Celebrating its 145th year of producing some of the world’s most fashion-forward bathroom fixtures, Kohler presented a celebration of modernism at this year’s Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Fair).
Transforming Milan’s famed Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Kohler treated its audience to an experience that was both visually enticing and emotionally evocative.
Guests were taken on a journey through the entire spectrum of modernism – from minimalism to maximalism – via the lens of a series of artistic installations constructed from Kohler’s world wide products portfolio.
The ornate décor of the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi served as the perfect backdrop to a series of installations set in the grand rooms of the historic museum.
One of the highlights was the newly released ‘Dutchmaster’ sinks collection featuring bold embellishment in the form of large scale botanical patterns in a rich, dark, moody colour palette.
As a direct contrast the smart, sharp ‘Components’ tapware collection drew much attention. Exuding a strong, raw industrial aesthetic the taps feature a clean matte black finish.
Other drawcards in the modernist oeuvre were the newly released Ombré finish and the DeStijl-inspired Kallista Grid tap. The latter is a feat of design and engineering, featuring a dramatic geometric silhouette created with cutting-edge 3D-printing technology.
A further element of Kohler’s visual feast was the very creative use of lighting to add a new and exciting dimension to a number of products. Its new Lighting Suite, for example, created for the organic Veil collection, magnified and enhanced the products – which included mirror, basin, vanity, bath and wall-hung vanity. Each piece was framed by an ambient glow that can change shade according to the user’s mood.
Curator of the exhibition, Mark Bickerstaffe, Kohler’s Director of New Product Development, Kitchen and Bath, said the installations demonstrated Kohler’s love and commitment to comprehensive and forward-thinking design. “From minimalism to maximalism, we love creativity in all its forms; and that has never been more apparent than with our new products”, said Bickerstaffe.
The ‘unveiling’ of Kohler’s Veil smart toilet takes hygiene and comfort to a new level in terms of luxury and personalised convenience.
The Veil is a self-cleaning wall hung toilet with advanced bidet features controlled by a one-touch remote control. The design of the Veil deserves special mention as its balanced curves and sculpted form inject a sense of beauty into the utilitarian toilet or bathroom space.
The French curve heated seat, with its gently dished shape, minimises pressure points for extra comfort while its antibacterial material enhances hygiene levels. The ultra-responsive remote control offers a suite of customised features to optimise hygiene and personal comfort – these include a choice of soft, pulsating or spiral wash with instant air-infused warm water; choice of water temperature; warm air dryer with adjustable temperature control; and seat temperature adjustment.
The French curve seat is ergonomically designed to eliminate seat pressure points and enhance seat comfort. With the addition of antibacterial properties for optimum hygiene.
The Veil’s stainless steel spray wand automatically cleans itself with sterilised water after each use – and automatically sanitises itself with UV light every 24 hours.
The bidet wand has three wash functions and heats the water to your desired temperature.
The powerful, twin jet flushing system of Veil, together with its rimless bowl, ensures a cleaner flush and an all round higher standard of hygiene within the toilet.
Multiple flushing options offer improved hygiene, including automatic flush; touchless flush, one touch flush and manual flush.
Further testament to the rich list of features are the automatic seat cover – sensor-activated with three adjustable distance settings to automatically open and close the lid – and the blue LED nightlight on the face plate of the toilet.
The Veil has half and full flush options with a 4 star WELS rating and 3.3 litre average flush.
The Veil Intelligent Toilet offers the perfect balance of form and function to encapsulate the essence of the modern intelligent toilet.
Watch the Veil Wall Hung Intelligent Toilet video here.
Bathroom design might not change as rapidly from season to season as Fashion does, but we certainly see major trends evolve every year. When it comes to designing a bathroom area, authenticity is key. Embrace a trend or style that you love today and will love long term. If you are updating an existing bathroom add fresh paint, paper or accessories from the current trends and express your own style.
So, what’s hot for Interiors in 2018
Warm, dusky and earthy colour palettes and a whole lot of individualism are strong themes for 2018. Craftsmanship, authenticity, organic textures and uniquely made items are the focus of the bathroom design of today. Moody blues, smoky elegant charcoal tones all set against authentic metals such as burnished brass. Rich greens are also trending in 2018 for finishes and lush tropical leafed plants are perfect for hanging or in textural pots.
