sales offices worldwide climate-neutral.”

The initiative also contributes to a central goal of parent company LIXIL’s sustainability strategy, of which GROHE has been a part of since 2014: by 2050, achieve net-zero carbon emissions from housing and lifestyle solutions as well as operations.

In order to achieve its goal of carbon-neutral production, GROHE has been using green electricity since July 2019 at all five LIXIL EMENA production sites, which produce exclusively for the global brand, and in the German logistics centres. In addition, the brand is investing in solar technology, combined heat and power plants, and innovative manufacturing processes such as 3D metal-printing that save materials to ensure they are creating a value chain that conserves resources. In addition, its state-of-the-art dedicated testing laboratory in Hemer coupled with increased recycling of materials is also helping contribute to the steady reduction of its carbon footprint. As a result, GROHE has been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% since the introduction of its 2014 sustainability programme, while at the same time increasing its energy efficiency by 24%. As a result, the original targets of 20% respectively by 2021 have been significantly exceeded ahead of schedule.

To offset any CO2 emissions it has not yet been able to reduce, GROHE provides significant investment into two global compensation projects: operational support of a hydroelectric power plant in India, which eliminates the need for coal-fired power plants, and a project in Malawi, which involves the repair and maintenance of boreholes used for drinking water abstraction.

As part of its carbon strategy, the sanitary brand intends to pursue the proven three-pronged approach of “avoid, reduce, compensate” and increase its energy efficiency every year by its own means, thereby reducing the share of compensation.

GROHE’s approach for a reduction of CO2 in consumers’ everyday lives

GROHE always strives to increase sustainability, not only with regard to its own production but through its intelligent technologies which can also help consumers to minimise their personal carbon footprint:

#1: Saving energy starts at the wash basin

Eco-conscious products designed for the family bathroom not only save energy but can also be easy on the wallet. Technologies such as GROHE SilkMove ES allow solely cold water to flow from the tap when the lever is positioned in the middle. Unnecessary hot water consumption can therefore be prevented and, for a four- person household, save approx. 279kg CO2 and around 31,412 liters of water per year.

#2 Sustainable showering

For many, a refreshing shower in the morning is a great way to start the day. However, people often wait unnecessary lengths of time to start their shower until they have found the ‘perfect’ shower temperature – hence valuable energy and water are then wasted in the process. GROHE thermostats equipped with its TurboStat technology provide a more sustainable showering experience, delivering the desired shower temperature within a fraction of a second and maintaining this for the duration of the shower.

#3 Filtered drinking water straight from the kitchen tap

Bottled water is ubiquitous in everyday life, but it is certainly harmful to the environment. Up to 600g CO2 are emitted during the production and transport process of one litre of bottled mineral water. One solution for consuming water more sustainably is the investment of water systems for the home such as GROHE Blue Home, a kitchen tap that supplies you with filtered and chilled water in still, medium or sparkling options. A family of four using a Blue Home water system can save up to 800 plastic bottles each year and reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 61 per cent.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

TOTO Washlet: The hygiene powerhouse

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TOTO Washlet: The hygiene powerhouse

Incorporating more hygiene in our everyday lives makes sense right now. Toto‘s Washlet is an ideal option for bringing greater hygiene into the bathroom…

Ensuring the greatest possible hygiene is essential during a pandemic. We accept this as a reality of our times, but are unaccustomed to it in many instances.

At the same time, we are slowly becoming aware of the fact that this situation will not change any time soon. Toto is here to show us that incorporating more hygiene actually enriches our everyday lives,  and is beneficial to our overall wellbeing.. The Japanese bathroom supplier has developed a true hygiene powerhouse with its shower toilet, known as Toto Washlet. It is easy to clean, reduces germs to a minimum, and is as touch-free as possible. Many people who have switched to Toto Washlet describe it as “life-changing”. You can learn more about Toto’s innovative technologies on the Toto microsite.

Recently, we have all been forced to learn just how important prophy­lactic hygiene actually is – and not just in clinical settings, but in our everyday lives. According to the latest research*, most germs can survive only a few hours or a few days at most on surfaces. In contrast, dirt and other micro-organisms are capable of sticking around for several months and multiplying during this time. This presents a risk of infection, especially for people with compromised immune systems.

Invest in a higher standard of hygiene for the long-term

As many of these relevant facts and findings suggest, it makes sense to invest in products that contribute to a higher standard of hygiene over the long term. This is the exact focus of Toto’s sanitary products. The Japanese market leader has decades of expertise in the producing shower toilets, making Invest in a higher standard of hygiene for the long term

As many of these relevant facts and findings suggest, it makes sense to invest in products that contribute to a higher standard of hygiene over the long term. This is the exact focus of TOTO’s sanitary products. The Japanese market leader has decades of expertise in the producing shower toilets, making TOTO Washlets an outstanding solution.

Image credit: TOTO

A power-packed hygiene product

A Toto shower toilet has outstanding hygiene features at many levels. The special Cefiontect glaze is easy to clean, extremely smooth, and as hard as glass. This es­sentially prevents dirt from accumulating on the surface. One of the major innovations that Toto developed in conjunction with the shower toilet is the rimless toilet bowl and especially powerful, efficient flush. Hygiene medicine specialist Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Dieter Zastrow confirmed the following about Toto toilets in 2014: “…using a rimless toilet equipped with the Toto Tornado Flush (with circling water) essentially rules out the spread of gram­negative bacteria (intestinal germs).”

Using products that are touch­ free is also becoming increasingly impor­tant including taps and dryers.

Image credit: TOTO

Auto Taps for enhanced hygiene

TOTO automatic faucets no longer need power from the electrical outlet. The energy from the flowing water is used to charge a battery that powers the faucet, making an external power source unnecessary. A generator converts the energy from the flow of water to supply the microsensor with power. The integrated sensor registers hand-movement in order to dispense the exact amount of water needed. The sensor-based automatic system means that users no longer need to touch the faucets in order to use them. This keeps public washrooms in particular more hygienic.

Hand dryers offer a number of advantages over paper towels in public facilities. They are touch-free, and therefore very hygienic, especially for busy washrooms. Heavily used washrooms with hand dryers are far easier to keep clean. They have a better environmental balance and considerably lower operating costs.

TOTO is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: TOTO

Geberit launches premium flush plates for maximum design flexibility

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Geberit launches premium flush plates for maximum design flexibility

Bathroom supplier Geberit has launched a new selection of flush plate finishes, offering hotels an even wider choice for enhanced design flexibility in hotel washrooms…

The new colourways of Geberits new flush plates will expand into four of its flush plate collections – the Sigma 21, Sigma 50, Sigma 20 and Sigma 30 – offering a range of different styles to suit every taste and space. 

An industrial-inspired concrete and natural wood finish has been added to the Sigma21 and Sigma50 collections, allowing developers designers to incorporate the latest interior trends in the washroom.

Both new flush plates will also be available with a choice of brass, red gold and black chrome metal detailing. 

With a host of sleek colourways available in addition to its latest launches, the black, white, mustang slate and customisable designs can be personalised with the new metal features. 

Geberit has also expanded its Sigma20 and Sigma30 flush plate collection to include stylish matt black and matt white, combining aesthetics with a unique texture.

These new finishes join nine existing colourways, including white gloss chrome, black gloss chrome, matt chrome, gloss chrome and brushed stainless steel. 

Geberit’s Head of Product Management, Peter Davis, said: “We are delighted to introduce Geberit’s new flush plate finishes, created with the latest interior trends in mind. Whether developers designers are specifying for hotels featuring a contemporary or traditional style, each elegant model brings a luxurious finishing touch to help transform the bathroom washroom into a sanctuary space. 

“With more than 34 flush plate finishes available, Geberit flush plates are renowned for uncompromising functionality and high-quality craftmanship, meaning developers designers can be rest assured that whichever style or finish of flush plate they opt for, they offer unrivalled reliability as well as trendsetting style,” he added.

Geberit’s extensive range of flush plates complement its leading bathroom washroom innovations, including the revolutionary AquaClean shower toilet which is found in some of the UK’s top hotels, the Sigma concealed cistern and Duofresh odour extracting extraction technology. 

Geberit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Geberit

PRODUCT WATCH: ‘popham design’ by Casa Ceramica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: ‘popham design’ by Casa Ceramica

The idea for popham design was simple: to celebrate and maintain a traditional artisan craft, while updating it with modern patterns and colour combinations….

Founded in 2007 by Americans Caitlin and Samuel Dowe- Sandes, popham design is a design studio and bespoke tile workshop based in Marrakech, Morocco.

The company designs and manufactures handmade concrete tiles that are exported throughout the world, adorning luxury hotels, restaurants and residences from San Francisco to Sydney. The idea for popham design was simple: to celebrate and maintain a traditional artisan craft, while updating it with modern patterns and colour combinations. The collection draws inspiration from Morocco and its rich history of pattern, along with influences as diverse as the pattern of raindrops cascading down a windowpane, the shadow cast by a palm tree under the blazing African sun, or a delicate crescent moon aloft in a velvety sky.

Concrete tiles are part of the cultural and artistic heritage of Morocco. popham design is fortunate to have an enviable team of master artisans, many of whom have 20+ years experience in their craft. Each tile is lovingly hand made to order (three to five minutes per tile). Each tile is unique with subtle variations in colour and line. These “imperfections” distinguish a handmade product from a mass-produced one, lending depth, movement and character to installations. Tucked away in an olive grove on the road to the Atlas Mountains, the popham design workshop aims to respect the Moroccan countryside, treading as lightly as possible on the earth, and strives to implement eco-friendly policies wherever possible. This includes water filtration and rainwater reclamation systems, over 95 per cent locally sourced materials, recycled packaging, and solar-heated showers for the team.

Image credit: popham design/Casa Ceramica

popham design tiles are pressed in a hydraulic press, not kiln red like ceramic tile, so very little energy goes into their production. The tiles are cured and then air dried, and contain no lead or other harmful toxins. They are suited for commercial and residential applications – walls and floors – and perform very well partnered with radiant heat. The tiles are durable, functional, and easy to care for, and can be used indoors and out.

All patterns are available in any colour combination from the popham design palette, and all shapes are available in a single colour. Please note that custom colour tiles do have longer lead times.

Casa Ceramica is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Casa Ceramica/popham design

CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

The Audo is a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting. When designing the bathrooms, it called for Unidrain’s sharp and contemporary bathroom products…

Unidrain is renowned for its work with leading architects and designers, whose imagination and insight enables them to create elegant, quirky, unique and always excellent structures.

The original Unidrain concept was the brain child of an architect so it comes as no surprise that an historic, bold red building located in the heart Denmark, once belonging to the Russian Trading Co is the latest project to incorporate Unidrain within their designs.

The Audo; a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting including a restaurant, café, concept store, material library, work and event area, plus hotel.

There are 10 suites in total and each of the bathrooms is equipped with Unidrain’s HighLine Custom solution, providing an almost invisible drain that blends elegantly with the large bathroom tiles. Stylish, discrete with a slight industrial air, Unidrain was the only choice for this project.

Image credit: The Audo

After a devastating fire almost destroyed the building, leading brand design agency, MENU teamed up with Norm Architects to restore it and create The Audo. It was the perfect platform for their new concept, at the start of the 19th century Copenhagen was moving on from beautiful neo-classicist architecture and embracing the dawn of early modernism. The original building was elegant on the exterior but internally it was an industrial concrete structure which willingly lent itself to this transformation.

Not only is the Audo MENU’s headquarters, but a hotel, whose cosy, earth-toned rooms double up as show spaces for MENU’s new furniture and homeware collections. “We wanted Menu to take a new approach to running a design business through openness, knowledge-sharing and collaboration,” explained Joachim Hansen, director of MENU. “By showing our collection in different contexts within hospitality we will make the collection become more alive,”

Image credit: Unidrain

To create the event area and showroom space most of the pre-existing partition walls were knocked through, forming a vast, open-plan ground level with concrete tile floors and perforated black metal ceilings. Adjacent to this is the hotel store, a small cafe and restaurant.

A large circular staircase leads to the Menu offices and communal workspace, which are hidden by glazed black-framed panels. Guests take a lift up to their rooms, which tucked away in the building’s former attic and situated underneath the original timber ceiling beams.

Unidrain is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Unidrain

UK Bathrooms announces adds H2k Harrogate to its portfolio of luxury brands

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UK Bathrooms announces adds H2k Harrogate to its portfolio of luxury brands

UK Bathrooms, the leading online store for premium designer bathroom products has announced the addition of the luxury skincare and spa toiletry brand H2k Harrogate to its portfolio…

“We’ve been looking for a luxury skincare and spa toiletry brand for some time,” the Managing Director of UK Bathrooms, Graeme Borchard, told Hotel Designs.

We wanted a brand with values to match our own, a brand that places the environment at the heart of everything they do and whose products were safe for our customers, safe for wildlife and ethically sound.”

The award winning H2k Harrogate collections include a wide range of vitamins, extracts and oils which, when combined are gentle and kind, suitable for most skin types.  Many of their products are now free of paraben’s, sulphates and artificial colours. Established in 2000, their founder Hazel Barry introduced Kalahari melon seed oil in to skincare. Kalahari melon is found across the Namibian desert and is an important source of water.  The seed is used extensively in H2k products as it is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins helping to moisten, regenerate and rebalance all skin types.

Image credit: UKBathrooms

“Our Kalahari melon seed oil helps to calm the skin and makes the H2k formulas truly unique.” Hazel Barry, H2k Harrogate.

UK Bathrooms will be introducing products and gifts from the H2k Harrogate range which boasts only the finest natural ingredients including luxurious shower gels, shampoos and conditioners, hand care, premium candles and diffusers. And, right now, in conjunction with the Crosswater Sale UK Bathrooms are giving away a FREE H2k Harrogate Skin Kind and Stay Safe Hand Sanitiser and H2k Mischief Hand & Body Lotion to all Crosswater orders over £250*.  (see www.ukbathrooms.com for full terms and conditions).

The Stay Safe Hand Sanitiser with 70 per cent alcohol kills 99.9 per cent bacteria is unperfumed as better for your skin, bearing in mind the high alcohol content (250ml).  The Mischief Luxury Hand & Body Lotion is enriched with frankincense and thus deeply moisturising (250ml). Both products are in reusable/refillable bottles and presented in a beautiful gift box.

“H2k Harrogate is a perfect complement to our bathroom brands and we look forward to working with Hazel and her team here in Yorkshire,” added Borchard.

For details of the Crosswater Sale and for a huge selection of quality bathroom brands visit www.ukbathrooms.com

UK Bathrooms is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: UK Bathrooms

CASE STUDY: Specifying the bathrooms for Royal Lancaster Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Specifying the bathrooms for Royal Lancaster Hotel

Helping Hotel Designs to break down the process of piecing together all the elements when designing the modern hotel bathroom, consultants Utopia Projects guides us through how it specified products for Royal Lancaster Hotel. Richard Goodier explains…

Four years before the refurbishment started, we met the interior design firm Studio Proof, which is owned by David Morris who was hoping to land a big hotel job.

Utopia Projects were in the midst of planning the bi-annual ISH trip so Morris was invited along. Six months later, we were in Frankfurt meeting all the big manufacturers, including Hansgrohe, Villeroy & Boch, Geberit and many more.

Once Proof Studio had won the Royal Lancaster Hotel project we started meeting with them to discuss the sanitary ware, and the studio constantly reverted back to manufacturers they had seen at the ISH exhibition.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Royal Lancaster Hotel

The designers wanted to choose two options that they would then present to the client – this was just a starting point to gain the client’s interest and to establish the direction they would take.

Once all the samples were sourced, we attended the hotel to present the options, and the designers then have all the ideas required to start planning each room layout and each room standard.

Image credit: Royal Lancaster Hotel

In total, there were 14 different room styles.

Over the next 12 – 18 months, we worked with Proof Studio to ensure the sanitary ware for each room was correct and that the costs were correct and viable for 18 months ahead.

Once the specs took shape, we made sample boards from each manufacturer, and training was given to the hotel maintenance staff before the refurb started.

Two sample rooms were commissioned which we supplied. A room-by-room schedule was produced for all 416 bathrooms.

Finally we met with County Contracts, which had won the job and were looking for suppliers (as yet we had only done the spec work, and we now had to prove to County Contracts that we could supply the goods in the time scales required and at the right cost).

After a few meetings, we won the order and put it all into place.

Site training was given where required and manufacturers were introduced. One person from our office was tasked with running the job and I visited site most weeks to ensure it all ran correctly.

Finally, and importantly, hotel staff were given training after the job was complete for cleaning and maintenance.

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Royal Lancaster Hotel

PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

Iconic British design firm, Bisque (part of the wider Zehnder Group) has added a new radiator to its already extensive range of bathroom products…

The Bisque Optic towel warmer by Bisque is now available in its flagship store in Islington and across the UK through Bisque’s network of dealers.

The square-tubed towel radiator is ideal for contemporary and modern homes. Offering a simple yet contemporary design, the Optic was produced to further the brand’s bathroom offering, and works seamlessly in en-suites, family bathrooms and cloakrooms. It is available from stock in three colourways – matt black, traffic white RAL 9016 and classic chrome – all of which have been chosen to complement popular bathroom accessories.

The matt black finish has a soft surface for an uber luxurious feel, and is still hugely popular in today’s interiors market. Meanwhile its popular chrome finish has a glow-reflecting shine. It is also available in a timeless white, providing a clean, crisp finish to complement existing tiles, baths and other bathroom fixtures. This Optic is also available via Bisque’s colour-matching service, which can cater to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball and Little Greene.

Following the recent launch of Bisque’s first-ever traditional range, the addition of the Optic solidifies its status as the market leader of towel rails and radiators for both classic and contemporary bathrooms. Bisque prides itself on offering its customers the greatest choice, whether that be through its wide range of colours and finishes, or its bespoke, made to measure sizes.

Bisque is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bisque

Gessi’s approach to wellness in outdoor spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Gessi’s approach to wellness in outdoor spaces

Internal and external, closed and open, domestic and nature scale: the Gessi Outdoor line eliminates barriers to create a single grand dimension of physical and mental wellbeing…

The free-standing shower columns of the Gessi Outdoor Wellness Sy­stem were specifically conceived for outdoor spaces. They offer innova­tive combinations of materials, finishes and treatments, with the goal of recreating the stylistic and functional pleasure of the Gessi Private Wellness System outdoors, for a private oasis of wellbeing or in public spaces such as spas and resorts.

The refined and discreet lines of the Gessi Outdoor Collections are naturally inserted into the landscape, creating a continuity and happy union between interior and exterior, a harmonious fusion with nature.

Gessi outdoor wellness line G01

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G01 outdo­or shower gives spaces a refined and contemporary style. Self-standing and created in stainless steel, this model is a winner thanks to its slim and essential design, and gives a special atmosphere to terraces, gardens and pools, the geometric angled tubular structure terminates with a directio­nal shower head equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The shower head is available with a smooth surface treatment or in 4 different knurled patterns, while the vertical tubular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting finish, available in smo­oth or knurled texture. For greater practicality, this model features a design hand shower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customisable details and coordinating elements.

Image caption: Gessi G01 | Image credit: Gessi

Gessi outdoor wellness line G02

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G02 outdo­or shower gives spaces a refined and contemporary style. Self-standing and created in stainless steel, this model is a winner thanks to its slim and essential design, and gives a special atmosphere to terraces, gardens and pools, the geometric structure characterised by a rectangular tube presents a directional shower head equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The shower head is available with a smooth surface treatment or in four diffe­rent knurled patterns, while the vertical rectangular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting finish, available in smooth or knurled texture. G02 is easy to install and use according to the client’s needs, and can be applied to a square architectural block in corten steel or stone, with coordinating accessories. For greater practicality, this model features a design hand shower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customisable details and coordinating elements.

Gessi is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Gessi G02 shower | Image credit: Gessi

“Hygiene is a top priority for bathroom designers”, says GROHE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“Hygiene is a top priority for bathroom designers”, says GROHE

The bathroom manufacturer GROHE tells Hotel Designs that a new approach to the topic of hygiene will significantly change the work of architects in the future…

Bathroom supplier GROHE has reported unprecedented demand for hygienic touchless taps in the wake of the coronavirus COVID–19 crisis.

At a time when the pandemic has pushed the everyday necessity of hand washing into the spotlight, it would seem finding solutions to optimise hygiene in both the workplace and at home is spurring the demand.

“Together with sustainability, health will define the way we build and design homes, offices and places where people meet,” – Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO of EDGE.

Leading figures within the design community are also considering how hygiene will come to the fore in the interior spaces of the future. Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO of EDGE, a company that specialises in developing a new generation of buildings that focus on the health of people and the planet, predicts that new health measures will play a key role in a new generation of workplaces. “Together with sustainability, health will define the way we build and design homes, offices and places where people meet,” the architect said. “Touchless products and speech-driven technology will play a key role in making healthy and safe offices. Consumers will want to minimise contact to surfaces as much as possible”.

