Bathrooms are a ‘beautiful challenge’ says top designer Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders, the high-profile product and interiors designer, has said that the size and architecture of bathrooms make them a “beautiful challenge” for professional designers.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Kitchen & Bathroom Design Podcast from kbbreview publisher Taylist Media, Wanders said the role of designers is to manage “the relationship that our audience has with the artificial surrounding we are creating”.

Wanders added: “That’s our psychological task. Architecture is unforgiving, it is a square concrete space without any softness. For us to live in that space, we need interiors – we need clothes, wallpaper, curtains. A bathroom is a small concrete space and we’re naked in it, so we’re pretty vulnerable and it’s a very demanding little space, so doing it well is really important.

“It’s a beautiful challenge to make bathrooms as a result.”

Wanders and his studio have worked with the likes of Alessi, Baccarat, KLM, Hyatt Hotels, Louis Vuitton, Puma, Swarovski and many other design-led brands. But in the KBB world, he’s best known for project work with companies such as Boffi, Bisazza and an ongoing relationship with Laufen.

“I believe that the projects we do are my babies,” he said. “So I’m the mother and the companies I work with are the fathers. We pick our fathers wisely, as you can’t make beautiful babies without beautiful fathers.

“So once we have beautiful fathers, we need to listen to them, so their genetic formula pours into our projects and together we do something that they couldn’t do without us and we couldn’t do without them.

“We try to make a type of design that’s more romantic, more durable, more meaningful. We try to touch people deeply and make things that people will never throw away. We do the things that people have because they love them – those things that people love forever. I want to make the antiques of tomorrow.

“To surprise the world, you first have to surprise yourself, so that’s our biggest challenge. To find something we are really excited about that, if we pull it off, it makes us better than we were yesterday.”

  • To listen to the full interview simply search ‘Kitchen and Bathroom Design’ wherever you get your podcasts or go to You can find all the previous episodes there too. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any future episodes
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