Seasoned designer Steve Christian Booth of Christian Booth Design has a wealth of experience creating beautiful products for residential and commercial bathrooms – so what makes his Riviera collection for Burlington so different?
Q: What was your inspiration behind the Riviera collection?
A: The inspiration for Riviera collection by Burlington was the sophisticated elegance of the 1920’s – a decade in France known as ‘les années folles’, or the crazy years. As a reaction to the previous years of austerity there was a wave of creativity encompassing the arts, architecture, and engineering. Form and style became as important as function, a philosophy pioneered by L’Ecole des Beaux-arts, Le Style Moderne and Art Deco. This decade embodied a freedom of design and artistic expression, which we have drawn on, while balancing these ideas against today’s requirement for hygiene and ease of use.
Q: What was your favorite part of designing the Riviera collection?
A: Like most designers, here at Christian Booth Design we relish resolving problems. The challenge with Burlington’s Riviera project was to strike a balance between traditional and modern flavours. We wanted to build on the character of the Burlington brand, which is predominantly based in the Edwardian and Victorian styles. Riviera has taken some of those elements and added a more modern approach, lifting details from other more minimalistic styles.
Art Deco re-invented the Neoclassical style by simplifying it – this was our starting point. We wanted to balance geometric elements and clean lines with decorative embellishments, while retaining an elegance, lightness, and a fresh simplicity of form. We added details that supported and echoed the overall character of the fundamental shape – this created a balance between simplicity and decorative detail, character without clutter.
Q: How have you found collaborating with a brand on a project?
A: The team at Burlington are great to work with – they were very responsive to discussions throughout the various stages of the design process. One of my philosophies is that we work ‘with a client’ not just ‘for a client’ – the journey from project brief to project launch should be a meaningful collaboration. It was also great to be working once again with Roger Cooper, company chairman – he has a great understanding of design and an eye for detail. I genuinely like the brand, and I do have Burlington products in my home. They encapsulate everything beautiful about traditional bathrooms and are incredibly focussed on bringing inspirational products to market that suit both traditional and contemporary interiors.
Q: What piece do you predict will have the biggest impact on the market?
A: I think the balanced nature of the whole range will have the strongest overall impact however, the vanity units are particularly characterful. The detailing on the ceramic basin and furniture complement each other and add a lightness of form that stops the complete unit looking like it dominates the space it occupies. Although the design is historically based, we still wanted it to be period neutral so it would look at home in both traditional and contemporary spaces.
Q: What would you consider one of the biggest current bathroom trends?
A: Minimalism as a trend is losing interest and people are looking for ‘meaningful luxury’, or ‘functional luxury’. People are craving warmth, colour, tactility, mixed textures, and a more relaxed environment to live in, where detailing complements the interior space, and where sensory qualities can be enjoyed. Bathrooms are functional spaces, and we still need clean lines that suit our modern lifestyles, but these ‘clean lines’ are becoming softer.