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Furniture in Bathroom Design October 07 2014

John Weinstein, writer.

There’s no doubt that the kitchen and bathroom are the two most significant rooms in the home from cultural, utilitarian and resale points of view.

Culturally these rooms affect the personal lives of the inhabitants.

In the bathroom, many choices abound; whether or not to have a steam shower or bidet, whether to enclose the toilet in it’s own little room, whether to have a tub and will it be built in, sunken, alcove or free standing of steel, stone, acrylic or resin? Jetted with water or air? Whether to use ceramic tile, marble or stone on the floor or also up the wall, partially or all the way? What will the lighting be? The paint? What will the windows look like, how will they function and what about ventilation?

These components all play a significant role in the end result of the completed bathroom, the personal space, to cleanse, pontificate, defecate, reflect, release, fornicate, groom, compose, compress, relax and decompress. It’s our own private space, our moment and our escape; to either climb out of or into oneself.

Washbasins, sinks, vessels and countertops with built in basins are places to wash our faces, shave, brush our teeth, rinse and clean small objects, wet our hair or get a drink. The height of this basin varies to each user’s needs, desires or physical limitations. Bath cabinetry has developed to both support these basins, the old washbowl and pitcher of yesteryear, as well as provide storage solutions for a myriad of personal supplies.

For many years modified kitchen cabinetry placed on the floor was the default design, often between two walls in an alcove design. A common laminate or cultured marble counter on top with a very generic basin was placed on top. Blah. To spice it up they would go “all out” and include a split finish chrome and brass faucet! Ooooo Ahhh. Mostly Ewwww.

Since the 1980’s and with the development of the decorative bath, plumbing and hardware showrooms and new design concepts from Europe; T&L Royal, Villeroy & Boch™ and Porcher™, fresh new bath products spawned. Bathroom cabinetry flourished in many new finishes and colors while complimenting wall cabinet components were developed.

In the 90’s “bathroom vanities” began to take on new forms and several high-end kitchen cabinet companies climbed on the design train to add free-standing “bath furniture” pieces utilizing the door styles from the kitchens and many finishing options. Companies like Bertch™ and Omega™ led the field in the mass markets and consumers became aware they had several choices.

But these choices were still very limited and major domestic plumbing manufacturers like Kohler® and American Standard® still offered little or nothing in the cabinet sector and so neither did many of their dealers’ showrooms.

The early 2000’s saw some true bath furniture enter the arena. These were Asian and European imports from Cole & Company, Duravit™, Herbeau™, Forms and Fixtures, Fairmont™, Ronbow™ and Xylem™. It was the breadth of product from Xylem, the diversity of design, high level of build quality, affordable prices and timely delivery, which really paved the way for this small American manufacturer to succeed. Free-standing furniture designed specifically for the bathroom of solid woods, with special features like interior drawers, full extension under-mount glides, Blum® drawer carriers and leg levelers on all products was extremely impactful with the design community and consumers. They now had an array of designs to select from whether contemporary, transitional or traditional and all the countertops to match with a multitude of sink, basins and vessels to choose from.

Today specifiers and consumers can select from wall-mounted bath furniture, which is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, to more traditionally styled furniture on legs. Ryvyr of Roswell Georgia has introduced many new styles in these categories along with fine fireclay basins and countertops with integral sinks. So whatever you can dream of for your personal oasis you’ll be able to style your special sanctuary and be at peace. Ryvyr; where ideas flow.