‘Help us stay up-to-date,’ designers demand

Leading bathroom designers have urged manufacturers to provide them with more technical knowledge on products.

Speaking at the kbbreview Retail & Design Conference in Birmingham, designers Roselind Wilson of Roselind Wilson Design and Hayley Robson of DayTrue, both in London, claimed that designers can’t do it all and need help “keeping ahead of the changes”.

“There is an incredible amount of technical knowledge that we, as bathroom designers, have to keep on top of every step of the way,” explained Wilson. “We have to use CPDs and we have to keep our knowledge up-to-date. We really should be able to work interactively with our suppliers. They should guide us through what technical know-how is required behind that product specification. We can’t keep ahead of everything that is changing all the time.”

Robson agreed, saying that designers are not briefed by manufacturers on a lot of specifying knowledge.

“You see a finished product, but actually there are so many other elements in terms of specifying that we don’t know,” she said. “So OK, here’s a tap, but what’s going on behind the tap? And I think that’s where they can help us more, in the technical knowledge, in linking elements we need with [the product], and CPDs.”

When it comes to bathroom design, experts agree that spatial planning is key to success, and that designers shouldn’t be scared to move a wall or door in order to create a more impactful space.

“Really, what we’re trying to make is something specific to a client’s brief that changes everything about how you approach that space,” said Wilson. “It’s important to listen to the client. As designers, we really have the ability to create a vision. We can’t be scared to say ‘you’ve got to move this wall’ or ‘you’ve got to change things around’.”

While Robson agreed that designers shouldn’t be scared to make big changes to a room, she also argued that making a statement can be as simple as adding a pop of colour or a different texture.

“When it comes to spatial planning, it’s not just about doing the obvious,” she added. “Something as simple as altering a level can dramatically change it.”

Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms editor Ruth Bell backed the concept, saying that, “luxurious design doesn’t have to be complicated”.

However, referring to the debate over charging a fee for services, Robson adamantly argued that designers should charge for any service they offer a client.

“We do charge a down fee and I think, if people are expecting a designer bathroom, then there is value to that,” she concluded. “I think everyone should charge. If you’re going to spend time researching and investing in products, then there is value in that.”

  • Image from left to right: Ruth Bell, editor of Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms; Hayley Robson, DayTrue; Roselind Wilson, Roselind Wilson Design; and Andrew Davies, managing editor, kbbreview
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