What’s hot for Bathrooms 2018
White ceramic fittings will always be popular but our quest for individuality is seeing the rise in the popularity of colour and texture especially for basins. Dark basins and toilets are a safer way to add drama to your bathroom. Bathroom colours are becoming richer and moodier with deeper charcoals, greens and blues appearing in walls of tiles, painted surfaces and accessories. Soft muted colours, such as millennium pink, and sage green are teamed with natural textural elements in bathroom design. Must have: Kohler Black Chalice Basin
The Chalice Black Basin
2. Authentic Metallics
Gold is definitely experiencing a renaissance now, but not the showy orange type. Gentle champagne and rose shades and brass are the it metallics this season. Metallics are being used to create utilitarian glamour not over the top tackiness. Beautifully shaped and honed tapware, sleek accessories even gilded tiles can be used to add the modern metallic edge. Must have: Kohler PURIST BASIN MIXER in Rose Gold
Purist Basin Set in stunning Rose Gold
3. Exotic Tropics
Lush energising green is this year’s essential element. Bold oversized tropical wallpapers (still trending), or painted walls in rich green tones are design elements to incorporate in to your bathroom in 2018. Lots of potted green plants with big textural leaves will create a bathroom that is fresh and current. Add some beautiful new towels in a rich emerald tone to your existing bathroom for a fresh yet opulent look. Must have: A beautiful Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese) Plant
4. Warm Toned Wood
The over-loved pale Scandi look is evolving to darker more opulent timber tones for both accents and bathroom furniture. Organic or refined, classic or contemporary design, natural timber in a bathroom evokes a sense of warmth and design balance when matched against cool ceramic elements. We are seeing warm rich timber floors as an elegant and modern choice. Must Have: Kohler TERRACE VANITY & BASIN
One of Kelly’s recent townhouse renovations, incorporating the Kohler Terrace basin + vanity, Composed Basin Mixer, Memphis bath spout.
5. Textural Statements
The artisan movement is a strong trend across interior design this year and the bathroom is no exception. Natural stone tiles, basins and baths, hand crafted basins in glass and metals, more and more people are looking for uniquely made items for their home. Wooden floors or ceramic timber look tiles are still a strong look but being laid in pronounced patterns such as chevron or herringbone. Combing textures is trending, the layering of tiles and wallpapers and crafted accessories is a simple way to add the modern wow factor to a bathroom. Must have: Kohler DERRING SELF RIMMING BASIN
The stunning Derring Wading Pool Self Rimming basin.
6. Classical Contemporary
A strong trend in 2018 is looking back to traditional styling with the increasingly popular wainscot walls. The modern look is sharp edged panelling in a matt painted finish. It can be singular feature walls or the more traditional lower half, but make it squares. The factory style window is a strong look for showers especially in black and is suitable for tradition style or modern urban bathrooms. Traditional tapware is trending and to give it the modern edge use a brushed finish version in an industrial style fit-out. Must have: New KOHLER Artifacts Basin Set – due for release in April 2018
The new Artifacts range by Kohler.
7. Black & White
This combination is always on trend, it is how you use it and style it that gives it a modern interpretation.
Use blocks of warmer tones of black and white in bold deliberate zones of colour. Stark clinical white is certainly not the look for 2018. The beautiful array of textural black & white tiles now available will make a bathroom look current especially teamed with natural materials such as timber and stone and accessories that include cane & raffia. Add pop with brass accents.
8. Stunning Lighting
Feature lighting is a very strong element in the 2018 bathroom. Lighting design has quite possibly become the most expressive form of design in recent years. Unique, eye catching individual pieces featuring metal, glass, stone or timber add design kudos to any bathroom. Wall sconces either side of a bathroom mirror have been a common element in northern American bathrooms for decades. They are now appearing in modernised forms and materials across the globe. Must have: Tom Dixon STONE WALL LIGHT
9. The Smart Bathroom
Technology is more than just creeping into the modern bathroom. Take intelligent toilets for example, Intelligent toilets address the combination of technology,
culture, personal hygiene and bathing habits as well as contributing to environmental sustainability through a reduction in water consumption and toilet paper waste. Kohler’s new Kohler Konnect system – voice-enabled technology whereby, for the first time, consumers can customise their bathroom experience by simply saying the words! We can’t wait til that new technology reaches our shores! Must have: Kohler VEIL INTELLIGENT TOILET
The Veil Intelligent Toilet has an integrated bidet, is rimless, features heated seat, heated water and dryer and remote control!
