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Date published: January 01 2016

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Peter Sallick says 19th Century design taps into a desire for provenance

There is a growing sense that people want to connect with something that is comfortable and familiar. This became apparent during the financial crisis when many of us were drawn to spaces that were warm and cosy as opposed to cold and contemporary. Whether it was shops, restaurants or hotels, industrial and vintage style became popular as it has a heritage and familiarity that people relate to in an emotional sense, so as a design aesthetic it satisfies a need to feel secure. When you work with references that have been around for decades you can be confident the product you are designing will stand the test of time. Modern style has its place but when you make something of the moment there is the risk that what is contemporary today will look dated tomorrow. That is not to say that it has to be either/or, no-one wants to live in a museum, and what is interesting in interior design now is very much a personal mix of old and new, with traditional and modern pieces in the same environment.

The backlash against mass production and cheap imports has also played its part. Customers value quality materials and craft based manufacturing techniques that have been used for centuries. All over the world people are interested in where the things they buy come from, whether that’s food or faucets. When things are made where they have always been made in the traditional way, there is a sense of place and provenance which means these items have become high quality, luxury pieces. However, they do need to be presented in new ways. It’s not just about replicating what has gone before. There is still a need to innovate; to take the best of yesteryear and to present it in a way that works for modern lifestyles.

Over recent decades the role of the kitchen has changed considerably. No longer just a place for food preparation, it has become the heart of the home; a social space for entertaining, working and relaxing. Kitchen manufacturers have adapted to that, designing pieces that are not just functional but beautiful and stylish too. We have seen ‘white goods’ become status symbols and in the same way that someone may choose an over-sized premium brand fridge, extractor or range cooker, they now have the option to buy sinks and taps on a similar industrial scale. At Waterworks, these items incorporate authentic design, quality craftsmanship and advanced engineering and are as much a focal point as the cooking zone. People want to have something special and our choice of colour palettes, finishes and configurations allows consumers or interior designers to create a scheme that is completely unique. For us it’s an evolution and an exploration of ideas that allows someone to customise and personalise their space. A kitchen should look good for twenty years or more and when you take the perspective that the room will live for a long time, the last thing you want is for it to feel trendy or that it will soon date. By working with classic designs that have been proven over a long period of time you can trust in its longevity and timeless appeal.

Author: Peter Sallick

Company: Waterworks

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