Specified: Kitchens & bathrooms

Michael Willoughby

Latest news and innovations from the industry

Behind mirror plug-and-play

Unfortunately, none of the icons on this mirror takes a selfie, let alone applies a filter that makes your skin look soft as silk and pings it hopefully to a prospective love-match in Angel. And swiping away at the glass won’t help. Though perhaps we expect too much of screen-like objects these days. But this clever system from Dolphin does everything one needs to disinfect, dampen and dry the hands, only it’s concealed behind the glass, from infrared sensor taps and foam soap systems, to high-speed low-energy hand dryers. Duck face!


Neos pellet cooker

BBQ-wives, this is fantastic! Specflue is launching the biomass pellet-fuelled Neos cooker, which practically guarantees your man will leap forth to prepare the supper after a long afternoon of loss adjusting. It’s hasta la vista to pasta now, because every evening he’ll return with a perfectly marinated venison carcass slung over his shoulder, ready to fire up the glimmering beast. And if he forgets to order the pellets that fuel it, don’t worry! You can always rustle something up yourself in the accompanying electric oven. It’s all good, darling.


Steelart sinks and worktops

If you are considering spending more time with your children while developing a new skill set, have you thought about the home lab bench? Surely learning about the wonders of science together  would be more satisfying than listening to the screech of bow over violin string, or watching yet another wobbly ballet routine. You’ll need a surface resistant to scratches, finger and water marks, running water and a large table. A Steelart Durinox industrial finish sink from Blanco would be a great investment for a lifetime of happy memories.


P3 Comforts vanity basin

As you get older (Me? I’m not getting older), you need a bit of extra space to put the expensive bottles, tubes and canisters you have bought to vainly combat the increasing ruination of middle age. This basin, from Duravit’s P3 Comforts range, has ample space for you to mix up a thick paste of Moose Musk Essence Day Cream (£46 from Selfridges), Gentian Oh! De Vie Eye Saver (£54, Harvey Nicks) and Polycell Tiling Fix and Grout (£4.99, Wickes) and smother your fizog with it. Or, if you’ve a better way to enjoy its ‘sensuous and practical design’, feel free. Because you’re worth it.


Quartz worktops

As everyone knows, most of us Londoners are squeezed nine to a room, desperately trying to stay within earshot of the Old Street Roundabout, the place where Trends are born – and we must have ’em fresh, regular and improbable. However, some country folks have enough space to house Chris Boardman, his chums and an opposing team of cyclists competing in time trials. Why shouldn’t they also specify these softly glowing, non-porous quartz worktops from Caesarstone in a variety of natural colours? Not good to crash land on but very good for a spread.


Wall hung toilet

Leaving this luxurious marbled throne at London’s new Fitzroy Place, with the reassuring sound of Geberit’s dual-flush touchless plate technology in your ears, might put you in mind of the comparable fate of the Middlesex Hospital, which once stood on the site. The loss of the 1928 building with its huge portico, one of the last in the Edwardian style, was quite a shock to local residents – although luckily the replacement buildings are pretty classy. And the hospital’s neo-Romanesque chapel still clings on at the heart of the site, a dogged vestige.


Memoria toilet

The Brits aren’t short of euphemisms for, er, visiting the ‘smallest room’, but they tend to lack elegance. There is a suburban, censorious tang to most of them. ‘Answering the call of nature’, ‘seeing a man about a dog’, ‘putting some of my thoughts to paper...’ they are all a bit doily-and-lounge, aren’t they? But with the advent of Vitra’s new egg-shaped Memoria toilet, gentrification of the function finally becomes possible.  ‘I’m just off to incubate,’ you can tell your flatmates or family. And when you get back you can tell ’em you cracked it.


New showroom

Hey, you! Yes, you in the little black dress! Who you photographing? I’m the snapper, and I’m just trying to do my job in peace, taking photos of Foster’s gargantuan new Porcelanosa showroom in midtown Manhattan, trying to avoid the cabs and, frankly, you aren’t making it any easier. You’re making aesthetic capital from my predicament and your gaze is objectifying me, like I’m some Helmut Newton model. Voyeuristic! You cannot both photograph and act. To photograph is to fetishise. Dammit, where are my watercolours?  



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