Basin Instincts; HOMES AND PROPERTY;A Designer Washbasin Will Transform a Tired Bathroom. Barbara Chandler Looks at the Most Stylish Offerings in the Showrooms

By Chandler, Barbara | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

Basin Instincts; HOMES AND PROPERTY;A Designer Washbasin Will Transform a Tired Bathroom. Barbara Chandler Looks at the Most Stylish Offerings in the Showrooms


Chandler, Barbara, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER

A designer washbasin will transform a tired bathroom. Barbara Chandler looks at the most stylish offerings in the showrooms

BASINS are making a splash in bathroom design, with an essential, everyday item being transformed into an arresting domestic sculpture. London's leading retailers confirm the trend. David Jones, managing director of Colourwash, which has showrooms in NW10, SW6, and SW19, says: "The basin has become the centrepiece of the bathroom - there's so much scope now. Basins come in all materials, shapes and sizes. Tried-and-tested white ceramic can be combined with counter tops in wood, glass, marble or limestone. Even the traditional rectangular kitchen butler's sink has been streamlined and moved into the bathroom." A basin upgrade need not be expensive: you can get a fashionable square basin for about [pound]240 and a simple round one for [pound]150.

Geoffrey Pidgeon's Richmond-based showroom for luxury bathrooms has been supplying sanitaryware to five generations. He says: "The latest designs in washbasins have beautiful, clean lines and exploit space most ingeniously."

Stylish and practical ideas for London homes include rectangular china basins on a dark wooden bench, or a round wall-mounted basin with pullout laundry bin below.

Over in Islington, Howard Birch, managing director of Aston Matthews, a firm that has also traded for generations, says: "The basin has become a design statement in its own right."

Deservedly popular is his company's Astonian plain white bowl, which sits on a slab with wall-mounted taps.

This "tabletop" arrangement is in demand. It's usually teamed with streamlined wall-mounted taps with hidden pipework. The waste can be concealed with a cupboard or shelving, or disguised with a siphon cover or bottle trap. Wall-hung basins are very elegant, but need extremely firm fixings; sometimes it's preferable to let a table top take the strain of basin support.

How high?

Both wall-hung and tabletop basins allow some welcome flexibility in basin height, which is, of course, fixed when you buy a pedestal model. Research has shown that a height of 850mm (331/2in) to the basin rim is suitable for the majority of adults, elderly people and children aged over 11. If you have no children or elderly people in your home, 900mm (36in), the same height as the average kitchen worktop, is even better: you won't have to bend so far and the basin will be more comfortable to use. If you have room, consider installing two basins side by side - possibly at different levels. Comfort factors to remember include space on either side for your elbows, and underneath so you have somewhere to tuck your toes.

Material matters

Classic white ceramic is easy to clean, won't date and now comes in ultra-elegant designer shapes. …

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