The confluence of aesthetically appealing with environmentally accountable solutions for kitchens and baths produced a flood of colorful, creative designs in New York recently. It was the 25th anniversary of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and NYC X Design week.
Water was the driving passion behind many products, but it was designer Philippe Starck’s revolutionary new faucets for Hansgrohe that hit the high-water mark.
The company unveiled its Axor Starck Organic Collection during a VIP reception in its Lower West Side showroom. Starck’s mildly debauched look and self-deprecating humor belied his serious concern for the world’s freshwater supply.
‘‘When we are speaking about saving water, we are speaking about saving life. Right now some are dying because they have no water. Some have poison water, and they will die. The next war we shall see will be about the water. We shall have less and less safe water,” he said in a strong French accent.
The idea for Axor Starck Organic came from the designer’s own sense of mortality. “Because I have become old now, I have been thinking about life,” he joked.
Twenty years ago, his thoughts were focused on paring faucet design down to the absolute minimum. “This revolution was about clean, bringing things to the bone, to the essence, to the right symbol, the right meaning,” he recalled.
The result was his earlier line of faucets for the German manufacturer, which he counted as a success. “We had success with that and now it’s done,” he thought. But he found his thoughts returning to the subject.
Consumers waste thousands of gallons of water a year waiting for it to reach the right temperature. These faucets save water and money by having a pre-set on the top. The “on” and “off” is a simple twist of the tip, and there are two pressures: standard or startup and boost.
The idea of combining organic and eco-conscious design in kitchens and baths seems to be contagious.
Duravit, another German company, showed off a great space-saving shower. The mirrored doors open to form a square and fold into a corner when not in use. The shower fixtures are hidden on the wall behind the doors. It’s a brilliant use of space.
Duravit was also showing its newest Happy D bathroom. The wall-mounted sink has two drawers under the basin that pull out to full extension.
‘‘The new Happy D2 incorporates an updated, very modern profile to a product range that has been a classic in the industry,” said Robert Matuska, vice president of national sales for Duravit. “We match the exterior design with the newest in flushing technology and internal glazing techniques to produce a toilet that is not only a timeless look but also includes a highly efficient, low-water-consumption performance.”
For the bottom-line conscious, Semihandmade may be the answer. It makes custom doors for IKEA kitchen, bath and media cabinets as well as IKEA closet doors. Choices include reclaimed wood, 100 percent recycled plastic from milk bottles as well as standard veneers and laminates.
You get a one-of-a-kind look from an everyman product.