Sabtu, 21 Agustus 2010

Duravit featured in the Aqua Aurelia Hotel, Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden has been a well-known world famous spa town and an exclusive wellness oasis since Roman times. The hot springs of Baden-Baden’s bathing quarter is the centre of a spa culture, and the Aqua Aurelia Suite Hotel offer the guest a very personal hideaway from everyday life.

New building in prominent surroundings
The name of the new Suite Hotel is reminiscent of the “Aquae Aureliae”, the settlement that stood there during the time of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius, who ordered the expansion of the luxurious bathing facilities at the start of the 3rd century AD. Constructed on historical ground, the façade of the new hotel building with its classical tones makes reference to the historical backdrop, the neighbouring dome of the Friedrichsbad and the Neue Schloss, the former residence of the Margraves of Baden. The carefully designed building slips discreetly into the highly traditional surroundings. With a state-of-the-art conference area and direct access to the bathing and sauna landscape of the Caracalla Spa and the wellness lounge opened in 2009, the residence offers wellness and conference guests alike luxurious accommodation in one of its 47 suites.

The suites open onto balconies and terraces offering views of the picturesque old town and Baden-Baden’s parks. The splendid backdrop can also be enjoyed from within the “Aqua Aurelia” from the large picture windows. Architect Rainer Bender who, as one of the owners of the hotel, was also responsible for the entire planning and construction management.

The concept flourishes...
In each of the large suites, ranging in size from 34 to 65 square metres – not to mention the Presidential Suite with a resounding 185 square metres – the guest luxuriates in fully-air conditioned and spacious rooms that are flooded in light. Every detail speaks of luxury. With a variety of creative ideas, Bender has realised his key planning vision, namely to evoke the magic of the Roman past in conjunction with modern extravagance. How did he do this?

Reminiscences of the Roman past
“The materials play a key role”, says the architect. Only authentic materials have been used – natural stone, mineral glazes, Murano glass tiles, natural wood parquet flooring. The form of the unusual chairs is reminiscent of Roman klines, which were used for dining whilst reclining. The selection of colours, namely warm tones with a high percentage of red and yellow, is also reminiscent of ancient Rome and its legendary frescoes.

The bathrooms in the suites also pay impressive homage to the Roman past; all have different designs with incredibly luxurious furnishings and dimensions. Details such as white mosaic tiles or gold-leaf inserts are inspired by the ancient art of mosaic. The design of the snail shower is a more subtle expression of Bender’s return to the origins. The use of this open, organic shower form in some of the bathrooms goes hand in hand with a deliberate renunciation of hinges and modern glass partitions.

Return to authenticity
Particularly in the bathroom where the element water is at home, it was important for the architecture to create a coherent archaic and yet extravagant impression. Duravit products were chosen for the sanitary ceramics. Various ranges from the Duravit range make their own contribution to the exquisite bathroom furnishings in “Aqua Aurelia”; also ensuring a sophisticated design in barrier-free bathrooms.

In some of the bathrooms, the theme of authenticity is used in the large, natural-stone countertops in the washing area. The water flows in a natural stream from the taps into the surface-mounted “washing bowls”. It’s not surprising that the ideas of Philippe Starck also come into their own in the bathroom world created by Rainer Bender; in the console basin from the Edition Starck 1. However, Starck’s creations are also shaped by the encounter with the authentic, the elementary. They clearly communicate this back-to-the-roots philosophy, namely the respect for the element water, the return to archaic form, the reinterpretation of original forms such as the bathing bucket and Starck’s playful interpretation of these. The observer is reminded of Roman times; the magic of the Romans has returned.

Jumat, 20 Agustus 2010

Axor Citterio

A well-designed bathroom always needs a well-thought out professionally designed plan. Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe, also offers customers and partners professional planning help with inspirations and technical tips. A brochure has been published for the complimenting products from the successful Axor Citterio collection. This brochure shows versatile and innovative room solutions and contains suggestions to create the bathroom area.

Great Versatility and fresh Stimuli
The additions to the Axor Citterio bathroom collection offer even more choices.

Three new single-handle washbasin mixer taps, a new shower head, a new shower pipe and an elegant solution for the bidet expand the original collection. 

Antonio Citterio, for whom the room is always the starting point of his product design, is also providing fresh stimuli for bathroom design with his enhanced Axor Citterio room concept. A new bathroom ambiance had been developed, which transforms the bathroom into a place of well-being and recreation and, once more, emphasises the creativity and spatial competence of the internationally renowned architect and the Axor brand.

From Inspiration to Bathroom Planning
The Axor Citterio professional brochure illustrates the inspiring suggestions of Antonio Citterio in clear and concise form and provides solutions for smaller applications: the design suggestions range from the discussion about the benefits of the products, to tips for the right complementary products through to spatial planning for smaller bathrooms.

Technical details, such as scaled drawings for the products, mounting lists
and material descriptions on the different bathroom suggestions, round off
the informative character of the brochure. 

Check out the Axor Citterio collection on display in the Soak showroom.

