Italians are very health conscious. They also attach great importance to their appearance and go to great efforts to improve on what nature has given them. In the early post-war period, neither financial nor technical resources were sufficient to allow home improvement to extend to the bathroom areas. The small amounts of "extra" wealth that were available were devoted to the areas of the home that were most in view to the outside world, in particular the living room and the dining room. Also a relatively high proportion of the family income was devoted to clothing as one's personal appearance outside of the home was of utmost importance to establish one's position in society.
Needless to say, the situation is now completely changed. The growth of Italian wealth, the society's pursuit of beauty and art, the availability of advanced technical solutions and infrastructure, and the individuality of Italians is nowhere better illustrated than in the extraordinary lengths to which home decorators go in designing and equipping bathrooms. Bathrooms that were long neglected are now seen as very important parts of the home devoted to the health and well-being of the occupants. And in achieving health and well-being, style is of utmost importance to Italians.
Modern Bathroom Designs in 2010.
The quest for style covers all aspects of bathroom design, from the wall and floor tiles, to the doors and knobs, to the sanitary appliances and the lighting. The world of ceramic tiles is vast, and information about the use of this material for decorating bathrooms and kitchens will be discussed under a separate section. In the current section, information will be provided only regarding the latest trends in sanitary appliances designed to make Italian bathrooms similar to health and beauty spas.
Until a few years ago, the utmost in bathroom wellbeing was seen to be the installation of double washbasins and Jacuzzi-type bathtubs. Nowadays, homes normally have one bathroom with a tub, but the other bathrooms are generally equipped with showers. As regards tubs, the latest design has been devoted to developing solutions that are "anatomic", while the showers are designed to attain the ultimate in personal hygiene and wellbeing. Thus, for example, the company Titan (www.titan.sm) promotes a full immersion tub designed to ensure maximum comfort.
"Titan, faithful to its promise of fitting out completely the bathroom entirely with the Genesi design project, presents at Cersaie 2002 the evolution of the Genesi line. A project initially started with the creation of a multi-wellbeing whirlpool bathtub designed by Takahide Sano, expands the line with a series of accessories and products devised to follow the philosophy of a refined layout and characterised by exclusive aesthetic harmony. The same care taken over the bath tub has been lavished on the attention to detail, accessories and complements of the line designed by Takahide Sano.
The bath tub is enhanced by a set of taps on the side of the tub complete with mechanical mixer, flow nozzle and extractable shower head with automatic flexible hose rewinding, made in steel and with accessories inspired by Japanese minimalism such as the head rest and the folding seat. These are both made in curved natural beech wood which, with their refined and functional design, allow anyone to take advantage of the benefits afforded by the whirlpool bathtub. The new Genesi shower tray, coordinated with the Ramses R-S5 shower enclosure thanks to its clean cut lines and the high quality finishes highlighted by the lightness of the design, maintains the same coating characteristics as those of the tub.
Bleached oak or natural mahogany are the natural materials for the front inspection panels and for the non-slip centre footboard, while white or "night" satinised methacrylate is used for the shower base. The presence of the new bidet and sink taps equipped with a single-control mechanical mixer and a flow nozzle with jet diffuser and waste pipe control lever, made entirely in steel, are further proof of the will of Titan to complete the Genesi project, creating a bathroom in which all the elements echo the stylistic elegance of the collection. New products for a collection in continual evolution, where the idea of beauty is combined with that of functionality to create a new contemporary bathroom concept dedicated to well being. Titan continues along its course eliciting increasingly new sensations, for high quality products, studied right down to the smallest details that guarantee multi- wellbeing in one's own home.
They also sell a shower box that can be operated as a Turkish bath.
Moreover, the company guarantees that bathroom design can be personalized with for example stones, marble, mosaic or wood to create a unique atmosphere. The company Cesana promotes its shower boxes as possibly the best, while PDP has created walk in showers with right-hand and left-hand entrances of the series Elite.
"A wellspring continuously gushing forth new ideas. For thirty years, Cesana has always dedicated itself to finding new, up to date solutions for a bathroom area that has become increasingly important. This dedication to research and development has generated over 10,000 variations on the 'shower enclosure' theme so far. This has made the ltalian Company an established point of reference in the sector both in ltaly and abroad, especially in Europe. Because, beyond its capacity for innovation, Cesana's reliability stems from its unswerving attention to quality and workmanship, combining advanced technology and traditional craftsmanship. First-class materials The glass used for Cesana's shower enclosures is tempered using the most advanced equipment.
Contemporary bathroom design.
Ultra-resistant to shocks and pressure, it satisfies both Uni and international norms, providing the security that is indispensable in the bathroom area. The aluminum used for the support frames is also of the best quality, carefully finished in epoxy powders, corrosion tested for 3,000 hours in saline mist. Design elegance Cesana's heart and soul is, without a doubt, its Research & Development Division, based on Cesana values: elegance of shape, practical functioning and innovation. Talking about innovation, the revolutionary System Logic, protected by international patents, is a Cesana product.
System Logic sets conventional expectations on end, with the water jetting upwards from the pavement and the shower system column containing the temperature and intensity controls located outside the enclosure. An oasis of well-being and functionality Welcoming both because of its attractive design and its practical, comfortable organization: Cesana's shower enclosures are in complete agreement with today's tendency to view this area as an oasis of intimate well-being, a private island where one can recover one's equilibrium."
Personalized solutions are the hallmark even of the large popular manufacturer of sanitary appliances such as Ideal Standard (see image below ) (www.idealstandard.it).
Suffice it to say that the company's sales line is "A thousand bathrooms, and in addition yours", and here too attention is given to design and practicality as in the case of the Cantica line where the appliances are free of floor stands that only collect dust and are difficult to keep clean. Innovative design is also characteristic of the line of ceramic sanitary appliances called "Qube e Rond" of the company Axa (www.axaonline.it).
In recognition of the increasing age of the Italian population (the country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world), attention is being given to the health needs and wellbeing of the older generations also in the design of bathroom equipment. Thus, for example, the company Busco (www.busco.it) has created the Auxilia easy access tub, for therapeutic showers, hydro-massage and hydrotherapy of the possibly less agile generations.
An important feature of Italian decoration of bathrooms is the use of ceramic floor and wall tiling. Resistant to years of use, easy to care for and to clean, available in a wide range of colors and designs, ceramic tile is the preferred decorating material used for bathrooms in Italy. Marble is also used, but the costs are somewhat higher. There are enormous numbers of producers of ceramic tiles for bathrooms. These extend from the designer tiles by such well-known names as Laura Biagiotti, Valentino, and Versace to little known small manufacturers providing quality materials. The tiles are available in all possible colors and sizes. It is even possible to decorate a bathroom with tiles that look like mosaics.