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.
Taking its cue from the world’s rapidly growing ‘love of vintage’, Kohler has introduced a range of bathroom tapware called Artifacts, referencing the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period – and introduces new, deep, rich textures such as oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze!
Wishing to create a collection that is timeless and classic in its inspiration, the Kohler U.S. design studio turned to the past for inspiration, drawing on the overall aesthetic of turn-of-the-century designs reflecting the ingenuity of practical-minded craftsman who made do with the resources at hand.
Artifacts revives this pragmatic approach within the context a culture that embraces highly personalised design. The design team wanted each piece of the collection to be distinct in form and ornamental details, yet to feel part of a whole.
What they created is a standout range of tapware that features detailed turnings and finials, elegant spouts and and a unique ‘swing lever’ basin mixer handle design unlike any other on the market.
The Artifacts tapware range is available in a choice of three finishes – oil-rubbed bronze, vibrant brushed bronze and polished chrome.
Basin taps are Five Star WELS rated, using less than six litres of water a minute; engineered ceramic discs resist deterioration and mineral build-up; and the polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and vibrant brushed bronze finishes feature the Kohler patented corrosion and tarnish-resistant surface.
The range comprises single and twin-handle basin sets, shower/bath mixers with and without diverter, two handle deck-mount bath set plus a wall mount bath spout – all in a choice of oil-rubbed bronze, vibrant brushed bronze and polished chrome.
If there is one key trend for bathrooms in 2018 it would be CHOICE. While one person opts for sleek and white, another will crush on personality and patina. Global suppliers such as Kohler have seen the signs and are extending their ranges to ensure we can all stamp our style and character on our interiors.
Just as Kohler was one of the forerunners in creating precious metal finishes to its tapware – rose gold, titanium and brushed nickel for example – it has also taken the lead in developing a choice of trims for bath and shower mixers.
With its introduction of new Slim Shower Mixer Trims consumers can now choose between the traditional sized mixers to match their favourite tap and slimmer, sleeker versions. They also have the option of a shower mixer plate with or without diverter.
The new Cuff Slim Shower Trim – with and without diverter
The Slim Shower Mixer Trims have been designed to match some of Kohler’s best- selling polished chrome tapware ranges – Purist, Loure,Aleo, Straytand Cuff.
Aleo Slim Shower Trim – without diverter
Strayt Slim Shower Mixer – without diverter
In most cases the width of the mixer plate, without diverter, has been reduced by at least 25 per cent – and in the case of the Purist and Cuff mixers these are now a neat 100mm diameter circle.
Purist Slim Shower Trim
The aesthetic advantage of the Slim Trims is that the peripheral hardware no longer dominates – which allows the true heroes, such as the showerhead and surface finishes, to shine!
Purist Bath Filler with Loure Slim Shower Mixer
All of Kohler’s tapware features its unique tarnish and corrosion resistant polished chrome finish.
Award-winning NZ designer Kelly Gammie, recognised for her love of colour and texture, recently completed a luxurious townhouse project for a busy professional couple. The home’s compact bathrooms showcase a clever use of bold granite with natural timbers.
The owners, while living in the inner city, wanted to incorporate their love of nature into their bathing space – the look was to be sophisticated while exhibiting a soft masculine edge.
Kelly chose large format moody, granite-look tiles as her starting point – her philosophy is that the WOW factor has to sit side by side with functionality for any bathroom to truly shine.
To prevent visual overload in the master bath, the vanity wall was finished in a solid ebony-brown tile with fixtures such as bath, back-to-wall toilet and vanity/basin in crisp white. Hand-blown glass pendant lights by Kate Brown complete the look in this bathroom.
Clean lines were essential for this richly textured bathroom to have visual impact while not overwhelming. Kohler’s Terrace Basin, with its beautiful rectilinear design and European Oak storage drawer, plus the brand’s Grande rimless toilet were the perfect fit. Tapware from Kohler included the semi industrial style Composed mixer – winner of this year’s Red Dot Design Award (2017) – plus the Memphis bath spout.
Kelly injected some defining black accents in the form of powder coated aluminium shutters and custom-made framed shower.
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