How do colors influence the way we perceive the bathroom?
I think the way color, finish and material impacts the bathroom is that the faucet becomes the jewellery – the accessory for the interior designer. It’s another way to add a level of detail and quality to interior design features. And our colors have been selected and curated in a way that allows you to almost do anything you need to with them. So if you want high contrast, mid tones or low contrast, you can really use your colors to influence the outcome. This is a palette that gives you the complete flexibility to work with.
And what about the kitchen?
Most kitchens are white. The way consumers add color is through accessories – like toasters, blenders, coffee makers – because they can put them on the counter and take them away. So we thought, if someone had that red iconic kitchen mixer then they’re more likely to take that vivid red hose of Essence. But there’s really no risk in that because they can upgrade it, they can change it easily. In the bathroom, we’ve taken a slightly more refined approach, because there isn’t yet a quick way to accessorize with color. All of the GROHE Colors collection work in the kitchen and in the bathroom very well.
Do you have a personal favourite amongst the GROHE finishes?
Yes, the Brushed Hard Graphite. Which is, by the way, the most sophisticated finish we have right now. I’m in the process of redoing my kitchen all black-on-black and I’m going with that finish.
What are the rules for choosing finishes for the bathroom?
To be honest, there are none. I think we’re in a day and age where designers are much more free to do what they want. With our opened up color and finish options in this collection, we’ve given them no rules. There are just endless possibilities to work with here. If I had to suggest one rule, it would be to coordinate the finishes. Because there’s nothing worse than going into a space and having a different color faucet, a different color shower, a different color towel holder. And with GROHE Colors collection you get the full coordination of whatever color and finish you need.
What can you tell us about the interactions of shapes, surfaces and finishes?
The way we’ve articulated this design range to the design world is: you have three types of environment. You have high-contrast environments and you have tone-on-tone environments. And in the middle you have mid-tones. Let’s say I was designing an all-black bathroom. I have more or less some options. But if I wanted black tile on the wall, I could pick the opposite of it, which would be chrome to give it a more contrary contrast finish. Or if I wanted the whole bathroom to be a soft matte finish, I can use the brushed surface. So in terms of the interactions of shapes and surfaces, it all depends on what the interior design strategy is. But that’s why we’ve offered a polished and a brushed finish to give you that flexibility in your interactions. And this rings true for all colors, available in polished or brushed.
Can you give us an example?
When I say the word 'vintage' you think of the brushed gold, but when I say 'luxury' you think of the polished gold. It’s the same color, it’s just a finish difference. By just changing the finish, I can give you a different verbal cue of vintage vs. luxury. The reason we have a brushed and a polished is to allow the ultimate flexibility between the interior strategies.