Sustainable designs are on the agenda for many bathroom suppliers, including Aliaxis. Sustainable designs are on the agenda for many bathroom suppliers, including Aliaxis.

Meet the experts

Jane Jacobsen, Marketing and CRM Manager, Aliaxis MEA

Thomas Boyd, Managing Director, Dornbracht Middle East

Louise Pitt, Marketing & CRM Manager, Geberit International Sales AG

Christele Barakat, Global Projects Accounts Manager, Kohler Middle East

What are some of the latest developments in bathroom design in the region?

Jane Jacobsen: The latest bathroom trends combine aesthetics and functionality. Clean, space-saving, and smart designs are considered important. Water saving, recyclable material, and sustainable features with matching simple but diverse designs have never been more important in the region’s hotel developments.

Thomas Boyd: As a favourite place of retreat, bathrooms have become a personal ‘private spa’, where attention focuses on the needs of the individual: recharging the batteries, reducing stress and recovering. Dornbracht’s LifeSpa concept epitomises the holistic approach to bathroom planning and furnishing in the sense of a healthy and illness-preventive lifestyle – as much in the private bathroom  as in an exclusive hotel.

Louise Pitt: We see the maximisation of space with the removal of visual barriers in the interiors. Bathrooms are now becoming part of the living and sleeping areas, creating a natural flow between the areas.

Christele Barakat: The black bathroom. Black is back — or maybe it never really left. An iconic ‘goes-with-everything’ neutral that’s long signalled elegance and sophistication in fashion and home design, black is equally as popular for performance sports cars, nail polish, sneakers, and now, even faucet finishes.

What is your most requested product in the Region?

Jane: Aliaxis’ bathroom brand Sanit offers simple designs with concealed functionality. The product includes diverse models to different finishes in distinct designs.

Thomas: Our horizontal shower — launched  for the first time in the industry, it provides a reclining shower experience. Six water bars recessed above a reclining area and an electronic control element make up the application.

Louise: Shower surface Setaplano — the trend for bathrooms continues with the spa experience with larger spaces and a bathroom to pamper oneself  in. The space allows for rejuvenation with neat ceramics, sleek lines, wall drains, and stylish shower channel drainage and cisterns concealed behind the wall.

Christele: Kohler recently introduced two new vessels that reflect and build upon the essence of art in daily life. The new vessels collection, known as Mica, comes in two shapes of circular 
and rectangular.

What are some of the challenges you face as suppliers?

Jane: As a supplier of many concealed products that are vital for a healthy lifecycle of hotels, it is often difficult to create awareness of the importance of high quality mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) products and technical features.

Thomas: In the Middle East, we face challenges with fluctuating water temperatures especially when it comes to the use of thermostatic mixers for showers and baths.

Louise: 2016 emerged as a year of challenges which is not helped by the continued tightening on global liquidity and the drastic drop in oil prices. The effect in the construction industry was observed across the  Gulf.

Christele: What most challenges Kohler in the MENA region is what excites us; it is the opportunity to tackle some of the world’s interesting challenges when it comes to creating a customised, luxuriously comfortable bathroom experience that meets the Arabian taste and the desire for sustainable products.

Why do you think bathrooms need to be trendy?

Jane: The bathroom remains the first area that hotel guests have a close look at when checking their guestroom. Therefore, it is very relevant for a five-star hotel resort or mid-range hotel to have classy bathrooms; no customer is impressed by water leakages or visible low-budget designs. For a desired comfortable stay, bathroom design is very significant and essential.

Thomas: Bathrooms are no longer viewed simply as a place to wash and cleanse oneself, but as a place of retreat and the same is true for hotel bathrooms. Guests want showering experiences that balance, energise, and de-stress them.

Story continues below