THE MODERN SAUNA

While the sauna connoisseurs and purists are all the rage over the traditional smoke saunas in the snowy Finnish countryside most of us are quite content with a modern sauna and a cold shower afterwords.  Sauna is a must in any decent hotel or gym.  I especially enjoyed sauna designs by a Helsinki based firm Avanto Architects.

Infrared sauna in hotel and wine-growing estate Stroblhof, Italy.

Sauna designed by Avanto Architects located on an island of a remote lake in Finland. Found via Remodelista.

Changing area at the Ville Hara sauna.

A solid wood sauna by Avanto Architects winner of 2009 Habitare Sauna design competition for young architects and designers. A modern interpretation of a traditional log sauna. Found via Archtronic.

DREAMING OF A TUB FILLER

I like to play this game and imagine the perfect bathroom.  A bathroom that I will have one day.  It turns out that I may need to build more than one bathroom for myself, as there are so many options, and they are all tempting.  For example, should the tub be free-standing with a floor mounted tub spout?  Or should it be placed by the wall, with a wall-mounted tub filler?  Today I want to focus on the latter.  I have a short list of wall mounted tub fillers. The type I like best, with a narrow rectangular back plate.   And still, it is hard to decide.  Which is your favorite?

Boffi Cut tub filler

Boffi Cut tub filler.

Vola two handle tub filler

Vola two handle tub filler.

Lacava waterblade tub filler

Lacava Waterblade.

Dornbracht Symetrics tub filler

Dornbracht Symetrics tub filler.

Dornbracht Elemental Spa tub filler

Dornbracht Elemental Spa tub filler.

 

THE TRADITION OF SAUNA

Originally the sauna was a place to bathe, but as it was the only available clean place with abundant water, it has also been a place for giving birth and healing the sick. Today the Finnish sauna is a place to relax in with friends and family, and a place for physical and mental relaxation. In Finnish culture it is considered a necessity not a luxury. Taking a sauna begins by washing up and then going to sit in the hot room, typically warmed to 80-110 degrees Celsius (170-230 degrees Fahrenheit), for some time. Water is thrown on the hot stones to produce steam, known as löyly, which increases the moisture and heat within the sauna. The word löyly is used for this steam only in the context of the sauna. Its original meaning was spirit, breath, soul.

A smoke sauna (savusauna) in Enonkoski. In this type of sauna wood is burned in a particularly large stove and the smoke fills the room, there is no chimney. When the sauna is hot enough, the fire is allowed to die and the smoke is ventilated out. The residual heat of the stove is enough for the duration of the sauna. Smoke saunas are considered superior by the connoisseurs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is common to enjoy a beer or other beverage in between and after sauna sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the heat of sauna begins to feel uncomfortable a dip in the lake is in order. In the winter rolling in the snow or even swimming in a hole cut in the ice suffices as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vihta is made in the summer, just before the Midsummer's Feast, by cutting bunches of young, tender birch branches, about 40cm long and tying them together. The vihta is used in traditional sauna-bathing for massage and stimulation of the skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BEST OF 2011

We had a great first blogging season here at Uniform Design and we enjoyed creating the posts and interacting with our audience.  A big thank you to all our readers, supporters and clients – without you, there would be no point in what we are doing.  We would like to wish you all a fantastic year 2012 full of fresh ideas and dreams come true.

Below you will find the best of the best – the most popular blog posts of 2011.

Black-sand-beach

The Backstory of Naturalist 1 was one of the favorite inspiration stories for our designs.

interior-wall-painting

The Renovation Dos and Dont’s were and will remain a good resource for anyone who considers (or is in the midst of) a renovation.

Vaulted-ceiling

White remains a classic favorite color for bathrooms, therefore the Story in White  was well received.

Townhouse-1-Warsaw-Poland_2

We were very excited about the Customized Townhouse 1 Bathroom in Europe, and so were our readers.

Mateo-towels

The Natural Accessories post provided simple and inexpensive ideas for introducing that feel of nature to any bathroom, and was very well received.

