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With lockdown lifting, projects resuming and new clients on the horizon, we’re sharing the latest product news from SBID Accredited Partners. Featuring premium, Mother of Pearl decorative wall panels; a table collection inspired by a new wave of Brazilian music, and an ecological collection of advanced natural paints with sustainable options for any project!

Introducing Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl decorative panels

Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl Decorative Panels are the next generation in Mother of Pearl surface finishes. Handcrafted by Siminetti’s team of artisans, the ‘Golden Pearl Drop’ Decorative Panels capture the stunning natural beauty of Mother of Pearl that has for centuries been associated with luxury, sophistication and elegance. Utilising a combination of Siminetti’s ‘Bianco’ and ‘Golden Promise’ Mother of Pearl, every panel carries its own bespoke appeal.

Produced from fully sustainable Freshwater and Saltwater Pearl, each decorative panel is assembled to the clients exacting dimensions and can be produced in almost any shape up to maximum size of 240cm x 120cm. The individual Mother of Pearl pieces are hand placed onto a lightweight, robust, honeycomb backing which ensures they are also fully waterproof, making the decorative panels not only suitable for kitchen splashbacks and furniture inlays, but equally wet-room and shower environments. Siminetti Decorative Panels are the luxurious alternative to tiles and are available in over 30 stunning designs. Siminetti also offers a bespoke design service, allowing Designers, Architects and Specifiers to develop their own unique style.

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Cox London presents the Siren Chair for Collect at Somerset House

The Siren Chair was created by Cox London for Collect at Somerset house in March 2020. This generously proportioned chair is traditionally upholstered with natural lamb’s wool for great comfort, supported by sculptural cast-bronze arms and a forged iron frame. Both visceral and flocculent, the beguiling chair is signed and numbered by the artist. Special editions available in different finishes and different fabrics. The founders, Christopher and Nicola Cox take inspiration from the great traditions and techniques of making; their work is craft orientated, sculpture based and infused with historical references.

Christopher and Nicola make their artwork and furniture in their north London atelier and workshop. Having studied fine art sculpture together they set up their studio early in 2000, they have since taken on a wide variety of commissions from the worlds of fine art, craft and interior decoration to produce bespoke or limited-edition pieces that combine creativity with the best of British craftsmanship and artistry. Cox London’s unique designs are on display in their Pimlico and North London showroom’s.

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Kassavello features elite brand’s Bossa table collection

The Bossa collection is taken from a range of curated products from the portfolio of elite brands that are available through luxury furniture design atelier Kassavello. Inspired by ‘Bossa Nova’, the new wave of musical genre and culture that emerged from Brazil in the 1950’s, the Bossa table collection is defined by a sleek finish and subtle curved edges. Constructed from high gloss solid mahogany wood with contrasting natural cane and matt mahogany detailing, these unique pieces are subtle enough to compliment a myriad of schemes whilst adding a distinctive sense of style and flair.

The Bossa square coffee table combines natural cane with a practical glass top whilst the Bossa side table is completed with an elegantly crafted inset matt veneer. Designed with flexible grouping in mind, the taller side tables combine beautifully with the shorter coffee table creating a stunning composition and centerpiece. Bespoke options and finishes are available across the collection.

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A New Era for advanced natural paints with Graphenstone

As a customer rightly stated, “Graphenstone offers a range of stunning colours, all of them Green.” Using 100% recycled and recyclable packing and delivery materials, Graphenstone is proud to hold ‘Cradle to Cradle Institute’ Gold and Silver Certifications, as the ultimate validation of its dedication to green products and processes. With natural ingredients combined with graphene technology, Graphenstone offer the most advanced, durable and ecological ranges of paint available on the UK market. The absence of toxicity makes the paints virtually odourless. LEED, WELL and BREEAM Compliant, Graphenstone’s products are ideal for any large or small-scale project seeking healthy and sustainable paint options with trusted certifications.

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If you’d like to feature your product news here, get in touch to find out more. 

Episode Four

SpeakEasy with Oli Stephenson

In this episode of the SpeakEasy podcast, our host Grant Pierrus catches up with Oli Stephenson, founder and director of Life Kitchens. Oli shares his experiences of running a kitchen showroom business in the wake of the coronavirus, and how the implications of the pandemic will continue to affect the future of the sector.

