Wellness design for the bathroom

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.

Exhale Showerhead

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.

Kohler Veil bath

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.

Veil Bath

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.

Kohler Dutchmasters basin

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.

CLARITY – A CLEAR CASE OF SAFE WATER. FOR ALL.

CLARITY – A CLEAR CASE OF SAFE WATER. FOR ALL.

CLARITY – A CLEAR CASE OF SAFE WATER. FOR ALL.

In our privileged environments, where food, power and water are everyday staples, it is hard to believe that more than 2 billion people have no access to safe water*. It was this fact that inspired Kohler to develop CLARITY, a simple, affordable filtration system that can provide safe drinking water for those living in remote areas with no access to clean water.

Kohler has had an ongoing passion and commitment to utilise its high-end design and technology skills to make change for ALL, especially those who have less. Having joined the Bill Gates Foundation, Kohler partnered with the California Institute of Technology in 2012 to develop a photovoltaic toilet to provide a sustainable sanitation option to the 2.5 billion people around the world who don’t have safe sanitation.

CLARITY is yet another step in the company’s ongoing commitment to global health and sustainability. A table-top ceramic filtration system, CLARITY was developed by Kohler in partnership with World Vision, iDE and Water Mission. It can produce 40 litres of safe drinking water a day – enough for a small family.

The cornerstones of the design are that it be simple to use and maintain, inexpensive to acquire and run and easy to transport in some of the most remote and rugged terrains in the world.

CLARITY, a ceramic filtration system, removes more than 99 per cent of bacteria and protozea from 11 litres of water every two hours.

Contaminated or dirty water is placed in the reservoir at the top of the unit which then uses gravity to filter down to the storage reservoir below. The clean water can be kept safely in this reservoir and accessed by tap.

The filter cartridge contains some silver, for its antimicrobial properties, and is cleaned simply by rubbing gently with sandpaper to remove any sediment build-up. Each cartridge will filter up to 5000 litres of water before replacement is required.

Enormous thought has been put into the environments and communities in which CLARITY will be used – the lid, for example, is embossed with pictographic instructions in consideration of those who are illiterate.

Transport can also be an expensive and difficult process in more remote areas – so both the CLARITY unit and its packaging has been designed to be as lightweight as possible. One truckload of CLARITY filtration systems will contain 3600 units – enough for about 14, 400 people.

The easy to assemble and use CLARITY filtration unit stands about 60cms tall and weighs just 2.5 kg – and meets WHO standards for safe drinking water.

The CLARITY has already been used in disaster relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Given that statistics suggest the incidence of water-borne illnesses can be reduced by 45 per cent through safe drinking water, and safe storage, the CLARITY is a life-changing development.

The Kohler CLARITY project has been a truly multicultural affair having been designed by a Kohler team in the UK, engineered by a Kohler team in India and produced in Kohler’s US factory.

Kohler NZ holds permanent stocks of the CLARITY in its NZ warehouse in preparation for a rapid response should there be further disasters in its regional South Pacific islands.

Go to www.clarity.kohler.com for more details.

* WHO 7/2/201

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CLARITY

  • Designed to meet WHO (World Health Organization) water quality standards
  • Filters up to 40 litres per day*
  • Filters up to 2 litres per hour*
  • 23 liters total capacity(11 L dirty, 12 L clean with safe storage)
  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Nestable for shipping as individual filters or in bulk
Clarity information

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Kohler Co joins with Virginia Tech to win 2018 Solar Decathlon in Dubai

“FutureHAUS”, a unique solar home designed and built by Virginia Tech research university, with the support and technical input of Kohler Co, has won the international Solar Decathlon, held for the first time in Dubai.

Beating 27 other universities from 11 countries, the Virginia Tech team had just two weeks to build its prototype FutureHAUS house, that runs exclusively on solar power, in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park. The goal of the competition was to create a high performing solar home – seen as the smart, sustainable housing of the future – able to function in the extreme climate conditions of the Middle East. A key requirement was that it had to be able to be mass produced in similar communities around the world.

