Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, GRAFF is recognised worldwide for its trend-setting bathroom designs for the luxury market. Priding itself on having complete control over the full production process – with each product being engineered, manufactured and inspected in-house – GRAFF uses the latest manufacturing techniques, while honouring old-world craftsmenship. Hospitality Interiors caught up with GRAFF team to talk about this year’s material trends, the surprising technological influences cropping up in bathroom spaces, and the company’s exciting exhibition at this year’s Salone del Mobile ...

What do you feel will be the most important bathroom trends/ concepts for the hospitality industry this year?
“In the past year we have seen the hospitality industry moving away from minimal design to a warmer transitional trend and conservative markets also moving away from heavier detail to more transitional design,” says Christopher Bishop, brand marketing manager at GRAFF.

“In showers we are seeing the experience level being critical to a user’s choice. The addition of spa-like features which makes this more than a functional space, but an element of space and time that adds quality to their lives and experiences.”

“From an aesthetic perspective, soft industrial finishes such as White, Black, Titanium, and Gun Metal are beginning to gain popularity”

From your point of view which materials, shapes and tones are proving popular within the hotel bathroom arena?
“We’ve noticed an increase in the use of warmer finishes like copper, brass and nickel throughout hospitality bathroom spaces.”

Do you feel technology will play a greater role in bathroom design? If so, in what form?
“We see technological influences in unexpected parts of the bathroom,” says R.J. Kiesel, sales representative at GRAFF. “For example, our Ametis Ring showerhead is integrated with RGB LED lights. A six-color controller allows the user to select different moods or “chroma,” depending on how one might be feeling.

“The Ametis Ring can be set to one color or cycle through all six of the Chromotherapy colors. This design caters to the growing necessity of personalisation in the shower – users now expect to have control over their experience.

“The Ametis Lavatory Faucet, also part of the Ametis Collection, has an LED feature that displays a red or blue light which automatically adjusts according to the water temperature, providing a visual and relaxing indication of the faucet’s function.

“Additionally, shower trims are now designed with touchscreens to simplify and enhance the user’s experience and allow them to easily personalise temperature and water pressure, providing that “instant gratification” feeling that’s so prevalent in and expected from technology today.

“From an aesthetic perspective, soft industrial finishes such as White, Black, Titanium, and Gun Metal are beginning to gain popularity.”

Could you talk a little more about the philosophy behind GRAFFs Art of Bath Gallery at this year’s Salone del Mobile?
“Art, as well as home décor, is at the very foundation of fine living,” says Tiziana Pagano, marketing manager, GRAFF - Europe. Our European sales director,  Emanuela Tavolini, puts it eloquently: “We have chosen emblematic and high-impact iconography art because we believe that real beauty springs from timeless and classical shapes, reinterpreted and adapted to the mutable contexts with which we are confronted today.”

When we design GRAFF products, our goal is to create iconic objects with a strong, lasting aesthetic design that will transcend the decades, similar to the great classical art that still influences us today.

GRAFF’s innovation springs from a solid tradition, inspired by the concept of classical beauty, seen with a modern twist, just like Vincent Camel’s work does. At the International Bathroom exhibition, the atmosphere of a veritable art gallery comes true. An art gallery hosting as many artists as much time passes by.

Are there any recent or upcoming product launches / collaborations from GRAFF you wish to mention?
“We have enlisted popular European product designers who have produced beautiful and unique collections for our brand,” says Emanuela Tavolini, director of sales, Graff - Europe.

“In late 2015 we released the handcrafted Dressage collection, followed by the Expo collection this past January. Both were designed by Italian design duo Nespoli and Novara, and boast stunning minimalist shapes.

“What’s most interesting about Dressage and Expo, is they demonstrate a new trend towards the idea of “bathroom furniture,” taking inspiration from from pieces you would find in other parts of the home and bringing them into the bath. It results in a feeling of warmth and luxury, with high-quality fixtures, finishes and intriguing shapes redefining the traditional bathroom design.

“Coming up this year we will be releasing the Finezza collection, as well as other brand new lines of faucets, sinks and tubs.”