Showroom of the Month: West One Bathrooms, Battersea

West One MD Duncan Waters talks to Francesca Seden about the approach to design for this award-winning showroom.

This eye-catching showroom in Battersea, the brainchild of West One managing director Duncan Waters, won the prestigious Bathroom Showroom of the Year category at this year’s kbbreview Retail & Design Awards. 

The Gessi-branded area of the showroom. Advanced digital display slabs are available in real size to aid project specification.

The 372sq metre studio took six months to complete from June to December in 2023, and they remained open throughout. In terms of the design and layout, the aim was to create an inspirational atmosphere that was welcoming and unique in the current marketplace.

The layout reflects its customer base, which includes both consumers attracted in by the window displays, as well as interior designers, contractors and architects. So, there is a mix of 25 lifestyle displays and ‘inspiration areas’.

These include a wall of working showers, a dedicated Gessi specification room, spaces dedicated to Dornbracht and Axor, an interactive tile display and multiple areas dedicated to mood board creation. 

“Architects and interior designers don’t need to see whole bathroom settings to imagine the fittings in situ – they need to see and feel colours and textures, and handle samples, so we try and show the breadth of what is possible,” says Waters.

The design consultation area at the back of the showroom featuring tiles.

“But if someone does walk in off the street, they can see those full bathroom displays and we can walk them through the whole concept of the showroom and what services and products we offer.”

Every element has been placed with purpose to showcase something – whether it be a selection of tiles or surfaces within a display, but it’s been done in such a way that nothing looks cluttered. Additionally, the ‘inspiration areas’ can be quickly and easily changed to suit new trends or particular themes. 

Other highlights include a design consul­tation area, a fully stocked bar with luxury gin, but perhaps best of all, a meeting and soft seating area that features a fully-working shower inside a traditional phone box to demonstrate the company’s ability to meet any bespoke requirement.

“This is a real conversation starter,” Waters says, “but it also has the serious purpose of showcasing our skills as designers. It’s no easy feat to put a fully operational shower into a phone box.”

The round bath is echoed by the radial ceiling feature. Shown back right of the image is a working bathroom display with working shower, heated seat and working taps.

He adds” “Our goal was to create a destination space where inspiration is in abundance, appealing to both trade and retail clients. Careful consideration went into the design, right down to the detail whereby all vertical features are in a walnut finish and all horizontal in oak. We kept the original curves of the showroom in the design to soften the journey.

“Ambience is a key part – it’s all about the customer experience from the sound and scent as soon as anyone walks in, right down to how they are greeted by a member of our team.”

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