Biophilic bathroom design – it’s a term we will hear a lot more about! It is the art of improving our health and well-being by introducing a closer connection between people and nature in the bathing space. It can be as simple as using natural materials and surface finishes such as stone, marble and timber or as complex as constructing large skylights that open to the sky or full length glass bringing the greenery of the outside in.
Biophilic design also encompasses light, smell, touch and sound – the natural light acquired by windows and skylights; the smell of flowers from a candle or an open window; the sight of a living green wall in a shower enclosure; and the touch of a rainshower on the skin after a long and tiring day.
According to Kohler, a global leader in bathroom design and innovation – the choice of bathroom fittings plays a major role in achieving the closeness to nature that can produce an increased sense of relaxation, rejuvenation and positivity in our state of mind.
The Exhale Slide Shower epitomises the reproduction of nature’s therapeutic powers in the bathroom. Designed to produce a rainshower experience the Exhale has a choice of four spray functions – full coverage, drenching rain, intense massage and silk. Even the spray face of the showerhead replicates the delicate nature of the petals of the dahlia flower.
The Exhale’s Katalyst technology has been developed by Kohler to replicate the large, full water droplets of a dense rainshower while still conserving water. It introduces 2.2 litres of air into every 9.4 litres of water and carries a 3 star WELS rating, using only 9 litres of water a minute.
A deep, long soak in a bath that will support and soothe the body is also integral to the biophilic bathing experience, especially if accompanied by soothing nature soundscapes, soft mood lighting and scented bush flower oils.
Kohler’s latest addition to its freestanding bath collection is the Veil bath, a deeply luxurious bath sculpted from Lithocast cast resin with an opulent 40cm soaking depth. It features supportive contours to cradle the body together with a sloped lumbar support.
The Veil is a visual statement like no other – the bath’s profile is one of flowing lines and perfectly balanced curves, sculpted simplicity in perfect lockstep with the most discerning contemporary style. It measures 1661mm x 933mm x 648mm.
Kohler’s Lithocast cast resin material is soft on the skin, lightweight and extremely easy to clean with its beautiful high-gloss finish.
And when looking for the visual talking point of any biophilic design bathroom, nothing says NATURE quite like the newly arrived Dutchmaster Collection of basins!
Big, bold, lush florals, dramatically enhanced by a deeply dark, moody background, adorn the entire surface of the basin’s interiors.
Blush Floral is a vivid mass of large scale peonies, dahlias, ranunculus and hydrangeas in lush colours of blush pink, ivory and darkest rose on an onyx background. And for delicate relief? A beautiful, Painted Lady butterfly poised on a single stem.
The vessel basins have been designed to sit proud of the vanity and feature a subtle, defining lift at the edge of the bowl. They can be paired with wall mount or bench mount mixer taps – and due to the basin’s rich colouring will suit many of Kohler’s metal finishes, from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel.
These beautiful, full bloom works of art are featured on two styles of basin – the Carillon rectangle Wading Pool and the Carillon Round Wading Pool.
The clear message, says Kohler, when creating a bathing haven, is to look to Mother Nature for inspiration and Kohler for implementation!
Kohler is available from all major plumbing merchants nationwide.
According to one of the world’s leading trends forecasters, there is a move towards a deeper, bolder colour palette in bathroom design – the result of a significant cultural shift.
Li Edelkoort, renowned for her long-term global trends forecasts, delivered some shape-shifting insights into colour and texture in a highly anticipated workshop with Caesarstone quartz surfaces earlier this year (2018).
Illustrating the increasingly dramatic colours being used in bathrooms, Edelkoort explained that interior design is no longer a culture that tries to imitate nature but rather take inspiration from it.
Bathrooms, for example, will take their cue from carbon fibre, those materials that come naturally from fire and dust. “It’s a new way of looking at beauty,” said Ms Edelkoort. And dark, dramatic colours will be used in bathrooms to create a more sophisticated, hedonistic ambience. “Many bathrooms will include black, sometimes in combination with brass, to create a sense of luxury,” she said.
Caesarstone Black Noir
Kohler’s PVD tapware, including the modernist Purist and the vintage Artifacts collections, are the perfect fit for this look. Each is available in a range of ‘precious metals’ including brushed bronze, polished gold and rose gold. Purist, while inspired by vintage hand pumps, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity – a timeless design in either a single lever mixer or three piece basin set.
