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Virtual Worlds has made several appointments to bolster its training and support teams so it can continue to offer an exemplary service to its customers.

Previously a kitchen sales designer with Schmidt, Maarika White (pictured top) now joins the business as a Virtual Worlds Trainer. Her new role will see her training kbb designers to use the software in the most effective way to wow their customers and win more projects. Maarika will also be marketing the training department to ensure everyone is up to speed with the latest and most advanced features of Virtual Worlds, making designing faster, easier and more productive.

Maarika says: “I’ve been a kitchen sales designer for the last seven years and a graphics designer before that, so it’s no wonder I was blown away with the realism of Virtual Wolds and how easy it is to use to set an impressive room in relatively short space of time.” 

Chris Kell

Another new face at Virtual Worlds HQ is Chris Kell, who takes on the role of Support Officer. Having worked in support, sales and training roles for over 15 years, Chris is looking forward to using his experience to provide valuable support to Virtual Worlds customers and contribute to its best-in-class services.

Joining Chris as a fellow Support Officer is Georgia Stevens, who brings a wealth of experience in general IT support roles to the Virtual Worlds team. Commenting on her appointment, Georgia said: “I’m looking forward to furthering my knowledge, learning more about the kbb industry and learning more IT based skills to be able to offer the very best support to Virtual Worlds customers.”

Finally, Hamza Al-Karim joins Virtual Worlds as an IT Support Officer. With a First Class Honours Degree in Digital Forensics, Hamza will be well placed to help customers with their software issues, offering a reliable first point of support and helping Virtual Worlds retailers get the most out of the software.

For more information on Virtual Worlds call 01908 663 848 or visit www.virtualworlds.co.uk

New for 2022, GROHE has introduced its first Cradle to Cradle® CPD and its fourth RIBA-approved module: ‘Circularity in the Bathroom and Kitchen with Cradle to Cradle Certified®’.

The module ties in with the ever-increasing focus on sustainability in the industry and aims to inspire and motivate architects, designers, specifiers and housebuilders to learn more about the benefits of developing a Cradle to Cradle® strategy.

The training seminar is the first on RIBA’s CPD database to explore circularity in the bathroom and kitchen and also focuses on the benefits and processes behind introducing a Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) programme.

GROHE will be providing insight into how kitchens and bathrooms can contribute to the circular economy and will uncover how companies can implement a C2C® strategy – from integrating it across all areas of the business and expanding it to the supply chain, to outlining company objectives and policies with long term planning in place.

Karl Lennon, Leader Projects Channel – A&D, LIXIL EMENA, says: “Creating a circular economy has been of increasing importance for a number of years and the pandemic has highlighted the need even further, with humans’ impact on the planet being called into question as the world slowed down. With this module, we’re hoping to encourage more individuals and companies within the building industry to reconsider processes and systems – particularly when designing bathrooms and kitchens.

“The building sector is the biggest consumer of building products worldwide, so a greater focus on the
environment is imperative. From understanding the scarcity of resources to how new buildings can be self-sufficient and energy positive, we’ll be delving deep into how C2C® buildings can be created.”

GROHE’s module also explains how bathroom and kitchen fittings have been C2C® certified. With the life span of each element carefully considered, products designed with replaceable and spare parts continuing to be made for 10 years after a product has been discontinued will encourage longevity.

To attend the free to use seminar, book here or explore GROHE’s previous modules concerning hygiene
optimisation for sanitary facilities, 3D printing for advanced bathroom fittings or water saving without
compromising performance here.

Spanish bathroom brand, Acquabella, is showcasing a new range of on-top X-large countertop basins with a raised slate texture which it advises is a perfect foil when placed against the backdrop of the iconic Quiz panel.

Mixing shades, patterns and textures adds a layer of style which is effortlessly confident and pairs beautifully with gold or brushed brass accessories.

The new X-large countertop basins are created in Acquabella’s unique material, Akron available in a choice of textures and 2000 colours.

The Slate texture delivers an evocative style that contrasts beautifully with the smooth Zero texture of the countertop.

The new products will be showcased at KBB in Birmingham in March.