Having specified the healthcare, hospitality and commercial sector for many years, where hygiene-optimised products are already far more commonplace, GROHE is braced for the vast changes ready to hit the mass marketplace. “With our wide range of touchless and hands-free products, we at GROHE have the right response to the increased need of hygiene in sensitive areas such as kitchens and bathrooms”, says Jonas Brennwald, CEO LIXIL Water Technology EMENA, Deputy CEO Grohe AG. “Currently, we can say that we are already experiencing a higher demand for our hygiene enhancing products – from both our private and business customers.”

In the UK market, the transition to a more hygiene-focused workplace and business environment has already been in motion since the beginning of the year. Elina Enqvist-Twomey, Category Manager at GROHE UK says: “Feedback from the commercial market in the last three months tells us that hygiene is top of the agenda for specification, with a large proportion of projects specifying more hygiene-focused products such as infra-red taps , infra-red flush plates, and shower toilets. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in customers purchasing infra-red taps as a result. Likewise, in the kitchen, several of our tap designs which use advanced technologies to minimise physical interaction with the handle of the tap itself such as our SmartControl kitchen mixer and Zedra Touch range have also seen an increased interest. When the industry returns to a sense of normality, we expect the increasing scrutiny of hygiene in the workplace and public buildings to continue. This pandemic has encouraged all of us in some way to rethink our hygiene practises and consider new lengths to protecting ourselves and those around us.”

Image credit: GROHE

Why an infra-red touchless tap is more hygienic

In recent years, the property market has seen a shift to include more alternative housing settings such as grandparents living with their children and families, or groups of young professionals co-habiting together. This is when infra-red technology first began to be demanded in the residential sector and its benefits have continued to strengthen demand ever since. Infra-red taps require minimal, if any, human contact with the tap itself unlike standard taps where germs from unclean hands could linger on tap handles, unless continual thorough cleaning was carried out after each use. The GROHE Bau Cosmo E, a strong robust design made using composite polymer, uses motion sensors to detect movement, which then activates the water flow. A mixing valve on the side of the spout can be used to adjust the temperature if required and a temperature limiter can also be installed if desired. Once the user removes their hands from the basin, the sensors will detect this and stop the water flow.

GROHE is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

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Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

Bathroom manufacturer Duravit has taken the c- shaped technology one step further in the Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded range, in collaboration with sieger design…

With Happy D.2 Plus, Duravit teamed up with sieger design to realise current trends in colours, design and finishes. The archetypical open oval of the Happy D. design classic runs through the elements of this new, supplementary range.


Above-counter wash bowls with precise lines, stand-alone consoles and matching semi-tall cabinets as well as circular mirrors combine to create perfectly harmonised washing areas.

Innovative technology, highest possible precision

In 2020, the series was extended by a new development – Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded. The innovative, patented c-bonded technology was developed by Duravit in order to meet the highest design requirements in the bathroom. The furniture washbasin is connected almost seamlessly to the vanity unit in a complex process so ceramic and furniture merge to form a single unit. This special look produces an exceptionally-sleek washing area.

Image caption: Specifically developed for the characteristic shape of the Happy D.2 Plus series, for the first time, the patented c-bonded technology enables the practically seamless connection of rounded ceramics with the new floor-standing metal console in Black Matt with integrated towel rail. Faucets from the C.1 series | Image credit: Duravit

Rounded c-bonded version for Happy D.2 Plus

For the first time, c-bonded now comes with a rounded outer edge. The frame can be in the same colour as the vanity unit or match the metal console in Black Matt. This continuation of the Happy D.2 Plus series guarantees that the ceramic washbasin and furniture run in perfectly parallel lines with no overhang or recess and a precise gap of 4 mm.

The basins come with a narrow, typically flat edge and harmoniously integrated tap platform. They are available in three widths (575, 775 and 975 mm). A white acrylic cover conceals the fittings beneath the basin, guaranteeing perfect aesthetics from any angle.

Image caption: Happy D.2 Plus bathtub in Graphite Super Matt (80), c-bonded vanity unit and metal console in Black Matt, furniture unit in Brushed Walnut (69), mirror in Radial finish and C.1 faucets | Image credit: Duravit

A choice between console version and vanity unit

The floor-standing, height-adjustable metal consoles in Black Matt with integrated towel rail can be delivered with an optional shelf or built-in drawer. A further option is a seat (width 625 mm)featuring an integrated drawer that can be added as a practical extension of the console on the left or right. Duravit also offers a cushion in matching Greige made from a woven fabric suitable for wet rooms.

Wall-mounted vanity units with two drawers provide additional storage space. These are available in a total of eleven carcass surfaces, one can choose between luxury wood or matt surfaces in light or dark. The Graphite Super Matt variant also comes with an anti- fingerprint coating. A high-class interior furnishing system in Maple or Walnut can be selected as an option.

The new washing area variants can be ideally combined with all elements from the Happy D.2 and Happy D.2 Plus design series, ensuring a consistent design for the all bathroom furnishings. Happy D.2 Plus offers a consistent colour concept with toilets and bidets in Anthracite as well as bathtubs with seamless paneling in Graphite Supermatt – harmonising perfectly with the black metal console and dark furniture surfaces.

Duravit is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Image credit: Duravit

PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s weightless bathing experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s weightless bathing experience

TOTO offers a health-promoting and meditative bathing experience…

In Japan, a bath is said to be where you cleanse your soul, not just your body. Toto’s bathtubs provide a luxurious place for wellness and relaxation. A bathtub in which people can experience near total weightlessness is more than just extremely relaxing – it has been proven to help relieve chronic fatigue and put the bather in a meditative state.

Toto calls this unusually calming bathing experience Zero Dimension. This is achieved through a specific reclining position, where the legs are slightly bent – in a similar posture to astronauts floating in zero gravity. The result is extremely deep muscle relaxation that calms both body and spirit.

A futuristing bathroom setting with a TOTO bath in the centre

Image caption: The Comfort Round Flotation Tub by TOTO

Toto conducted extensive research on the impact of water pressure on the body, and developed the devices necessary to measure it – all to determine the healthiest position for the body. This process of relaxation and regeneration in the bath is further intensified by massage jets and an ergonomically shaped pillow. Warm water flows out of a narrow opening in the pillow, covering the bather’s neck and upper body in soothing warm water.

The innovative bathroom brand received the Society Award from the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Essay Award from the Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering for the remarkable research and  findings that went into developing this healthy, stress-relieving bathing experience.

The Flotation tub is the original bath that Toto developed over many years and which has won multiple accolades, most recently the prestigious Red Dot Award 2020. The innovative Zero Dimension technology allows the body to assume an ideal reclined position, inspired by the natural movement of the human body in weightlessness. This promotes deep relaxation. It has built in hydro-hands massagers, waterfall adjustable headrest and concealed low level lighting. It is also ideal for wellness zones and comes in at a generous 2200 x 1050 x 785mm.

The latest  designs, the Recline Comfort, are more compact versions available in two shapes: round and square – also making them ideal companions to Toto’s latest Washlet shower toilets – the RW & SW. These new baths use much of the research from the Flotation bath with a shaped interior similar to the Zero Dimension bathtub.

The inner shape of the two new baths offer the ultimate in comfort. The bathtubs are designed to relax the back and bring the legs into a comfortable position, ergonomic hand grips add to the luxurious sensation of reclining in this bathtub. The baths are also made from Galalato a soft touch material.

TOTO is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: TOTO

PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

Bathroom brand Kaldewei preempts a post-pandemic consumer demand for more hygienic bathrooms as it highlights the qualities of wash basin products made with non-porous surfaces…

During the past few months in what effectively became an unprecedented global lockdown, it became apparent that frequent hand-washing was a key preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus COVID–19.

This also meant the washbasins used for hand-washing needed to be cleaned effectively too. Products with non-porous surfaces, such as Kaldewei steel enamel washbasins and bowls came to the fore during this time. It is standard for every glass surface on Kaldewei products to have a specific easy-clean finish, meaning that dirt and germs are rinsed away when washing your hands.

The surfaces on Kaldewei products aren’t standard glass, in their factory the steel and glass are fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, a process that was developed over 100 years which now forms the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel is resilient and keeps its shape, whilst enamel is beautiful in look and feel and has the added advantage of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean. It is these properties that enable Kaldewei steel enamel to meet the exceptionally high standards of hygiene that were vital then and continue to be so now.

This has been confirmed by two independent tests commissioned by Kaldewei; a study by Dr. med. Klaus-Dieter Zastrow1 and one conducted by TÜV Rheinland2 came to the conclusion: Kaldewei enamelled bathroom solutions can be cleaned with ease and speed, leaving no residue – an obvious advantage when hygiene is paramount.

Image caption: Kaldewei's Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Image caption: Kaldewei’s Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Independent studies confirm the material’s superiority with regard to cleaning and maintenance, and come to the same conclusion: steel-enamelled bathroom solutions from Kaldewei can be cleaned with particular ease and speed, leaving no residues.

Steel and glass, fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, form the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel keeps its shape and is resilient. Enamel, in addition to a beautiful look and feel, has the advantages of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean.

Kaldewei is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Kaldewei

PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater’s MPRO introduces matt white finish

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Crosswater’s MPRO introduces matt white finish

Designed with modern bathrooms in mind, Crosswater’s iconic MPRO taps will be available in matt white finish from as early as July 2020…

The dynamically crafted MPRO collection by bathroom brand Crosswater, which combines the finest components and materials, is now available in matt white finish.

The matt white finish is added to the five existing finishes in order to continue the evolution of the iconic product range.

The established choice for high quality bathrooms, the MPRO collection delivers the very best in brassware engineering. Combining superb function and precision design, the result is a complete collection of bathroom mixers, valves, and showerheads that meets the exacting demand of today’s modern bathroom.

The matt white finish joins five other finishes that complete the MPRO collection, including brushed brass and matt black. All exquisite finishes are offered across the entire MPRO collection, including a complete set of coordinating accessories.

The finest components and materials ensure that MPRO delivers on flow performance, and as importantly safety and water efficiency, with WRAS and TMV2 certification.

Crosswater is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Crosswater

PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s latest award-winning ‘shower toilet’ designs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s latest award-winning ‘shower toilet’ designs

Hotel Designs explores the latest designs of the WASHLET, TOTO’s signature product that has been on a wellness journey of evolution ever since it debuted in the early ’80s… 

The WASHLET is TOTO’s signature product. First launched in 1980, this innovation has revolutionised bathrooms across Japan for nearly four decades.

Now, it introduces the elegant WASHLET RW and SW, which is part of the new Prime Edition collection.

“TOTO WASHLETs can be seen in more than twenty five-Star hotels in London.”

Differentiated only by shape, the RW is rounded and SW is a square-shape; the functions remain the same. Both WASHLETs recently won the prestigious iF Design Award 2020. TOTO WASHLETs can be seen in more than twenty five-Star hotels in London with many more specified throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The WASHLET design has now become a byword for hygiene.

Toilet in situ of modern bathroom

Image credit: TOTO

The new and elegant WASHLET RW & SW are the culmination of TOTO’s wealth of expertise: With nearly 40 years of WASHLET production and more than 50 million units sold have contributed to both the RW & SW models forming TOTO’s new Prime Edition. Offering both familiar and new comfort technologies, these models give people an opportunity to enjoy an exclusive product at an attractive price.

“The Japanese market leader has been honoured multiple times as the world’s number-one brand in shower toilet sales.”

Some designs have transformed people’s living habits so dramatically that we think of them as milestones – like the smartphone, internet, email, television, etc. These inventions have taken our daily rituals in a new direction.

The invention of WASHLET is one of these – it is changing our everyday habits in the bath. Many users describe using TOTO WASHLET as enriching to their lives. The Japanese market leader has been honoured multiple times as the world’s number-one brand in shower toilet sales.

Image credit: TOTO

The RW & SW models from the Prime Edition is a new milestone: It combines all of TOTO’s proven hygiene features in one product, allowing people to enjoy the ultimate in wellness, hygiene and comfort in their own bathrooms. Additionally, the remote controls for the RW & SW are available with multi-lingual options and easy to view symbols.

‘Clean Synergy’ is the term TOTO coined to describe the interplay of the Ewater+, Premist, Tornado Flush and Cefiontect technologies, all of which are only available from TOTO and make using WASHLET a truly unique experience. The two Prime Edition models also offer an automatic flush option. They also also come equipped with these TOTO-exclusive features:

  • Ewater+ to clean the ceramic and wand jet with sustainable electrolysed water
  • Premist covers the toilet bowl with a fine mist of water, making it more difficult for dirt and waste to stick
  • The powerful Tornado Flush to thoroughly clean the entire toilet bowl
  • The long-lasting, special Cefiontect glaze guarantees a beautiful, long-lasting surface and keeps bacteria and waste from accumulating in the bowl
  • A side nightlight for added comfort
  • Descaling feature with either an automatic programme or manual descaling
  • Autoflush: The SW and RW are also available with an automatic flush option – in combination with TOTOs frame system and push plate
  • Easy to clean: It’s possible to remove WASHLET from the toilet bowl with a single grip to clean between WASHLET attachment and ceramic toilet
  • Clean Case: WASHLET unit is now made using silicone-based material, making it more difficult for dirt to accumulate

Image credit: TOTO

Save water and toilet paper too

The demand for shower toilets is higher than ever. In addition to offering unparalleled levels of hygiene, they also reduce the amount of toilet paper people need to use.

Hygiene is important, as well as environmental impact. TOTO WASHLETs also offer an important plus in this area. Whoever uses WASHLET also uses less toilet paper. It’s important to remember that producing toilet paper or the corresponding pulp involves clearing forests, using water and electricity, as well as chemical bleaching agents.

While more water is needed for intimate cleansing with WASHLET than with a conventional toilet, this additional consumption is by no means comparable to the amount needed to produce toilet paper. Conserving resources and giving as many people as possible around the world access to wellness and comfort in the bathroom.

TOTO is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: TOTO

The design challenge keeping creativity flowing during lockdown

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The design challenge keeping creativity flowing during lockdown

Parkside Architectural Tiles has launched a lockdown challenge, asking designers to create innovative tile designs…

We have all seen – and probably have been nominated to take part in –the various challenges that are currently doing the rounds on social media. From the 5K Challenge to the Hospitality for Heroes Campaign, each hashtag has a purpose that goes further than taking a selfie for ‘The Gram’.

Hotel Designs has identified a new creative lockdown exercise for the design community that will keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown.

Parkside Architectural Tiles, which only a month ago was on display at London Design Week, has launched the Lockdown Tile Design Challenge. Have you always wanted to have your own tile design produced but never had the opportunity? Well now’s your change, as the three winners will get their tile design printed onto a 15x15cm tile.

Submit your entry by 5pm (BST) on May 8, 2020

The three categories, which will be judged by three guest judges and Parkside Architectual Tiles’ very own sales and design directors Richard France and Mark Williams, are:

Category one – Freestyle
Guest judge: Charlie Luxton
Let your imagination run wild – anything goes (Parkside’s words, not ours).

Category two – Geometric
Guest judge: Kirsty Thomas, Tom Pigeon
A trend that isn’t going anywhere soon, geometric tiles continue to rein on the commercial interior scene. This is your change to show off your creative edge in a category that is all about shapes.

Category three – Colour 
Guest judge: Vanessa Konig, Konig Colours
If you are mad about colour and colour combinations, then this is the category for you!

How to enter

1) Create your design either by hand or electronically, making sure it’s in a square format
2)Submit your entry via Instagram DM or via email by 5pm on May 8, 2020, specifying which category your are entering

Top tips: Your design can be colour or monochrome, although Parkside Architectural Tiles has suggested using colour in the colour category. Each design can be entered into more than one category and you can enter more than one design. The winner of each categopry will be decided based on a combination of judges and Instagram votes. The Instagram vote will take place from 9am (BST) on May 14, 20. The winners will be announced on May 17, 2020. Good luck!

Parkside Architectural Tiles is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Bespoke bathroom design and exquisite lines with Unidrain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bespoke bathroom design and exquisite lines with Unidrain

Offering Danish design ethics and Nordic minimalism, Unidrain has achieved the impossible: to make bathroom drainage sexy…

For most designers, the ultimate aim is to create something that is aesthetically pleasing, a product or building that can be displayed to demonstrate their creativity, the exquisite lines and symmetry of the finished object.

Very few are delighted when they create a demand for a product that is barely visible, one that you cannot see. However, this is where Unidrain is different.

Creators of an almost ‘invisible’ drain the demand for this product has grown year on year, not only in commercial properties such as spas and hotels but in private residences too.   The desire for stylish and elegant design in the bathroom continues to grow.

Modern, white bathroom

Image credit: Unidrain

Specialist drains are currently a sought after item, including bespoke, custom-made, extra-long, colour-matched or ‘invisible’.  The Danish architects and designers behind Unidrain have always paid particular attention to the small details within interior design and this devotion is now extended to bathroom drains.

“Every element has to play its part and work together; to fit precisely,” explained Kenneth Waaben, designer at Unidrain. “By maintaining the highest of standards, has enabled us to create a product that is both technical and stylish, which fulfils the bathroom design desires of our customer.”

“Invisible” drains

One of the most popular of the specialist drains is the ‘invisible’ drain.  The concept is that one should not be able to see the drain within the bathing area; it should be hidden and if it is seen it will appear as a narrow groove in the floor.   This ‘invisibility’ is achieved by matching the tiles used on the bathroom floor.

The advantage of a specialist drain is that they can be adapted; they can be used on a variety of surfaces such as marble, with different frame solutions and can be created in extra-long versions.

Dream bathroom becomes reality in Østerbro villa

Trine and Claus moved from New York back to Strandøre on Østerbro. They were entirely renovating their house and a specifically designed bathroom was at the top of the list.  This is an ideal example of how a bespoke designer drain can be used to create a dream bathroom.

The couple knew what they wanted:  a floor of white, marble-like tiles with two showers placed opposite each other.  They went into great detail about what they needed and how it had to be aesthetically pleasing.

They wanted the tiles to appear uninterrupted; they required a single long drain that not only fitted across the two showers, but had to be ‘invisible’.

“This required a drainage solution, which had to be able to handle large quantities of water, be aesthetically attractive and include the right tiles.” said design consultant Carsten Brandt

Unidrain were the only company that were able to deliver a solution that met all three parts, one that also offered the ability to combine both technology and aesthetics. The couple were able to proceed with their dream bathroom because Unidrain could deliver these specialist bespoke drains.

They provided a module 1100 Custom drain, which is extra-long at just under 1.8 meters it fit the specific dimensions of the shower cubicle. It is a solution that is often chosen by project builders, but which can also easily be used in private homes.

Elegance in design

In order to make the extra-long drain ‘invisible’ it had an integrated marble-look porcelain tile fitted on top.  It was almost impossible to see the drain as the tile match meant it blends in with the floor, with an added advantage of being easy to clean. The result was an elegant and stylish dream bathroom.

The (Modul 1100) is a flexible solution for bathrooms of all shapes and sizes, it can be customised as you can order floor drains that differ from the standard sizes; enabling you to create an exclusive look. This is an option that more people are choosing.  Customised drains are especially suited to institutions and large bathrooms, as they can be made to an exact measurement and Unidrain bespoke can be made to order to any size.

Unidrain is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Unidrain

PRODUCT WATCH: Floor-level channel shower made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Floor-level channel shower made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel

Kaldewei Nexsys is said to be the easiest way to get an exclusive channel shower…

There is no easier or more secure way of having the extremely flat design of a channel shower in a bathroom than with the Kaldewei Nexsys shower surface with its exclusive colours and metallic accents.

The shower – available in 20 different sizes, with three surfaces, in many colours and with elegant design covers – is not only a shower surface of exceptional aesthetic but also a complete, virtually installation-ready system. The familiar Nexsys four-in-one system is already preassembled at the factory, inclusive of sloping support, waste channel and sealing tape.

Tile becomes shower becomes tile: it is only on closer inspection that you can see where the tiling ends and the shower surface begins. Thanks to the large choice of bathroom colours and matt shades of the Kaldewei Coordinated Colours Collection, the Kaldewei Nexsys can be integrated with XXL tiles at floor level, allowing it to disappear completely into the tiling.

Image credit: Kaldewei

The Nexsys brings extra glam factor into the bathroom with a variety of surface finishes for its elegant design cover: The polished gold, polished stainless steel or brushed rose gold versions particularly underline the elegance and value of this exclusive channel shower. An easy-clean finish is available on request, further adding to the shower’s comfort and convenience. In addition, all matt colours can be treated with Kaldewei’s virtually invisible anti-slip Secure Plus finish – for a high level of safety underfoot.

Hardly any other Kaldewei bathroom solutions have won so many awards for their excellent design as the Kaldewei Nexsys shower surface and the Kaldewei Miena washbasin bowl which was designed by Anke Solomon. These accolades range from the “iF DESIGN AWARD” and the Red Dot Award to multiple wins at the ICONIC AWARDS. Perhaps that is why the innovative channel shower and the delicate-looking round or rectangular washbasin bowl enter into such a fascinating “Perfect Match”, the term Kaldewei uses to describe the harmony between design language and uniform materiality.

