In recent years, tiles have been incorporated more frequently in bathroom designs and on more surfaces than previously. Smooth and often shimmering, they’re ideal for wet zones in the home, giving a luxurious, gleaming effect in a room that’s designed for pampering the body and rejuvenating the mind.
Today, more than ever, bathroom design provides homeowners with an opportunity to create their own unique, personalised style. But this wasn’t always the way.
In the past, bathrooms often looked pedestrian, purely functional and often not very attractive. However, with the range and variety of innovative, beautiful products on the market today, making the right selection is much easier and more enjoyable too.
One local homeowner who proudly designed his own bathrooms for a recent renovation wanted to transcend trends and looked for tiles that he felt would hold enough interest and intrigue for him and his family for many years to come.
This DIY designer chose the generous 600mm square Vaccari Magma and Striature tiles, a range that takes Italian ceramicware almost into the league of an art form. Featuring a metallic sheen over deep and fiery earthy tones, the result is a natural and timeless effect, seamlessly integrated into a contemporary setting.
For those seeking a different effect, Denise Jones from Mobile Ceramics says neutral polished porcelain tiles, again in the 600mm square format or 600x300mm, look fantastic in new bathroom inspirations coming through this season.
Kai says placing mats on the floor minimises safety issues with polished tiles and placing a mat in the shower will provide extra grip. “When mats match the colour of the tiles, it’s pretty much a seamless look,” he adds.
As well as aesthetics driving the renewed demand for polished porcelain tiles, prices have become more attractive, with countries other than Italy gaining strong reputations for producing beautiful, quality product.
In line with the new-look sophistication, tiles have become so beautiful they’re being used as features in themselves with little need for further decoration in the room.
“Listellos, which are narrow bands of smaller contrasting tiles such as mosaics or tiles with decorative motifs, are being used less frequently, but if they are included in a scheme, they’re in natural effects such as stone or glass,” says Denise.
Falling into the “extremely innovative ideas” category comes one fascinating new product from American bathroomware company Kohler. It’s a toilet, and true to Kohler innovation, this one is a paradigm-shifter and possibly not for the shy types. Called the Hatbox, from the Purist range, this toilet can literally take centre stage in the bathroom. And some will say: “At last, a throne that’s treated with the true respect it deserves.”
Because there are no pipes or visible cisterns to consider, the Hatbox can command prime position in the middle of the room. The cistern is located in the base of the Hatbox with the water supplied via a pump under the floor.
To flush the Hatbox, the “guest” lightly touches a small disc on the side, and vacates. The lid then closes automatically and the flush performs its task. Designed in a beautiful organic oval shape, the Hatbox is a proud toilet, definitely not an object of embarrassment to be tucked out of sight.
It has been extremely popular in America and Kohler New Zealand is presently working on aligning this innovative bathroom essential to the Down-Under environment. And apologies to those who’ve become excited about the Hatbox’s immediate possibilities – it’s not expected to reach New Zealand until the end of next year.
We just thought those thinking of building new homes or renovating existing ones in the near future would like to know about this new loo in advance. For those who have always had a fantasy of owning a real throne room, at least the dream is closer to becoming reality.
To find out more about the Hatbox, go to www.kohler.com.