A real draw at Sleep this year was the sleek and minimalist display from Laufen. We had a chance to catch up with Emma Mottram to find out what’s new, what’s hot and what goes into creating luxury hotel bathrooms.
Can you tell us a little bit about Laufen?
My name is Emma Mottram, I’m the marketing manager for Laufen here in the UK. Laufen itself is a Swiss company and from 1892 we’ve been manufacturing bathrooms. We’re really embedded in Swiss craftsmanship to create high end bathroom solutions, whether that’s for consumer, hospitality and many other sectors.
What is Laufen best known for?
Laufen is best known for its collaborations with key designers to create outstanding bathroom ranges. So Kartell by Laufen and Palomba, we create beautiful freestanding baths with a design feeling that come from designers not necessarily from the bathroom industry.
What hot design trends are you seeing right now?
I think what we’re really seeing is people at home wanting to feel like they’re in a hotel in their own bathroom. The feeling of space is really achieved by taking products off the floor, wall hung, minimalistic designs can suddenly make a small bathroom feel like an oasis of space and cleanliness. Sleek lines, furniture is key, people don’t want to look at clutter anymore and everything needs to be hidden away. As a result furniture is becoming more high quality as people expect what they have in the living room or bedroom, following that through to the bathroom.
What is the difference between your hotel designs and your more consumer products?
I think with hospitality we can treat each hotel and request individually, whereas for the consumer we do have a more standard range. Each project we work on is built out of a true relationship so if you start with a concept, as a drawing, you can then take that forward with a client. Even if the bespoke end product might not be what the client expected you’ve been on the journey together, you have a true relationship and everyone is happy. Each hospitality project is more bespoke in its own individual way as you try and analyse what you’re trying to achieve and how is that bathroom part of the overall hotel look and feel. You can’t just attach a bathroom and disregard the bedroom space, which is key in the hotel as it’s part of the overall look and feel. The beauty of Laufen is we can work collaboratively with the hotel, interior designers and architects so it’s a true collaborative process.
Do you think hotels demand more from bathrooms in terms of quality and durability?
I think people want to know that it’s quality, eye catching, easy to clean and going to last. It needs to look amazing but when we do bespoke projects and we do different finishes they need to be quality as they’ll be cleaned everyday. That’s really important to us, the quality of the finishes.
What advice would you give to consumers looking to get the hotel look at home?
If they’ve got the space I’d go for a free standing bath, it’s a winner every time and creates that luxury hotel feel. Paired with really good furniture that’s simple and minimalistic, with a beautiful large basin. People think they can’t get width wise but we do slimmer basin designs so if it’s a slightly narrow bathroom we still create that wide basin feel in a narrower finish.
In terms of showers, if you were really going to spoil yourself what’s the one thing you’d put in your bathroom?
You’ve got to go for the rain showerhead, have that luxurious rain shower with the hand shower and get that lovely walk in shower feeling.
What advice would you give to consumers just starting their bathroom refurbishment journey?
I would always go and see a retailer. All of our retailers are design led and I think that’s really key. We choose our retailers carefully, they’re all qualified designers, and they can look at the space you have and design a solutions that works for you and creates the feel that you want. Instead of just picking product off the shelf and trying to mix and match it in yourself you should make sure to see a design led retailer.
Any predictions on trends to watch out for in 2018?
I would say colour. I’m not going to go back to coloured ceramics but I think colour in accessories will feature. We were saying that the look of bringing foliage back into the bathroom. So Kartell by Laufen we’ll have extra colours in our accessories range. I think the greens and rose pinks will feature with a splash of colour coming back in.
Anything to watch out for from Laufen next year?
We have a new range called SONAR, from designer Patricia Urquiola, so we have that to look forward to later in the year. We’ll also have additional basins in the Kartell by Laufen range and additional furniture.
Find out more about Laufen here.
Kevin, Foam & Bubbles Head of Digital, is currently renovating his home in London. For his first project he has dived straight into the deep-end. Kevin has taken his house back to just 4 walls, adding a floor, a new roof, as well as 2 more bathrooms.