Kamis, 19 Agustus 2010

New furniture collection from Duravit

Duravit Ketho
KETHO - the latest furniture collection from Duravit

As modern life places greater demands upon us, we, in turn, also start to demand more. These demands also extend to the bathroom, which we expect to be attractive and inviting, but of course also functional. Designed by Christian Werner, the new Ketho range of bathroom furniture is embodied by clear forms, well thought-out functionality and comfortable quality. The innovative ergonomic handles features throughout the range giving flexibility to suit any modern bathroom.
The Ketho furniture range is robust and durable in every respect. All items of furniture feature comprehensive melamine resin protection and bonded, waterproof edges. The integrated SoftClose function with silicon end dampers ensure doors always close smoothly and quietly and, in so doing, spare both the user’s fingers and the material. The illuminated mirrors and mirror cabinets are tested and certified in accordance with the IP 44 international safety standard. This means the products are splash-proof and can be fitted closer to baths and showers – making full use of the available space. They are easy to operate via infrared sensor, and an integrated 3-way switch means the lights can also be operated via other switches, and, for example, fitted next to the bathroom door. Every detail of the furniture range aims to ensure that the user can identify with and enjoy it and throughout the lifetime of the bathroom.
This solves a tricky problem for the designer. According to Werner, “We tend to keep a bathroom even longer than the kitchen and longer than any sofa or dining table. This means there is a strong need for certainty. The certainty of knowing that we won’t get tired of looking at it. For this reason, Ketho furniture doesn’t shout out ‘hello, here I am’ but, with its clear contours, succinct proportions and fine colours, it makes an elegant contribution to the harmony of the room as a whole.
Ketho includes everything from a small wall shelf and flexible mobile storage unit to practical cabinets, both tall and low, that offer a generous amount of storage space. The vanity units prove particularly versatile: five different vanity units are available in widths ranging from 40 to 120 cm (15 ¾” to 47 ¼”) for combination with the Starck 3 furniture washbasins. The range also includes options measuring 80 and 100 cm (31 ½” and 39 3/8”) wide for the D-Code furniture washbasins. If console and built-in basins are required, a vanity unit with a fully integrated console provides the ultimate solution. Thanks to its dual function, this piece provides the perfect platform for designing individual washing areas with wash bowls, console basins or built-in washbasins. With or without the integrated console, vanity washbasins always offer a choice of one or two drawers. Mirrors and mirrored cabinets in matching widths add the finishing touch to the range. With their individually adjustable glass shelves, the mirrored cabinets in particular offer valuable storage space. For those who prefer their cabinets with handles, these are enclosed and can be easily screw-mounted.
Born in Berlin, Werner is one of the most successful furniture designers in recent years. His high-profile work includes a range of storage furniture for Ligne Roset and sofas for Rolf Benz. Recently, the designer developed an interest in fashion design and developed the ZOE shoe, a completely new and sensual design for platform wedges. When he turned his attention to the bathroom, sensuality was again top of his agenda. “Today, people are no longer uptight about personal hygiene. Personal hygiene has become a pleasurable focus of attention and so, in turn, has the bathroom. It has become a sensory space for regeneration, somewhere that we enjoy spending time,” said Werner. With this as his starting point, he started to “think furniture into the bathroom” and searched for a lasting aesthetic that would embody his theory – in a succinct way.
A variety of décors highlight Ketho’s refined form: white aluminium, white matt, basalt matt, and graphite matt add subtlety, whereas garnet red creates a powerful blaze of colour. The matt structure of the surfaces makes them pleasant to the touch, a property that is mirrored in the design of the bath panelling. Overall, Ketho offers consistent design throughout, creating an attractive, balanced appearance.

V&A open London Showroom at Chelsea Harbour

New London showroom for Victoria & Albert

British bath specialists Victoria & Albert have opened a new specification showroom in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre.  Located in the North Dome of the centre at 2/21, the new showroom is a first for the brand outside its Shropshire headquarters and is a valuable resource for retailers, architects, and designers.

On display in the new showroom are the Napoli, Ravello, ios and Amalfi Premium Range bath and basin collections, the elegant Marlborough bath in a traditional setting and the new Tubo collection of luxury bath fillers. The showroom has the first display of the Ravello bath complete with matching Ravello 60 basin in London.

The showroom is just part of Victoria & Albert’s long term commitment to building its brand and increasing market share in the luxury bathing sector, particularly in high end hotel and residential refurbishments. It includes a seating area for meetings and training sessions and will also be used to showcase future new products.  Enquiries from architects, interior designers and other visitors will be referred to Victoria & Albert’s nearest Premium Dealer.  Products are not sold directly from the showroom.

Marlborough bath on display in V&A Showroom at Chelsea Harbour
The showroom is open on weekdays from 9.00am to 5.30pm and we welcome all visitors looking for a design led approach to bathing. 

V&A Napoli bath on display in the Soak Showroom

 See the Victoria & Albert iconic Napoli bath on display in our showroom.

Sabtu, 07 Agustus 2010

baths, baths baths!

