With the current market for refurbished Victorian and Edwardian sanitaryware, the answer is yes. A restored Victorian console basin on a stand can sell for up to £3000 while a refinished cast iron roll top will be well over £1000. Sanitary pioneers such as Thomas Twyford, George Jennings and Frederick Humpherson never imagined that their products would be highly desirable over 100 years since they were first produced but there are many flourishing restoration specialists selling baths, basins, showers and WCs to home owners in search of the authentic. The trend for authentic design is gradually moving away from period to retro with classic suites by designers such as Renzo Piano, Axel Enthoven and Courréges now in demand from specialists in discontinued sanitaryware.
Today, anyone installing a new bathroom can create a design classic for the future and potentially have their bathroom art accrue value too. VitrA is a leader in using internationally known designers to create products with cutting edge yet timeless style. Istanbul by Ross Lovegrove was launched in 2005 and is hailed as a ground-breaking and iconic design – it continues to do well in the VitrA portfolio almost 15 years later. VitrA has also teamed up with Christophe Pillet for Memoria and has commissioned inspired accessory products from Sebastian Conran, along with products from Matteo Thun and NOA. The company’s latest designer collaboration has created Plural with Milan-based American designer, Terri Pecora. The range is inspired by the heritage of communal bathing spaces and rituals, introducing the bathroom as a social hub where people meet and reconnect with themselves and with their close friends and family.
Terri Pecora aims at reinterpreting the traditional bathroom lay-out and encourages new ways of using the space. A key feature is the layering and grouping of different furniture pieces that enable them to work together in overlapping heights, colours and dynamic configurations. Some of the basins can also be regrouped at the centre of the room as a contemporary nod to the communal basins used in public washing spaces – surely pieces that will be icon of design.
“What designers bring to the party is a genuinely different eye, a unique concept for an everyday object. A Lovegrove Istanbul basin may not, for instance, increase in value like a painting but it will certainly add value and distinction to a home – especially when the property is on the market.” Explains marketing manager for VitrA bathrooms Margaret Talbot. “We believe strongly in the value that leading international designers can bring to our products. Look at Istanbul – it is a design icon definitive and its organic shapes are a tribute to VitrA’s manufacturing skill. Ultimately bathroom design relies very much on expert manufacturing knowledge – clay is a living material and it changes shape and size in the kiln, so huge skill is required to bring ideas to life. The same applies to Matteo Thun’s Water Jewels basins and the wonderful understated lines of Memoria from Christophe Pillet. Our Designer Collection offers consumers and retailers access to some of the most creative minds in the world.”