Friday, 18 March 2011

ISH - Safe in the knowledge

If we were to select the design story from Europe’s largest bathroom show, ISH, it would have to be a focus on safe but ultimately sellable designs. The products were sensibly styled to suit the tastes of the majority, creating the impression of ‘what’s not to like’? It appeared the bathrooms were designed to quickly find their space on the showroom floor, and to sell out equally swiftly.
But don’t equate prudent designs choices with being plain boring. Manufacturers took different and intelligent takes on product design, revisiting, rejuvenating and augmenting previous best sellers. While a clear trend for slimline basins, although suitably stylish, suggested a conscious control of material costs.

Message shown on VitrA stand
could be the mantra for ISH
Bathroom trends that were cutting-edge two years ago had been broadly accepted Digital tap technology, multi-media, waterfall and open spouts re-iterated the emotional aspect of bathroom design, creating an ‘experience’ for the user. And the black décor, introduced at ISH in 2009, looked to be a staple finish for furniture, sanitaryware and brassware. Of course, this judicious product development wasn’t really a surprise as it had all occurred during the last two years, in one of the toughest economic times in history.
Taking a balanced view of all the products showcased at ISH, it would be unfair to suggest that there wasn’t anything new at the show. There was. It did, however, appear to be more measured, than previous years, with the product targeted at the niche, luxury end of the market.
We will be highlighting the key products, which reflect the themes of the show, in the April issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News.

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