Acquabella Quiz

www.acquabella.com/en

VitrA and British designer Tom Dixon have won Wallpaper’s Best Fluid Forms award for VitrA’s Liquid bathroom collection. Liquid was launched at the end of 2021 and is on display at VitrA’s new flagship showroom in Clerkenwell, London.

Contemporary without being of the moment, Liquid is a complete bathroom collection that includes basins, taps, showers, tiles, accessories, and furniture.  Inspired by the way water flows, Liquid has soft, curved edges. Pieces can be used together, or single items can be selected as a focal point. Recognising the current consumer interest with slim, reduced designs, VitrA and Tom Dixon have created the opposite, incorporating fatter, softer lines inspired by elements of pop art. While the overall design is reduced, the functionality is intuitive, so users instinctively understand how to operate products such as taps and showers. The curved shapes reduce the number of hidden spaces, so cleaning is quick and easy – vital in a post-pandemic world.

VitrA’s manufacturing expertise enabled the design to come to life. “Ceramic can change shape and size when it is fired – especially with large, chunky pieces, “explains VitrA’s marketing manager for the UK and Europe, Margaret Talbot. “Our expertise and top-level production facilities allowed us to bring Tom Dixon’s unique concept to life.”

To explore the Liquid collection visit:

www.VitrA.co.uk/explore/liquid/

VitrA’s counters and countertops are available in black or white glass, flat oak and patterned black oak. Notably, the range also includes a Calacatta silk Neolith® porcelain, a hard-wearing, man-made stone, a fusion of ceramic and porcelain, combined with a mix of quartz, glass, and silica.

The countertop is versatile and easy to clean – ideal for the bathroom. The durable surface is liquid-resistant with low water absorption – much more practical and easier to look after than natural marble. 90cm, 120cm and 150cm vanity units are available as well as 60cm or 90cm side units to meet individual needs.

“The countertops have been carefully chosen so that designers can create interesting combinations, says Margaret Talbot, marketing manager for VitrA Bathrooms (UK and Europe). “The Calacatta silk Neolith® is a luxury choice and looks particularly effective with darker finishes. The whole collection works together seamlessly for complete customisation.”

Wooden vanity units are available in flat oak, patterned black oak and elm and can be combined with countertops available in flat oak, patterned black oak, elm, black glass, white glass, or Calacatta silk Neolith® porcelain.

Origin vanity units are compatible with a wide variety of VitrA washbasins, including those from the Equal, Plural and Outline ranges, and are designed to work perfectly with the VitrA Origin brassware.

Ideal Standard, manufacturer of bathroom solutions, has expanded its showering range to deliver three new offers DesignComfort and Fresh. Selected models are also available in a silk black finish, allowing customers to choose a contemporary alternative to traditional chrome. 

Allowing for precise temperature control all of Ideal Standard’s thermostatic shower systems are fitted with the brand’s pioneering Firmaflow® Therm cartridge,  Each model also comes with Cool Body technology, keeping surfaces cool to the touch to protect from scalding. Integrated eco flow regulators help save water and energy without sacrificing the showering experience.

The entire collection benefits from Ideal Standard’s selection of Idealrain shower heads, offering a choice of spray modes – from invigorating to relaxing.  

Design

The deluxe showers of Design are characterised by flat surfaces, extra-large statement shower heads and quality metal handles. Included in the collection is the new Ceratherm S200, which features a forward-facing controls unit for easy access when adjusting temperature and flow, as well as an integrated shelf of safety glass, adding extra storage space without compromising on aesthetics. 

Comfort

Comfort shower systems have been designed with safety, durability and comfort in mind. Users have a choice of hard-wearing shower heads, and can easily flick between three different spray modes at the push of a button.  

Fresh

Fresh blends modern design and must-have technology, with small but important design touches adding extra flexibility and control, such as the raised button on the Ceratherm T25 to enable better grip. With both Comfort and Fresh, a shelf can be ordered separately to create extra storage in the bathroom.  

When it comes to installation, all products come pre-calibrated, with streamlined designs and common connections making set-up hassle-free. EasyMount height adjustable wall bracket fittings also ensure simple installation in almost any location, while Swivel Arm functionality lets installers easily adjust the angle of the shower arm. 