With installation systems that are preassembled in the factory, the Kaldewei Nexsys ensures that installation is easy and time is saved on the building site. Thanks to the familiar 4-in-1 system, all elements are already connected with each other, inclusive of waste channel, sloping support and sealing tape. The included insulation tape guarantees optimum sound insulation. Thanks to its ultra-low built height, floor-level installation is possible even with limited construction depth. With all these advantages it comes as no surprise that the Kaldewei Nexsys is a favourite not only with architects and bathroom planners but also, first and foremost, with installers who save valuable installation time with the channel shower, allowing them to increase their efficiency on the building site.

The Kaldewei Nexsys is available in a wide range of bathroom colours and the elegant shades of the Kaldewei Coordinated Colours Collection. This means that the channel shower can be a standout feature in the bathroom, producing surprising contrasts.

Kaldewei is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Kaldewei

7 innovative bathroom products in hotel design right now

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 innovative bathroom products in hotel design right now

While designers and architects work from home, sourcing online inspiration as showrooms are temporary shut, Utopia Projects has identified a handful of innovative bathroom products that have recently launched… 

While many of this year’s international trade shows are being forced to cancel, and designers and architects are finding new sources for product news, here are seven products that bathroom specification experts at Utopia Projects believe are creating new wellness waves in the industry.

1) Vado’s Booth & Co range

Image credit: Vado/Booth & Co

The Booth & Co brand has introduced a longer warranty, which is appealing for designers who want to future-proof their client’s bathrooms. From a commercial aspect, the brand is a good choice if the designer’s brief is to achieve a traditional look and feel. 

2) Wetroom Materials’ Unidrain Glassline

Unidrain Glassline is a unique system which integrates the wet room drain, slope and glass for a 100 per cent watertight solution. It allows you to create a wet room with a one-way slope/fall towards a drain against the wall and has a large range of drain finishes available. With a one way fall you don’t need to cut tiles towards the drain making it perfect for large tiles or stone and you don’t stand on the drain whilst showering

3) Impey Showers’ Aqua-Dec

Image credit: Impey Showers

The Aqua-Dec EasyFit Wetroom Floor Former is an extremely strong 22mm thick GRP floorboard replacement with four pre-formed drainage gradients to provide a level access wetroom floor suitable for tiling. The EasyFit drain plate can rotate 360 degrees and avoid all underfloor wet room obstructions. The eccentric drain also features three locating rings, to provide superior hold between the Dec and the rotating drain plate.

4) Laufen – The New Classic

Image credit: Laufen

A collection of perfectly shaped innovations for the bathroom, The New Classic radiates the practicality of the harmonious form and combines it with contemporary style. The collection, designed by Marcel Wanders, is a clear formal expression of modern elegance comes into being which celebrates the bathroom as a place of cleanliness and purity. The award-winning technological quantum leap of Saphir-Keramik turns every piece into a witness of progress, new level, and has been rewarded with the most prestigious design awards.

5) Vado’s SENORI

The Sensori collection introduces pioneering technology to “reinvent the bathroom experience.” Sensori’s purity of design is accentuated by discreet, ambient lighting in a spectrum of colours to denote the perfect temperature.

6) Laufen’s Cleanet Riva shower toilet

Image credit: Laufen

The Cleanet Riva shower toilet features an integrated, high-quality ceramic design and technically sophisticated, user-friendly solutions. The key feature of the premium toilet is its wide range of intuitive shower functions. The Cleanet Riva uses a clever operating concept on two levels: In everyday use, the shower toilet is operated by pushing or twisting the stainless steel rotary button at the side. The user can also select the basic or detailed settings using the touch screen remote control. The Cleanet Riva is the only shower toilet to feature a multi-stage hygiene concept in which the whole water circulation system is also thermally cleaned at regular intervals.

7) Dornbracht’s Vaia collection

Image credit: Dornbracht

VAIA spans a bridge between traditional and modern style elements. Its basic design exudes the spirit of a classical fitting, yet the slender lines of the open silhouette anchor the series firmly in the present. VAIA is notable for its elegant yet simultaneously progressive design. With its well-balanced iconography, it is always open to new concepts.

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Vado

GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

The bathroom brand GROHE has announced suspended production in Portugal and manufacturing sites in Germany to  run adjusted production schedules in reaction to the COVID–19 pandemic…

GROHE has implemented its next steps in taking action to protect employees across its European manufacturing sites.

Production in Albergaria, Portugal, will be suspended from 30th March 2020, reflecting latest government regulations and the intensifying situation in this region. It is currently planned to resume operations on 12th April 2020. The structured and orderly phasing out period for the production in Albergaria has started. Besides the European plants, the manufacturing site in Klaeng, Thailand, is also following strict procedures including those around temperature controls to ensure increased hygiene standards and safety for employees.

With its measures the GROHE brand wants to uphold the safety and health of its staff and support overall efforts to help contain the pandemic. For all sites, applicable regulations and measures are under constant review and subject to adjustments as necessary. Together with its business partners, the GROHE brand is closely working on managing stock and service levels across the EMENA region, taking into account the circumstances and requirements of individual markets.

“With the spread of the novel coronavirus we witness an unprecedented situation, across the globe. Over the recent weeks, the impact has increased on society and the economy alike. Given the overall dynamics, we have constantly evaluated the rapidly changing circumstances early on to determine necessary actions. It is now, that we are tightening existing measures to further protect our employees,” says Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO Grohe AG.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Sottini debuts new 2020 bathroom range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sottini debuts new 2020 bathroom range

Sottini, the Italian-inspired bathroom brand known for its elegantly crafted products, showcased new ranges at this year’s kbb event at Birmingham’s NEC…

Visitors who attended the Sottini stand at kbb were able to see new Sottini ranges, including Rienza washbasins, Caffaro WCs and Ceno fittings for the first time, as well as exciting furniture additions to the successful Fusaro range.

The striking collections have been designed to inspire, and build on Sottini’s existing collections.

The Rienza and Caffaro collections share the same design vocabulary so the basins and toilets work perfectly together. Both ranges add a sense of quiet sophistication to any bathroom, and are styled with a stunning simplicity. Ceno mixers feature sharp, flat surfaces and strong horizontal lines. The fittings are designed to be as versatile perfectly complementing other Sottini products.

Sottini also introduced elegant new furniture in the The Fusaro range, including wall-mounted vanity and basin units, all design-matched for the subtle, slim edges of the Fusaro washbasins.

Olivia Maycock, Retail Marketing Manager at Sottini said: “The introduction of the Rienza, Caffaro and Ceno ranges, as well as the new additions to our already popular Fusaro collection all culminate to bring a premium and stylish simplicity to any bathroom.”

Ideal Standard is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Sottini/Ideal Standard

In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

Securing her place in the history books, Jo Littlefair came out on top last year at The Brit List Awards 2019, spectacularly winning the coveted title, Interior Designer of the Year. A few months later, she welcomes editor Hamish Kilburn into the Goddard Littlefair HQ to give him a glimpse into studio life…

“Jo, can I borrow you for just a second,” says senior associate and architect David Lee Hood as Jo Littlefair and I walk through the studio. “This archway,” he says pointing to a life-like rendering on his monitor, “what are your thoughts on adding in a line of colour here?” As he shows the before and after, it is a game of ‘spot the difference’ to the untrained eye. But for the multi-layered studio Goddard Littlefair, where the devil is so often in the detail, it could be the difference between winning a pitch or losing it, as any design practice operating on today’s international scene will confirm.

“We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

The short but important moment is proof, if ever I needed it, that Littlefair likes to naturally lead from within her team. And as we walk through the open-planned office that is flooded with natural light towards her workstation, I notice also that there is no door, and no boundary, between herself and everyone else in the building.

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

“We got to the point last year when, as we reached 60 employees, we decided Goddard Littlefair was too big as a studio,” she confesses. “We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more, because I would rather know about something – and be able to comment at a point where it is possible to comment – rather than get further down the line and it be too late. At the end of the day, leading this design studio with Martin Goddard has always been a collaboration, not just between himself and I but also our team.” As the designer is explaining, I notice that there’s a cordial and relaxed atmosphere in the Clerkenwell studio, and the strong relationship between the co-founders and their team is apparent.

Image caption: The bar inside Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, designed by Goddard Littlefair

“We look at the finer details, as you have just seen, that perhaps make a space look and feel more residential,” the designer explains. “Things like tabs on the curtain pole having a little leather strap and a metal rivet, and it’s those elements that give it quality and detail. It’s important that someone has thought about it in that much detail, and there is a reason why it’s leather and why it’s embossed, or whatever.”

“What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Recently completed projects within the studio’s portfolio include The Biltmore Mayfair  London, Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik , Sheraton  Grand Warsaw , the new F&B areas inside Hilton Munich City, The Lowry in Manchester and the Kimpton Charlotte Square. Having followed many, if not all, of these projects from concept through to completion, it’s fair to say that the studio believes that variety is the spice of life. “We don’t like being pigeon-holed,” explains Littlefair. “We have a great variety of style, which is fantastic. Also, we are not divas when it comes to our personal taste. What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.”

Modern award-winning bar

Image caption: The award-winning Juliet Rose at Hilton Munich, designed by Goddard Littlefair, has become the city’s new destination bar.

Despite the studio clocking up the air miles with unavoidable trips abroad for site visits and account management, in order for the team to understand the culture and fabrics of new destinations, the studio’s HQ is positioned slap-bang in the epicentre of the design community in London, just a few streets behind some of the city’s major design showrooms in Clerkenwell. “There is always a corner of London that you can find a narrative to that is really individual,” says Littlefair. “Whether  When? you are living, working and breathing in London, like many of our designers, the city becomes a fantastic place. I think that’s because it is made up of villages that have, over time, morphed together. As a designer working on a project here, the identity of what those villages were can really shine through.”

“I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Despite London having its place in the designer’s heart, Littlefair mostly finds inspiration in design from nature, and decompresses daily from city life, after a hefty commute, in Buckinghamshire where she lives. “It’s a very open community, close enough to London for work, but full of fresh air,” she explains. “My kids love it there, and so do I!”

But where was Littlefair’s inquisitive nature born, I wonder? “When I left university and went travelling, technology as we know it now didn’t exist; email had just come out for crying out loud,” she admits. “I used to pay to sit in a café to type an email home to say I’m alive. For me, that was about really cutting off from the world. My mum didn’t think I was going to come back,” she laughs, “I did some crazy things; I worked out on boats and I threw myself into experiential travel, albeit on a shoestring. I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person. Experiencing places and learning about people and cultures.”

Image caption: The Principal York's luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Principal York’s luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: What trend do you hope will never return?
Jo Littlefair: Rag-rolled walls and transitional furniture.

HK: What’s next on your travel bucket list?
JL: Chile , Argentina and Egypt.

HK: What would you say is the number-one tool for success?
JL: Hard work, and you can’t teach taste. I learn something new every day, nobody can know everything!

HK: Who was your inspiration growing up?
JL: The reason I made it into interiors is because I used to work on super yacht designed by Terence Tisdale. I couldn’t believe that somebody got paid to put this together and design with  all those beautiful timber veneers and mirrors everywhere, which I had to clean! I spent four months in the Med working on this 64m Feadship  . It had everything and gave me an insight into luxury and interior design.

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without?
JL: This is ridiculous but my cashmere jumper, which is so not me. You will always find a lightweight cashmere jumper in my flight bag!

HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
JL: Whole beans for my coffee machine. Always buy a small bag because you want the freshest roasted beans for your coffee.

HK: What has the last year taught you?
JL: To keep everyone in the studio on one floor, so that we are working together. Also that quality far outweighs quantity.

“Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Back to today, and the studio is currently hard at work with a number of projects on the drawing boards. The studio is currently working on designing four restaurants and bars inside the soon-to-open 360-key Villa Copenhagen. “Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned,” Littlefair teases. “But it’s so not about men and women in suits. Instead, the whole project has been about understanding the Danish vernacular, the locals’ way of life.”

Other projects that the studio is working on include five star resorts on the Mediterranean coast line, the repurposing of a beautiful Viennese building to a 150 plus bedroom five star hotel and what may be the future best spa in London.

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant Cucina Mia inside Shertaton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant InAzia restaurant in Sheraton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

As two people who are, parallel to others in the industry, so thoughtfully leading interior design forward in terms of meaningful innovation, Goddard and Littlefair both feel pressure to adapt sensitively with the times while also maintaining a fundamental quality. And their approach to evolution is enlightening.  “Someone once told me that everything in life is a phase,” explains Littlefair. “I have learned to embrace change and see it as a positive. It is intrinsically scary to human nature, but when you learn that it is necessary to be a little bit cathartic about things, life runs smoother.” I would argue that it is this breath-of-fresh-air attitude that led the designer to win The Brit List Awards’ Interior Designer of the Year 2020.

“You have no idea how much the award means to me.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

“I just can’t believe it,” she said fresh off stage at the event in November when her new-found title was revealed in front of a sea of leading designers, architects, hoteliers and developers. Months later, and the reality of ‘that win’ hasn’t quite sunk in. “You have no idea how much the award means to me,” she says now. “The line-up of people you had there was fantastic, they are my peer group and I am very respectful of what everyone else is doing. So, that people within this industry consider what we are doing here to such high regard means everything!”

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair's Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair’s Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

In a recent roundtable discussion that Littlefair attended, it was mentioned that all designers are having to work harder than ever before in order to differentiate from other styles and common motifs. As I sit around the table in the hub of her studio, I wonder how Littlefair and her team approach this topic when it comes to designing future hotels. “We are getting to the point where people have not seen a beautifully letter-pressed card before,” she says. “The ‘tech revolution’ has changed everything that we do and the way our work is perceived, but we can’t lose touch of humanity in the process.”

“We crowned a really worthy winner,” I can’t help by think to myself after I’ve said my goodbyes to the  Goddard Littlefair team. For me, it’s not necessary  necessarily? Littlefair’s work that is the most inspiring thing about but  the designer, but more her incredible journey, which was fuelled by hard-work, passion and determination, that I believe every single designer can learn from – or at least be energised by.

Main image credit: Goddard Littlefair

ROCA launches Everlux brassware finishes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
ROCA launches Everlux brassware finishes

Roca’s new Everlux brassware finishes are a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coating, which has excellent durability as well as being resistant to scratches and impacts…

Brassware is experiencing a revolution in terms of colour and Roca has introduced innovative new Everlux finishes in a variety of colours to complement its existing product offering.

The sophisticated Everlux finish is obtained by means of an innovative physical vapour deposition (PVD) process via the ionisation of metals and noble gases, which are combined to create a fine metallic coating. This coating, based on extremely hard metals such as titanium or zirconium, is uniformly deposited over Roca’s high-quality galvanised chrome plating, resulting in a surface with extreme hardness and extraordinary resistance to scratches, impacts and cleaning agents. Through this process, Roca has been able to create a range of colours with a gloss or matt finish to offer multiple combinations in the creation of sophisticated and highly resistant bathroom spaces.

Moreover, as this is a purely physical technique, the Everlux finish is developed without using harmful chemicals during the production process thus protecting the environment.

Close up of tap and sink

Image credit: Roca

There are now eight colour finishes available including, Titanium Black, Rose Gold, Gold and Chrome, which are all also available in a brushed finish to create a softer, muted look. The Everlux coloured finishes will be available for selected brassware lines including Insignia, Naia and Escuadra.

To complement the coloured brassware, Roca has also introduced colour options for its Beyond sanitaryware as well as introducing a range of accessories so consumers can achieve a fully coordinated look.

Roca is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Roca

Low-profile support: easy bathroom installation options from Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Low-profile support: easy bathroom installation options from Kaldewei

Kaldewei‘s preassembled system ensures fast installation for nearly flat shower in the bathroom…

There’s no easier and quicker way to install an enamelled shower surface: thanks to the low-profile support, it takes just a few steps to install the Kaldewei Conoflat, Cayonoplan, Superplan, Superplan Plus and Scona showers directly onto a suitably prepared floor.

Shower surface, tray support and central support are already preassembled, perfectly coordinated and easy to handle. This benefits installers as they save time on the installation and therefore increase their efficiency.

Preassembled system in one package

Using the low-profile support, Kaldewei showers can be installed very quickly and easily onto the floor or, if necessary, directly onto the tiles. The enamelled shower surface, tray support and central support are delivered in one package as a preassembled system solution. This provides the optimum solution for time-saving fitting in almost every installation situation, whether with a tiled, concrete or wooden floor.

Simple and standard-compliant installation

A floor recess is only required for the waste fitting. Thanks to the low built height, Kaldewei showers can be virtually installed at floor level. It takes just a few steps to install the enamelled shower surfaces onto the floor. For standard-compliant sealing, Kaldewei recommends the Flex sealing kit that can be integrated with the greatest of ease into the surrounding bathroom sealing.

Persuasive material properties

Not only can Kaldewei’s enamelled shower surfaces be installed quickly and easily with the low-profile support, but they also possess highly persuasive material properties. With superior Kaldewei steel enamel, these include longevity, anti-slip properties, ease of maintenance and recyclability. All Kaldewei bathroom solutions are supplied with a 30-year guarantee.

Kaldewei is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Kaldewei

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Multi-sensory design in hotel bathrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Multi-sensory design in hotel bathrooms

Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us still struggle to find the time, freedom and sanctuary we need to recover from the stresses of everyday life – until, that is, we check into a hotel. Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit, explores the role that architects and designers have to play in sensory bathroom design in hotels, and examines, in particular, the issue of noise and its impact on our wellbeing…

According to Geberit research, nearly three quarters of us struggle to find the time to relax with the same amount telling us that they felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. It’s a damning snapshot of modern lives dominated by technology and our ‘always on’ culture. Good design is, therefore, increasingly less about how spaces look and more about how they make us feel.

Reimagining a new hotel space

We know from our research that the bathroom is the most popular place of escape from the pressures of modern life so perhaps, then, the role of the bathroom in hotel design should be even more crucial. A hotel bathroom or washroom should no longer be designed as a purely functional zone but as a relaxing space to unwind and one that appeals to all our senses. To do this, designers must understand the four key senses of auditory (sound), visual (sight), kinaesthetic (touch) and olfactory (smell) before applying this understanding to specify the bathroom solutions that can help mitigate the impact of each.

Solutions to a multi-sensory approach

There are many innovations and product solutions to help meet the demands of the senses in hotel bathroom design. For example, preventing overstimulation of the visual sense through simple orientation lighting, which helps preserve the sanctuary of sleep by eliminating the need to switch on additional lighting. Manufacturers have also developed solutions to support designers in meeting kinaesthetic demands, such as clean lines, sleek corners and the use of natural materials. Meanwhile, modern, efficient odour extraction technologies address the challenge of smell. Yet, it was the role of auditory that we were particularly interested in when we undertook a YouGov survey to establish the impact of unwanted noises on our wellbeing.

Noisier than ever?

Our ears work even when we’re asleep, with the brain continuing to process the sounds it detects, albeit in a different way. And when we are awake, we need to consider the impact that irritating sounds could have on our mental wellbeing – a dripping tap or flushing toilet, for example.

We surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the UK to get a greater insight on the impact of unwanted internal noise and, in particular, bathroom noise. As part of this research, we found that almost a third (30%) of respondents who had stayed in a hotel in the last 12 months had been disturbed by bathroom noise at night. What was clear, too, from our research was the impact of this; more than half (51%) of respondents cited unwanted internal noise as having a negative impact upon their wellbeing.

Noise is clearly an issue. So what solutions are available for architects and designers to meet these very obvious challenges?

From acoustically optimised pipework with noise reducing properties, to decoupled pre-walls for added noise insulation, manufacturers are constantly innovating sound-proofing solutions that help to mitigate the age-old issue of sound from flushing toilets and other unwanted bathroom noise. Acoustics is one of Geberit’s ten core research areas and our unique building technology and acoustics laboratory enables our team of acousticians to research products and technologies.

Wall-hung toilets with concealed cisterns and pre-wall frames decoupled from the construction, for example, prevent noise from travelling down the wall and through the floor. Opting for a toilet mounted using a frame such as Geberit Duofix can almost halve the decibels produced by a traditional floor standing toilet.

Likewise, sound optimised drainage piping can reduce noise transfer from flushing water, washbasins or showers. Geberit Silent db-20 is manufactured with mineral reinforced polyethylene for a denser materials and fittings to dissipate noise at impact zones.

Selling experiences

As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escape for guests continues, so too does the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience to help build stronger memories and ensure customers keep coming back.

As we focus ever more on physical and mental health and wellbeing to help combat the stresses of modern life, it’s clear that good design in the bathroom or washroom space could be the key to unlocking better lives. And it is critical for designers to be aware of this opportunity.

