The Japanese bathroom aesthetic is in line if Uniform’s design sensibility: simple forms, use of natural wood and stone. The bathroom in Japan is not only a room for cleaning – it is a sanctuary, a space for calm and deep relaxation.  Below is a selection of designs that draw inspiration from different aspects of the rich Japanese culture.  The bathtub is the main focus here, as soaking tubs are an important element of the Japanese bathing ritual.

Bathroom by San Francisco architects Aidlin Darling Design.

Serenity reigns in this bathroom by San Francisco architects Aidlin Darling Design.


Japanese bathroom.

In a traditional Japanese bathroom the shower is situated right next to the bathtub. A stool is used to sit on while taking a shower.


Rapsel_Ofuro soaking tub.

The Ofuro soaking tub by Italian company Rapsel is made of movingui and larch wood. Designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez.


SeaOtter WoodWorks_Ofuro soaking tub.

The Ofuro soaking tub by SeaOtter WoodWorks is made of traditional Japanese hinoki wood.


Stocco_Origami bathtub.

The Origami bathtub by Stocco is simply stunning.


Urban Archaeology_Origami Tile.

Origami tile by Urban Archaeology takes wall tile to another dimension.


When we visited the new Axor showroom last week, one room display caught our special attention.  It was featuring the Axor Urquiola line of fixtures and accessories, designed by Patricia Urquiola.

Patricia Urquiola is one of the most talented designers of our times.  Her work is sophisticated and beautiful, with soft lines and good proportions.  The product line she created for Axor is simply astounding.  Gently curved, somewhat nostalgic and very functional, this series cannot be mistaken for any other.  It is beautifully presented in the NYC showroom, and we enjoy sharing some shots with you.

Axor Urquiola Single-Hole faucet

Axor Urquiola ingle-hole faucet

Axor Urquiola Freestanding Tubfiller

Axor Urquiola freestanding tubfiller

Axor Urquiola wall-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola wall-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroomAxor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola top-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola top-mounted washbasin and faucet in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom

Axor Urquiola shower system in the NYC showroom


Habitus Finishes LLC, a NYC based company that specializes in fine finish architectural materials now offers a collection of cork penny tiles.
Cork is a renewable resource. Additionally, these penny tiles are made of recycled wine stoppers from Spain and Portugal. Chips are fashioned by hand on sheets and installed to walls and floors using mortar adhesive and finishing grout.
Cork offers a soft, warm feel on bare feet. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and bacteria, and naturally repels moisture – desirable qualities in bathroom finishes.





















The Axor brand of bathroom fixtures collaborates with some of the world’s most talented designers and architects to create outstanding design collections.  Collaborators include Phillipe Starck, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola and Jean-Marie Massaud.

The Axor NYC showroom opened this week and we were finally able to experience the entire assortment of fixtures in person.  The showroom shares a space with the Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra.  Each design line has its own display area, there are also several room displays.  A nice touch is a long black water basin with most of the Axor shower heads lined up.  Visitors can turn on each individual shower head to test its flow.  Although the music was a touch too loud, the wine a tad too warm and the hors d’ouvres did not feature enough vegetarian options, we enjoyed the opening party and will definitely visit the showroom again.

Axor showroom opening party 1

Axor showroom opening party 2

Axor showroom opening party 3

Axor showroom opening party 4


Fashion parties and shows all over Manhattan this week. Glamour is contagious. So here is some bathroom bling, why not. We are usually all about understated elegance, but too bad one cannot change their bathroom for one night as one might slip into a gold lame dress for a warm September night out.

Bisazza gold mosaic.







Nemo gold leaf mosaic tiles.


Bisazza black and gold mosaic.



Nemo Dados Collection glass tiles.


Bisazza chevron mosaic.


Last week I covered an area of the bathroom design that may often be overlooked: the shower drain.  Today I want to talk about a different approach to shower stall design: the shower pan.  I really like using shower pans instead of a tiled shower floor.  The installation is much easier, and so is the maintenance.  Of course, not any shower pan will pass our “good looking” test.  The trick again is to find a pan that will conceal the common looking drain outlet.  Actually, only a few shower pans available on the USA market address the drain design.

Boutique shower base by MTI Whirlpools 1

Boutique shower base by MTI Whirlpools 2



Teak drain cover by MTI Whirlpools


The end drain shower base by MTI Whirlpools features a removable drain cover for clean design. Or you can use the matching Teak Drain Cover instead.

Lacava_Tatami 1

Lacava_Tatami 2

The Tatami by Lacava is a resin shower pan made to fit white ceramic shower bricks (available in two, three, four, and five brick pans).

Kohler_Archer Acrylic shower receptor

The Archer Acrylic shower receptor by Kohler has a central covered drain.






I am still on the accessory kick. Just like in fashion the right accessories are key to a successful “look”. A well designed and selected rubbish bin adds to the overall bathroom appearance and experience.

Vipp 13, 1 gallon trash can designed by Jette Egelund, 10in high by 8in diameter available at Fitzsu, $249


Brabantia, 5 oz. Pedal Bin Plastic Bucket, 11.02" high by 8.1" diameter, available at CSN Stores, $27.20


Safco, 9 gallon step on dome receptacle avalible at CSN Stores, $124.99


United Receptacle, 1.5 gal economical step can avalible at CSN Stores, $42.09


Ikea, Knodd bin with lid, $14.99


Alessi, Birillo waste bin by Piero Lissoni, 8.25" high x 7.25" wide x 7.25" deep $85


It may come as a surprise, but we in the architecture and design world pay a lot of attention to the shower drain.  The round, centered shower drain is too common for our tastes.  We are constantly on the look-out for some special, elegant solutions.  Especially exciting are products that make the drain nearly invisible, or those that create flush, clean lines.

Infinity Drain TileDrain 1

Infinity Drain TileDrain 2

The TileDrain by Infinity Drain is basically a stainless steel pan that allows for installation of the same tile material as the surrounding shower area.  It comes in three sizes, rectangular or square shaped.

Royal Mosa Ceramic Shower Drain 1

Royal Mosa Ceramic Shower Drain 2

The Ceramic Shower Drain by Royal Mosa is similar to the TileDrain, but goes even further in its simplicity as it eliminates any visible stainless steel edges.  This product comes in eight different colors, matching the Royal Mosa tile collections, and recently won the Design Plus Award 2011.

Dallmer CeraLine

The CeraLine by Dallmer is a minimal smooth stainless steel pan.

Dallmer CeraNiveau Drain

Dallmer’s CeraNiveau Drain is similar to the CeraLine, but is shorter and has a stainless steel frame.

Infinity Drain DG38

I really like the round perforations of this DG38 model by Infinity Drain.