2018 Bathroom Design Trends Series. Thanks to our guest blogger Kellie Gammie of Oval & Co Bathrooms
Waste is only waste if we define it that way. What if ‘waste’ didn’t exist? The way we live now, we produce almost more waste than products. Imagine turning our waste into something else!
As Kohler Stewards, believing in better, we are charged to write the next chapter. To wonder what’s next. And to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.
Kohler Co. Headquarters in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA
We committed to NetZero by 2035 in terms of greenhouse emissions and solid waste going to landfills. To fulfil this promise of reducing and eliminating them, we constantly think of new ways to approach this challenge. As a large manufacturer, solid waste is a byproduct of factory processes and brings with it a mountain of worry.
Born out of our Kohler employee initiative Innovation for Good, the idea of looking at industrial waste in a new way and as raw material first emerged in October 2013. The team developed solutions to keep clean manufacturing waste out of landfills, make it valuable again and turn it into innovative products.
Since then, Theresa Millard, an artist and bio-mimicry expert, and her team have experimented and tested ways of transforming how people look at waste. Millard knows that with a craftsman’s eye and the understanding of composition and characteristics, waste can be re-purposed as raw material for new, precious products that bring joy and a good feeling to the customers.
Artist and bio-mimicry expert Theresa Millard who has joined Kohler to help drive the success of the Waste Lab.
As a result, the Kohler Waste Lab was created and its team is charged with finding environmentally sustainable solutions and contributing to the circular economy by imitating nature and recycling, reusing and re-purposing factory byproducts.
The Waste Lab – located in a glass production building in a disused lab facility – is an innovative, cross-discipline team of engineers, industrial designers, waste specialists and artists who create something new, valuable and worthwhile with potential landfill material and with equipment that is no longer in use in the production plants.
Some of the byproducts we currently create include foundry dust, spent sand, green cull from the pottery and enamel powder and already our Waste Lab teams have magically transformed this ‘waste’ into decorative kitchen and bathroom tiles for our US tile company Ann Sacks.
Foundry dust and sand, green cull and enamel powder make kitchen and bathroom tiles!
The opening night of the KOHLER Experience Center – West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Following on from KEC’s in New York, London, Singapore, New Delhi, Taipei and Bangkok, the Hollywood store (KEC LAX) continues our mission to launch our new retail concept – KOHLER Experience Centre’s located around the world, offering a global immersion in the full offering of KOHLER products.
What this means is that each Centre will showcase fully-functioning displays of Kohler’s global product lines available across the world— a first for both the industry and for the KOHLER brand. This will enable trade professionals to test and source KOHLER products like never before. Fully-functioning products, including showers, tapware, basins and toilets will enable all customers to experience the true differences in performance and design.
Extensive displays showcase products.
Designed by noted Los Angeles architectural firm Marmol Radziner, the sleek, white two-story shopping destination is flooded with natural light and features soaring ceilings, sliding walls of glass and more than twenty fully designed kitchen and bath vignettes.
20 bathroom vignettes adorn the showroom.
The opening was attended by key designers, celebrities and industry associates alike. LA has an emerging design scene – not just limited to product design, but also encompassing fashion, film, culture – and has been looking for something like the KEC LAX to learn more about a manufacturer’s passion for gracious living, leading-edge design, and outstanding customer service.
Visitors to the KEC LAX can fully immerse themselves in the world of bathroom and kitchen design by browsing the stunning vignettes, or taking it a step further by booking a real-life experience of the products in the Experience Room, featuring recently released products such as Real Rain, DTV+ digital shower systems, VibraAcoustic hydrotherapy along with the Veil and Numi Intelligent Toilets*.
Showering experiences can be enjoyed by visitors – bookings required!