Life Kitchens utilise some of the best kitchen craftsmen in the business, with decades of expertise in the design and manufacture of contemporary kitchens. Launching the unique and interactive kitchen showroom in London Waterloo, and only in the third year of business, Oli reveals how he has approached the challenges of running a relatively new business during the pandemic. Discussing how the coronavirus outbreak has not only impacted operations, but also what that means for the future of the industry as a whole.

As retail outlets and showrooms begin to re-open, Oli shares his unique perspective on diversification and adaptation – from exploring new ways to engage with customers to shifting their approach to sales and marketing in the digital realm. 

Oli continues to comment on the importance of rising to the challenge with a positive attitude as he gives advice on how to be flexible and remain relevant to embrace the fundamental lifestyle changes and societal trends that are yet to come as ‘normal’ life develops post Covid-19.

Tune in to the whole conversation to discover more.

Oli Stephenson

Oli Stephenson is the founder of Life kitchens. He is the 5th generation of a family business established in 1909 supplying the UK home and interiors trade. Having spent 6 years in kitchen design and sales, Oli launched Life kitchens, as a fresh approach to kitchen retail in London. Now in its third year, Life works directly with clients as well as with interior designers, architects and developers.

Stay up to date with the latest episodes and click here to find out more.

Leading global kitchen and bathroom supplier GROHE has reported unprecedented demand for hygienic touchless taps in the wake of the coronavirus 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.

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. 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.”

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.

About the Author

SBID Accredited Industry Partner, GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, with every product based on the brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more. 

Drinking water no longer has to sacrifice design to fill a purpose. That’s what a variety of top interior designers are discovering after installing the perfect drinking water solutions into their own homes.

Zip Drinking Water Solutions for SBID Interior Design Blog (1)

The kitchen tap industry has seen a boom in growth over the past five years, fuelling competition between brands as they innovate and redesign their best-selling products. Interior designers can now find taps to match seamlessly with all the latest kitchen trends in a range of styles, finishes and functionalities – including the ultimate all-in-one tap.

A clear favourite for a variety of top interior designers, the Zip HydroTap is capable of delivering up to five water options – filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling plus unfiltered hot and cold water – from a single tap and under-counter command centre. With seven tap designs and seven on-trend finishes to choose from, Zip’s premium drinking water systems lead the way in both style and functionality to offer the perfect solution for all environments.

Zip Drinking Water Solutions for SBID Interior Design Blog (2)
Zip Drinking Water Solutions for SBID Interior Design Blog (3)
Zip Drinking Water Solutions for SBID Interior Design Blog (5)

Jason and Jenny Rose MacLean, Studio MacLean

Known for bringing modern interior creativity to hotels and commercial spaces all over the world, Jason and Jenny Rose MacLean of Studio MacLean were thrilled when they found the Zip HydroTap after struggling to find an all-in-one tap that would be striking enough for their own kitchen refurbishment.

“We’ve come across all-in-one taps through work before, but the design has never really been eye-catching enough,” Jason said. “That’s until we came across Zip’s All-in-One Arc. We couldn’t believe we’d found a tap that could give us filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water as well as unfiltered hot and cold. It meant we could keep our kitchen uncluttered with no need for a kettle or any bottled water – which we are very keen to avoid anyway from an environmental perspective.”

Rebecca Wakefield, Studio Fortnum

Owner of interior design company Studio Fortnum, Rebecca Wakefield has been gradually renovating her own home to create a light, airy and calming living space after purchasing it in a dilapidated state in 2016. After spotting that the number one luxury, top of the wish list item in her clients homes is a boiling water tap, Rebecca started to consider how much she’d benefit from one, as long as it could fit in well with her green and brass colour scheme.

“Zip had been on my radar for a while, so I was thrilled to discover they offer taps in brushed gold,” Rebecca said. “But I know from experience that style can often outweigh performance and there’s nothing worse than something that looks great but just doesn’t work. Luckily Zip is a trusted brand so we chose the Zip HydroTap Celsius Arc in brushed gold.”

Much more than just a boiling water tap, Rebecca loves the additional benefit of having unfiltered hot and cold water alongside filtered boiling: “Because it is my regular kitchen tap as well as my boiling water tap, the kitchen has retained a clean, minimal feel. My counter tops aren’t cluttered and we have no use for a slow-to-boil kettle. It really has transformed daily life for us.”

