Despite the extensive choice of exotic contours and richly-adorned bathroom suites, minimalistic designs are currently the choice of the day, according to industry sources.
James Huang, R&D director at Sheng Tai Brassware Corporation, a leading manufacturer of bathroom wares from Taiwan, says: “We are seeing tremendous demand for minimalist designs of bathroom products. For instance, our customers are looking for products that are as simple as they can be, while carrying an aesthetic touch.”
The company, which has recently launched the Justime minimalist brand in sanitary ware, has been involved in the manufacture of bathroom ware such as faucets and showers, accessories, vanities, brass tubular and plumbing fittings since 1976.
Explaining some of the reasons behind this trend, Huang says: “Simple designs, in fact, can give a nice and clean look and an sense of elegance as well. In addition, simple designs are also easy to clean and maintain, hence their preference.”
Besides the design aspect, he notes, the material used and the colour of the product also play an important part in its customers’ decision.
“At ShengTai,” he says, “we have seen increasing demand for 304 stainless steel and chrome-plated brass products as the preferred material. In terms of colours, a lot of customers are looking for darker colour products these days.”
This trend is especially true of Europe, which represents a big chunk of the company’s international sales. “The Europeans love the minimalist feeling, they like things to be simple yet make a powerful statement of quality,” he says. “Hence, our recently-launched brand Justime, with its minimalist design features and simplistic yet elegant styling, is proving exceedingly popular in Europe.”
ShengTai's products, for instance, are available in fashionable departmental stores in the UK, he says.
Huang is confident that the Justime brand will also do well in the Middle East region as, according to him, the region mirrors the trends of Europe.
In the past, ShengTai has been serving the Middle East through Protos Trading, Kuwaiti Supply, and the Bahrain Engineering Bureau, which have acted as its distributors for the local markets. The company's products have already found application in the region in new building construction as well as refurbishment of houses, apartments, and hotels, with its bathroom accessories, faucets, vanities, and mirrors having all proved particulary popular in the region.
Elaborating on the interesting design elements of products under its Justime brand, he cites the example of its 6920 faucet and shower Series.
“The minimalist design of 6920 series brings elegance into your bathing space. This brand new series of faucets and showers, which are chrome-plated, are made exclusively with JIS 3771, 2700B, and 3604 brass to ensure durability. Our plating and salt spray test conforms to the ASTM SC2 standards and ASTM B 287 respectively, to ensure the longevity of our products. The fluid line design of the 6920 series facilitates cleaning and maintenance of the surface,” he says.
The 6920 series has undergone Justime’s quality control that exceeds industry standards for durable performance, he claims.
Meanwhile, Justime’s 6909 series tub spouts are also minimalistic yet have immese appeal. “High on elegance, the 6909 series also has a fluid line design making it easy to clean and maintain the surface. Ceiling-mounted showerheads and side sprays are also available.”
Speaking on its manufacturing capabilities, Huang says:“We are well-equipped with advanced technologies and equipment, including an automated CNC lathe machine, a 3D auto- bending machine, a three-axis auto-feeding machine, a rapid prototyping machine, a spectrometer, electrophoretic lacquer coating and powder coating equipment, fully-automated forging machines and machining centres.
“With these facilities and capabilities, we are able to provide the most efficient integration of resources, assuring demanding standards set by the global market are maintained,” he adds.