Nothing like a few words from The Bard of Avon to kick of a blog post, but if you want to know what Jo Public will probably be looking for when she visits a bathroom showroom in 2014, you need to go to Sleep. As for Shakespeare, well he didn’t have indoor plumbing…
The Sleep Event, which took place at London’s Business Design Centre on 20-21 November, is arguably the most important European business event for the hotel sector.
The organisers say that this year’s Sleep Event attracted “record number of visitors” who came to see cutting-edge bathroom products for the hotel market and to attend sessions in its two-day conference programme – several of which had sold out before the doors opened on Wednesday morning.
For the mainstream KBB retail market, a day spent at Sleep seeing what bathroom products are going into hotel refurbishment projects, is time well spent. The role of the hotel bathroom as a major influence on domestic bathrooms is a given, one of the reason that GROHE was once again The Sleep Event’s main sponsor.
Sleep this year acted as a filter of ISH from earlier in 2013, as many of the products on display in Islington had been launched first in Frankfurt. If ISH represents the global bathroom market, then The Sleep Event 2013 showed which of the many products launched in Frankfurt are most likely to be setting the trends in UK bathrooms. That said, there were several now products that were being presented for the first time.
For the seventh year in succession GROHE supported the event as headline sponsor and acted as host of the popular Round Table panel events as well as exhibiting its latest product range. Passes to the GROHE VIP Lounge were the hot-ticket of the show whilst its new Rainshower Flower Collection, based on the Rainshower Icon 100, combined fun design with quality and technology and brought a smile to the faces of many of the visitors.
Paul Flowers, Vice President of Design for GROHE said: “The Rainshower Flower Collection is the perfect product for those who want to inject a bit of fun and colour into bathroom design such as families with children or even young adults who have just got their own home.”
Roman Limited is another manufacturer that used The Sleep Event to launch new additions and features from its Decem Range. This is a minimalist collection which offers ease of installation whilst presenting unrivalled water integrity, for a minimalist design. With the addition of this made to measure service, it offers real flexibility for any showering space. This range is already walking out of the hotel and into the household.
Ideal Standard showcased its latest Disability Discrimination Act compliant bathroom, demonstrating how wheelchair accessible bathrooms can be as contemporary and beautiful as conventional bathrooms.
With one in 20 hotel rooms having to be wheelchair accessible, hoteliers often find it difficult to meet the functional requirements of Part M whilst keeping the same ambience as the other bedrooms.
This new solution has been developed to meet the needs of the less abled in conjunction with occupational therapists whilst maintaining the design integrity of Robin Levien’s Concept suite.
Alape’s »A3« washstand allows architects and specifiers to realise a bathroom with endless design opportunities. It is a range which can be individually tailored to each client. The »A3« concept is founded on a sleek and contemporary basin with an integrated tissue dispenser and chrome towel rail attached beneath, making it the ideal addition for any hotel room or semi-public space. »A3« can also be combined with a vanity unit, storage compartments, soap dispensers, mirrors and disposal systems.
Bette enamelled steel sanitaryware with a 30 year warranty has a host of benefits for the hotel sector. The company’s innovations include the permanently waterproof, flush-to-floor BetteFloor Side shower area and strong and stable baths with the Slim and stylish rims, such as the BetteArt, both of which were on show at Sleep. “We found that many visitors were drawn onto our stand because of our new, freestanding BetteArt bath, which creates the ‘wow’ factor and looks so slim-line and perfect that people have to touch it to check it really is enamelled steel,” said Samantha Wake, sales and operations director of Bette UK.
Dornbracht presented its 2013 launches at Sleep, including its digital concept, Smart Water. A specially engineered unit demonstrated the inner workings of the new digital control, Smart Tool, which allows the user to control water flow and temperature independently and with complete precision. Hotel guests that get the opportunity to test drive this new concept from Dornbracht are almost certain to put it at the top of their own bathroom refurbishment wish list!
Since its first appearance at Sleep three years ago, Laufen has enjoyed huge growth on a global level, with the company now accredited as Approved Manufacturer to some of the biggest International Hotel Groups. For 2014 and beyond Laufen is working on many new projects, among them the Moxy Hotels; a new innovative hotel chain being introduced by Marriott and IKEA. In the next 10 years 150 hotels are planned to open throughout Europe, combining contemporary stylish design, approachable service and an affordable price.
Matki launched Ultra Bespoke for the EauZone Plus collection that offers a number of bespoke options. Not only can clients choose the glass finish, the glass can be cut to suit a sloping ceiling or any other obstacles within the room. There is a choice of standard or minimal framing which can even be hidden within the wall and floor for a totally frameless look. Ultra Bespoke will be available from January 2014.
British brand Victoria + Albert Baths presented its Mozzano rimless freestanding bath designed with curves that are capable of delivering a strong architectural presence in any contemporary bathroom scheme. Mozzano has been created with the bather in mind providing a high level of comfort and usability through its ergonomic design. Made from QUARRYCAST, Mozzano is warm to the touch and ensures that the water temperature of the bath remains warmer for longer thanks to its insulating qualities. Thanks to its high stone content, QUARRYCAST is highly scratch resistant and the solid surface bathing well is renewable so a simple polish will keep it as good as new.
At this year’s Sleep Event, Keramag Design presented its latest designer collections including Citterio, Preciosa II, myDay and Silk, comprising a range of sanitaryware, furniture and mirrors. In addition, the show saw the UK preview of the company’s first freestanding bath, Mattis. Made from high quality resin stone, Mattis is a universal freestanding bath designed to complement all Keramag Design ranges.
Showcasing its range of innovative, sustainable and design-led bathroom solutions to designers and architects involved in the hotel industry, Roca made its first appearance at The Sleep Event this year.
Many of the manufacturer’s key products were on its new In-Tank Meridian WC, the first of its kind to have an innovative concealed cistern integrated within the pan. Domestic bathrooms are not the only bathrooms were space is at a premium so big things are expected from this diminutive WC.
VitrA’s M-Line range delivers a number of features for the hotel sector – a key market for this brand in 2014. Developed by Noa Designs and the VitrA development team, the M-Line basin has been specifically designed with the optimal bowl depth so that dirt is prevented from building up and the rimless M-Line WC features a channel free design that eliminates germ reproduction and also provides the option of a VitrA Fresh flush tank which adds a dose of cleaning liquid to every flush. The M-Line range also presents a multitude of options for creating a cohesive design scheme throughout a hotel with WCs and basins in different sizes for cloakrooms or master bathrooms, floor standing or wall hung versions, and inset and countertop editions.
(A shorter version of this post also appears in the blog section of the kbb Birmingham website.)
kbb Birmingham takes place at the NEC Birmingham on 2-5 March 2014.
It is organised by UBM Built Environment, a sponsor of this blog.