Geberit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Geberit

TREND ALERT: Mixing & matching materials in the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: Mixing & matching materials in the bathroom

After years of neutral colour palettes dominating bathroom interiors, Crosswater has identified the aesthetic benefits of mixing and matching materials…

Fast becoming hugely popular on the interior design scene, mixing and matching materials can create a striking and personal touch to bathrooms of all styles.

One company that has identified the shift in neutrals is Crosswater, which has just unveiled an extensive range of brassware and furniture that available in a variety of finishes, textures and colours to provide the perfect option to mix and match in an interior scheme.

One particular way to add visual depth, interest and warmth into a space is to incorporate a variety of metallic finishes. Gold, platinum, brass and copper are increasingly being combined as metallic accents and design highlights, while black is being used as a way to create a contrast to richer tones. Crosswater offers a range of brassware in matt black, brushed brass, stainless steel, chrome and brushed nickel finishes so that metallics can be mixed and matched to create a stylish and contemporary look in the bathroom.

For the ultimate way to mix and match materials in the bathroom, Crosswater’s Italy brassware collection is offered in 49 colour combinations and gives life to true customisation through blending metals, natural stone and marble.

Offering the very highest level of cutting edge design and innovative technology, the Italy collection celebrates the decadence and grandeur of early twentieth-century design. Eight exquisite metal finishes are presented alongside seven distinctive handle designs, to allow a combination tailored to the individual. Each high-luxe material is thoughtfully chosen to emulate the essence of ’20s style and provides the opportunity for a truly personal bathroom style through the method of mixing and matching.

With base finishes ranging from Brushed Black, Polished Metallic, Yellow Gold and Polished Rose Gold, and handle finishes including Quartzite Velvet, Polished Graphite, Crema Nuova Velvet and Polished Guatemala, there is a made-to-order colour combination to suit every design scheme.

Main image credit: Crosswater

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Sensitively lighting the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Sensitively lighting the bathroom

The lighting experts at Vaughan talk us through how the brand successfully lit the bathrooms in prestige projects such as Gleneagles, The Ned and St. Ermins…

Lighting brand Vaughan was one of the first companies to provide bathroom lighting that was both functional and refined when they began designing lights for this purpose more than 15 years ago.

Although bathroom lights need to be equipped with an IP44 rating, the company recognise that clients require a product that kept in line with their visual aesthetic.

Throughout the past 15 years, Vaughan’s bathroom lights have been featured in numerous hotel projects – from the Soho House Group to Firmdale Hotels, as well as stand-alone projects including Claridge’s and Grantley Hall. In the past year alone, Vaughan have provided lighting for more than 50 hotels across the United Kingdom and Europe. And here are just a a handful of them.

Nestled in the centre of London, the Ned is architecturally more than 100 years old – and was originally known as the Midland Bank building. Now renowned for being a hotel, the Ned is the shared project of Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co., and Andrew Zobler, CEO of New York’s Sydell Group. Thanks in part to its longstanding relationship with the Soho House Group, Vaughan supplied the Ned with the Sudbury Wall Light for a number of their bathrooms.

Made from solid cast brass, decorated with a scalloped edge and given an antique brass finish, it is one of Vaughan’s early designs – one which is more traditional in style yet still stands the test of time. Featuring a distinctive, ribbed, scroll-shaped arm, and beaded detailing, it showcases the variety of texture that is made possible thanks to the lost wax casting process.  Placed on each side of the whimsical oval-shaped mirror, the Sudbury Wall Light subtly complements the brass accents that Jones has implemented – from the door handle, to the bathroom taps, and the towel rack too.

Located in Perthshire, Scotland, Gleneagles formally opened its doors in 1924. Described as “a Riviera in the Highlands”, it was initially conceived thanks to the vision of Donald Matheson, General Manager of the Caledonian Rail Company, whose railway line ran through its picturesque terrain.

Following a refurbishment from 2015 – 2017, Hotel Designs reviewed the hotel, and noticed  Vaughan’s Seaton Storm Wall Lights feature in a number of suites.

Based on a traditional ‘hurricane lamp’ that was originally designed for candles, it comes with an elegant glass shade and is pictured here with an antique brass finish.  A delicate combination of hot forged brass and glass, the Seaton is a simple design, with minimal decoration, yet is executed with precision and care.  Similar to the bathroom interior at the Ned, the Seaton Wall Lights continue the theme of brass, and neatly unite themselves to the taps, mirrors, and drawer handles to create a cohesive room set.

The bathroom at St. Ermin’s offers a departure from the brass theme previously discussed, in a decidedly more contemporary interior with pink wallpaper, mother-of-pearl mirrors and sleek, black marble. Situated just around the corner from St. James’s Park in London, St. Ermin’s is an independent hotel yet is also part of Marriott International’s ‘Autograph Collection’.

Image caption: Vaughan’s Norfolk Wall Light can be found in the bathrooms at St. Ermins Hotel

For this bathroom, Vaughan provided the Norfolk Wall Light in a sleek chrome finish. Placed either side of each mirror, the wall lights are topped with a square fabric shade which softly diffuses the light.  Like the Seaton Wall Light, the Norfolk is a simple design and form – featuring a rectangular backplate, square candleholder and angular arm.  When combined with the oval sinks, cylindrical worktop legs, and rectangular mirrors, it creates a satisfying, playful interior – one that is predominantly focused on the relationship between different geometric shapes.  Made with a base metal of hot forged brass, the Norfolk is available in a number of finishes – from the chrome one pictured here to antique brass and nickel too.

Variety, as well as quality, are two central components to Vaughan. Product design is meticulously developed and lead by Lucy and Michael Vaughan, co-founders of the company, and their shared background as antique dealers is without a doubt an underlying influence in their creative process. “Our creative process is very much cyclical, updating and reflecting on products we’ve already made and antiques, which we have seen throughout our time as dealers,” said Lucy Vaughan.

For Vaughan, bathroom lighting is no exception – with a variety of styles, finishes, metals and shapes available to both retail and the trade, and a clear alignment with the brand’s existing lines. Ranging from the more subdued Beverley Wall Light to the more ornate, glass-art beauty of the Morillon Wall Light, Vaughan offers a wide selection of bathroom lighting to choose from, while remaining committed to their pursuit of quality and craftsmanship.

Vaughan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Bathroom lighting by Vaughan inside The Ned

EXCLUSIVE: Aqualisa unveils next generation of smart showers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Aqualisa unveils next generation of smart showers

Brand new smart shower products have catapulted Aqualisa out to the front of the smart shower market. Hotel Designs has the exclusive…

Almost imperceptibly, the smart home/hotel is becoming a reality. It’s a fully-fledged sector – not just a niche market anymore and bathroom brand Aqualisa has recognised and is responding to the emerging demands of a marketplace it believes will be increasingly driven by the benefits of smart technology in the bathroom.

The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that the shower brand is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK.

Bathrooms and wet rooms are fast becoming integral parts of today’s hotel experience, and new intelligent technology in is not only making possible to launch exceptional controls for ease of use, but also providing a stronger reliability and easy installation. The new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection ‘ticks’ all these boxes, with intuitive control, stunning good looks and an unsurpassed level of personalisation and convenience.

Image credit: Aqualisa

The established Quartz name, universally respected by the shower trade, has been retained for this exciting new ‘headliner’ range. This evolution of the original Quartz digital shower creates a new generation of showers with an exceptional level of connectivity, including breakthrough voice activation, added to its established and renowned performance quality.

Quartz was initially launched back in 2001 and has since become the best-selling shower in its category. The product story for this exceptional product has seen a number of style developments over the past twenty years. The latest chapter sees advanced smart technology adopting the iconic Quartz name to provide state of the art showering via a mobile app that brings Aqualisa fully into the emerging smart home environment.

Digital shower on wit marble wallcovering

Image credit: Aqualisa

Quartz technology has stood every test of time over the past nineteen years, consistently delivering the same high-performance showering experience.  Adding connectivity pushes the boundaries of smart technology and takes showering to new experiential levels. The next big thing for showering here in the UK has long been to establish Wi-Fi connection, app technology and voice activation as an integral part of the showering experience – all things that come as standard with the new Smart Quartz Collection from Aqualisa.

“The range consists of Quartz Blue, Quartz Classic and Quartz Touch.”

App technology allows the user to control the smart digital shower via WIFI, connecting through residential WIFI networks to the Aqualisa Smart Valve (ASV) using safe and secure best practice for IoT/Connected devices. It utilises the simplest on-boarding techniques possible to establish secure and robust connection with the ASV via WIFI.  It’s voice activation and personalisation of the new showers that will make it stand out against the competition. It integrates with established smart home eco-systems via voice control – using software like Alexa.

The range consists of Quartz Blue, the introduction to the smart showering revolution for the new collection, Quartz Classic, an already proven best seller now with added smart technology and top of the range Quartz Touch, which offers the most personal showering experience yet and to which devotees of the smart home will aspire. Every member of the family can activate their own personal shower requirement – created and saved on the App for the perfect, consistently repeated showering experience.

For installers, the new Smart Quartz Collection is a great proposition for new build, self-build or renovation projects, principally because the unique Aqualisa Smart Valve – the brains of the new smart collection – can be located up to 10 metres away from the shower itself, providing unbelievable flexibility in installation.  Installers will find this new product range easy to sell, impressing their customers with the benefits of connectivity – voice activation being a major unique selling point.

“’Alexa turn my shower on’ will quickly become a familiar command in homes/hotels with a new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection shower”, says Aqualisa CEO, Colin Sykes. “The Quartz excellence established from the early two thousands has now reached new heights and will offer users the most sophisticated showering experience available. Despite the advent of the smart home/hotel and the arrival of a myriad of smart products, the suggestion, even five years ago, that showers would take this huge step into the world of smart technology would have been difficult to imagine. Thanks to Aqualisa, this is now a reality. It seems the most natural development for them to take, but we’re delighted it’s us introducing this technology to the UK and Ireland.”

Aqualisa is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

While the entire world is feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Hotel Designs is here to start your week with some stunning hotels that are naturally self-isolating in style. Editor Hamish Kilburn emerges from his quarantined slumber to write part one… 

In uncertain times, it can become easy for designers and architects to lose focus on a creative vision.

The outbreak of the recent coronavirus COVID-19 is taking its toll on all creative industries, and has resulted in a number of major events, such as Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Summit and Salone Del Mobile Milan, to postpone all activity until later in the summer.

With the aim to simply lift spirits and steer those who are lacking Monday motivation back on course, here are a handful of remote hotels that will allow you to escape from the madness, even if it’s for just a minute.

Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Large bedroom overlooking the African wilderness

Image credit: Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp

Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp. Just a short air transfer or a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Noka Camp enjoys a remote spot within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’.

Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100% of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community. 

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

walkway to suites

Image credit: Jade Mountain St Lucia

On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy. 

Zannier Hotels Sonop, Nambia

Image credit: Zannier Hotels/Tibod Hermy

Arnaud Zannier’s inspiration for Zannier Hotels Sonop’s design was conceived during his very first trip to the site and first view from the top of the boulders. Arnaud recognised that he had been fortunate enough to discover somewhere very special, likening the feeling to an old explorer discovering a destination for the first time – hence the property was designed to resemble a 20th Century tented camp for explorers.

The construction process was challenging due to the hotel’s remote location and protected surroundings. All building materials and interiors were manually transported up the huge boulders, by expert craftsmen from Namibia. Zannier Hotels only used a limited number of existing roads to the site, to ensure the human impact on the fragile flora was minimal. In addition, each piece of furniture, including twelve 30kg handcrafted four-poster beds, had to be carried by hand over the rocks and boulders thereby avoiding the use of disruptive machinery.

Hotel Chais Monet, France

Image of old and new architecture blending into one frme

Image credit: Hotel Chais Monet

The project was reported to have cost €60 million, and was the brainchild of chief architect Didier Poignant of Ertim Architects. But the result of the sensitive restoration to transform the traditional Cognac trading house site into a 15,000m2 luxury spa hotel, offering what it was described back then as a “modern take on traditional French luxe”, has given the buildings a new lease of life.

I would go one step further in saying that it has reopened up the destination’s history books, perhaps to a different chapter. In the process, it has added a new contemporary architectural jewel ­­– a rare find in and around the low-level city ­– one that is sensitive to its surroundings.

Four Seasons Nevis

Recently, the Four Seasons hotel underwent a complete renovation, which was led by TAL Studio. The hotel is situated on the pristine beaches of the remote Caribbean island where building regulations state that no building is allowed to be taller than a palm tree.

The hotel’s latest chapter of renovations includes the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Image of restaurant overlooking green countryside

Image credit: Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is just that: a working farmstead of arable land and sheepherding, poised on the edge of a scenic bluff on North Island’s east coast so dramatic, idyllic and untouched that the views – and best enjoyed from the outdoor swimming pool or Jacuzzi. The hotel’s design is one that is considered to blend in harmony with the natural beauty of the area. 

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

Taste of the future: personalised water for all

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Taste of the future: personalised water for all

Yes, it’s a thing! Water Station from LUQEL offers a multi-stage filtration system, which allows every user to draw their favourite personalised quality water from more than 30 recipes with a simple press of a touchscreen. Editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with the company’s President to find out more… 

The benefits of keeping hydrated to drink the recommended two litres of water per day have been long-documented.

And while consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental implications from buying non-refillable bottles, with a recent study showing that 75 per cent of guests believe hotels should be doing more to be greener, the industry is, too, changing it’s stance on plastic and how it provides water.

For a luxury hotel brand, where operational measures to become more eco-conscious can to the naive eye look like budget-saving methods, ensuring service and design work in harmony is more important than ever before.

When it comes to offering a suitable water solution, there is one brand on our radar that is going above all others to meaningfully explore the qualities of clean water. LUQEL has created a concept, which will offer guests the ability to taste personalised recipes. To find out more about the benefits of personalised water–  as well as the journey to invent such technology – I spoke to the the company’s President, Josef Schucker.

“This allows every user to draw their favourite personalised water from more than 30 recipes, in pristine quality every time at the press of a touchscreen.” – Josef Schucker, President, LUQEL

Hamish Kilburn: How would you describe the LUQEL solution?
Josef Schucker: At its heart it is unique water beverage technology using mineral ions in combination with a multi-stage filtration system. This allows every user to draw their favourite personalised water from more than 30 recipes, in pristine quality every time at the press of a touchscreen. With no bacteria in the water or held in the machine, due to the unique way the water is processed.

HK: What is your favourite recipe from the Water Station?
JS:
I’ve recently switched to drinking our recipe “Smooth Times”. It is a fizzy water with a strong mineralise level, particularly sulphate which supports digestion and maintains cell function, it has been helpful since I started my detox at the start of the year. That doesn’t mean I still don’t use “Green Power” for my green tea first thing in the morning.

Image credit: LUQEL

HK: What inspired you to start the company?
JS: I saw so many washed-up plastic bottles whilst I was living out my childhood dream to sail and explore the most remote of places on earth. It made me see how careless humanity is with its plastic waste and with nature, and how senseless it is to drink bottles of water that are transported thousands of miles. “It’s so simple,” I thought. “Just turn on the tap and enjoy a glass of water.” I grew up in Germany where the quality of the tap water is safe to drink but it doesn’t always taste great. This isn’t the same for all countries and the idea to provide everyone with great tasting water started the development and the idea for LUQEL and the water station.

“Dr. Monique Bissen has built a team around her of water engineers, creative designers, chemist and engineers to bring to life the ideas and concepts.” – Josef Schucker, President, LUQEL.

HK: How did you go about developing/nurturing engineering talents for this new revolutionary concept?|
JS: During the search of a water station solution, I encountered the expert in this field: Dr. Monique Bissen, who is a qualified engineer working in the field of water chemistry and has more than 20 years’ experience in the treatment of water. She has built a team around her of water engineers, creative designers, chemist and engineers to bring to life the ideas and concepts. The product, technology and engineering has never been done before, it has brought together the best minds to achieve the solution we have, and to create a leading edge solution.

LUQel water system on table

Image credit: LUQEL

HK: Does Dr. Bissen share the same view on water and plastic waste as you?
JS:
She does, she believes the combination of water and plastic to be unhealthy. She is annoyed that many water-treatment devices used by people at home or at work to avoid plastic bottles still contain too much plastic that the water stored is constantly contaminated by the material. She envisages a pure, completely individually personalised water. This new water not only needs to be packaged differently, it has to be better and requires a completely new, plastic-free method of water treatment. We are certain that this can be achieved.

HK: What has surprised you during the development and launch of LUQEL?
JS:
The biggest surprise has been people’s reaction to tasting the water from the LUQEL Water Station. You wouldn’t believe that the recipes can taste so different until you try them. As the water can be hot to compliment teas and coffees, cold with a choice of still or sparkling that will balance with food and drink, all without adjusting any of the settings. It really has that wow factor and makes it exciting to drink water.

Josef pouring water from the station

Image caption: Josef Schucker, President of LUQEL

I started out to develop a machine based on those plastic bottles and to filter the water to provide quality drinking water. We’ve developed not only a proficient water filtering product, but it also enables the user to customise their drink to their personal taste.

HK: Just how safe is drinking water in the UK?
JS:
As water is a clear liquid it is often assumed to be clean and safe. Tap water in the UK is processed to a high standard by the water companies, but new elements are now entering the water table and are different to the bacteria that had historically been removed. One of those that will deteriorate the quality of the water are microplastics and that are increasingly enter our drinking water. Invisible to the naked eye, these tiny particles, whose effects we are only now beginning to discern, are causing irreparable damage to the environment and to fish and sea birds. The aim would be to separate drinking water and plastic, turn our back on standard water and embrace our individual requirements.

HK: Is the solution then to just remove the reliance on plastic water bottles and containers?
JS: The sustainability element is just part of the LUQEL solution, providing great tasting water to your individual taste will encourage you to drink more water. People choose to drink water only if they have exhausted all other options, carbonated soft drinks, coffee, tea. Sugar consumption has increased and even with the UK sugar tax or Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) introduced in 2018 this hasn’t deterred consumers from their favourite drink. LUQEL’s system guides you on the amount you should be drinking, tracks your consumption and welcomes you when you approach the water station with your LUQEL water bottle or NFC tag.

HK: Has this changed how you now drink water?
JS: I’m drinking more water than I used to and enjoy the variety of the selection of waters that I can try. I’d previously look for something refreshing or different as I didn’t want just “boring” water, that would result, most of the time, in a soda of some kind so this has been great for my hydration levels but also for my sugar intake.

HK: Who are LUQEL’s competitors?
JS:
There isn’t a product on the market that does all that the LUQEL Water Station does in one machine. There are plenty of companies that offer different levels of water filtration for the business or home, whether cold or hot at a set temperature, but not to the range or variations we have developed. We seriously believe this product will revolutionise the water market.

HK: What is the future roadmap/developments for the business?
JS: The Water Station we have developed is the first of a family of solutions to meet different capacity needs in the home, a business or whilst you are out and about. We are continuing to invest in technology to make the most efficient technological product we can and provide an enjoyable and exciting experience to our customers wherever and whenever they choose to do so.

HK:  What is your vision for the company?
JS: To ultimately see LUQEL water stations providing consumers with great tasting mineralised water and that they are drinking more water as their regular choice of beverage. From a sustainability aspect, it has to be that as a planet we have to reduce our reliance on plastic, ultimately helping the environment and for it to continue to be a great place for the next generations to enjoy.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Bathroom brand AQATA launches debut ‘Look Book’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom brand AQATA launches debut ‘Look Book’

When looking for bathroom inspiration, AQATA believes that its very first Look Book is the ideal solution…

AQATA’s first ever Look Book highlights all its latest, most-popular bathroom products; including a fabulously curvaceous collection of shower screens, walk in shower enclosures, shower panels, sliding doors and coloured finishes.

The Look Book acts as a miniature version of the AQATA brochure, it has been broken down and split into sections, cleverly designed to show every style they offer. Full of fabulous and luxurious products, all initiatively designed and manufactured at AQATA’s factory in the UK, there really is something for everyone.

Image credit: AQATA

For those who are unsure about what they want and need inspiration. Then AQATA’s new Look Book is full of imagery and ideas that will point them in the right direction, enabling them to create their dream bathroom.

AQATA understands a bathroom isn’t just a functional space; it has to be aesthetically pleasing, stylish and also a sanctuary. The AQATA Design Solutions Range allows customers to personalise their showering area with a variety of options including a choice of coloured glass in Clear, Clear Plus, Grey Tint and Bronze Tint, combined with one of the coloured finish options from Chrome, Matte Black, Polished or Brushed Nickel it allows customers to truly make the enclosure their own.

The look book is the first of as series, a new edition will be released every season ensuring customers are kept up to date with all AQATA’s new and exciting product launches and features.

AQATA is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The philosophy of wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The philosophy of wellness

For more than 25 years, Gessi has designed and produced furnishing elements for bathro­oms, kitchens and private and public wellness. Recently, the brand is exploring the wonders of wellness…

With its total look design products that in­clude fittings, advanced function shower systems, accessories, ceramics, tubs and shower trays, Gessi is synonymous with wellbeing and quality living in all types of environments, from hotels to spas, from yachts to private homes.