For those who are lucky enough to have the space there has been a switch to free-standing baths, and Soak offer a wide range to choose from.  The bath can be a real focal point in your bathroom, and adds a feeling of indulgence.
Firstly, think about what sort of look you want to achieve - do you prefer a traditional look with a roll top bath with claw feet, or a contemporary twist on the bath with wooden feet?

Or you may prefer a more contemporary look from square designs
See the 2nd Floor bath on display in the Soak showroom
to more curvy organic shapes you can completely relax in
Urquiola bath from Axor Hansgrohe - see it in the Soak showroom
Happy D bath from Duravit - see it in the Soak showroom
V&As Amalfi - a modern take on the slipper bath
Softly contoured sides descend gracefully to the floor uncluttered by waste pipe work and an extended
backrest provides full head support; essential for those long luxurious soaks

We always recommend you sit in a bath before you buy - you want to ensure it's comfortable - it's no good having a statement bath if it's not comfortable enough to have a good soak in!  Baths are now made in a variety of materials, you are no longer restricted to just the traditional shape, as mineral cast and LG Hi-mac mean all sorts of shapes are available.
For inset baths think about what to surround the bath - you can chose from stone, wood, mosaic or tiles, as well as sculptured panels.  Good design helps you achieve the look you want, and our in-house Design Team will be happy to offer advice and show you what really works, and know to allow for access in case of any problems.
Many baths now come without tapholes, as more and more people want to achieve a clean look and either have freestanding taps, wall-mounted taps or a bath filler where the water flows in through the overflow.

And of course let's not forget the spa options of hydrotherapy and chromatherapy.


Catalano ‘Muse’ Collection Wins GOOD DESIGN Award

The Muse Collection from Catalano has won the prestigious GOOD DESIGN AWARD, bestowed by the Chicago Athenaeum to those products that exhibit excellence in design.  Presented by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, these awards are the world’s most prestigious global awards for new product design and graphics.  Manufacturers from over 40 nations submit products which showcase the latest advances in design, innovation, sustainability, creativity, branding, ecologically responsible design, human factors, materials, technology, graphic arts, packaging and universal design.

The Muse Collection won the Grand Design Award in 2008 and Catalano is exclusive to Soak in the Maidenhead area.

The Muse range features wall-hung and free-standing basins designed by Matteo Thun for Ceramica Catalano. The delicate-looking, but sturdy wall-hung basin with chrome legs is absolutely stunning and will add the wow factor to any bathrooms. The Muse pedestal basins and wall-hung basins are available in high-gloss white and black, and a high-design silver, creating a very strong visual impact in the bathroom.

Catalano's Muse wall-hung WC is on display in the Soak showroom, along with other ranges from Ceramica Catalano.  Come in and see at Reform Road, Maidenhead, SL6 8BT.



RRP £6966


Jumat, 06 Agustus 2010

A passion for all things purple!

From Purple Haze to Deep Purple, purple flowers to rich purple fashion ... never mind amethysts  ... why do so many of us love it?
The rich jewel tone flatters all colour skins and tones, so don't just think of it as a shade to wear in the cooler months - although it returns every year in one format or another, and looks equally flattering on everyone.  Purple can be worn all year round, add sophistication to those black suits with dark purple blouse or accessories, and it looks great with denim.

An on this note why  not think of it in the bathroom?  Everything doesn't have to be neutral shades, you can add a little zing with some of the following:

Gessi Rectangulo
Axor Urquiola
Axor Urquiola

Axor Urquiola
check out the iconic bath and basin in our showroom

From our showroom
Valentino-Piemme tiles + Zehnder towel warmer

Mastella - from their showroom

Adding this fabulous image from Bisque which is posted on their blog here
Bisque Finn in Purple, available from Soak in Style

Fabulous furniture from Burgbad

Information - burgbad

Check out the updated website for Crono1.0 - unobtrusive designs giving a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

But not forgetting little details like practical drawers

smooth gleaming white cast basins and baths with single or double basins

Practical solutions for the life you lead

Kamis, 05 Agustus 2010

Influence of Shopping Orientation and Store Image on Patronage of Furniture Store

International Journal of Marketing Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1; May 2010

Yasmin Hassan
Nik Maheran Nik Muhammad
Hatinah Abu Bakar

Knowledge on furniture consumers’ retail patronage will promote and enhance efforts to increase sales at furniture stores and could guide future research. This research therefore was proposed to develop a general model of retail patronage and to empirically test the relationships proposed in the model in the context of  furniture market. The objectives of the study include 1) is to review existing retail patronage models and related literature 2) to develop a general framework of retail patronage behavior and 3) to test the model in the furniture store shopping patterns. Based on a review of the literature the study proposed to adapt Darden’s patronage model of consumer behavior. 115 data were collected through survey questionnaires and the underlying relationship among the variables that characterize consumers’ patronage behavior towards furniture was studied.
Statistically it was found that in terms of shopping orientation, the apathetic shopper and the personalizing shopper was influenced by the lifestyle of the consumer and hence influenced the customer patronage. Store image on the other hand was found to enhance the impact on consumer patronage of the furniture store and  moreover acted as both the predictor and the moderator.
Keywords: Patronage, Store image, Shopping orientation