Naturalist-2-sink-and-mirror-view

The Customized Naturalist 2 bathroom may be the smallest in the world, but arguably it is also one of the most beautiful.

To be continued next year…

THE PERFECT FINNISH SAUNA IN NORWAY

This time of the year I often fantasize of (and occasionally get to enjoy) sunny days in snowy mountains followed by nice sauna sessions.
Set in the ultimate spa landscape, this sauna is truly a dream come true. It was designed and built by Sami Rintala and a group of students from Västlands Kunstakademie for the town of Rosendal Village, Hardangerfjord, Norway.

Anchored in the middle of the fjord, the sauna allows a level of privacy for the bathers. Access is by rowing boat only. Little winter daylight comes through transparent walls. At night the sauna shines as a floating lantern.

Heat of around 90 C is enjoyed, especially in wintertime (-20 C outside) by sitting on wooden benches and throwing water on hot stones on the stove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An opening in the floor of the structure allows the bathers to take a dip in the lake right in the sauna. The water is exceptionally warm due to the Gulf Stream stretching to the fjords of Norway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOLIDAY SPIRIT

The Holidays have finally arrived, and we prepared a glamorous inspiration gallery to boost your Holiday spirit.  We love how classic chandeliers add a layer of luxury and comfort to these modern bathrooms.

Happy Festivities from all of us at Uniform!

Bathroom with white chandelier by Neutra

Bathroom with chandelier

Bathroom with chandelier

Bathroom with chandelier by Laufen

Bathroom with chandelier

 

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

SHOWER CURTAIN SYSTEMS

Sometimes a shower curtain is more desirable than a glass shower partition. There are so many more options other than a standard shower rod with clips. Silent Gliss makes a high grade nylon and precision-engineered, rust-free siliconized aluminum system, which is often used in hospitals. It is meant to be bent by design. Agape makes a polished stainless steel strip that allows different configurations that can be adapted for use with showers or bathtubs.

Room Divider / Cubicle Track Systems by Silent Gliss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooper polished stainless steel rail by Agape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooper polished stainless steel rail by Agape. The system can be used for tubs and showers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loft by Decor Walther.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loft by Decor Walther - close up.

 

 

GOLD & BLACK

The Holidays are approaching fast.  Gold and black is one of those color combinations that are very festive.  Take a look and let us know what you think!

Golden bathub mosaic and black wall tile

Golden bathub mosaic and black wall tile via thelennoxx.com.

Black bathroom golden accents

Black bathroom golden accents via apartment therapy.

Split finish bathtub by PSC Bath

Split finish bathtub by PSC Bath.

Gold Deluxe Mosaic by Atlas Concorde.

ANONYMOUS ACCESSORIES

A lovely collection of accessories with double function, designed by Ana Mir & Emili Padrós for Emiliana Design Studio. Available at Conran USA.

Anonymous shelf and towel rail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anonymous white magazine rack and toilet roll holder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anonymous white double hook.

AN INTRODUCTION TO PATTERNS

The Holidays make me think about decorations, and decorations make me think about patterns.  I recently came across photographs of two beautiful bathrooms at the Mountain House in Nova Lima, Brazil.  I usually do not fancy “decorations”, I prefer solid surfaces and natural stone veins, the only patterns being ones created by grout lines.  But in case of the Nova Lima bathrooms designed by David Guerra Architecture along with the entire house, I must make an exception to my own rule.  The tile patterns are intriguing, the color palette is simple, the tiles are only used on one feature wall.  Everything else in the bathrooms has a neutral, natural palette and perfectly compliments the tile design.

The Mountain House in Nova Lima_Brazil 1

The Mountain House in Nova Lima_Brazil 2

If you want to “dress up” your bathroom for longer than just the Holidays, consider this tile series called Natural Trend by Ceramica Sant’ Agostino:

Natural trend_Damask black

Natural trend_Damask moka

Another option is this tile pattern from the Glow series by Atlas Concorde:

Glow_Moon_Damask

Glow-Galaxy-Damask

Both series have monochrome tiles in matching colors.  Remember, the trick is not to overdo it.  Have fun!