Discover more about how a Zip HydroTap could change the way you design on their website:

About the Author

SBID Accredited Industry Partner, Zip Water is a provider of award-winning technology that transforms water instantly with filtered, chilled, boiling and sparkling drinking water solutions for home and business

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more. 

On the look out for new product inspirations in lockdown? This month we’re sharing the latest product news from SBID’s trusted network of Accredited Partners. Featuring a new collection of customisable wallcoverings, sustainable kitchen tap solutions for contemporary interiors, and a unique designer range of luxury cordless lamps inspired by Earth!

Graham & Brown
Graham & Brown

Graham & Brown launches customisable wall mural collection 

New for 2020, Graham & Brown launches a collection of bespoke digital wall murals, printed to fit in a range of paper finishes. Spanning archive artworks and trend-led contemporary designs, the collection offers a striking feature wall solution for a variety of interior styles. The charming Balloon Race design is ideal for nurseries, bringing walls to life with the spectacle of well-heeled ladies and gentlemen dressed in their finery up high. For a more subtle approach, the Ombre wall mural is available in muted Anthracite, Blue, and Duck Egg. Using an easy to use online made-to-measure tool, each mural can be customised by simply specifying dimensions and selecting a crop.

The range of Graham & Brown paper substrates allow the murals to be personalised even further; the premium Fabric Effect paper has a woven textured finish making it perfect for masking existing wall imperfections, whilst the Mica Fibrous paper has a luxurious lustre which shimmers in the light. Each mural design is partnered with four complementary paint shades, selected by the in-house Graham & Brown colour experts to make decorating all four walls a breeze.

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Zip Water

Zip Water’s stunning HydroTaps transform homes

Found in the homes of interior designers’ Rebecca Wakefield of Studio Fortnum and Jason MacLean of Studio MacLean, Zip Water’s stunning HydroTaps are proving themselves to be style pieces as well as being indispensable kitchen appliances.

Rebecca’s HydroTap Celsius Arc combines filtered boiling water with unfiltered hot and cold for family convenience. And thanks to Zip’s range of finishes, her kitchen of sage green units and brass accents could be perfectly complemented by a brushed gold HydroTap. Equally, Jason’s super modern, bright yellow kitchen benefited from a brushed chrome HydroTap All-in-One Arc, this time with an extraordinary five functions. Not only can he and his family enjoy the tap as a regular kitchen tap with unfiltered hot and cold water, but this is combined with filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water. With only one under-counter unit, and no need for a kettle or unsustainable bottled water, this is a truly space-saving product.

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Alexander Joseph Lamp
Alexander Joseph Lamp
Alexander Joseph Lamp

Alexander Joseph releases its latest designer collection

The world’s only luxury cordless lamp maker, Alexander Joseph released its latest range of lamps with the Earth collection, consisting of 14 different designs. Eva Baron of Eva Baron Design created the collection focusing on high-end residential interiors and furniture design. Her cutting-edge pieces embrace contemporary design, taking inspiration from futuristic building forms and haute couture fashion design.

The collection highlights some of the more unusual materials our planet provides with includes rough, smooth, warm, cold and layered textures, just as you would expect from the raw materials. Rather than use well-trodden path of polished materials, the team researched and tested ways in which metals, ceramics and silks could be distressed or altered to produce unusual patinas. Many of the lamps in the range are a result of unique techniques using hand tools created specifically for this collection.

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Kings of Chelsea

Kings of Chelsea introduces the Roberto Cavalli Antigua Dining Table

The Roberto Cavalli Antigua Dining Table is just one of the exclusive furniture pieces that have now become available online at Kings of Chelsea for the first time. This stunning retro-styled Italian design piece is composed of abstracted brass rods with a shiny gold finish and a smoked bevelled glass tabletop, complete with the classic Cavalli logo. This statement table is perfect for a modern dining room setting, and as a sociable centre point for dinner parties and gatherings. You can now browse many of Kings of Chelsea’s stunning showroom pieces online at discounted prices, while unable to visit the showroom in person.

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Roca Interiors

Brand New Brassware by Roca

The new Escuadra collection from Roca offers a contemporary design, providing a modern alternative to the traditional basin mixer. Brassware is a key addition to any bathroom space, not simply for its aesthetic value, but also for innovative functionality; Roca continues to invest in the latest technology to align its ranges with the latest water-saving and eco-friendly initiatives.

