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Kartell by Laufen – cheerful colours and timeless design

A 1970s revival is currently sweeping the fashion and furnishing markets – and entering the bathroom as well. But nobody is calling for a renaissance of the harsh colour schemes and frenzied contours that defined the decade – it took many years to rid the world of the final excesses of taste that flourished back then. The modular colour concept and timeless, simple design vocabulary of the bathroom collection Kartell by Laufen represents a modern approach to bringing colour into the bathroom while observing the enduring principles of good taste.

Probably more than any other room in the house, the bathroom is characterised by two distinct types of furnishings. There are the movables, or easily interchangeable items, such as freestanding shelf units, chairs and accessories; and the permanently installed immovables, such as the washstand, bathtub, shower and bathroom furniture, which are usually replaced only after a long service life and with much effort.

It was this distinctive characteristic that inspired the Italian design company Kartell and the Swiss brand Laufen to create Kartell by Laufen. They joined forces to originate a bathroom ensemble that can easily be adapted to suit a variety of life phases and lifestyles. The rich diversity of the collection enables planners and householders to run riot with colours and lighting moods without committing to an immutable ambience.

Understated design and subtle colours for the ceramics
Laufen has met its targets with an understated and timeless geometric design vocabulary for the elements made of its SaphirKeramik and conventional ceramic materials. In addition, an appropriately neutral scheme has been adopted for the colouring. Like the glossy and matt variants of classic white, the available shades of matt grey and glossy black have never been off trend. These colours can also be selected for the new, highly compact and rimless wall-hung toilet, which projects by just 490 mm, so that even small bathrooms can reflect a consistent style. And three discreet geometric patterns, offering a playful combination of lines, shading and surfaces in black and grey, are now available for the floorstanding washstands. The patterns are applied to the front as a film before firing and enamel coating, so that they bond permanently and reliably with the ceramic.

Colour, light and transparency stir the emotions
Furnishings and accessories made of high-quality acrylic glass introduce a complementary playful element to Kartell by Laufen bathrooms. Although reflecting a timeless design, the mirrors, shelves and shelf units, lamps, towel holders, soap dishes and beakers are available in numerous fresh colours. Apart from the crystal-clear option, these include powder pink, emerald green, amber, tangerine, blue, smoky grey, gold, silver and copper. An opaque white or black coating can be selected by those who wish to focus more on a perfect match for the ceramics than on transparency.

Bathroom furniture creates harmony
Reimagined in line with modern minimalist design, the bathroom furniture of Kartell by Laufen sensitively integrates itself into the collection. With a view to achieving colour harmony with the ceramic elements while affording scope for the creation of fascinating nuances, accents or contrasts, Laufen has opted for a matt white, a pale pebble grey and a darker slate grey.
The vanity units, tall cabinets and side elements make the best possible use of the space in the bathroom and thus achieve a harmonious balance between the ceramic items and furniture. A new vanity unit for hand washbasins is ideal for installation in small guest bathrooms. Behind a drop-down door it offers storage space for hand towels or cleaning materials. It is also open to one side and therefore ideal for accommodating frequently required accessories.

The chameleon among bathrooms
So what does this mean for planners and users? The classic, modest design of the permanently installed elements of the Kartell by Laufen collection ensures that the bathroom remains timeless and is perfectly adapted for everyday use. For their part, the movable furnishings and acrylic glass accessories stress the bathroom’s chameleon-like character and, by way of their colour, light and transparency, transform it into a sensual and emotional space. And when a new trend or lifestyle calls for a renewal of the Kartell by Laufen theme – in order to revive the heady days of the 70s for example – these elements can be changed quickly and easily.