Kohler worked with Virginia Tech for two years advising on design and technical attributes that could achieve high functioning, smart solutions for both kitchen and bathroom.

The winning FutureHAUS, that enabled Virginia Tech to take home the $250,000 first prize, utilised factory-built cartridges to create living spaces that adapt to their inhabitants.

Kohler provided technical advice and guidance on the water delivery system in the kitchen where metered amounts of water are delivered via voice control.

In the main bathroom the vanity top is 3D printed and utilises Kohler’s technological expertise to incorporate three sensors within the basin that employ the company’s Response touchless technology. Kohler has then coupled these sensors to three of its DTV digital showering systems.

Virginia Tech was the only team from the US to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The prototype houses were judged on 10 criteria:
architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, comfort conditions, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communications and innovation.

The Solar Decathlon, now in its 16th year, supports Dubai’s stated goal to have the smallest carbon footprint of any global city by 2050.

 

The Best Plants for Your Bathroom

The Best Plants for Your Bathroom

Lush green foliage is an excellent way to soften the hard, straight lines that so often proliferate in a bathroom – think tiles, vanities, mirrors, windows, shower recesses etc

Just a single plant, from a fern to a succulent, will introduce a pleasing, relaxing ambience to the bathing space – but there are other benefits to including living greenery in the bathroom.  Clean air and health!

Indoor air can be more polluted than the air outside, as bathrooms, by their very nature, contain many chemicals – from those emitted by surface materials to shampoos, soaps and chemical cleaners.

Plants are the perfect ‘green’ way of improving the quality of the air – they require little effort and negate the need for an expensive air purifier.

Experts at NASA have spent time identifying the best indoor plants for removing toxins – but make sure the plant you choose is also the best suited to your bathroom’s light conditions, temperatures and any draughts.

 


Here are six plants, recommended by NASA for removing air-borne toxins, that could be grown in the bathroom:

Snake Plant - Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

SNAKE PLANT

(Sansevieria trifasciata)

Keep them fairly dry and grow in indirect light.  Fertilise during growing season.  One of the easiest indoor plants to grow.

 Golden Cane Palm - Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

GOLDEN CANE PALM

(Dypsis lutescens)

Requires plenty of light and a good balance of moisture, fertiliser and warmth.  Brings a tropical lushness to the bathroom.

Aloe Vera Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

ALOE VERA

(Aloe barbadensis mill)

Grow in indirect sunlight in a dry soil (like a cactus potting mix).  Water during growing period but never allow to stand in wet soil (ensure pot has plenty of drainage holes).  The leaves contain a gel that can be used on skin conditions and superficial cuts for its soothing, antimicrobial properties.

ENGLISH IVY - Photo by Manja Benic on Unsplash

ENGLISH IVY

(Hedera helix)

An easy plant to grow indoors and can be planted in hanging baskets to allow the leaves to cascade or can be trained to climb a stick or pole.  Can tolerate lower light and requires a cool environment and a reasonable amount of water.

Peace Lily - Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

PEACE LILY 

(Spathiphyllum mauna loa)

Grow in a warm spot away from direct sunlight – it will tolerate low levels of light.  Water regularly so that the potting mix is moist at all times.  Yellow leaves mean it is receiving too much light.

Spider Plant - Photo by Abel Y Costa on Unsplash

SPIDER PLANT

(Chlorophytum comosum)

Will tolerate low to bright light conditions but keep away from direct sunlight.  Requires minimal watering.  Very hardy plants that even enjoy being pot bound!

Just one plant will make a difference to both the ambience and the air purity in your bathroom – but think about groups of plants, perhaps in a corner of the floor, or suspended from the ceiling in baskets.

Be prepared for a little trial and error initially, while you work out the plants that are happiest in the conditions that prevail in your bathing space.

Carbon, fibre and dust – key elements for bathroom finishes

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

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.

Purist PVD

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.

Mica Black Basin

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.

www.caesarstone.co.nz
www.kohler.co.nz

Building on a Lifetime of Passion

Building on a Lifetime of Passion

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.

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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