Gessi creations allow the enjoyment of private spaces to live a daily experience of Private Wellness, to re-establish contact with oneself. Strictly “Made in Italy”, Gessi products dictate a new trend in living, attentive to ele­gance and the charm of objects, but also to the wellness that they provide to those around them.

The bathroom brand has created a new philosophy linked to domestic environments through a vast line of products, styles, models and new installation solutions, offering an unlimited free­dom of design linked to water.

Gessi designs are born from creative liberty and constant originality, with a passion for objects that are freed from mere functionality to be reinvented for new uses: empathic and indispensable objects, objects that improve people’s lives and make them happier.

Gessi has created an iconic and unique design style, and brings its distinctive style to the most exclusive buildings around the world. The Gessi Collections transmit a mes­sage of timeless elegance and simplicity, combined with a typically minimalist style and maximum attention to detail.

The inspiring principle behind the Gessi Collections is the power of naturally empa­thic primary shapes that, in an original and iconic style, convey essential and evocative graphic symbols and transform everyday objects into small household sculptures.

Combining vanguard technology and typical Italian craftmanship, Gessi realises designs that achieve manufacturing excellence and reliability in an original integrated ecological model of Made in Gessi.

Main image credit: Gessi

Bathroom planning made easy with Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom planning made easy with Kaldewei

Planning a bathroom shouldn’t be hard work, believe it or not – it can be fun, explains the bathroom experts at Kaldewei

Some of the challenges when planning bathrooms is limited space, awkward angles and alcoves as well as layouts. However, with Kaldewei’s enamelled bathroom solutions, designers can create a dream bathroom – no matter how many odd angles.

Kaldewei, the manufacturer of steel enamel showers, baths and washbasins, has a very positive solution, which comes in four simple steps.

1) Alcove bathroom: floor-level showers – miraculous space-savers

Lateral thinking helps when fitting out an alcove bathroom because it often produces surprising new approaches that can greatly improve the feel of the room. For example, alcoves offer a great opportunity to create more shelf space in the bathroom or add some special design features to a particular area of the room. In bathrooms like this, floor-level showers are truly miraculous space-savers. Tucked into an alcove, they cleverly separate the wet area from the rest of the bathroom. In small bathrooms, this works particularly well on two levels, it highlights the beauty of the architecture as well as saving the home owners valuable space. Floor-level showers are available in many different sizes and designs – Kaldewei offers over 100,000 choices for designing a floor-level shower area alone.

2) Bathrooms with odd angles: find the perfect-fit solution

Home owners dislike lots of angles in the bathroom – but, there’s no reason to give up. With a little creativity, rooms like these can be given a playful look. Use bright, cheerful colours – they lighten the mood and make the room look bigger. A floor- level shower like the Kaldewei Conoflat will further boost this effect. It can also be fitted with a movable splashback that can be folded away to one side. Those who don’t want to get rid of their bath can choose a compact size that doesn’t take up more space. Kaldewei offers its showers, baths and washbasins in a standard design which brings harmony to the bathroom and upgrades it. If there are too many angles, they can also be concealed by a false wall. The toilet or a washing machine can be cleverly hidden away behind it, while the wall itself will provide space for a washbasin such as the Cono model made of long-lasting Kaldewei steel enamel.

Dark tiles in white bathroom with pops of blue colour

Image credit: Kaldewei

3) Galley bathrooms: open up the space with colour

Limited space doesn’t have to be a problem – it’s possible to design a dream bathroom even with a very long, narrow floor plan. A bath beneath the window, for example, will look great against the front wall. LED strips at the base of the bath will make it a really striking feature in a cramped bathroom. Those who like colour will benefit from a cheerful room that also has a positive effect on the bathroom’s ambience. Light colours work particularly well in small bathrooms; another tip is to match the colour of the shower with the floor tiles. This way, the floor and shower will seem to merge together. This makes the room seem more open, bigger and lighter. To go with the coloured shower, Kaldewei also offers many beautiful washbasins such as the delicate Miena washbasin bowl. The bathroom expert has more than 850 alternatives to the white washbasin in its portfolio – offering maximum flexibility when fitting out galley bathrooms.

4) Bathroom under the eaves: make clever use of slopes

Imagine lounging in the bath while gazing at the clouds: an attic bathroom can be fantastic. Bathroom expert Kaldewei recommends the use of an enamelled bath situated under the eaves – where there is no room for cupboards and washbasins. This allows for comfortable relaxation without losing valuable space in the bathroom. A false wall can be used to divide the attic bathroom into distinctly separate zones, creating calm and order and offering additional scope for the washing area. As an alternative to wall-hung washbasins, a countertop washbasin such as the Kaldewei Centro model can also work well in combination with a bath. This perfect combination, not only looks great but is also practical – thanks to the generous surround.

PREVIEW: Duravit’s sleek appearance at the Ideal Home Show

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PREVIEW: Duravit’s sleek appearance at the Ideal Home Show

Bathroom brand Duravit will exhibit new products at the Ideal Home Show, between March 23 and April 13…

Duravit’s products have been selected by Owl Design to feature in The Future Living Home one of the homes featured within this year’s Show Village. 

The Future Living Home created as a modular space and designed around slow living, sustainability and simple pleasures.

A number of Duravit products have been used within the bathroom, including a showerhead, and shower controls from the C.1 series that enables a regulated flow of water to tumble down onto the Stonetto Anthracite shower tray below.

The aspiration is to create a feeling of calm, amongst the chaos of everyday life with the focus on being less wasteful and more sustainable in materials and products used. Inspired by elements of designs they love, styles they predict will have longevity, nature’s own colour palette and incorporating elements of fun Owl Design have created The Future Living Home.

Darker tones are used throughout the bathroom in The Future Living Home, from their Happy D.2 Plus range created by sieger design; A contemporary wall hung WC and washbowl in Anthracite are complimented by a vanity unit in Super Graphite Matt.

Organic shapes and natural tones are key design elements and the accessories that have been included within the bathroom have been designed by Philippe Starck exclusively for Duravit.

“The Future Living Home is a modular home designed around slowing living, sustainability and simple pleasures. It has been designed to create a feeling of calm, amongst the chaos of everyday life whilst still incorporating colour and elements of fun. It focuses on being less wasteful and more sustainable in materials and products used.

“Spa like bathrooms are often requested by our clients, they want a little oasis they can call their own,” said Simone Gordon from Owl Design. “We achieve this by using beautiful handmade tiles with interesting textures, but we keep the colours to a minimum. The black sanitaryware from Duravit looks modern and stylish whilst adding an extra element of interest.”

Main image credit: Duravit

5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

Taking five minutes out of planning and designing luxury hospitality scenes of the future, Emma Masters, Associate at Richmond International, speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn about landscape changes, client demands and over-used words in the industry…

Hamish Kilburn: How long have you been involved in interior design, and how has the landscape changed from when you started to now?
Emma Masters: I’ve been working in the industry for around 16 years, 15 of those have been with Richmond International. In this time the industry has steadily changed, largely due to technological development, i.e. the changes in the ways we research subjects and destinations, to retrieve design references and influences. The proliferation of imagery shared internationally makes the world feel smaller and more accessible.

CGI and VR experiences are becoming a minimum expectation, having replaced hand drawn and coloured renderings. Whilst computer generated images provide almost an exact representation of the design proposal, hand drawings were very evocative and left some element of wonder to what would finally be revealed in reality.

We’ve also seen massive advances in manufacturing techniques, the materials used, and specialist finishes to the extent that we can add unique signatures to interiors.

There’s also certainly a greater awareness of our environment and the need to be mindful of our design impact, ensuring our designs have longevity, rather than being based on trends that will date and need replacing frequently.

Large, luxurious and grand penthouse

Image credit: London West Hollywood penthouse, designed by Richmond International

HK: What are your clients currently looking for in hotel design?
EM: We’re seeing a demand for public spaces that are transitional, for environments that work for social dining, meetings, shared workplaces and seamlessly blend together to create one holistic space.

Additionally, we’re regularly creating designs that are authentic to the location and with strong narratives – this helps us bring the interiors alive for their guests.

“We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.” – Emma Masters, Director, Richmond International

Bath in modern marble bathroom, with skyline of Chicago in the background

Image caption: Bathroom in Langham Chicago suite, designed by Richmond International

HK: Where do you find inspiration to keep your designs fresh and meaningful?
EM: Trade shows like Salone de Mobile and Maison et Objet are a great source of new products and styles. I also get a lot of inspiration from travelling, working with artisanal manufacturer and, in general, a lot of research.

HK: How important is nurturing young talent for Richmond International?
EM: It’s a very important part of our company and something I experienced first-hand having started at Richmond as a junior designer. It was a hugely nurturing experience and I was able to work with talented designers who allowed me to explore my capabilities and mentor me in my development. We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.

“F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine.” – Emma Masters, Director at Richmond International

HK: We had Terry McGillicuddy join us on the Vision Stage at the Hospitality Restaurant and Catering show. How are F&B areas in hotels evolving?
F&B areas now blur the boundaries between lobby lounge, restaurant, bar and meeting spaces. The public spaces are the heart of a hotel and the is a desire for them to be vibrant has activated a move away from the traditional lobby lounge space. F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine. They now have a different identity to the rest of the hotel, where it previously was designed to work with the overall feel of the rest of the hotel. F&B is now more independent and can have a completely different narrative that may relate to the food served, for example rather than being simply a functional part of the hotel.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
EM: String curtain dividers, they were everywhere and not surprisingly disappeared as quickly as they arrived after the realisation that they were really impractical for public spaces and looked neat for all of five minutes before tangling an unwilling hotel guest who had stumbled into one.

HK: What is one word that is overused in our industry?
EM: Two words admittedly and the phrase we all dread – Value Engineering.

HK: What would you say is the biggest catalyst driving change in the hotel design area recently?
EM: Sustainability and authentic experiences across the board.

HK: What would you be if you were not a designer?
EM: I had always wanted to be an art teacher until I went to St Martins for my foundation year. My tutor was very inspiring and introduced me to the idea of interior design as a career instead of teaching.

HK: What’s one lesson about the industry that studying didn’t teach you?
EM: My role at Richmond has been predominantly FF&E focused and I feel it can really complete and enhance a design. As an Interior Architecture student, spatial design was key, and furnishings were more secondary, but I feel one cannot work as a cohesive design without the other.

HK: What’s your biggest bugbear in interior design?
EM: Designing to a trend and not for longevity.

Luxurious longe area in suite

Image caption: Metro Suite inside London West Hollywood, designed by Richmond International

HK: What has been your favourite project to date?
EM: My favourite project would have to be working on The London, West Hollywood Penthouse with Vivienne Westwood. Alongside the interior design we also worked closely with her team to develop custom fabrics, rugs and wallcoverings, as well as bespoke bath robes and towels. We worked with an archive of scarves that were then mounted and framed to use for the penthouse artwork.

Main image credit: Richmond International

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Finding balance in bathroom mirror lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Finding balance in bathroom mirror lighting

Advancements in meaningful technology is allowing designers to be more creative when it comes to lighting spaces. But when it comes to bathroom lighting, a sensitive approach is best, as Electric Mirror explains… 

Lighted mirrors began appearing in five-star luxury hotel bathrooms more than 20 years ago.

As their popularity has increased, so too has their presence – today you can find lighted mirrors in millions of hotel rooms worldwide. So what’s new?

Today’s lighted mirrors come in virtually unlimited styles, from on-trend radius corners to custom designs that include asymmetrical shapes and added functionality such as built-in shelves.

The once-ubiquitous rectangular frosted-light window has given way to new light shapes and patterns, allowing designers to create lighted mirrors that match or complement anything from wall coverings to furniture.

Lighted mirror technology has continued to evolve as well. For example, Electric Mirror’s Savvy™ Smart Mirror, chosen for Marriott Autograph Collection’s Sinclair Hotel – America’s most technologically advanced hotel – includes Pro:Idiom and is PoE compatible.

And finally, lighted mirrors aren’t just for the bathroom vanity any more. Designers can offer hotel guests the beauty, convenience and luxury of a lighted mirror as a mirrored cabinet, a fog-free shower mirror, a makeup mirror, even a wardrobe mirror.

Electric Mirror is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Electric Mirror

CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

The recently refurbished Nobis Hotel in central Copenhagen specified Unidrain in the luxurious bathrooms of its 100 hotel guestrooms…

When renovating Nobus Hotel in central Copenhagen, attention to the detail was imperative. Each of the bathrooms within the hotel have been created with Scandinavian elegance; as this chic minimalist design ethic helps to create an environment where there is a space to pamper oneself and relax whilst exuding a sense of wellbeing.

One of the main characteristics of each of the 100 bathrooms is a large bathtub surrounded by marble tiles. A large single mirror is positioned above the dark framed washing area and wash basin reflecting light back into the room. The shower cubicle maintains the minimalist feeling, as it is enclosed by a sleek sheet of glass. The water falls from the oversized shower head bouncing on the tiles beneath, before disappearing into the bespoke single drain.

At the architect’s request Unidrain created and supplied designer drains for the shower cubicles in the entire hotel. The drains for 80 bathrooms were fitted with Unidrain’s linear drains each with the customised solution option.

Here the classic steel Unidrain grating has been replaced with exactly the same marble as the rest of the bathroom, making the drain almost invisible to the eye. It is elements such as these Unidrain custom-designed solutions that make these stylish bathrooms completely unique.

At the Nobis Hotel, Unidrain worked in conjunction with its architectural advisor Dennis Bagge, to ensure that the clients every detail was met. For example twenty of the bathrooms in the hotel are particularly large and needed extra-long drains. This required a single drain to cover an expanse of more than two metres. Unidrain were able to create bespoke extra-long drains made to the client’s specific dimensions.

“When liaising with the architect on this project the bathroom solutions were easier to create. This was due to Unidrain’s reputation and ability to craft and install a single drain which would run from wall to wall covering a length of over two metres ” Unidrain Architectural Adviser Dennis Bagge.

These tailor-made solutions add the finishing touch and help to create the coveted wellness experience wanted in a bathroom today. This room has evolved more than any other in the home, from an outdoor WC, it transferred inside, initially as an enlarged broom cupboard, now it is no longer a room we have for practical reasons, but a space we want to spend time in to pamper and relax; be it in a home or a hotel.

Unidrain is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Unidrain/Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Robust, reliable & design-led mixer shower range from Aqualisa

791 658 Hamish Kilburn
Robust, reliable & design-led mixer shower range from Aqualisa

Innovative shower brand Aqualisa has launched a striking new range of dual control mixer valves, adding to its strong specification portfolio…

Fresh from sponsoring the The Brit List Awards 2019, bathroom brand Aqualisa has launched the Mian range, which offers a robust and reliable choice of dual control thermostatic mixer showers, suitable for all approved UK water systems.

Complete with a comprehensive five-year guarantee, the range successfully focuses on form, style and function, paying special attention to clean lines, simplicity, compact shaping and the overall feel of quality. As well as optimising the shower space available, the highly finished, modern shower designs are timeless and understated yet, also, eye-catching and sophisticated.

The Mian range of dual control mixer valves comprises of single, dual and triple outlet variants with a choice of wall plates and control dials. With a choice of components and accessories, the Mian range allows for the design and specification of bespoke shower systems for every type of project, large or small. Different combinations of valve, wall plate and control dials with a selection of handset and fixed shower heads, rails and wall outlets give style options and flexibility, but with the same guarantee of performance and reliability throughout the range.

“As one of the top UK bathroom brands, we are continuously striving to develop products that meet and exceed the requirements of national building regulations and recognised industry standards,” explains Jerry Gorman, Head of Specification at Aqualisa. “We know that cost-effective, stylish product solutions and flexible installations are of the utmost importance, and that is what the Mian collection delivers.”

The one piece flat backed brass valve can be securely mounted before the mortar and tile work is finished, while push fit wall plates, control shrouds and handles make the completed installation quick and straightforward

The Aqualisa customer care team has expert resource dedicated to contract and specification customers. A nationwide coverage of trained and approved service engineers will support you quickly and professionally with any on-site installation issue.  Mian showers are suitable for all approved UK water systems and carry a comprehensive five year parts and labour guarantee.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

Image of faucet

Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

The study, conducted by QS Supplies revealed that four in 10 Brits frequently use their phone on the toilet, but 39.6 per cent never clean their phone…

It’s a fact of life: germs are everywhere, and there’s no escaping them. But does that mean we should surrender and accept contact with a never-ending germ army?

Image of faucet

Or do we fight the good fight and engage in as many germ-dodging tactics as we can? Some people fall firmly into one of these camps but most are somewhere in the middle – picking their battles based on what disgusts them the most.

QS Supplies spoke to 1,008 Brits to find out who are the germaphobes among us, what tactics we use to avoid germs, who lies about hygiene behaviours, and the ways we expose ourselves to more germs than we realise.

The study concluded that one in 10 of us take our own bedding to hotels in order to avoid germs, while 53.7 per cent admitted to pushing buttons with knuckles.

Unsurprisingly, the hotel bathroom was where the germ-phobic folks in the study feared the most, with a staggering 68.5 per cent admitting to hovering above public toilet seats over sitting and 26.3 per cent skipping flushing to avoid touching a public toilet.

Paper towels also come in handy for almost four in 10 Brits who use them to turn off taps and for over half of people who use them (or their clothing) to open the bathroom door.

“Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet.”

The majority of Brits have a device that they can take with them anywhere and often do: their mobile phones. Only one in five people said that they never take their mobile phone to the bathroom. Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet. What’s more concerning, though, is that only four in 10 of people have never cleaned their mobile phone.

The fight continues outside the bathroom. More than three-quarters of us wash food despite it being labelled ‘pre-washed’, while 27.7 per cent wash our hands after putting on shoes.

For those truly committed to the germ-dodging lifestyle more extreme measures can be taken, like taking your own bedding to a hotel (12.3 per cent) and taking personal cutlery to a restaurant (5.9 per cent).

Exactly one in 10 people classified themselves as a germaphobe. The bathroom supplies company took the germ-dodging activities and ranked them based on how much more likely self-confessed germaphobes were to do them compared to non-germaphobes. They found that taking your own bedding to a hotel is the biggest hint that a person may be a germaphobe, as almost 27 per cent of germaphobes have done this compared to 10.5 per cent of non-germaphobes.

Self-identified germaphobes were also 2.5 times more likely to have taken their own cutlery to a restaurant, 2.4 times more likely to wash their hands after putting on shoes, and 2.4 times more likely to flush the toilet using their feet. If you do all these things then you might just be a germaphobe.

Whether germaphobe or not, most of us have a germ-dodging quirk or two. Nine out of 10 people claimed not to be a germaphobe but still sometimes flush the toilet with their feet or pack their own bed sheets when staying in a hotel.

The bathroom produces many germ-dodging tactics but perhaps our guile is misplaced and we should focus on specific items in the home, like our kitchen sponges and mobile phones. Our phones may provide welcome relief from boredom, but they’re also a germ storage device with the capacity to undo diligent hand-washing hygiene.

While the results of the study shows that many Brits engage in crazy tactics to dodge germs, it’s worth noting that the very best defence against germs is simple: wash your hands regularly and properly. Also, maybe give your phone a clean once in a while.

QS Supplies is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Pixabay

PRODUCT WATCH: Grohe’s latest sustainable shower head

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Grohe’s latest sustainable shower head

The sustainable Rainshower 310 Mono headshower from GROHE is compatible with multiple shower systems…

Products with eco-friendly credentials are very likely to be high on the priority list of many bathroom projects for 2020.

Proving that water-saving showers can still deliver a premium performance, GROHE’s new Rainshower 310 Mono head shower offers an affordable way to upgrade your existing shower system, enhancing your shower experience without negatively impacting your water consumption. Equipped with GROHE’s EcoJoy technology, the water flow is limited to 9.5 litres per minute (compared to the standard 12 litres per minute), delivering a comfortable yet cost-effective water saving experience.

Installation of the Rainshower 310 Mono couldn’t be simpler as the head shower can be mounted with ease onto most shower arms with no need for complex tools or extensive behind-the-wall work. Its impressive 310mm diameter head, which can be swivelled in all directions thanks to a half-inch ball joint, offers the full face PureRain spray which encases the user in larger, softer droplets for a more relaxing and luxurious showering experience that is likened to being caught in a warm summer rain. Despite its statement size, the head shower features a particularly slim silhouette, allowing it to blend seamlessly into minimalist interiors. There are several model variants so you can choose the look that most suits your existing bathroom style: from ceiling- mounted to wall-mounted, round or square designs with matching shower arms, and white or chrome spray faces.

Its striking aesthetic, premium performance and impressive eco-credentials have resulted in the Rainshower 310 Mono achieving accreditation by the Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme (WRAS). This status ensures that the product meets all safety and quality regulations and is deemed suitable for installation in commercial buildings, hotels and new build homes as well as offering peace of mind to homeowners fitting the product themselves.

