A tour comprised of stylists, designers, and journalists is a bit different than a tour (or press junket) involving solely journalists. For one thing, many of us are designers first, bloggers second. We’re always looking for a great new product or manufacturer to inspire us.
Although my blog is slanted towards kitchens, as I kept explaining to the others on the tour, I’m a residential designer specializing in kitchens, baths, and whole house remodels. While I completely enjoyed the furnishings aspects of the tour, my focus is to recreate the existing architectural space — removing walls, raising and lowering ceilings, adding windows, doors, and skylights, and in essence, changing the footprint of the rooms so that they function better for the clients. (Note: This explanation was accompanied by a great deal of hand-waving. *grin*)
As a Certified Interior Designer in California, I create non-seismic and non-structural drawings for permitting. Any structural and seismic drawings are always completed with either an engineer or an architect and sometimes both. We don’t mess with structure in earthquake country, nono.
So, let’s talk baths:
Samuel Heath is new to me and probably most Americans as well. This U.K. company has a long and varied history – from makers of coffin furniture back in 1820 to brass bedsides to head lamps for motor vehicles to finally architectural hardware in 1958 and to today’s luxury fittings for the bathroom (and yes, faucets for the kitchen). They were (and I suspect are) an old-school manufacturing firm, born in the Industrial Revolution, where advances in manufacturing took giant strides into the future.
While they also do window and door hardware, it is their “taps” (faucets) and showers I want to focus on.
Why? Because they’re making their foray into the U.S.and I was intrigued over two of their bathroom collections – Xenon and Xiara – which are perfect for our California transitional and contemporary styling.
The British seem to prefer the rain-style shower heads, but Samuel Heath does have a contemporary shower head also available.
Xiara is another pretty line — I like the handle styling a lot:
I’m also intrigued by the FAIRFIELD line, which draws its influence from the Arts and Crafts movement. Several of our old Casa California, Victorian, and Italianate homes could use these to provide contemporary styling without compromising on architectural style. Best of all they meet the requirements for California’s low lead plumbing law:
Fairfield low-lead and water-saving wide-spread lavatory faucet.
Mentally, I’ve just designed a streamlined 1930s Hollywood bachelor pad with these, but if you think they might take some damage over time (ie children’s bath wouldn’t be my first choice), there are other designs, like this one in crystal:
Also Art-Deco inspired – get me my Jean Harlow dress so I can lounge in front of the vanity mirror…
So here are my caveats: I’m not sure that all of these items are or will be stocked. In California, we have several green codes and safety regulations, such as pressure balance valves, a restriction on body sprays, and low lead laws. I’d also watch the type of lavatory sink – bathrooms are much smaller in the U.K. and so are the lavatory sinks — so faucet extension to drain will be important.
Having said that, I was impressed enough to want to talk to my local plumbing supplier to see if they might bring the line in closer to me.
If you want to know more, check out “Find a Stockist” which is British for: Find a store or dealer near you. Sadly, Canadians, I’m not seeing them anywhere except the U.S.*
*FTC Disclosure: Samuel Heath is a #BlogtourNY sponsor who made my trip possible. All words, thoughts, and ideas are solely my own.