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If you’d like to feature your product news here, get in touch to find out more. 

SBID Accredited Industry Partner, RAK Ceramics will be exhibiting its exclusive designer collections, RAK-Cloud and RAK-Variant at the upcoming KBB Exhibition in Birmingham from 1 to 4 March. With the prestigious product designers set to attend, we wanted to find out more about the collections and what inspired them. Read our interview with Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà, Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri to discover what makes their designs so unique.

RAK Ceramics new designer collection, RAK-Cloud in bathroom interior
RAK-Cloud by Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà
RAK Ceramics new designer collection, RAK-Variant in bedroom suite interior
RAK-Variant by Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri
Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà

Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà

Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà was born in Alcamo, Sicily. His collaboration with RAK Ceramics begins with RAK-Cloud, a project that continues the creative thinking of the Italian designer and that integrates perfectly with his other projects such as the collection of lamps “Pirce” by Artemide (Good_Design 2008, Red Dot Award 2009, IF Design Award 2010) and the “Metropolis” collection of crystal and ceramic tables by Tonelli Design.

What inspired the collections?
RAK-Cloud, born from my love for sculpture, soft and organic and sensual lines, and marries with a speech that I have been carrying on for some time, in fact I designed a tap for Gessi, which is called Equilibrio and is inspired by the stones and nature. Identical process for my perhaps most famous project, in the world of light, with the Pirce suspension lamp, made for Artemide. While RAK-Petit is a specific request addressed to the architectural world, the need to combine washbasins in confined spaces, which do not renounce glamour, and the elegance of solutions that can be developed in larger spaces.

RAK Ceramics new designer collection, RAK-Cloud in hotel bathroom suite

What was the design process?
All my projects are born on paper. I like to explore different solutions quickly and instinctively. On paper I already imagine the finished volumes, identify the solutions that convince me most, 3D model the whole collection in order to have a coherent overall picture. I submit it for technical verification, from which I receive the feedback that I transfer to the collection. Then we proceed to 1:1 scale prototypes and if everything works, it goes to final production.

What is unique with these designs?
There is a word in English, which does not have an exact equivalent in Italian, and it is understatement, which for me means creating a proposal, made of elegant but not screamed details, to give rise to unobtrusive, timeless proposals. A careful search for volumes and proportions, combined with cuts in the surfaces to create dynamism and at the same time sensuality, in an environment such as the bathroom increasingly inserted in a modern and contemporary living context, completes the number of projects.

Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri image

Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri

Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri founded their own design studio in 2010 and work within various fields of design, ranging from objects to spaces. Multiple experiments and the relationship between manufacture and craftsmanship form the basis for a much broader thinking, where objects are always considered as part of a bigger picture. They have created work for Antoniolupi, Lema, Ligne Roset, Normann Copenha-gen, Offecct, Rosenthal, Stelton, Villeroy & Boch among others. In addition to their work as designers, they regularly teach, hold workshops and lectures at various institutions including IUAV Venezia and Politecnico di Milano. Together with Rak Ceramics, Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri present the project RAK-Variant (2019).

What inspired the collections?

RAK-Variant, like many of our projects, was born on the basis of a specific material. In this case, ceramics, a material, whose production must combine two supposedly distant worlds: the serial production, precise and standardized; but also a need for manual sensitivity, which cannot be ignored.

RAK Ceramics new designer collection, RAK-Variant with sink
RAK Ceramics new designer collection, RAK-Variant with sink

What was the design process?

Designing is never a linear path and very often, in one single project we have to process, bring order and translate all the different thoughts that flow together into actual products.  In the specific case of RAK-Variant, we set ourselves the goal of achieving a formal synthesis that would allow the collection’s various elements to be easily integrated into different types of interior. In order to achieve this, we played around with the balance between the expressiveness of a product and its attribute of being consciously silent.

At the same time, we focused on some details that convey the quality while enhancing the intrinsic beauty of the ceramic material itself. The result is a collection of 25 basins in different shapes and dimensional variations that offer multiple installation possibilities.

What’s unique with these designs?

The top views of the washbasins, with a geometric and controlled matrix, interact with the very thin edges evoking, in this way, the delicacy of the material while creating a new timeless three-dimensionality, well suited to any interior context.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more.

It’s time to talk toilets. Are you wondering what to do with your next guest loo? As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages – and in this case, the toilet! Usually the smallest room of a residential project, SBID Accredited Designer, Richard Dewhurst of Richard Dewhurst Interior Architecture has much bigger ideas. Who said the guest lavatory can’t be just as lavish as the rest of the house? Richard explains why guest washrooms deserve their time to shine and how he has designed these small, often overlooked spaces with maximum impact – making a statement that will leave a lasting impression on any visitor!

Having worked on many residential refurbishment projects over the years, I’ve come to realise that the smallest room in the house can offer one of the best opportunities to get creative and interestingly, it seems that even the most conservative of clients can be convinced that the guest loo is a wonderful way of showing friends and family that they not only have a fun side, but are willing to push the design boundaries, giving them a bit of added kudos to boot.

On many occasions I’ve been able to spend a disproportionally larger budget on this room than anywhere else in the house, allowing myself to try out new ideas, use interesting materials or simply to specify an item I haven’t had the chance to use before. With the seemingly unending supply of new and exciting products coming to market, this room provides a perfect platform to let one’s creativity shine.

Here are three guest loos I’ve recently designed, which incidentally, are in different but identical houses on the same side of the same street, creating a touch of loo envy between the neighbours!

Geometric Monochrome

Creative Guest Bathroom
Image credits: © Michael Franke

In this room I decided to go for a strong monochrome look, creating a bold and powerful statement by using different versions of the same hex tile from a range by Mandarin Stone. I further accentuated the geometric feel by using Duravit Vero Sanitaryware and a facetted, brushed & pierced brass ceiling light from Tom Dixon. The moody and sultry atmosphere was further enhanced by painting the walls and ceiling matt black and by using a matt black tap by Dornbracht.

Reclaimed and Eclectic

Small space design with guest loo by Richard Dewhurst
Image credits: © Michael Franke

My clients wanted a more traditional look in their loo so I lined the room with new tongue and groove panelling painted in Farrow & Ball Off Black, complimented by a fun but sophisticated Fornasetti feature wallpaper from Cole & Son. The floor was covered in wonderfully patinated Victorian floor tiles salvaged from a recently demolished conservatory and laid in a pattern of my design. I sourced the Victorian sink & stand from English Salvage and after a light restoration, it looked amazing! A pair of lovely art deco taps supplied by Architectural Antiques, a vintage mirror and articulated wall lights by Dowsing and Reynolds completed the look.

Futuristic Modernism

Small space design with guest loo by Richard Dewhurst
Image credits: © Michael Franke

Sometimes it’s fun to design a completely unexpected space and I certainly had the opportunity to on this project. The stunning backlit stretch ceiling by Barisol created a perfectly uniform light spread, and the seamless curved polished plaster walls gave a feeling of spatial infinity. This was offset by the handmade turquoise Czech tiles; adding a burst of deep colour and lushness to the room. The concrete sink was by Kast and space-age looking wall-mounted toilet from CP Hart.

About the Author

Award-winning designer, Richard Dewhurst of Richard Dewhurst Interior Architecture specialises in quality interiors for the residential and commercial sector. After recently relocating his practice to Portsmouth, Richard is now taking project enquiries in the South Coast.

This article was written by Richard Dewhurst of Richard Dewhurst Interior Architecture.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more.

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a sleek, clean-lined kitchen design that is quietly impressive and elegantly understated. Using a Taj Mahal Quartzite clad island, teamed with wall cabinetry in a dark pigmented concrete finish and combined with a hot rolled steel worktop, Eggersmann Design created a beautifully bespoke and contemporary open plan kitchen to provide the food-loving family with style and complete functionality.

SBID Awards: KBB Design finalist sponsored by VitrA UK

Company: Eggersmann Design 

Project: Wimbledon

Location: London, United Kingdom

What was the client’s brief? 

Our brief was to create a sleek and elegant kitchen that didn’t compromise on functionality. As the owners love to cook and entertain, their requirements extended beyond looks so we included easy-clean surfaces, considered storage and hardworking appliances. As the kitchen is situated in a large open-plan dining / living space it was important to consider this brief with a wider, holistic approach. It was essential that we took these surrounding zones into consideration when designing the new kitchen.

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

The property was only 10 years old when the current owners bought it from a self-builder. They lived with a kitchen they hated for a further decade before the old-fashioned timber cabinetry and awkward layout got the better of them. The space itself was light, airy and generous so there was no need to extend but the kitchen was long overdue an update. Specific bug-bears included a cooker facing the back wall and seriously uncomfortable pew-style seating below the beautiful Crittall-style windows, which were the first step in redecorating the space. We didn’t change the layout hugely, we just made it more intuitive to use. We switched cooking to the island to provide a nicer outlook and designed upholstered seating that’s a pleasure to recline on. The upholstered banquette area brings colour and shape to the kitchen. The sensual shape was inspired by a sofa the client had spotted while travelling, the rest of the house is very colourful, filled with the owners’ quirky accessories and cheerful artwork, so we used these accent materials to connect everything – the kitchen should never have a separate identity within any home.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

A key part of the brief was that they wanted a large stone-clad island with as many clever storage solutions as possible. The client wanted a sleek and elegant kitchen that didn’t compromise on functionality. The island unit, clad entirely in Taj Mahal quartzite, showcases our precise engineering skills – the cabinet fronts are made from solid quartzite cut to slabs just 11mm thick. The same stone is wrapped around a steel sub-structure to create a 4.3m long worktop with intricate details such as 45-degree mitre joints and recessed grip areas to create a monolithic appearance.

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

The eclectic use of materials: natural stone, resin, concrete, hot rolled steel, brass and American walnut. The cabinetry is made from dark pigmented concrete, which is hand-trowelled and built up in layers like polished plaster. For the sink area worktop and splashback, the owners opted for hot-rolled steel featuring two artfully welded-in sinks and draining board. The finely textured matte steel surface is resistant to fingerprints and scratches making it perfect for this young family.

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

The SBID International Design Awards are important as a global showcase of creativity. Not only do the awards provide a great platform for us to communicate and illustrate our company’s points of difference but to also hopefully inspire and inform style within the industry and beyond.

Questions answered by Gary Singer, Founder and Creative Director at Eggersmann Design

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring contemporary healthcare and wellness design by the XDH Design Firm for Five Fitsport fitness centre, click here to see more.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Kitchen design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

SBID Awards 2019 | KBB Design finalist sponsored by VitrA UK

Project of the Week

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a clean and minimal kitchen design, evoking the fresh and inspiring environment that is Scandinavia. Taking inspiration from Sweden, Norway and Finland, Mark Taylor Design produced a kitchen design scheme that was both practical and beautiful to complement the client’s taste and lifestyle.

Sector: KBB Design

Company: Mark Taylor Design

Project: Scandinavian Inspired Kitchen

What was the client’s brief? 

The clients wanted a large kitchen and entertaining space, where the children could have their playroom and sitting area, leading into the dining area, and then onto the kitchen.  The kitchen needed to feel large but take up only enough space to allow the rest of the living area to feel spacious and fluid – the garden also needed to be very accessible from the kitchen and dining area, as this would also form an important part of the living space in the summer.

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

We talked to the wife and husband together. She is Scandinavian and likes simple, clean, light spaces, uncluttered. She and her husband are interested in fresh food and entertaining, so lots of space was required for fresh food storage and preparation, while they didn’t want a long worktop run. We needed to find a space for the walk-in larder and extra large double-width fridge, so we changed the building plans to incorporate them. This allowed us to build the rest of the kitchen around these core features. The space needed to be as free-flowing as possible at worktop level. The clients were very keen to have a large island and we used this as the metamorphosis between the dining area and the kitchen.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

The hardest part was positioning the tall units so that they didn’t impinge on the rest of the space.

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

The horizontal dividing bi-folding doors with hidden magnets that keep them in an open position when required is our highlight of the design features. Also receiving our clients glowing report, “We absolutely love our MTD kitchen, down to the last detail. After working close with the MTD design team, we now have the kitchen that we feel perfectly fits our wishes and the style of our house. Aside from the look, what we enjoy the most is the quality of the workmanship which is outstanding! The MTD team were a pleasure to deal with throughout. They were responsive to what we wanted, creative and gave us some well needed advice on the design and layout. We were grateful that they were flexible to our timelines and coordinated well with our builders. Also, the installation team were great; meticulous, tidy and enjoyable to deal with.”

Residential kitchen design by Mark Taylor Design
Residential kitchen design by Mark Taylor Design

Questions answered by Mark Taylor, Managing Director of Mark Taylor Design

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a super stylish, yet exquisitely comfortable interior for a residential development in Berkshire, click here to see more.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s KBB design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

Photography Credits: Jonathan Bond Photography.

SBID caught up with this year’s SBID International Design Awards sponsor for the KBB Design category. Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager at VitrA UK shares more about the story behind the brand; from its very beginnings as a Ceramic Factory in Turkey to it’s current standing in the international sanitary and brassware market, VitrA highlights some of the incredible work they do with interior designers and the industry.

What are the origins of your brand?

VitrA’s heritage can be traced back to 1909, when the renowned Turkish pharmacist Süleyman Ferit Eczacibaşi began producing bathing and cologne products in his pharmacy in Izmir. The Dr Nejat Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factory, as it was then called, was the forerunner to VitrA. After the Second World War, there came economic revival and an increased demand for ceramic sanitaryware. In 1958 the company opened its first modern production plant and by 1966 became known as VitrA. In order to diversify the company, a brassware plant was opened in 1979. The brand, now an uncontested force in the market, was launched internationally in 1983.

How do you work with interior designers?

When working with an interior designer, a clear and open dialogue is crucial. The VitrA team immerses themselves in each project, gaining full understanding of the designer’s aims, as well as the challenges that any individual project may pose. To ensure the VitrA team clearly understand the designer’s vision, the first step is for them to provide a brief and an initial mood board to define the scope of their work and provide valuable details on materials, colours and their initial considerations for the bathroom design.

Then follows the conceptual development stage. At this point, a layout design with more technical information and specifications is produced. A specification manager from the VitrA team will use their technical expertise to anticipate and solve any potential problems before they arise to ensure the project runs smoothly all the way through to completion. The designer is heavily involved and works closely with the VitrA team at every stage – this means that both parties, as well as the end client, are pleased with the finished project.

SBID Awards Sponsor VitrA interior bathroom image
<small>VitrA's Equal collection by Claudio Bellini</small>
SBID Awards Sponsor VitrA aerial image
<small>VitrA's manufacturing plant and innovation centre</small>

What value does your sector add to the interior design industry?

VitrA is passionate about challenging traditional views of the bathroom as a purely functional space and enabling designers to express their creativity in an often-overlooked area.

Led by our Design Director, Erdem Akan, VitrA’s highly accomplished in-house creative team represent the backbone of our design philosophy and culture. They are supported by the multi-disciplinary teams at the VitrA Innovation Centre, which was built as a place for architects and designers to free their imagination and express flair in their product design, while also feeling safe in the knowledge that our specification managers are on hand to ensure that all products meet both the technical and aesthetic demands.

This creativity manifests itself in VitrA’s collaborations with world-renowned designers such as Claudio Bellini for Equal, Ross Lovegrove for Istanbul, Terri Pecora for Plural and Matteo Thun & Partners for Water Jewels.

How does your offering enhance an interior designer’s projects?

Superior quality, supply of product and reliable versatility are hallmarks of the VitrA brand, and every component of the bathroom benefits from VitrA’s strong focus on advanced technology and imaginative design. The dedicated team of VitrA product designers collaborate with top global experts to establish new and innovate ideas that enhance not only bathroom aesthetics and functionality, but also each interior designer’s projects.

What are the latest trends you’ve noticed in your client’s requests?

The new ‘Living Bathroom’ concept presents the bathroom as an informal living space. This evolution of the bathroom ritual celebrates wellness and the joy of spending time in the bathroom. American designer Terri Pecora’s Plural collection for VitrA presents the bathroom as a social hub where people can meet and reconnect. Another big trend of note is the use of geometric shapes and monochrome tones, as used in the Equal collection by Claudio Bellini. Using clean, minimal borders and industrial, metallic accents, Bellini’s designs emulate the structures found in modernist architecture.

Why did you want to become a sponsor for the SBID Awards?

We are pleased to be a sponsor of the SBID Awards as they are one of the most prestigious interior awards in the design calendar. VitrA is keen to support interior designers and their fantastic work in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom sector.

The SBID International Design Awards winners for 2019 will be announced on Friday 25th October! 

To book a table to attend this year’s prestigious Awards, click here

To find out more about sponsoring the SBID International Design Awards next year, click here


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