Friday, 2 October 2015

Cersaie 2015

Cersaie 2015 was as busy as ever. While it is predominately about the best in ceramics and tiles,  there is still a lot more to see.
With 1000 exhibitors and over 100,000 visitors over 5 days it is one of the must see design shows on the calendar.

The Cer-Stile exhibition was a must. A journey in design made easier by the mock up of the imaginative idea of a luxury interior of a train, complete with changing landscape through curtained windows.  There was a modest bunk, comfy private seating, open benches, and even an antique boxed sink that folds up. Only in Italy!

While the Bologna Cersaie was certainly not an Express Train, there were undoubtedly some significant products expressing themselves in the best way - as part of a design scheme. Glass 1989, Duravit,  Cordivari,  Vitra,  Cristina Rubinetterie all had great products on show as part of this taster exhibition.

It was outside in the main halls where design became even more interesting.

There was much to see in 3 dimensional large scale ceramic wall surfaces. Some of the suppliers creating ranges which allowed greater choice and more flexibility for designers to create a more unique look. While there was some colour, mostly for commercial, there was definitely the core shades of safe neutrals across all ranges.

While designs may have taken a large leap, manufacturers were playing safe with colour palette.

There are always a lot of brick style ceramics in the show. The puritan brickie will appreciate the difference between imperial, metric, and American bricks.They will even explain to you the methods of how bricks are stacked - stretcher and Fleming bonds to name but two brick laying techniques.  Personally I thought some of the random colours fun. Why we don't use more tiles on walls in homes is just my opinion.
I was taken with a lot of the grunge, graffiti styles.Equally some really excellent pastels too.
Again some great ranges consisting safe plain tiles, coordinated texture, and feature tiles. This makes a designer's life easy in a bathroom or wetroom.
Last year seemed to be about hexagonal and introducing lava. This year there were concrete looks, larger tiles, pared back colours, and raised texture designs.

Away from the tiles, I was impressed with Rubinetterie 3M brassware taps and showers.
From a design perspective their products are stunning.

The taps and shower heads are completely different to anything else I saw at the show.  The quality of the materials exceptional. The flow and economic delivery of water ticks boxes.  I must say really taken with their designs.

Fiora had an amazing stand and some new products. While we love Fiora bathroom furniture and shower trays, they now do wet walls. A new range of furniture and excellent display electric radiators and we are hooked.
I had to go check out Zucchetti Kos. I first saw them at Bologna water festival last year.
As expected they had their own fantastic stand, and also popped up in the Day Off exhibition. Some great basins,  but love their showerheads.

Villeroy and Boch seemed to be having a good show too. We loved the rose gold floor mounted bath mixer.  I know this is a finish that is not as popular as the chrome and brushed steel finishes - but it looks gorgeous on display.

Washbasins came in all shapes and sizes.  They were moulded in mineral cast, porcelain, glass, concrete. They were recessed, sat on top, or moulded as one with surface. They had an overflow,  no overflow,  exposed traps, were freeflowing or not.

Really one could narrow down a favourite once you had seen over 1000. Oh, and there were some great colours too.

Wetrooms have become much more the norm over the last few years. It was great to see so many manufacturers really looking at wetroom walls and floors as part of their portfolio.

I'm not sure emerging trends. What I can say is I love good materials - and no manufacturer or designer will waste a good material on a bad design.

"Style is a simple way of saying a complicated thing"
Jean Cocteau

Ora italiano


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Perfect Bathroom

There is nowhere else in the home that needs to have so much technically going on that also needs to be a relaxing space.
While it is important to engage the services of a qualified, and competetent bathroom fitter, there are a few pointers worth knowing.

Understanding how the room is to be used is key. How watertight do the surfaces have to be? Many homes are including wetroom style areas. These are a great idea for smaller bathrooms and can replace the standard shower enclosure making a room feel larger.

The preformed shower wall panels are ideal in place of normal tile and grout. These boards are tongue and grooved with finished edges and can easily be cut to fit.

There are also a range of worksurfaces, and in some cases shower trays, to match. At this point it is also worth considering an extractor fan to promote ventilation of the room.

There is nothing worse than a cold bathroom. While many rooms may have existing radiators it is worth considering other options. Underfloor heating is a great addition and works particularly well under tile flooring.  There are also some fabulous designer radiators available in a variety of sizes and colours. Stainless steel radiators are more efficient as they conduct heat, rather than the  chrome ones which feel hot but do not radiate the same amount of heat.  Many of the designer radiators include towel rails or even shelving - ideal for where storage required too. Of course it is easy to replace a cumbersome, old, white radiator for a new one which may be more efficient.