Ashley Smith, UK Product Manager for Brassware at Ideal Standard, said: “Everyone has their own distinct idea of the perfect shower – from temperature and pressure to position and spray mode, not to mention how it looks. We understand how personal it is, which is why we’re offering a different choice for every need with DesignComfort and Fresh.With a range of styles and features, all backed up by faultless engineering, we’re confident our customers will be able to find the shower with the look and technology they’ll love – day in, day out.” 

For more information, visit: https://www.idealstandard.co.uk/products/highlights/shower-systems  

The Unified Water Label Association, (UWLA) will launch a series of media packs for retailers, installers and merchants at the 2022 KBB exhibition (06-09 March NEC Birmingham). 

The packs have been developed for use by members across Europe to drive home the Water Matters message and help consumers understand the link between using water, energy and their carbon footprint. The pack includes a range of tools, flyers, posters, social media posts and videos, with tips and advice on how to save water in the home.

UWLA MD Yvonne Orgill says, “Consumer interest in sustainability is growing and recent research shows that they are willing to change behaviour patterns so that they can have a positive impact on the planet. Rising fuel prices are also changing attitudes, with more people wanting to save energy in order to save money. 

“The Unified Water Label is an established and recognised smart tool that can provide consumers with the information they need to facilitate change, making it more important than ever to make the Label visible and illustrate the benefits.

“We have the support of manufacturers who have driven forward innovation to deliver bathroom products that use less water and energy.  We now want to keep our focus on communication, encouraging those in the supply chain that sell and install, to ensure more of these products are used in the home.

“2022 will be a crucial year for the Water Label as we continue our dialogue with government on the introduction of mandatory label.  We need the support of the industry to promote our voluntary label which is tried and tested in the marketplace. If the government does not accept the Unified Water Label as its solution and develops its own mandatory label, this is likely to come with restrictions.  Enforced restrictions will stifle innovation and force manufacturers to limit their product range.

“I am confident that collectively we can all work together to make this happen, and welcome interested parties to our stand at KBB to find out how they can play their part.”

Unified Water Label can be found at stand B46

The upgraded Eurosmart range from Grohe promises optimal comfort, contemporary design, and easy installation. New features include a redesigned Loop Lever improving grip for those with mobility needs, models with extra-long levers to allow ‘elbow taps’ for health sector workers, and safe stop technology for residential settings.

“Eurosmart evolves with every generation, which is crucial if you want to bring meaningful products to the market. Our environment is constantly transforming, and we need to react to changing needs with new product solutions“, says Jonas Brennwald, Leader LIXIL EMENA and Co-CEO, GROHE AG.

“Right now, a global health crisis is forcing the world to rethink hygiene standards. Therefore, we have developed a hybrid version of Eurosmart, which combines hygiene-enhancing touchless and manual operation. Another example are the lever variants, which reflect the complexity of different living situations and the fact that every consumer has different requirements. Long levers simplify the daily work of doctors, while loop levers are perfect for children, the elderly and those with reduced or limited mobility.

“Eurosmart is the perfect proof that innovation is not limited to new lines. Innovating in a relevant way also means reinventing core products. Only these human-centric solutions enable us to create better homes.”

Eurosmart Loop Lever

The Eurosmart Loop lever simplifies gripping thanks to the cut-out centre – ideal for those with limited or reduced motor skills and for care homes, allowing everyone to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Extra long levers

Models with extra-long levers are are ideal for serving the health sector. Doctors and health professionals are able to operate the tap with their elbow, minimising contact with surfaces. The different lever variants directly relate to people’s lifestyles and needs and are a perfect reflection of GROHE’s human-centric design approach.

Anti-scald safe stop

To make things even more convenient, especially for households with children and older generations, the Eurosmart line is now also equipped with a new safe stop technology. Thanks to an integrated thermostat, the temperature can be limited to help reduce the risk of scalding.

Water & energy saving

Water and energy-saving technologies integrated in the Eurosmart range support growing efforts to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. GROHE EcoJoy, for example, reduces water flow while enriching the water with air, ensuring a voluminous flow while saving valuable resources at the same time .