Main image credit: GROHE

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

15 years after first discovering the magic of Meribel in the French Alps, editor Hamish Kilburn is back – this time to review the destination’s latest ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel

In-between snow-blanketed fir trees, more than 1,400 metres above sea level in the French Alps, Hotel Le Coucou is Meribel’s latest luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel.

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Award-winning French designer/architect Pierre Yovanovitch, who was last year crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year, was presented with a blank-canvas brief with his latest hotel project. Within just three years, he managed to create a sensitive architectural shell and fill it with his signature couture approach to interior design, including more than 140 bespoke furniture and lighting pieces – think abstract, animal-like armchairs and ice-inspired chandeliers. “There was so much pressure, because three years is not long for a project on this scale,” says Yovanovitch, “but it was a good challenge and the time restraint spurred me on to create something unique for the area.”

“We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel.”  – Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente.

Image from balcony looking out onto the mountains

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

With a list of strict local architectural planning constraints to abide by, in regards to using only local materials and regionally-integrated styles, the 55-key boutique hotel quickly became one the of designer’s most ambitious projects to date. “Previously, hotels that opened in ski resorts made a lot of mistakes, especially new-build properties that opened in the ‘70s,” Yovanovitch adds. “It was impossible to create a striking architectural structure because of the town’s uncompromising architecture regulations.”

“We had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Despite the hotel seamlessly blending in to the natural winter wonderland location from the exterior (literally positioned on what was previously a piste ski route), inside, Yovanovitch paints a contrasting picture. Through the blonde, wooden-framed automatic doors, an understated check-in desk sits under a large painted oval ceiling. “Originally, the ceiling in the lobby was too low,” the designer explains. “As a result, we had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” The now intricately painted ceiling that forms a backdrop for a chandelier that looks like a melting ice cube is also guests’ first introduction to a loose motif, which continues throughout the hotel: the theme of owls – think of it as the designer’s contemporary flair, or a well-placed obsession.

intricate dome in the ceiling shelters seating underneith

Image caption/credit: The quirky, understated hotel lobby/Hotel Le Coucou

For the owners of the hotel, Maisons Pariente, there was only ever one designer for the job. “We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel,” said Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente. Thanks to the designer’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury, Hotel Le Coucou has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers.

As well as the property remaining sensitive to its location in order to not lose the charm and personality of the local architecture, the public areas are also a nod to Yovanovitch’s stamp in the world of interior design. Several iconic Bear Chairs from his recent collaboration with R&Company, for example, are meaningfully scattered around the public areas, which adds the designer’s signature playful and contemporary style inside the shell of what on the outside looks to be a traditional alpine hotel.

“I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Capturing what you could strongly argue, from a hotels perspective at least, to be the most striking panoramic vistas in all of the French Alps, each of the boutique jewel’s guestrooms and suites have been designed to frame postcard-perfect views of undulating mountains. “I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view, that was the most important thing when I came to design these areas,” explains Yovanovitch. “Sometimes, the view itself is more important than the décor.”

The 39 suites and 16 rooms are adorned with rich, warm colours and more than 160 contemporary art pieces as well as modern technology. The snow-inspired carpets inject sense-of-place and add a new layer of character into the lodge-like spaces. Although each guestroom and suite share the same motif, each shelter individual elements and somehow still maintain a traditional alpine style.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou/Jérôme Galland

The plush en-suite bathrooms, which are layered in marble, feature quality supplier labels and are complete with Italian faucets from Stella, Duravit W/Cs with Geberit operation panels and Beurer vanity mirrors as well as discreet wash-room style shower that is simple to operate. Character is injected into these spaces with imperfect oval-shaped mirrors and Yovanovitch’s bulb lighting.

Hidden downstairs, away from the public eye, are the hotel’s two four-bedroom chalets; worlds of their own. Both expansive two-floor chalets showcase Yovanovitch’s mastery of volume and architectural angles and continue to combine five-star luxury amenities with the detailed craftsmanship found in a traditional alpine home. Each are fully equipped with en-suite bedrooms, spacious living area and a games area as well as a private ski room, pool and spa.

For the main hotel guests, the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pool also feature private moments, such as relaxation areas that are nestled poolside underneath sculpted arches. The pool areas, divided by a bay window, create a stunning, trompe-l’oeil effect with views of the postcard-perfect vista outdoors. Down the corridor, six massage treatment rooms with specialist treatments from Tata Harper and a sauna area offer a deeply relaxing experience, and above this area is a state-of-the-art fitness studio and gym.

While there are three F&B areas in the hotel, the Beefbar restaurant and the adjacent bar create equal statement, as they frame the most spectacular views through unobtrusive floor-to-ceiling windows and are deliberately placed on the ground floor to create a dramatic first impression.

The Beefbar restaurant is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places. In the bar, low-level furniture that, when not sat on, abstrusely depicts an owl sitting on a textured geometric carpet. Together with a pastel pink, blue and mustard palate in the walls and furniture makes this area an exciting instagrammable space that feels warm, inviting and far from stuffy. Meanwhile, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Bianca Neve, is located on a lower floor and is ideal for an evening meal, once the sun has disappeared over the horizon and guests’ attention can focus inwards. Yovanovitch’s artistic mark continues with a strong choice of bold colors, rich materials and an intricate ceiling fresco for good measure.

Light and bright restaurant

Image caption/credit: Bianca Neve restaurant/Hotel Le Coucou

Hotel Le Coucou is the third opening for Maisons Pariente in 2019, following closely behind the opening of Hotel Lou Pinet, Saint Tropez in June 2019 and the reopening of the refurbished Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence on May 1, 2019. The Pariente family have their sights set on Paris, in le Marais, for a fourth addition to the collection in 2021.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

A destination as precious as Meribel, in my humble opinion, requires a meaningful design eye when it comes to redevelopment. Yovanovitch has proven that rigid architectural boundaries do not automatically limit the level of creativity. Instead, it is clear that his studio’s eccentric style was everything and more the destination was crying out for.

Image of man standing with back to camera overlooking snow-capped mountains

Image caption/Credit: Editor Hamish Kilburn saying goodbye to Meribel once more from his slope-side luxury suite at Hotel Le Coucou/hotel_design_editor

If anyone was in doubt of Yovanovitch’s credentials of being one of the great modern designers of our era, then they have only to check in to a place truly like no other, Hotel Le Coucou is open for business.

Suppliers
Bathroom: Duravit, Geberit, Stella | Furniture: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio, R&Company, Ethimo| Lighting: Pierre Yovanovitch| In-room technology: Samsung

Main image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

TREND ALERT: Matt black for the modern bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: Matt black for the modern bathroom

Inspired by the recent resurgence of rich, dark colour palettes within interior design, Crosswater has challenged the traditional trend of bathroom fittings with its wide offering of stunning matt black products…

Dark bathrooms with a confident approach to colour are back on trend after an extended period of whites and neutrals, and are promising to redefine the modern hotel.

From solo black monoblocs in matt finish to a complete collection of coordinating brassware and bold use of black on the walls, there are many ways to bring this dramatic tone into your home without overpowering it.

Both Crosswater’s popular MPRO and Marvel ranges feature a sleek Matt Black finish, while its cutting-edge UNION collection celebrates a redefined Brushed Black Chrome option within its collection of artisan Italian brassware.

Designed to create a bathroom space that is as beautifully crafted as it is functional, the Matt Black surface combines high-end specification with striking aesthetics to create brassware that truly stands out. Celebrating simple lines and a sleek, matt black finish, this surface option for the MPRO collection explores a stylish update to any contemporary bathroom scheme.

Image caption: Black MPRO set from Crosswater

Meanwhile, UNION takes inspiration from the industrial era and brings it boldly into the 21st century. Smart on the inside, each piece in the collection is manufactured using the most advanced brassware engineering techniques and the latest in valve technology to offer complete water flow control. Intuitive, high performing and built to last, the UNION brassware collection in Brushed Black Chrome is guaranteed to command attention in any bathroom. Responding to the latest trends with a rich, deeply dark surface, the Brushed Black Chrome finish option epitomises modern luxury.

Industrial black tap on bath

Image Caption: UNION collection by Crosswater

Delivering high-performance functionality with a modern aesthetic, the Marvel collection in Matt Black promises to create a statement look within any contemporary setting. The exclusive range of monobloc taps, bath fillers and shower valves is beautifully designed with sleek spouts and simple lever controls, which lends this product to those looking for modern, yet timeless, brassware that fits seamlessly into any bathroom.

Main image credit: Crosswater

Image of the built in bath

Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

The sustainable, recyclable and luxurious BettePond bath is made from the company’s signature glazed titanium-steel…

Bathroom manufacturer Bette has launched the first built-in circular bath, BettePond, made of glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production.

Image of the built in bath

The generously proportioned 150cm diameter BettePond bath is made from durable glazed titanium-steel,  which keeps its shine, is easy to clean and can be a more sustainable choice for the bathroom.

The BettePond bath has a slender rim of only 8mm, and when inset into a surface creates a stylish pool or pond-like effect. Bette can also install a whirlpool system into the bath.

Like the freestanding version (the BettePond Silhouette) the new built-in BettePond was designed by Dominik Tesseraux as a reminder of the original shape of the bathtub. With a generous diameter, the bath is the perfect place for luxurious relaxation.

The sustainability of Bette’s glazed titanium-steel products is independently verified by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which is based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards. It covers the entire life-cycle of Bette’s products, and their functional and technical qualities.

The brand’s baths, shower trays and washbasins are made from glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production, and they are so durable that they come with a 30 year warranty.

Bette has invested in energy-efficient manufacturing and creates two-thirds of its own energy requirements with electricity that it produces itself from renewable sources.

Bette is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bette

Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

Last month, Hilton dropped the news that it was launching a new lifestyle brand. Tempo by Hilton is an elevated and approachable brand offering thoughtful design, efficient service and exciting partnerships. Editor Hamish Kilburn investigates…

With no less than 30 hotels under development – and 30 more pending deals – Tempo by Hilton has launched with no intention of pacing itself into the market.

By combining thoughtful design and diverse lifestyle partnerships, Tempo by Hilton provides hotel owners and developers with a highly scalable brand that is both uplifting and within reach for future guests – all powered by an efficient service model.

“For more than 100 years, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry as we know it,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton. “Tempo by Hilton is the latest example of our unique ability to anticipate what our guests are looking for and deliver unmatched value for customers and owners alike. We’re thrilled to welcome this new brand to our Hilton family and look forward to building on our legacy of innovation with Tempo by Hilton.”

As part of its commitment to helping guests live better lives, Tempo by Hilton has established and built upon partnerships with leading experts across the well-being, food and beverage and other lifestyle spheres. The experts on board include Arianna Huffington’s renowned behaviour change platform, Thrive Global and established culinary firm, Blau + Associates. These organisations bring a sense of discovery to the brand, while empowering guests to continue prioritising well-being and personal growth even while travelling.

“Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies owners expect from a limited service model with an uplifting dose of inspiration,” said Phil Cordell, SVP and global head of new brand development, Hilton. “Utilising a data-driven blueprint, we identified lifestyle offerings inside the guest rooms and throughout the property that push the entire sector to new heights. The end result is a compelling, yet approachable brand that enables owners to expand their portfolios in sought-after locations across the country as well as capture a new demographic of travellers.”

Guided by its various lifestyle partnerships, as well as exhaustive market research surveying more than 10,000 consumers, each Tempo by Hilton property will feature elements designed to help ambitious guests continue their journey without disrupting their routine.

Reinvigorating and Relaxing Guestrooms

More than rooms, Tempo by Hilton accommodations are said to serve as a refuge where modern travellers are reinvigorated for the day ahead. In-room experiences include the one-of-a-kind Power Up and Power Down collections; curated assortments of morning and bedtime rituals created in partnership with Thrive Global; as well as other unexpected touches, such as a finely tuned sleep environment and a dedicated Get Ready Zone with space to get ready, organise for the day and focus on work. In addition, the oversized bath suite, which includes mirrors with built-in Bluetooth speakers, is spacious, bright and invigorating to help guests recharge and renew.

render of plush yet simple guestroom

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Shared spaces

Envisioned as catalysts for genuine, memorable experiences, all Tempo by Hilton public areas bring a fresh approach to industry mainstays. These include art and design collections specifically chosen to encourage guests to look up from their daily grind and take a moment for themselves. Guests will also enjoy state-of-the-art fitness offerings; flexible meeting spaces.

Render of public areas

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Culinary journeys

Developed alongside the award-winning Blau + Associates, Tempo by Hilton’s food and beverage offerings ensure guests have access to everything they need to sustain energy and boost focus.

Sustainability

Tempo by Hilton aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half. To that end, this new brand is committed to implementing sustainable practices throughout the guest experience. Examples of specific initiatives include LightStay, food waste programs, responsible seafood sourcing, hydration stations throughout the property to replace single-use plastic bottles and full-size bath amenity dispensers to reduce disposable plastics.

“Through our research, we found that while our current upscale offerings have been incredibly successful at earning loyalty among specific guest segments, there was a rising demographic of ambitious and highly discerning travellers that weren’t engaging with the category,” said Jon Witter, chief customer officer, Hilton. “With Tempo by Hilton, we are able to reach these influential consumers through a new, elevated yet approachable class of hotels designed to surpass expectations of both customers and owners in truly meaningful ways.”

Conceived with extensive input from leading hotel owners and investors around the country, the new brand has seen strong momentum ahead of its unveiling. There are more than 30 individual commitments to date with properties confirmed in several prime markets across the US, including New York, Maui, Boston, Los Angeles, Lexington, Nashville, San Diego, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and more. An additional 30 deals are in various stages of development.

Tempo by Hilton is the latest brand created by Hilton to address the future of travel. Other recently launched brands include Motto by Hilton – an affordable, lifestyle micro-hotel with a communal vibe in prime urban destinations – and Signia Hilton – the portfolio’s premiere meetings and events brand.

Main image credit: Tempo by Hilton

PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

Gessi describes the new faucets as: “the poetry for a form that symbolises a promise…”

The Anello collection by Gessi speaks of harmony, love and fidelity. The design concept was, in fact, inspired by the form of a circle, a ring, that symbolises perfection, infinity, eternity.

Not only refined design, love for details, harmony of lines and proportions: Gessi wants to enter the home, enter daily life, in a discreet way, but that also touches an emotional chord. The Anello line is mainly distinguished by the handle of the mixer that features a new circular form, a ring, a true jewel of functional use, a promise of love and union that gives wellness and happiness every day, morning and night.

concept image of two faucets

Image credit: Gessi

The collection includes a variety of faucets for sinks, base and wall moun­ted. The mixer is produced in brass with treated surfaces, and presents va­rious finishes and patterns that enhance the uniqueness of the design with different hues and material or architectural effects. The new finishes in gloss brass, from warm to deep colours, and flamed brass, that has a charmingly rustic elegance, give a new alternative to the metallic surfaces that we are used to seeing in the bathroom fittings sector. Anello offers the possibility of creating innovative looks also thanks to a matte black finish, that joins the others of chrome, copper, gloss and satin metallic black.

In addition to the different models and versions, the Collection incorporates many modular and coordinating variables. The finishes may be combined in creative matches: the ring itself is available with smooth finish or in two different variations of knurling. Combining or overlapping opaque and gloss surfaces, smooth or knurled, creates very interesting and pleasing contra­sts and original decorative effects.

Gessi, which is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier, is a synonym of exclusivity and style in the world of design. The company’s mission is to bring a sense of private wellness to everyday life through its water sculptures: water as a means of wellbeing, the beauty of design as a pleasure to the eyes.

To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Gessi

Duravit offers new RIBA approved CPD: Material Innovation in Bathroom Design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit offers new RIBA approved CPD: Material Innovation in Bathroom Design

Duravit has introduced its brand new RIBA approved CPD: Material Innovation in Bathroom Design…

Recommended Supplier Duravit has unveiled it’s latest CPD: Material Innovation in Bathroom Design.

The RIBA-approved CPD course incorporates an overview of the latest material innovations used within the bathroom, an understanding of the differences and advantages between materials used in bathroom product manufacture and an overview of the quality features of innovative bathroom materials.

“We are totally committed to sharing Duravit’s knowledge from the both the design and innovation stand point,” said Martin Carroll, Managing Director of Duravit UK. “Our second CPD aims to help meet that requirement as will additional CPD’s which will be rolled out during 2020. Located in the heart of London’s architecture and design district, Duravit’s Showroom is ideally placed to host your CDP alternatively we can visit architectural and design practices to present the information in the privacy of your own offices.”

Bookings can be made by emailing Duravit’s London showroom.

Duravit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Image of bathroom from the ceiling

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Bathroom solutions for accessible spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Bathroom solutions for accessible spaces

Bathroom supplier Kaldewei reminds us on some of the affordable and timeless solutions for all guests around simple bathroom renovations… 

The hotel bathroom should be a place that feels comfortable as well as practical. In recent years, the hotel industry has demanded bathrooms to be fit for purpose for guests of all ages.

Image of bathroom from the ceiling

For some individuals checking in, old age restricts their freedom of movement and poses trip hazards when negotiating their way into and out of the bath or shower.

It’s high time for a bathroom upgrade to meet the needs of advancing age. Kaldewei advises ideal solutions for a flexible bathroom – meeting the needs of both now and in the future, as well as looking stylish – without over-stretching the often limited budget in retirement.

Everyone eventually faces the challenges of advancing age, where daily life and mobility in our own home becomes increasingly difficult. This is when we need an interior that is optimised for the needs in later life, enabling us for as long as possible to live autonomous lives without assistance. The bathroom is one place in the home where privacy is paramount and it should therefore be designed to ensure independence in taking care of personal hygiene needs, regardless of age. How do we eliminate trip hazards? What can we do if getting in or out of the bath is no longer safe? How can we maximise space for more room to manoeuvre?

Kaldewei offers practical and affordable solutions that help upgrade the bathroom to a flexible bathroom which meets the needs of now and the future as well as having the feel-good factor, as seen in the below ‘before and after’ images.

XXL-size floor-level showers in place of a bath

Developers increasingly opt for a floor-level shower to replace the bath and for good reason, because floor-flush showers create a seamless transition to the floor, improving comfort, safety and visual appeal. This fusion makes the room appear bigger and provides ease of access with no edges to trip over. As a manufacturer of double steel enamel bathroom products, Kaldewei has a portfolio of more than 100,000 solutions for floor-level shower areas. Upgrades benefit particularly from large-size shower surfaces, as they can be easily and inexpensively installed in place of a bath. The position of the waste outlet eliminates the need for complicated shifting of the bathroom waste pipe. Enamelled XXL shower surfaces from Kaldewei start at around £509 for the Kaldewei Cayonoplan shower surface in size 90cm x 140cm. Shower surfaces can optionally be finished with a slip-resistant coating such as Kaldewei Secure Plus for additional safety at no extra cost for many models.

Smart washbasin design for greater freedom of movement

The Kaldewei steel enamel washbasins are the perfect match for a floor-level enamelled shower surface. They are available in a variety of sizes and designs, including several wheelchair-accessible wall-hung models. A countertop washbasin with wall-hung bathroom furniture is ideal where extra utility space is essential. Kaldewei offers countertop washbasins in four different designs.

Main image credit: Kaldewei

Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

UKBathrooms investigates the leading bathroom manufacturers who are creating stylish and accessible hotel bathroom products…

The UK hotel business is thriving, and whilst that’s great news – and despite awareness generated by the Blue Badge Access and Style Awards – there is still a lack of genuinely accessible hotel rooms, particularly outside of capital cities.

Despite the demand hoteliers remain wary of creating accessible guestrooms, for fear of putting off non-disabled customers and because of concerns over installation costs. However, they be missing out on significant business opportunities each year. Guests with accessibility needs would certainly travel more, for work or for pleasure, if more accessible rooms were available, businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract a range of potential clients, meeting the needs of all without lessening the experience of existing customers.

“There is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade.” – UK Bathrooms

According to UK Bathrooms, one of the leading online store for premium designer bathrooms, there is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade. A beautiful, stylish space can be created that appeals to all guests, creatively designed and appealing to everyone, regardless of ability.

With more than 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and a total spending power of £249 billion a year its certainly worth businesses considering investment in this area.

An accessible hotel bathroom can be characterised by certain improvements to comfort along with a number of design options. Intelligent planning of taps, fittings and furnishings is required to create an accessible space.  The bathroom should be large enough for the guest to move around in if they are a wheelchair user and the layout of the room should allow for a clear turning circle of 1500 mm, its also important that the bathroom door opens outwards into the bedroom.

Toilet flush controls should be positioned towards the front of any cistern and on the side that is most easily accessed. Handles should also be easy to grip, and the toilet seat should ideally sit about 400mm from the floor.  A level access shower is often the best option and a shower seat is recommended. Again, easy to grip and accessible controls should be made available.