There are online calculators which will take your room sizes and advise how many BTU's you will require (British Thermal Unit). Check with the manufacturer of your radiator, as 1 kw = 3.41 BTU.

Lighting is another area where some thought and imagination can create a comfortable environment.  It is worth checking out the zones which require lighting and ensure that what is sourced is safe and practical. While downlighters are popular, it is worth considering where practical other sources. There are some great zone 2 chandeliers and uplighters which might suit a more traditional bathroom. LED backlit mirrors are also an excellent source of functional lighting.

Practically it is worth understanding the impact of low water pressure before choosing showers and taps. Additionally some sinks will have no overflow hole and will require a different waste system.

Then the fun starts!
There are some really excellent ranges of vanity furniture available with very generous storage. And don't think the unit has to be white, light oak, or wenge only! Colours are definitely in, with oranges, purples, floral effects, and linen looks.  Radiators too can come in a multitude of colours and finishes.
And did you want swarovski crystals on your taps?

Children's bathrooms can be fun! Funky colour basins and taps, co-ordinated with a coloured radiator can be fabulous.  Styled with an unusual flooring, this room can really make a statement.

There are no limits to how stylish a bathroom can become.  In fact if you want any help then email me or come visit us at 80 Market Street Hoylake Wirral.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Le Mur Finium

designer walls

It is exciting to see natural materials being used creatively in interior design. Le Mur Finium are a Canadian company that have brought eco friendly prefinished hardwood panels now to the UK market.

There has been a great surge in demand for natural finished looking materials for wall surfaces. The rise of decorative stone and faux brick has become increasingly popular as consumers move away from more traditional wallcoverings
designer walls
Le Mur Finium are not a particularly young company, they have been going strong in the North American market since 1999. However this is their first foray into the UK through the helm of established wall supplier Designer Walls.

While the eco stats mount up nicely-  low value reclaimed wood, water base glues, ultraviolet light cured  - it is really the design possibilities that are endless.

With so many different woods and shades, it really is a versatile product.

It is lightweight and easy to install so requires no particular skill other than competent joiner. Check their Youtube

 In the home it can used to create a fabulous effect behind a bed, look smart in alcoves, be used on one wall for feature effect, or even on the ceiling in a loft conversion.

The commercial applications are many. Communal entrances, feature walls in reception areas. Used to surround an elevator shaft it makes a functional requirement into a design feature.

Instead of whitewashed walls or lacklustre wallpaper, a hardwood wall has something very appealing and tactile in a restaurant area adding warmth to an interior scheme. The panels are quite resistant to scratches so very good also to use as a decorative base in a bar area perhaps.

As shown in the example images here, the wood looks fabulous with clever lighting highlighting the textures and colour of the oiled wood panels.

There is no reason why a combination of materials can not be used. Woods, brick, steel, ceramics all work comfortably together.

To find out more about this highly versatile product contact the UK agent here 

Related article Designer Walls

Monday, 10 August 2015

80 Market Street

So what is 80 Market Street all about?
By its own admission it is a destination. 
This fabulous historical building, Jessie's Yard  sets the scene. It has warmth, it has character, it even had horses in the yard running to help RNLI in the past to move the boats. Jim the Artist said 80  was one of the more picturesque buildings in Hoylake. A short walk and you are on the beach.

80 Market Street is a business project supported by Gary Walmsley and Ally MacDermot, 2 interior creatives with decades of experience in everything interior design. 

There is an emphasis on bathroom products and designer wall panels. In fact much of what is written within these blog pages will be available through 80 Market Street. High quality engineered showers and taps, designer furniture, funky radiators, faux brick and slate wall panels, hardwood walls, waterproof walls... New driftwood wall panels are due in soon, and are sure to be a big hit.

Suppliers include Burgbad, Zierath, Huppe, Fiora, Zazzeri, Brem, Glass1989, Laufen and many more. We are bringing in a few lighting ranges, as well as a supplier of Silent Gliss tracks and poles.

While 80 is on a main shopping street, they are well capable of supplying within the contract and commercial markets in bulk. 

80 Market Street brings you the best in interior trends, the best news from European designer shows , the best interior black book ever.