Artifacts is the antithesis of this – a collection of tapware that references the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period, available in the deep, rich textures of oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze. Each collection has matching accessories.
Dramatic stone or quartz surfaces in deepest black, bold charcoal or midnight grey will feature on benchtops, splashbacks, walls and floors, some in solid colour and others with sweeping, bold pattern and veining or smaller, homogeneous chips. Each will create a sense of visual daring and bold statement.
In keeping with this bold design are Kohler’s Petaline and Mica jet black basins – each a statement piece to provide perfect balance with the dramatic dark tones of the Caesarstone finishes.
Petaline, inspired by a single petal, is a feat of engineering mastery in cast iron with black enamel finish. The 615mm long basin is counter-balanced to create a vision of elegance and seemingly impossible poise.
Mica, available in either square or round format, is a beautifully sophisticated and refined honed black countertop vessel with super slim walls – just 6mm – to give the appearance of extreme delicacy and understated style.
Edelkoort used some of Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces to demonstrate the look – such as Vanilla Noir, Piatra Grey and Night Sky – along with metal elements, such as brass, to further enhance the sense of luxury and indulgence that can be achieved.
One of New Zealand’s North Shore residential developers has used a lifetime of experience and architectural passion to create his own family home in the lush rural countryside of the North Island’s Dairy Flat.
Calling on the expertise of architect Alistair Dodds and interior designer Shannon Pepper, the owner’s brief was to create a two-storey family home for the couple and their two children. Key to his ‘dream home’ was a master bedroom with accompanying theatre room and a large, open-plan living area to take full advantage of a proposed water feature.
The owner’s favourite colour palette of black and white is in evidence throughout the home, as is his love of modernist, highly functional design. The living space has six metre ceilings and full-length glass walls, while the swimming pool has been placed under the roof, to enable year round use.
There are four bathrooms in the home, each showcasing a black and white colour palette together with Kohler’s sleek award-winning* Avid tapware in a beautiful PVD Titanium finish. A different look is achieved in each bathing space with the clever use of texture and pattern in tiles and finishes.
The Master Bathroom
The luxurious master bathroom exudes sybaritic indulgence – from the deeply relaxing hydrotherapy spa bath to the statuesque 1500mm Terrace vanity with double vitreous china basins and unique ‘FreeDrain’ waste system plus spacious natural oak integrated storage drawers. The all black bathroom achieves plenty of light reflection with the clever mix of Crystal Glass Loft Black subway tiles in a combination of high gloss and textured finishes while the large scale black Mek Dark wall tiles are finished with white grout.
The Avid tapware is complemented with matching Avid bathroom accessories.
A second bathroom achieves a virtual reverse of the chosen colour palette with striking 1200mm x 600mm honed Calacatta marble wall and floor tiles featuring deep grey veining. Again, the wall hung Veil Intelligent toilet offers a sculptural take on a traditionally utilitarian fixture.
The Veil, with its French curve heated seat, is richly featured with advanced bidet functions controlled by a one-touch remote control and a self-cleaning bidet wand.
Other features include the Bluetooth enabled Moxie showerhead together with the Exhale multifunction shower and the sleek, low profile ModernLife basin.
All pieces in the bathroom have been selected for their understated crisp, modern lines that together create a sense of privacy and tranquillity bathed in soft light.
*International Red Dot Design Award
The release of Kohler’s Veil, in a wall faced design, is the ultimate pairing of pure, ergonomic design and customised personal cleansing, operated via a touchscreen LCD remote control.
Every aspect of the Veil toilet experience is hands free – including an auto, touch-less flush – with a focus on absolute comfort. The cover and ergonomically designed seat are motion-activated while the temperature of the heated seat can be adjusted for optimal comfort. And for total peace of mind, the bowl can be LED lit for night time visits.
Combining both a toilet and a modern-day bidet, the Veil Intelligent Toilet‘s advanced personal cleansing functions can be customised for water temperature; spray style, position and pressure; plus pulsate and oscillate functions.
The precision air dryer can also be adjusted to personal preferences for temperature. On sitting down, a fan is activated which draws air from the toilet bowl through a carbon filter to remove odours and help keep the bathroom fresh.
In line with the hands-free design of the Veil – which sports an uber-hygienic rimless bowl – the wand is self-cleaning, using UV light and electrolysed water systems to sanitise its surfaces.
