A great part of my job is receiving the latest copy of my favourite interiors magazines, and poring over beautiful interiors over a cup of tea. But sometimes a trend is featured that just seems to jar with everything I think about interiors.
A case in point is the latest brouhaha over some new basins and baths from The Water Monopoly. I love The Water Monopoly’s products and their founder’s approach to interiors: “We all like to be surrounded by warmth, colour and comfort, and that is what The Water Monopoly offers”.
The Water Monopoly was born out of a desire to renovate period bathroom fittings and to make them more easily available. And the shapes and styles they do are incredible- just check out this beautiful bath of theirs which Jamie Theakston used in his Chiswick home (photo courtesy of Found Associates/Houzz).
But their latest launch includes some beautiful basins. In yellow. And blue. And green.
Colour is always a central part of any room I design, and I love how different a room can look with a shot of colour. So I kind of want to welcome this trend, but I really can’t bring myself to embrace it. Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to have grown up with an avocado bathroom, but I don’t think coloured sanitary ware is a good idea. Like kitchens, bathrooms are not changed regularly and coloured basins or baths commits you to a particular look for the long haul. We’ve all tried to modernise an avocado bathroom by adding contemporary accessories or painting the walls in a bid to distract the eye. But, let’s be honest, it’s never really a great success and it’s a bit like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. No matter what you did, it was still a very green bathroom, and all that you could do was live with it while you saved up for a total gut job.
A few years ago black sinks were the fancy new thing. But then everyone realised that in hard water areas, they have water marks as soon as they are used, and that trend seemed to pass in a flash. And anyone who has lived with any of the coloured bathrooms of the ’70s remembers the chalky water marks left behind as soon as it is used. So, as well as some dubious style credentials, they are not terribly practical.
Interiors magazine are brilliant. They show us amazing homes created by really talented people, and they showcase exciting new products. But just sometimes the excitement of a new product overshadows the practical considerations which have to be borne in mind, like longevity of a design and how easy it is to live with. Good design outlasts trends because it fully reflects the tastes and needs of those who live there. Trends can be a good way to shake things up and introduce something unexpected. Paint colour or accessories are a great way to jump on the bandwagon without leaving you with a costly fix when that trend has passed.
So, I’m afraid, just this once I don’t share The Water Monopoly’s excitement, and I’m breaking away from the trends in the glossy mags. And that’s OK too- sometimes it’s all about knowing what ideas to swipe from the magazines. And which ones to leave.
(And I’m sure all of this will be a huge relief to my client who has just decided to rip out a vintage cloakroom. With a yellow sink in it…. )
If you’d like your interiors transformed with an injection of colour and personality (minus the coloured basin), get in touch here or call me on 07801 364 238.