For this week’s Wednesday Ad Break I’m delighted to introduce you to Duravit, a bathroom company that was founded over 200 years ago in Germany’s Black Forest and with whom I am collaborating this year. Even as I type my builder is working on my shower room (installed eight years ago and, until he arrived, leaking via both roof and floor). I will show you the finished room next month when it’s all done.
In the meantime, I’m going to show you their latest collection and while they have over 170,000 product lines (this includes all the screws and fixings) a new collection is an event as they prefer to create long-lasting designs that are not subject to the vagaries of fashion and trends.
In a further effort to promote sustainability Duravit also offers a lifetime guarantee on all ceramics. And it’s worth pointing out the fashion thing – I am still shocked by the builder who came to install my kitchen worktop and told me that he has clients who replace their worktop on an annual basis because they have gone off it or are bored with the look.
So, from that point of view, buying a design that has a lifetime guarantee and that is a fairly classic design is a good way of ensuring you don’t have, or want, to needlessly replace something.
The new D-Neo range has been styled in four different ways to give you an idea of how it might fit into your own home. It was designed by Bertrand Lejoly, a Belgian who set up his own studio in 2018 and is new to the Duravit family of designers which includes Philippe Starck (more on him later in the year) and Cecilie Manz, creator of the gorgeous Luv range.
This is also the first time the company has added taps to a collection and they have also used hygienic glazes which make everything easier to clean. Duravit say their glaze inhibits 90 per cent of bacteria growth in six hours and 99.9 per cent in 24 hours. You can also specify WonderGliss, an optional extra, which is a coating that limescale can’t stick to. And how I wish I had known about that before I did my shower room in black tiles, which is why, whisper it, the leak actually came as a rather welcome excuse to redo the room.
So as well as the taps, the range includes sanitaryware and storage as well as mirror cabinets and mirror lights. In recognition of the small bathrooms that many of us have, the vanity units (which come in walnut, white, grey and oak) are wall-mounted so you see more floor.
There are several basins to choose from – one is thin and oval, which is elegant, while the other has wide edges meaning you can rest stuff round the edges – less elegant more practical? Or, if space is tight, you can opt for the asymmetric version which has a wide space on one side only. The former is lovely if you can find enough storage elsewhere or have room for a shelf for the toothpaste. In our tiny shower room there was no room for a shelf so the 17yo 3D-printed himself a toothbrush holder which he clipped onto the side of the basin. Enterprising yes. Elegant no. The new space will have a shelf. It would have had a niche but opening up the wall revealed pipework, joists and a brick supporting wall. A shelf is cheaper.
Duravit was founded in 1817 as an earthernware factory making crockery. In 1956, they started using porcelain and from there to sanitaryware. Set in the heart of the Black Forest (it sponsors the national park) the company uses resource-saving methods such as water treatment and heat recovery and has received official certification for its environmental commitment.
It’s rare I like a company’s tag line – they can often seem contrived and too “markety” but Duravit says of the D-Neo: “outrageous amount of design at an attractive price”.
You might have to be the judge of that but it’s a good line. Duravit would class this range as “premium economy” if that helps. Although who can remember what it’s like to be on a plane?
This post is part of a paid collaboration with Duravit for 2021. Working with brands I like on this basis allows me to keep bringing you four free, and organic, posts a week. Please do support by reading, commenting and sharing which will allow me to carry on.