The Veil wall faced intelligent toilet, by Kohler, is a compact, one-piece toilet with elongated bowl for added room and comfort. It features an in-wall fully concealed cistern with a 3/4.5L flush. The Veil is also available in a wall hung configuration.
A 29-year-old design student, from Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, has won Kohler New Zealand’s inaugural Future Designer Award 2018.
Judged by Kohler’s UK-based director of new product development, Kitchen and Bathroom, Mark Bickerstaffe, the competition attracted entries from talented, forward-thinking design students.
Erin Bell, of Warkworth, took out the first prize of $5000, with her concept for The Bathroom Island, a futuristic, sculptural piece celebrating the body, its health and diversity. A sybaritic zone for cleansing, pampering, health analysis and beauty rituals the design pays homage to both the human body and the planet. Materials are natural and unadorned, technology brings a new level of sophistication to personal health while lighting and ergonomics are designed to complement individual bodies and skin tones.
Erin Bell. First Place Kohler Future Designer 2018
The Bathroom Island also recognises the growing urgency around environmental issues with all materials chosen for their sustainability and respect for the health of the planet. No plastics are used, electricity is generated from solar panels, towels have been replaced by integrated hand, face and body dryers and large windows create a light-filled space that is less reliant on electricity to illuminate and warm it.
“The Bathroom Island a retreat within the home holistically designed to support our health and well-being amidst our busy lives. I feel we have an opportunity and responsibility to design spaces now and into the future that is not just healthy to live in but is ethically and environmentally considered. The nude colour scheme compliments skin and body tones and reflects the natural raw state of how we are in the bathroom” said Erin
Erin Bells’ bathroom of the future concept, featuring the bathroom island.
In announcing the winner, Mark Bickerstaffe commented – “Erin’s design is a vision of the highest quality and very well done. Beautifully presented, it is seductive, sensitive and in tune with the bold and gracious life, we all hope to live in the future. The Bathroom Island subtly incorporates the connectivity and enhanced the experience that technology can delivery”.
Erin designed “an essential space for morning routines & evening rituals”. featuring a waterfall tap, wireless charging, an oasis mirror with a built-in camera, filters, daily self-affirmation, and more.
Runner-up was 22year old Connor Smith of Auckland University of Technology for his ‘barrage’ of ideas that explore the challenges of living graciously amidst urban densification – including adaptive facial recognition technology, vanity unit with concealed bath, auto-adjusting shower head and water infusion unit for body care products. The potential of the transformative bathroom was highlighted with the innovation challenge of accomplishing it simply, intuitively and with a better experience as a result. Connor took home a designer award trophy and $2,000 cash! AUT Industrial Design students did very well, taking up 6 places in the final top ten.
Connor Smith. Runner-up Kohler Future Designer 2018
The top 10 entries, including the winners from Kohler’s inaugural Future Designers’ Award, can be seen on the website https://kohler.co.nz/designaward
Referencing vintage hand pumps and precious metals PURIST, from global tapware specialist Kohler, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity. Brushed Bronze, Rose Gold, Polished Gold and Brushed Nickel are the beautiful finishes set to steal the limelight in a bathroom or powder room near you!
Hero of the range is the single lever mixer in both standard and tall – a single column topped with a slender cylindrical lever it is the epitome of intuitive functionality. Simply lift and turn the lever to adjust flow and temperature. The design taps into our ever-growing love for unadorned simplicity and effortless use, without the obsessive need to over-design and innovate.
Other models within the range, offering choice in terms of handle design (while maintaining the same mantra of purism and integrity), are the three-piece basin mixer sets with lever handles plus a wall-mounted option.
All basin taps are five star WELS rated using less than 6 litres of water a minute. There are also bath spouts and bath/shower mixers with and without diverter.
All of the Kohler tapware ‘precious’ metal finishes – Brushed Bronze, Polished Gold, Rose Gold and Brushed Nickel – are achieved by virtue of PVD technology (Physical Vapour Deposition). This is a customised finish system that vaporises the finish and molecularly bonds it to the chrome surface. This produces a finish that is both tarnish and corrosion resistant – in fact all Kohler finishes twice exceed the industry standard and carry a 15-year warranty.
Matching wastes, bottle traps and accessories available shortly which will include towel bars and ring, soap dish, tumbler and holder, robe hook and toilet tissue holder.