The Eurosmart range has also been updated for the kitchen with a refreshed contemporary look; from models with pull-out hoses to unique wall-mounted taps for the ultimate space-saving around the sink area.

grohe Eurosmart

More news from Grohe.

Global bathroom manufacturer Roca has been selected to provide bathroom solutions for Roomzzz Aparthotels in a number of premium UK locations.

Situated in ten city locations across the UK, Aparthotel group Roomzzz offers flexible serviced apartments and reports a service lead approach with its home away from home experience. Each apartment is kitted out with all the mod-cons of everyday living.

The brief

In keeping with the brand’s contemporary design, bathroom solutions from Roca were chosen for Manchester Corn Exchange, York City and Newcastle City.

Roca Roomzzz

Roomzzz work alongside Utopia Projects who assist in their sanitaryware specification and supply. Their hotel spares division ensures any spare parts the hotel may need, are readily available and easy to order.

The specification

Roca provided a mix of products including The Gap wall-hung WC, The Gap semi-recessed basin, PL1 Flush Plate in chrome and the Malta Vitreous china shower tray with anti-slip base 1200 x 800.

The Gap range created by industrial designer Antonio Bullo features modern lines and is a compact and functional bathroom collection. It is ideal for large scale commercial projects such as this as it is made from easy to clean Vitreous china.

Robert Longstaff, Residential Specification Manager for Roca comments, “We are delighted to have been selected for a number of locations for the bathrooms at Roomzzz Aparthotels. We are very pleased with the end result which offers a stylish and functional bathroom solution for these fantastic apartments which seamlessly integrate with the surroundings of each individual aparthotel city location.”

For more information visit: www.uk.roca.com

NICK cRYER bERKELEY pLACE
Nick Cryer Berkeley Place

BR: How would you describe the design ethos of Berkeley Place? 

NC: We are passionate about old buildings and most of our work involves period and listed property. So we need to be experts in dealing with the sensitivities associated with remodelling and restoring original historic features while managing and overcoming the integration of historic detailing with contemporary design features and fittings. So our design ethos needs to embellish and preserve the beautiful characteristics found in a wonderful Georgian property for instance, while representing the styles and needs of modern family living.

BR: How have sustainability issues shaped your response to design? 

MC: Certainly we are very conversant and fully supportive of the need to step up our response to the climate agenda. To this end we make it our business to be familiar with more sustainable products and materials we can introduce to renovation projects. That said, we continue to face an ongoing challenge when dealing with conservation teams, who are understandably reluctant to see historic fabric such as single glazing, removed from listed building facades. We are seeing some relaxation in this area and we have managed to incorporate slimline double glazing in original sash windows for instance. Our approach to mechanical and electrical systems design certainly reflects the move towards the provision of more sustainable heating, ventilation, plumbing, power and lighting solutions.

BR: What bathroom designs trends can we expect to see in 2022? 

NC: Certainly the use of more organic materials which is fast becoming the trend throughout. Similarly, more recycling and incorporation of vintage furniture to form vanity units for instance – anything which nods to nature and sustainability. More monochrome and, a touch of green!

BC: What do you feel are the challenges facing bathroom designers today? 

NC: There are lots! The availability of fabulous bathroom images on social media means our clients are not short of amazing ideas and preconceived expectations. Often the images represent very expensive designs using the best fixture and fitting brands, and the most beautiful hard surfaces sourced from overseas. Often our clients cannot afford to allocate similar time and expense so, the challenge is to deliver similar results using similar materials. We are good at this. Right now, the pandemic and Brexit issues have created challenges throughout the manufacturing and delivery supply chain so, options are more limited.

BR: What do you consider to be the top three elements when it comes to good bathroom design? 

NC: Water resistance, good lighting and, not trying to fit in too much or compromise on good design. For example, if a separate shower and bath don’t fit properly then leave one out.

BC: In the design world, who inspires you and why?

 NC: Jacques Grange is a huge inspiration. Since the 70’s he designed some of the most incredibly curated spaces all over the world, delivering high-end interpretations of eclectic bohemian style. He has designed some exceptional art deco and retro bathrooms.

Nick Cryer Berkeley PLace