At UK Bathrooms, accessible bathrooms mean you do not have to compromise on design and comfort. Luxurious, elegant bathrooms can be created using the best in designer bathroom products available. A perfect example of this is the O. Novo Vita collection by Villeroy & Boch.  Its many attractive details blend harmoniously with the bathroom design taking every consideration of comfort, practicality, hygiene and appearance into account. The extended wall mounted toilet from this collection gives a greater degree of accessibility to the toilet space and is easier to reach.

An alternative WC to consider would be the VitrA V care Comfort Intelligent Rimless model. It combines the convenience and ease of a wall mounted WC with the comfort and cleanliness of the bidet. Fitted with an automatic seat and lid that senses approach, its heated seat can be warmed and ready for the ultimate in bathroom luxury and your guest experience.

When it comes to wet room panels, then Matki offer a superb choice, in a variety of sizes, the shower panels offer full flexibility when planning an accessible hotel bathroom yet retaining a stylish elegance.  This Matki Wet Room Shower Panel can be supplied with a shower seat option.  There is also a vast array of walk in shower trays to complete the accessible bathroom and with their ultra-flat design hoteliers can create more room for guests to move around and still retain a luxury feel. Additional features such as a rain shower head will provide the ultimate spa experience.

Don’t forget discreet handles near washbasins, toilet, bidets and showers these can blend harmoniously with the bathroom interior.

Your hotel accessible bathroom will look and feel luxurious to all guests, it will provide a high level of comfort and style ensuring that your business maximises all revenue opportunities.

UK Bathrooms is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch

Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

As Hotel Designs continues to put technology under the spotlight, Nick Brown, hospitality channel manger for GROHE UK, explains why digital modern bathrooms are going to be trending for a while… 

In recent years, the hotel guest experience has undergone a mass transformation.

As seen in Hotel Designs’ Year in Review of the most significant products to launch in 2019, digital technology is now commonplace throughout a hotel from app-based digital check-ins to slick entertainment systems providing music, TV and concierge support at the touch of a button.  The hotel bathroom is the natural next step in the evolution of the smart hotel, offering convenience, comfort and relaxation for the customer. Digital or smart fittings in the bathroom are now being specified to help increase functionality and usability in the bathroom, and in many cases, enhance the luxury atmosphere that so many visitors are now seeking from their travel experiences.

As far as interiors go, it is usually the crème de la crème of hotel designs that spark the trends for residential interiors. However, with digitalisation, the roles have been reversed to some extent. The integration of digital and smart concepts in the home is much more readily available now than they were even a few years ago, and with increased understanding as to their benefits and how to use them, the uptake from the mass market has become more profound. As most consumers are now much more in touch with tech and the digital world, hotels can really benefit from integrating smart features and there is even a growing expectation from savvy travellers for these elements to be included as standard.

“In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms.” – Nick Brown, hospitality channel manager, GROHE UK.

The rise of lifestyle hotel brands over the past few years has certainly helped spur on the desire for digital. Designers of these spaces are instilling character and innovations such as smart technology into both guest rooms and communal areas to create an enhanced, unique atmosphere. These experiential hotels are generating enormous appeal particularly with millennial guests and are consequently being shared in abundance on social media platforms. The hotel bathroom already has its own corner of the social media sphere, with the most luxurious and aspirational designs reaching hundreds of thousands of users around the world. Like bespoke design and idyllic aesthetics, digital products offer this same element of aspiration and can really help create a unique hotel experience, a trend which is trailblasing travel experiences for younger generations.

From the perspective of hoteliers and facility management teams, the trend for digital products in the bathroom stems from growing pressure on hotels to reduce their footprint and integrate fittings that will generate more efficient consumption of water and energy, as well as being mindful of how much single-use plastic waste they are generating. In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms which can be monitored via an app as well as set to run for a limited amount of time, helping to reduce on water consumption and costs whilst preventing against water damage from the tap being accidentally left on.

Many of the leading global hotel groups are beginning to implement their own sustainability targets and initiatives and are therefore turning to suppliers for smart solutions that can help them to reduce consumption without comprising performance as well as use app connectivity to monitor and manage their usage. Hotel conglomerates such as Hilton have subscribed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, which encourages the implementation of 17 targets to be in place by 2030. GROHE and its parent company LIXIL can work hand in hand with hotels supporting these initiatives as it too has pledged its support to the programme.

The challenge for meeting this new trend for digital is that bathroom interior fittings must still be beautiful and elegant, as well as functional and innovative. Each aspect is valued of equal importance and is key to creating an aspirational bathroom setting that will create a lasting memory in the minds of the guests, both for its looks and the experience it offers. Of course, sustainability will remain a dominating factor too as digitalisation continues to transform hotel bathrooms. Guests are becoming more and more conscious of the footprint they leave when travelling and will welcome encouragement from their hotel to help them be more eco-conscious during their stay. In 2020, basin mixers with LED temperature displays will emerge on the market, acting as a subtle but impactful reminder that guests can make small changes such as turning the temperature of their water down by just a few degrees to help reduce their energy consumption. Infra-red operated eco-modes will also be available on basin mixers which will see hotels actively offering guests more conscious choices when it comes to managing their carbon footprint and water usage.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE UK

Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

Design reduced to the essentials, SaphirKeramik has been bathroom manufacturer Laufen’s trade technology secret since 2013. Since then, the material has been used to create some of the most stunning bathroom products…

With SaphirKeramik the Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen is setting a new trend in bathroom design.

SaphirKeramik is an innovative ceramic material, which possesses all the hygienic advantages of traditional bathroom ceramics, but is thinner, more defined, and extremely robust. The special properties are due to the addition of corundum, a colourless component of sapphire, which has been prepared for the market by years of research and development work by Laufen. Since its launch in 2013 SaphirKeramik has developed into a favourite material of many architects and bathroom planners, because it permits a whole new design language with ceramics in the bathroom, which could not have been realised in the same way with conventional ceramic material.

Basin in black set

Image credit: Laufen

SaphirKeramik from Laufen is a very hard and rigid ceramic, which for the first time allows very thin, but extremely robust ceramic walls and at the same time a defined rim – a narrow edge radius of 1-2mm is possible, whilst traditionally ceramic material manages 7-8mm. The name SaphirKeramik is related to sapphire glass, known from watch-making, which also contains corundum, making it also a very hard material. However, SaphirKeramik not only permits a more precise and slimmer design language, but also has functional and ecological advantages: thus in the case of SaphirKeramik washbasins, with less material more functional space is created. In the process SaphirKeramik is exactly as hygienic and safe with drinking water as traditional ceramic material, and can also be recycled completely. The low material quantity, thanks to a simplified ceramic structure, has further advantages in terms of environmental protection and sustainability, since fewer raw materials and less energy are required for the firing, production and transport of SaphirKeramik.

Meanwhile Laufen has gained extensive experience with the innovative ceramic material, integrating numerous bathroom products made of SaphirKeramik into its ranges. Together with the washbasins in the successful Kartell by Laufen bathroom collection, and the SaphirKeramik bowls from the Living Square collection, the washbasins from the Val and Ino collections have now joined this exclusive club. Val and Ino have been developed from the SaphirKeramik project, to which Laufen invited the two designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen, in order to collectively explore further the design potential of the material in conceptual studies. SaphirKeramik also plays a key role in Patricia Urquiola’s Sonar collection for Laufen.

“Laufen is convinced that the potential of SaphirKeramik has not yet been fully exploited, and that with this innovative material we are going to realise many exciting developments in the future,” says Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing and Products at Laufen. “Since the dimensions of bathrooms in reality hardly change, it is our vision of wellbeing in the bathroom to optimise the proportions of features and to create a sustainable product design in accordance with the available room.”

Laufen is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Laufen

Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 2)

Hotel Designs continues looking back to reflect on some of the major statement products of 2019 with part two of its Year in Review of the best products to have launched in the last 11 months (edited by Hamish Kilburn)… 

Recently, I was lucky enough to sit in the company of design legend Marcel Wanders. While discussing his latest innovations, he effortlessly defined the relationship between suppliers and designers perfectly.

He said, and I quote: “Designing a product is much like creating a new word in an empty sentence. Depending on how the words are curated will determine the dynamics of the sentence, and in effect, the quality of the poem it becomes. I love seeing what sentences and poems designers will create with my empty words.”

This almost accidental explaination somehow put a new perspective on how I view and consume the news of product launches. Much like expanding ones vocabublary on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs HQ, following the latest products that emerge in the arena of international hotel design is a never-ending journey full of discovery.

I for one am looking forward to seeing how designers and architects use these products to create, as Wanders would describe, perfectly balanced sentences that are perminantly inked onto the pages of a well-rounded collection of hotel design poetry.

Following part one, which was published earlier this month, here’s part two of our Year in Review:

LG and Foster + Partner’s game-changeing LED TV

Launched during Milan Design Week, architectural firm Foster + Partners unveiled the world’s first rollable OLED TV in reaction to the rising demand for discreet technology. Raising the bar in consumer technology, the new LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R, the world’s first rollable TV.

The practice designed the TV’s external geometry and finishes as well as playing an active part in creating specific internal mechanisms. The screen technology is set to redefine the idea of the television and the living spaces it occupies.

Signbox’s sustainable solution

Gold sign with Bamboo edges

Image credit: Signbox

Hybrid from Signbox is a premium modular outdoor sign system that combines the relentlessly durable and sustainable qualities of exterior-grade composite bamboo with powerful materials, such as painted MDF, glass and slate, that bring both sign scheme and setting to life.

Phillipe Starck’s new vanity and mirror line with Duravit

Mirror and modern basin

Image credit: Duravit/Philippe Stark

The bathroom line by Duravit and Philippe Starck  launched in August, unveiling compact designs that claimed to accommodate any bathroom, particularly with hospitality and commercial spaces in mind. Cape Cod Guest exudes the same aesthetic as its predecessor but is now available with a narrower vanity and mirror, bringing larger-than-life design into more intimate spaces.

Minotti London’s indoor/outdoor 2019 collection

luxe and modern furniture

Image credit: Minotti London

Hot off the heels of being at the centre of the action as the style partner for Meet Up London, Minotti has yet again raised the level of furniture design with the unveiling of its 2019 Collection during Milan Design Week.

Collection after collection, year after year, Minotti’s unquenchable passion can be sensed from all corners of the design-hub city.

For the 2019 Collection, the furniture company conceived a new stylistic code, a new vision of the interior with surprising suggestions and atmospheres which play host to our new designs. Its intention is to provide food for thought in a surprising, creative, practical and dynamic way, to all those who choose our brand around the world.

The new collection, coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with Minotti Studio, brings a new vision of the living area to life, in which seating systems and furniture outline structured spaces and reveal new geometries in a continuous alternation of curves and straight lines. The result is a surprising variety of compositional solutions featuring unexpected combinations of textures and materials.

Knightsbridge celebrated 80 years with collaboration with Timorous Beasties

New to 2019, Knightsbridge exhibited its Caravelle collection at Sleep & Eat 2019, which was redeveloped to celebrate Knightsbridge’s 80thanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

The Caravelle collection consists of an armchair, two-seater and three-seater settee that have the clean lines and organic curves that the period became renowned for. It’s deep seat cushion provides a luxurious seat whilst the beautiful clean styling allows it to be specified into workplace, hospitality and care sectors. The collection is covered with exquisite fabric featuring jungle creatures and foliage from visionary textile designers Timorous Beasties.

Crosswater’s unique, high-signature finishes

Colourful bathroom

Image credit: Crosswater

Bathroom manufacturer Crosswater’s high-quality signature finishes and textures enable hotels to express their own brand through their bathroom designs. Combined with lighting and interior design elements, each bathroom can be created to perfectly suit the personality of the hotel, often without the need to change existing sanitaryware.

Twists and turns from Christopher Hyde

Image credit: Christopher Hyde

A new handmade pendant ‘The Lucerne’ is a satin brass adjustable frame incorporating LED with bubble glass. “This exciting new piece is great for over tables and bars and will compliment and be a talking point for any interior,” said the brand in a press release.

Meanwhile, the dynamic collection of the ‘Granada’ and ‘Seville’ lights has captured a different take on the Christopher Hyde Brand. With inner finishes available in gold, silver and copper leaf these lights are given added luxury.  This exciting collection comes with LED lighting technology.

If you know of a product you believe should be involved in Hotel Designs’ ultimate throwback, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

Bathroom trend of pastels is explored in Vitra's new range of bathroom products

Key bathroom trends to emerge in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Key bathroom trends to emerge in 2020

As Hotel Designs continues its ultimate throwback, Year in Review, Recommended Supplier UK Bathrooms takes a look back at key bathroom trends that emerged in 2019, and are expected to evolve in 2020…

As a result of designers are moving away from hard angular lines, and while furniture and fittings become more flowing in shape, 2019 saw the launch of some seductive new bathroom collections. Next year, we expect designers to be influenced raw materials, various patterns as well as sensitively introducing gold and black when creating new wellness areas.

Bathroom trend of pastels is explored in Vitra's new range of bathroom products

“Once relegated in the style archives gold is definitely back and has taken a new direction adding a glam look to bathrooms.”

Sensitively utilising gold

range of gold fittings from Crosswater

Image credit: Crosswater

One of the biggest trends of 2019 and definitely staying around for 2020 is gold – once relegated in the style archives gold is definitely back and has taken a new direction adding a glam look to bathrooms.  Start with fittings such as basin taps, waste, shower fittings and then layer up the accessories.  Crosswater is one of the leading contemporary bathroom brands and the company’s new MPRO Industrial Brass range is simply stunning with its unlacquered brass finish, allowing the metal to breath and eventually resulting in beautiful oxidation. The MPRO collection is inspired by industrial era brassware and is already proving very popular especially to those who are discerning and style conscious.

Pastels with a twist

Pastel bathroom with minimalist urinal and sinks and 70s-inspired mirrors

Image credit: VitrA

UK Bathrooms and Hotel Designs have seen a growing demand for pastel shades this year and VitrA’s new Plural range+, which launched in October, is a great example of this trend. The exciting modern look was designed by award-winning Milan based designer Terri Pecora.

Inspired by the heritage of communal bathing spaces and rituals, the collection presents the bathroom in a totally new light. Organic shaped design elements are used in multiple combinations to form an intimate setting.  Innovation abounds in this Gold Award winning collection with three syphon solutions one of which allows a basin to be placed at various angles as an alternative to the conventional positioning by the wall, another designed to specifically enable washbasins to be mounted in an open bathroom space whilst still keeping a clean and minimalistic look and the this allowing for the fitting of column basins at free angles in the room instead of the more common 90 degree angle to the wall.  This superb range also includes a mirror which easily rotates between two basins.

Raw and natural

modern bathroom with running tap in botanical surroundings

Image credit: Hansgrohe

Materials like exposed concrete, unfinished wood and raw brick look contemporary and chic combined with ultra-modern touches, such as the Hansgrohe Metropol Floorstanding Bath Mixer Tap the result is a bathroom firmly on the chic side of industrial interior design. Natural unrefined finishes will be seen more and more in 2020.  Villeroy and Boch Memento 2.0 Countertop basin comes in a choice of amazing finishes, including concrete grey which complements this look perfectly.

Show stopping cast iron roll top baths are the heart of the Victorian Vibe look and UK Bathrooms sell a large selection of roll tops from premium luxury brands such as Burlington’s Avante garde back to wall traditional bath and the stunning Imperial Sheraton Cast iron Ball Foot Slipper Bath. Remaining a crucial component in today’s chicest bathroom, the freestanding bath with ball and claw feet is here to stay. Add dark walls and panelling to create the mood.

UK Bathrooms is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: VitrA

Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

Rounding off this year’s show season, editor Hamish Kilburn attends Sleep & Eat 2019 on the search for new product launches, sensational design concepts and more brands under one roof than in any other hotel design trade show in Europe…

It is often said that the sequel is never as impactful as the prequel. And although that may well be the case in the film industry, design is different. For the second year running, Sleep & Eat 2019 went west to found shelter at Olympia London, a hotly debated venue but a popular one no doubt during show season.

The show opened its doors on November 19 to offer designers, architects, operators and owners a unique chance to learn from the game-changers, while discovering new products and expand their thinking.

On the surface Sleep & Eat’s success from last year was matched with many of the same exhibitors taking the same positions as in 2018. The most significant statement from the 2019 show, however, took place in the lecture theatre, where a mix of interesting and colourful insights and debates became the highlight for many.

Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International, opened day one by sharing his experience oftransforming an ‘ugly’ and unloved building in London into a hotel that is now headline news around the world. Christoph Hoffman, CEO of 25Hours Hotels, opened day two and, in conversation with Conference Moderator, Heleri Rande, talked about the importance of “soul”. While his group has so notably charted its own course, hedeclared himself inspired by the great luxury hotels of the world. “It’s about keeping the stories alive,” he said. Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, also delivered a captivating keynote. “More than ever before,design is essential to survive as the world becomes more crowded. Design is a defensive necessity,” he told the audience. “In NeueHouse, we are forging places where commerce and creativity collide, where new enterprises that will shape our futures will be conceived by our users.”

Image credit: Rob Jones

Panel topics were diverse and layered, from hotel F&B trends to managing and designing flexible public spaces and the meaning of eco in the luxury hotel experience, but all with an eye not just to the hospitality scene today but in the future. Architect, Richard Coutts, and engineer, Ben Fitzgerald, took the audience to the under- and above-water frontiers of their work, presenting a project destined for Hobart Harbour – an underwater hotel with public park on top – and the Under restaurant off the Norwegian coast. The knowledge, skills, vision and technology exist to harness our lakes, rivers and oceans for greater hospitality experiences, claimed the duo Design maverick and disrupter, Johannes Torpe, considered the future of hospitality in space but, despite his collaborations with NASA and his passion for space movies, he argued that there was still much work to do before space could be accessible for most of us. Instead, he called on the audience to create unearthly places on Earth, citing his Red Mountain resort project in Iceland, a spa and wellness retreat that will offer complete escape into Icelandic nature.

Sleep, Eat and Party in this year’s Room Sets

This year’s event theme of “Social FlexAbility” explored the power of hospitality to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital isolation. It proved to be just the challenge that six international architectural and design firms needed to create concept guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant which were inspiring in vision, intriguing in detail and astonishing in execution.

Yuna Merge, unveiled the VIP Area entitled ‘Gather’. The designer transformed Olympia Club Room into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space.

London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees designed a concept guestroom to explore hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation. Complete with a fully retractable bed and a tap that poured chilled negroni, the set utilised space, senses and colour.

“The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

Other Set designers were HAT Design (guestroom), SpaceInvader (bar) and NAME Architecture (restaurant).

In the exhibition hall

Image credit: Rob Jones

More than 160 design-led suppliers – established and up-and-coming manufacturers, artisans and fit-out companies – chose Sleep & Eat 2019 to showcase their products and launch new collections. Some highlights included:

GROHE returned to Sleep & Eat for the 14th year and presented its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet, including its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps on their first official UK outing.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Following Hotel Designs’ interview with designer Marcel Wanders one day prior, the team from Laufen unveiled the curtain on its latest collection, The New Classic.

Ammique, the world’s most technologically advanced bed, was at Sleep & Eat for the first time. The company launched its Platinum limited edition bed with a choice of three sensual fabrics created in collaboration with textile designer, Hannah White. Marlene Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of Ammique,says: “Having thought long and hard about taking space, we are utterly delighted that we decided to. We would unequivocally recommend anyone in the industry to consider investing in a stand at Sleep & Eat. It really is a show that delivers.”

Hansgrohe, which was an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019 later in the week, launched its Rainfinity range and Sunbury Design launched Perception Collection in collaboration with renowned print designer, Amelia Graham. Meanwhile, both Bette and Kaldewei gave visitors the opportunity to test their materials themselves, with wire brushes, hammers, nail varnish and naked flames.

Morgan, which has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards, unveiled a new stripped-back sustainable furniture collection, Kaya, which finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees.

Showing the design world it’s place as a premium shower supplier was Aqualisa, which was also an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019. The company, which was the first to launch the digital shower to the hospitality market, was making noise with a range of new high-tech products.

There were cause of celebrations on the Knightsbridge stand as the British furniture company announced its 80th anniversary. In apt fashion, the brand displayed its design-led Caravelle collection, which was redeveloped to celebrate theanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, presented its lush and extravagant lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite a love for antiques, Paris, colour and fully decorated spaces.

Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath made their UK debut at the show.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Other familiar brands at the show included: Astro Lighting, Roca, Interna UK, Chelsom, Grok, Northern Lights and Perrin & Rowe. Newcomers included Eichholtz, ILIV Contract Textiles and Absolute Lifestyle.

As tradition, Sleep & Eat presented two awards for best-designed stands, this year judged by designers, Constantina Tsoutsikou, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and Ben Webb together with architect, Angela Dapper and event director, Mark Gordon. Hospitality artwork suppliers, Verdigris Art, with artist in residence, Marcus Aitken, was awarded Best Stand, and luxury wallcoverings manufacturer, Arte, was the recipient of the Best Space-Only Stand Award.