Experience suites offer visitors the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’.
Each KOHLER Experience Centre includes an art installation to pay homage to the John Michael Kohler Arts Centre and KOHLER’s dedication to the arts. KEC LAX features the large-scale work of renowned sculptor, David Franklin, a Kohler Artist-in-Residence at Kohler, Wisconsin. The installation – named Ghost School (2015), features a piece from the Kohler Co. permanent collection and is crafted from clay during Franklin’s 2015 residency, celebrates life on the water while giving form to the artist’s continued concern of the ocean environment where he frequently spends time.
David Franklin’s art installation – Ghost School (2015)
Kohler Co. plans to launch a total of 10 KECs in 2017 and 2018 to meet global demand. Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Dubai will follow in 2018.
* Note that not all products are available in this market as yet.
This year, Kohler has successfully opened Kohler Experience Centers (KEC) in the US., U.K. and India and can now add Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand to the ever-growing list of experiential kitchen and bathroom showrooms.
TAIPEI KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
On August 28, President and CEO, David Kohler, and Larry Yuen, Group President – Kitchen and Bath, opened the Taipei KEC (KECTPE)
The opening ceremony of the KEC Taipei was a dramatic and exciting event!
The design of the KEC Taipei was inspired by the arcs and angles of a book – like it was being flipped through – and the designers applied the aesthetics of these lines throughout the showroom.
The new KEC Taipei is reminiscent of pages flipping open in a book.
The rich, avant-garde displays of kitchen and bathroom suites included a range exciting new products, including the iconic TouchMe mirrors, Intelligent toilets, Moxie Wireless Bluetooth showerhead, live water zones and the signature Bold Art installation.
The suites include working displays and a range of innovative new products in bathroom settings.
The immersive opening ceremony experience was followed by a Kohler Design Forum, which Kohler partnered with the Chinese Society of Interior Designers (CSID) and was attended by architects, designers and industry guests.
CEO and President, David Kohler, addresses the audience
BANGKOK KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
Just 24 hours after the Grand Opening of the KEC Taipei, David Kohler and the team raised their glasses to officially welcome in the KEC in Bangkok – the fifth KEC to open.
The Bangkok KEC opening also celebrated the 15th anniversary of Kohler in Thailand. The beautiful new retail space in Nobel Remix 2 Condo near the trendy Thong Lor Skytrain station sports a post-industrial, minimalist style.
The stunning new Bangkok experiential showroom.
The 700sqm space was designed by award-winning Bangkok based P49 and was developed with the concept of an industrial art gallery in mind. With hundreds of showrooms currently existing in Bangkok, the challenge was to create a truly unique space to showcase their iconic, award-winning kitchen and bathroom products.
The extensive showroom offers the latest innovations in intelligent toilets, PVD tapware displays and an Artist Edition basin gallery. Visitors can also experience working displays featuring the latest products and technologies.
The immersive display offers consumers and designers the opportunity to experience Kohler products.
Tapping into the growing popularity of collaborative working spaces, the KECBKK includes a co-working space and coffee bar for visitors and designers alike to meet and discuss their kitchen and bathroom projects.
The KEC BKK
Following the Industrial Art Gallery theme and blueprint of all KEC’s, visitors to Bangkok’s KEC are greeted by an art space featuring both local and international artists. Artwork will be rotated to continuously keep visitors intrigued and inspired.
The art installation at the KEC BKK.
SINGAPORE KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
While Kohler products can be found in various showrooms around Singapore, the KEC is the first Kohler-exclusive location in this regional design and architectural hub.
The opening of the KEC SGP featured a light show – both inside and out!
The 790sqm showroom is situated in the heart of Singapore’s downtown district in a traditional conservation space. The ground floor is divided into five distinct zones – Fashion; High Tech; Family; Classic and Black.
Some of the suites at the KEC SGP…
The art installations on opening are ‘Born in Taiwan’ by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan and ‘time artifacts’ by Singaporean artist Thomas Cheong.
The KEC Singpore art installation was by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan
KECSGP Guests were treated to an illuminated light show both internally, during the opening ceremony, and externally on the building front – a unique occasion in Singapore!