Beautiful Basins to Lift a Bathroom Scheme
Entrepreneurialship has boomed during lockdown, Covid 19 triggering a surge in new businesses of more than 400,000 in the UK alone in 2020. Many of these businesses are responding to the changing needs of our socially distanced world – offering logistics, home delivery services, technology, digital wellness and fitness. But others are the result of a turndown in a particular sector prompting employees, freelance or salaried, to make the leap into business ownership.
Sarah Horner Sigre is one of these. Her career in event management disappeared overnight with the advent of Covid but she was already filling her spare hours with renovating the ground floor of the home she shares with her husband and two daughters. Sarah is a self-confessed obsessive in terms of anything she buys for the house and admits to spending way too much time researching even the smallest item – she’s fussy and has to love everything she buys (this speaks to me, I remember obsessing about toilet roll holders when we were doing our own renovation).
So when Sarah turned her attention to the smallest room in the house, she found herself scrolling Pinterest in search of a basin which was pretty with lots of detail. She struggled to find anything within her budget but eventually tracked down a number of overseas suppliers offering ceramic basins in a variety of finishes and designs.
The basin Sarah chose for herself – when it arrived – was even more beautiful than she’d anticipated but because of covid restrictions, she had to bide her time before having it installed – the pleasure of delayed gratification is something we’ve all learnt over the last year. In the space of a weekend, Sarah realised that here was a potential business. Obsessive hat on, she began researching suppliers and identifying the designs that were most likely to appeal to the UK market. Three months on, she was ready to launch with a fully curated collection of uniquely designed basins.
Traditionally, we tend to shy away from colour in bathrooms and there’s no obvious reason for this. Personally, I like bathrooms fresh and light but neutrality can tend towards blandness. My heart always skips a little if there’s a touch of personality in there somewhere, even if it’s just a bunch of wild flowers. Recent trends have seen downstairs cloakrooms deliver impact with one or more walls decorated with distinctive wallpapers. I don’t know about you but it’s never occurred to me that the way to do this might be through your choice of wash basin. But here, I predict, is the next big thing for bathrooms and cloakrooms – beautiful basins
Many of them are from a region of China famed for its porcelain, very much in the tradition of the Ming dynasty. Some models are handprinted, others use a decorative technique called decalcomania which involves transfer printing. The range caters for a variety of tastes, from delicate floral botanicals through rich, vibrant chinois and more neutral textured designs. These are statement pieces but their scale means that they act as a launch point for a decorative scheme rather than dictating it – this is a more subtle way of personalising your space, whether your style is classic or contemporary.
The appeal of these decorative basins lies not just in the beautiful and unusual designs but in their ability to elevate a functional space and invite you to linger for a little me time in a busy life.
They work well in bathrooms but for me, a cloakroom, tucked away with its compact proportions, is the ideal place to install one. As one of the most-used rooms in the house, it will not go unnoticed, especially now that we are welcoming guests back into our homes – wherever you entertain, the cloakroom is the one room we all use.
The basins can be hung on support brackets or sit on a vanity unit. The Way We Live London work with a local joiner to create bespoke vanity units (which can be painted or stained according to your preference). Many vanity units are designed for countertop basins but it’s also possible to adapt your existing cabinetry by adjusting or replacing a countertop. The Way We Live London currently has good stock but if your desired model isn’t immediately available, they also offer a loan service so that you or your plumber can plot your tap and bottle trap positions.
See here Sarah’s ideas for incorporating one of her basins into an interior scheme which also falls neatly into this year’s fashion for pink bathrooms.
In a year when we’ve spent more time than ever washing our hands, here is a business that is serious about improving how we live in a very practical and life-enhancing way.
If you’re interested in learning more about Sarah her business and her designs, take a look at The Way We Live London, I defy you not to be inspired.