Following the two-day event, industry experts gathered for an after-party style awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, which is where this year’s winners of seven individual awards were crowned, as well as where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled.

With rumours circulating, it is down to interpretation whether or not Sleep & Eat’s second year at Olympia London was as or more successful than its first year. Whether or not the show ‘hit the mark’ in your opinion, there was no denying that it was a engaging two-days of talks, networking opportunities and interesting product launches.

Have your say by tweeting us as @HotelDesigns. What was your highlight of Sleep & Eat 2019?

Main image credit: Rob Jones

GROHE joins forces to reduce plastic waste

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE joins forces to reduce plastic waste

Recommended Supplier GROHE has united with the Pacific Garbage Screening Project as it continues its eco mission… 

Soon after announcing that it will go carbon-free in manufacturing by 2020, GROHE has shared its support of the Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS) project of architect Marcella Hansch. Together with an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and marine biologists, the trained architect is working on the development of a water platform that will collect plastic waste before it damages the ecosystems in oceans and rivers.

The vision of clean water through the reduction of plastic waste is also of vital importance for GROHE. For one of the leading suppliers for full bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, sustainability and avoiding plastic play a leading role in the brand’s manufacturing processes and product development. For example, with the GROHE Blue filtered tap system, disposable plastic bottles are a thing of the past. By using GROHE Blue, a family of four avoids an average of 760 plastic bottles per year1 – a benefit not only for consumers but also for the environment. In addition to self-initiated projects, GROHE also wants to contribute to the field of sustainability through co-operations, such as the alliance with PGS. Therefore, GROHE will not only support the project financially, but representatives of GROHE and PGS also plan to join forces to draw the public’s attention to the worldwide plastic problem and to forward-thinking solutions.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Marcella Hansch and PGS. The enormous amount of plastic waste in rivers and oceans are a collective problem and represent one of the greatest challenges of our time. This is why we directly decided to promote such an important project for the reduction of plastic waste,” explains Thomas Fuhr, CEO of Grohe AG, confirming the commitment. “We are particularly impressed with howpassionately Marcella Hansch and her team dedicate themselves to their mission. They not only want to create a solution that extracts plastic from the ocean, but also encourage people to change their minds.” The collaboration with GROHE is also significant for Marcella Hansch. “Partnerships are incredibly important for us, because we can only tackle a global problem together,” she said. “We are excited about the commitment of GROHE to avoid using plastic and reduce plastic as much as possible with regard to their products but also in their productionchain. That is why we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

During a dive, Marcella Hansch encountered copious amounts of plastic waste instead of fish. She immediately realised that there was an urgent need for action. This led to an in-depth study of a technical solution for the reduction of plastic waste in the oceans in her thesis. Since then, the idea has continuously evolved: to prevent the pollution of the oceans, PGS concentrates on the moment where plastic waste enters the oceans. Specifically, the focus is on a floating platform. Its design makes it possible to extract plastic particles from the water. Since it is assumed that around 80 per cent of plastic waste in the oceans is generated on land2 and rivers are regarded as major pathways, the platforms are to be used in rivers and estuaries.

Sustainability as an integral part of the GROHE brand

GROHE pursues a 360-degree sustainability approach that in equal measure encompasses employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and its societal contribution. In this way, the global brand not only develops resource-saving product innovations that enable consumers to live more sustainably but also aims to become the first leading manufacturer in the sanitary sector with CO2-neutral production in 2020. The use of green electricity, photovoltaics and combined heat and power plants is of decisive importance here. From 2020, the sanitary brand will support two compensation projects in order to offset CO2 emissions, which have thus far not been reducible. For its continuous efforts, GROHE has once again been nominated for the top 3 “most sustainable big companies 2020” at the German Sustainability Award.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

GROHE launches Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, combining tech and wellness to create its answer to meaningful bathroom design… 

Digitalisation and wellness-inspired spaces are two mega-trends that are changing the way we perceive bathroom design. The two may seemingly juxtapose one another but with the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, GROHE has found a way to merge the two to create easily accessible, personalised showering that can be tailored to each individual user.

Thanks to its flexible and accessible positioning, the wireless control enables all users to conveniently select different spray patterns, choosing the spray that will best suit their mood. Users can choose from the ActiveRain spray which is a powerful jet perfect for rinsing away shampoo, loosening tense muscles or for a much-needed wake up call on an early morning; and PureRain which delivers larger, softer droplets for a more luxurious, relaxing shower experience. Each spray can be activated by pushing the relevant pictograph on the control, with a third icon allowing you to combine both sprays at once.

What makes the system unique is its compatibility to work alongside existing shower thermostats without the need for complete refurbishment of the shower space. Installation is quick and simple as the shower head can easily be mounted on existing shower extension arms. Thanks to its wirelessconnection which doesn’t require any behind-the-wall installation, the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 is a cost-effective and simple upgrade that will bring enhanced shower enjoyment using smart, forward-thinking design.

GROHE Rainshower SmartConnect 310 has already received a number of highly coveted design accolades since it was first showcased at the ISH show earlier this year. These include Winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2019, the Innovative Architecture – Best of Best award at Iconic Awards 2019 and winner at the iF Awards 2019.

Main image credit: GROHE

New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

A new study, commissioned by Armitage Shanks and led by chartered architect and academic at the Belfast School of Architecture, Dr Saul Golden, has looked into the wellbeing impact commercial washroom design can have on user experience…

Bathroom manufacturer Armitage Shanks has published a new report that has concluded that wellbeing is the number one social factor that designers think will impact washroom design over the next five years.

The report, ‘Creating better washrooms’, found that nine in 10 office washroom designers believe this space can have an impact on end users’ wellbeing – a view that is shared by three quarters of office workers themselves. Sixty-four per cent of office workers surveyed even said that workplace washrooms affect their general job satisfaction.

The findings of the report demonstrate a strong link between commercial washrooms and employee health and wellbeing – an increasingly vital asset for organisations looking to attract and retain the best employees and improve their brand image.

“In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.”

As one of the leading manufacturers of private and public bathroom solutions, Armitage Shanks commissioned ‘Creating better washrooms’ as part of its commitment to working across urban development, architecture and residential design to provide washroom solutions that shape the future of modern living. In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.

The report was launched in front of media and customers during the company’s ‘Washroom Week’ – a series of insight-led events aimed at the architecture and design communities. The launch event featured an expert panel talk examining the findings and their implications on the world of washrooms. The panel comprised Dr. Saul Golden, renowned ceramics designer, Robin Levien, leading architectural consultant, Hsi Sung Thomas and design historian, Libby Sellers. The group, chaired by London Design Guide editor, Max Fraser, discussed the conclusions and focused on changes around sustainability, gender, social media and technology within the washroom space.

The unique study surveyed 2,000 office workers and 400 commercial washroom designers from across Europe on a range of topics, including wellbeing, gender, sustainability, technology and social media. This data was then compared with global studies to outline how designers can deliver more effective and impactful spaces that meet the needs of end users – now and in the future – in light of changing work-life patterns, demographics and technological innovation.

Uses of workplace washrooms

The study highlights that the global trend towards urbanisation and flexible working patterns means people are using workplace washrooms for a wider range of reasons, with them spending an increasing amount of time in these so-called ‘backstage microspaces’ to prepare for their ‘front stage appearance’.

When comparing designers’ and end users’ priorities, the study found that, while there are broad similarities, end users rate aspects such as privacy and space more highly than designers think.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Golden said: “With commercial washroom quality increasingly acknowledged as an important contributor to people’s workplace satisfaction and consumer choice, this research provides timely insights for washroom designers to better adapt their projects from short-term trends to longer-term shifts in user demand.

“The findings offer new insights into people’s views on washroom hygiene, health and comfort, as well as a holistic view of the environmental, economic and technological aspects of washroom design. They therefore aim to help designers deliver value-added washrooms that not only act as more competitive comfort-driven, accessible and inclusive spaces, but also contribute to company brand image and potential ROI.”

“The way people use commercial washrooms is undoubtedly changing as society becomes increasingly centred on city-based living, working and leisure activities,” said Stephen Ewer, Managing Director of Ideal Standard UK (Armitage Shanks’ parent company). “Given the evidence linking washrooms to improved job satisfaction and productivity, it’s also clear that there must be a move away from design that focuses solely on hygiene and utilitarian features, and towards design that considers personal comfort and other factors that affect wellbeing.

“This study forms part of our wider commitment to positively impact the future of modern living through evidence-based design and provides a clear demonstration that there needs to be a greater focus on washroom quality in line with end user expectations. The key to achieving this is through sustained collaboration; only by working closely with architects, designers and construction companies, as well as end users, will we be able to deliver impactful washrooms that go beyond mere function and rightfully play a central role in improving wellbeing and enhancing the lives of those who use these vital everyday spaces.”

Main image credit: Armitage Shanks

10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

Bette explains some of the benefits of using glazed titanium-steel for baths, shower trays and washbasins…

What makes glazed titanium-steel so perfect for hotel baths and should more hotels be choosing it for shower trays too? German manufacturer, Bette, has been supplying hotels with baths and shower trays made of its glazed titanium-steel, for many years. Here are its top 10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the best material for hotel bathrooms, including why it’s the perfect material for shower trays, as well as baths and washbasins.

1 – So durable Bette has BBQs in its baths!

Bette baths and shower trays are so durable and scratch resistant that the company has BBQs in its baths to prove how indestructible its glazed titanium-steel is! Once the charcoal has cooled and the bath has been cleaned it looks as good as new. While you might not go that far, durability is key to choosing a product that will stay looking great for many years, with no amount of hotel guests and regular cleaning diminishing its shine and flawless finish. It’s all down to the perfectly uniform thickness of the titanium-steel and the precision of the enamel glaze, which makes it super-strong. Bette is so confident about the durability, that all its glazed titanium-steel products come with a thirty year warranty.

2 – Easy to clean

The surface that makes Bette’s products so durable, is also what makes them so easy to clean. It is so hard and smooth (like glass) that dirt simply washes off, as it has no scratches or texture to cling to. No special cleaning formulations are needed. Cosmetics and coloured shampoos and shower gels won’t mark the surface and even nail varnish can be removed easily.

3 – Sustainable, natural and 100% recyclable

 With a growing focus on the environment and desire to reduce the use of plastics, Bette offers the natural, non-plastic/acrylic alterative. Bette baths, shower trays and basins are made from only natural materials and are 100% recyclable, which means they can be a more sustainable choice. Bette’s sustainability is confirmed by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards.

4 – Invisible, easy-clean anti-slip

Bette’s Anti-slip Pro finish isn’t like the ‘gritty’ anti-slip finishes of the past. It’s almost invisible, so you’d hardly know it’s there, even after years of use, and is fully enamelled for easy cleaning. What’s more it’s been tested and meets one of  the highest levels of slip resistance.

Which is why it makes sense to choose Bette glazed titanium-steel for shower trays too. Bette offers a wide choice in hundreds of sizes and colours, including matt colours to coordinate with flooring.

Image credit: Bette

5 – Strong material meets strong design

Bette has a strong design focus and this, together with the strong titanium-steel, means that Bette products include many clever features, like super-slim rims on baths and washbasins, steep sides for more standing or lying room and ultra-comfortable lying areas.

6 – Tailored to you  

Not only does the Bette range offer a large choice of sizes and styles, including space-saving designs, but the manufacturing process means that Bette can tailor products to fit a space perfectly. So, if there’s an awkward space, like a recess, that needs a perfectly sized shower tray or bath, Bette can create it. No compromise required.

And the hand-crafted element of Bette’s manufacturing process also means that shower trays and fitted baths can be ordered with BetteUpstand to the exact measurements required. So you can say goodbye to silicone where the product meets the wall tiles.

7 – A choice of 500 Colours

Because Bette products are made from titanium-steel and then the surface is enamelled there are around 500 colours to choose from. There are matt options, as well as gloss, Bette can colour-match to ceramic items, and for larger projects, Bette can even create bespoke colours.

8 – A warm, comfortable bath

Glazed titanium-steel is the perfect heat conductor, taking on the temperature of the room and then of the bathwater, to provide a truly comfortable bath, including around the neck area.

9 – Quiet with special sound-proofing

Bette’s expertise extends to clever installation systems that reduce the transmission of noise from the bath or shower tray to the building, so making for a more relaxing experience for everyone.

10 – UV Resistant

Bette’s special surface is colour and light-fast so, even after years of use, will be as bright and shiny as new.

Bette is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

With the aim of becoming the first manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge…

Less than a month after editor Hamish Kilburn unveiled Independent Hotel Show’s Conscious Bedroom Report to highlight that a whopping 76 per cent of guests believe hotels could do more to be greener – and while Hotel Designs continues to put sustainability in the spotlight this month – GROHE has laid out its carbon-neutral plans.

Sustainability has been an essential element of GROHE’s corporate strategy for almost 20 years now. As early as 2000, the global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings committed itself in its “principles and guidelines for sustainability” to continuously improving all products, processes and services in terms of protecting the environment and conserving resources.

“In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity.”

Since then, the bathroom manufacturer has set new industry standards, applying its 360- degree sustainability approach that incorporates employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and thecompany’s social contribution alike. With the aim of becoming the first leading manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge. In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity. With the start of the new fiscal year in April 2020, the sanitary manufacturer will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions through two compensation projects.

“For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain.” – Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG

“More than ever, manufacturers like GROHE are in demand to take on responsibility and strive towards more sustainability,” said Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG. “For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain. With GROHE goes ZERO, we are now setting an example for the entire industry: We are actively addressing the CO2 challenge by increasingly avoiding emissions and, if this is not possible, compensating for them.”

The sustainability initiative is seamlessly linked to numerous measures that are taking place at the GROHE plants, promoting the long-term reduction of the carbon footprint and conserving resources: The brand has invested in block heat and power plants, was awarded the silver certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council for the plant extension in Klaeng, Thailand, and built a state-of-the-art test laboratory in Hemer, Germany. GROHE also uses advanced technologies that increase sustainability, such as the material-saving 3D metal-printing process which has been launched this year.

As a result, GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24 per cent and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40 per cent since the introduction of its sustainability programme in 2014. This means that the global brand has already far exceeded its 2021 targets of 20 per cent respectively.

GROHE Supports Two Water Projects in India and Malawi

Supporting two offsetting projects is another logical step for GROHE to compensate for so far unavoidable CO2emissions: In the north of India, the operation of a hydroelectric power plant replaces electricity that mainly comes from coal-fired power plants. In the African non-coastal state of Malawi, a project repairs and maintains boreholes that are used to produce drinking water. With the help of selected offset projects, GROHE will support activities based on extremely stringent criteria, such as the Gold Standard, developed under the aegis of the WWF. In addition to avoiding CO2, the measures also contribute to a more sustainable, ecological and socialdevelopment within the projects’ environments.

“With GROHE goes ZERO, we are further expanding our leading position as one of the most sustainable brands in the sanitary industry,” says Thomas Fuhr. “But at the same time, we have by no means reached all of our sustainability goals; we can and must get even better.”

GROHE has received numerous awards for its commitment. Currently, the brand is one of three major companies that have been nominated for the German Sustainability Award. GROHE CEO Thomas Fuhr was recently awarded for his commitment to sustainability by the corporate network B.A.U.M., the German Environmental Management Association.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

Now that autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching, all eyes of the international hotel design world are focused on trends and new products as we gear up towards awards season and prepare to wind down for another year. Recommended Supplier Bisque has taken this opportunity to shine the spotlight on emerging AW trends to bookmark… 

Leading radiator supplier Bisque has taken note of a few key A/W interiors trends on the rise.

Trend: Tranquil Dawn

Dulux’s Colour of the Year has been revealed for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. A cool and calming tone selected by a panel of experts from around the world, this lusciously soft green works for all rooms in the house, no matter how big or small.

Trend: Brown is the new black

Image credit: Bisque

Step aside black, brown is back! A versatile shade that ranges from beige to copper these brown hues – this doesn’t make sense? – it is time to bring these earthy tones back into your home to create a warm and welcoming feel.

Trend: Dusky pastels

Image credit: Bisque

Adding pops of colour into your home, not only is a great way to put a stamp of your personality on a room but adds a statement piece to the room.

Trend: Soft minimalism

Keep it simple with soft neutral colours, creating a calming tone throughout your space. Also perfect for those renting out their homes, as it’s a theme that everyone can complement with accessories and soft furnishings.

Trend: Maximalism  

Image credit: Bisque

Electric glamour and indulgent dual tones gives off a sense of power and strong personality. These bold schemes will fit in both traditional and modern homes and great for those also wanted a transitional look.

Main image credit: Bisque

Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

Editor Hamish Kilburn is invited up to Leicester where he is able to discover the treasures that lie within Roca Group’s new and improved UK headquarters…

Some businesses would argue that, when reading that the country’s construction has fallen by 2.5 per cent from August to September, which is largely influenced by the unstable political landscape in the UK at the moment, now is not a wise time to invest in expanding UK assets.

And then there are companies like Roca Group that would disagree entirely to the above statement. Claiming the title of market-leading bathroom manufacturer for more than 20 years, with more than 24,000 employees globally, Roca Group has recently opened a new and gleaming UK headquarters. Based on the outskirts of Leicester, the 145,000 sq-ft base, which also features one of the country’s largest bathroom showrooms, was the subject of my latest warehouse/factory tour.

“Roca Group is all about the long-term goals,” Alan Dodds, the Managing Director of Roca Group UK, tells Hotel Designs. “Our products are inspired by materials. Therefore, research and design is paramount.”

Peering over the interior balcony was the first time I grasped the sheer scale of Roca Group’s UK presence. The warehouse is colossal, complete with 12 dock level loading doors, two level access loading doors and 150 per cent more pallet locations than it sheltered in its previous UK base. “We had been at maximum capacity [in our old headquarters] for years,” adds Dodds. “And it’s refreshing, and it feels like the right time, to be able to bring all brands together under one roof.”

Although the brands under Roca Group may capture a different segment of the market, the research and development team behind each product launched work in-house and operate across both Roca, Roca/Armani, Laufen and Cosmic equally. “It can take anything from six months to two years for a product to be developed and ready for the market,” explains Dodds. “We may not always be the first to launch new concepts, but we ensure that when we do, we are adding something different. Something that the consumers have demanded.”

The latest shower toilets from Laufen are a solid example of this. Despite these W/Cs first being introduced in the ‘80s, the group has only recently launched them to the market, after investing time in careful and sensitive R&D. “We realised that consumers did not appreciate the chunkiness of this style of product originally, nor did they speak highly of the complicated and often unnecessary software when it comes to operating them,” said Richard Court, Laufen’s UK training manager. “Therefore, we launched our W/Cs to look discreet – like any other high-end toilet – and offer a one-button solution for operation that can, if preferred, also be adjusted by the remote.”

In regards to showcasing the latest products on the market across all brands, the new showroom is one of the largest – and most impressive – bathroom showrooms in the UK. In true Roca Group fashion, the space has been dynamically designed to enhance each product’s value and unique selling points. It superbly compliments the group’s ethos to form ideas responsibly and with purpose.

Often on the battlefield of bathroom manufacturers, one of the main challenges faced by bathroom manufacturers is differentiation. For Roca Group, each brand has its own position, aims and target market. However, all innovations are inspired by materials, form and function.

Some of these materials used for sanitaryware from other manufacturers include china ceramic, titanium steel, and even cast-iron. However, in 2013, after half a decade of research and in true Swiss design style, Laufen launched a new material that became known as the world’s thinnest ceramic. “Sourcing SaphirKeramik was Laufen’s dining out card for some time,” explains Court. “It allows us to manufacture thin material without sacrificing on strength. It is still to this day the only material that can do so – and we are the only company that uses it.”

The advantages of SaphirKeramik affect the availability of space. Put simply, less material is required without affecting the durability of the product. This could quite possible inspire future collections from Laufen that include smaller basins, for example, that would be impossible to recreate using any other material.

In addition to the vast innovation, the brand’s bread and butter has always been valuable collaboration. In 1989/1990, Laufen introduced the first design collection developed with the Porsche Design Group with a press release headed “The bathroom that’s a PORSCHE”. Since then, the brand has partnered with renowned designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Roberto Palomba and Marcel Wanders to take the aesthetics of bathroom design to new heights.

Next month at Sleep & Eat 2019 (stand L10), Laufen will unveil the result of its latest collaboration with Wanders. The New Classic collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

Over in the Roca division of the showroom, while the brand is less focused on collaborations, there is one exceptional partnership that has been repositioned and readjusted under the spotlight recently following the brand announcing its second collection with fashion house Armani.

Image credit: Roca/Armani

Armani/Roca, as Giorgio Armani explains, “combines all the functional aspects of the bathroom space with elegance and subtly, providing an area that simultaneously provides comfort and wellbeing.” And the way in which the set has been curated within the new showroom with ‘that bath’ being taking centrestage, certainly does that bold statement justice. The latest products within the collection will also be showcased at Sleep & Eat on stand L20.

“Each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane.