There’s been a huge increase in the popularity of industrial and retro style in recent years. In London, CP Hart’s feature displays have been strongly themed with the ever-increasing range of industrial-style bathroom fittings and designs. In particular, many bathroom manufacturers are now producing brassware in finishes other than chrome. And not the gold and brass of decades past, but black, bronze and warm metal finishes.
Here are shots of some of the products and designs. It’s an interesting and exciting look, combining sleek, contemporary designs with high contrast and a strong focus on shape and form. Even the look of Crittall windows is repurposed into shower screens.
Part of the popularity may be the quest for ‘authenticity’ in our current culture and environments, or at least an impression of it.
It’s also borne out of the increasing amount of conversion and repurposing of older buildings, particularly industrial buildings, into apartments and residential properties. This has been especially prevalent in London of course, and also in other cities in the south east like Guildford, Farnham and Winchester.
Manufacturing technology also plays its part, as most of these finishes are produced using a physical vapor deposition process – technology which was only recently available for production of bathroom products like these.
So how do trends like this influence our work?
In a way, not at all. We’re not designing to be trendy – we believe in designing for individual people. The results are borne out of their individual style, the property in which they live, and the wider area around them. And crucially, our clients will still be living in and enjoying the homes we’ve designed for them when whatever’s ‘current’ is superseded by the next ‘thing’.
We’re often working on major renovation and refurbishment projects, and they can be significant investments for our clients. Their bathrooms (or anything else, kitchens, joinery, bedrooms) aren’t going to be changed just because there’s a new trend next year. And nor will they need to be – if we create the right design for their interior then it will be a backdrop to their life which they’ll live with happily for many, many years.
On the other hand, we never ignore these developments – we use them. The availability of new products like these allows us to find and create new solutions for our clients – designs for their interiors which might not have been possible before.
It still depends on the client and their property though – nothing is more important.
For a contemporary bathroom, perhaps in a converted building in town? Yes matt black could work very well. In a period property in Surrey, Hampshire or Sussex? Maybe not quite right, although a deep bronze in an appropriate style could be beautiful in such a setting.
So it’s not that these products are just for now, or just for a certain type of client or property. We believe in the right design solution for every client and for the interior of their home. These trends and the new products that come with them simply provide us with a greater range from which we can design the best solutions for the interiors of our client’s homes.