Caroma, Australia’s leading designer and supplier of bathroom and kitchen products,
partnered with Evostyle on the design and development of the premium Elvire bathroom collection, which has since been awarded a Good Design Award.
Caroma wanted to create a truly bespoke product for their premium customers. Although it is outside of their traditional design language, Industrial Designer Luke Di Michiel chose to incorporate timber. Every piece of timber is one of a kind, so it provided the beautifully bespoke premium touch that he was looking for in the Elvire Collection.
“The incorporated timber components became the hero of the collection,” says Di Michiel “These beautiful touchpoints of the bathroom that people would come into contact with, and touch and turn. It was important to Caroma that those touchpoints were with timber because we loved the idea of connecting people with nature.”
The Collection includes turned timber components including timber handle mixers on the basin mixers, the wall mixers, the bath fillers as well as the lovely little touch on the toilet flush buttons.
As bathroom manufacturer Di Michiel explains, designing with timber is outside Caroma’s traditional expertise, so they needed to engage an external supplier.
“I was familiar with Evostyle through their work predominantly in the design industry with their beautiful furniture and their collaboration with Australian designers. So, they were front-of-mind. They also seemed the perfect fit, because they’re Australian with state-of-the-art facilities and extensive product knowledge.”
“But we were concerned that no supplier would want to engage with us for such a small, highly intricate component, particularly given that the component was part of larger assemblies, which required multiple suppliers to work together.”
The timber components were critical to the look and feel that Caroma was trying to achieve, so without the right suppliers, the Elvire Collection may never have come to fruition.
“I reached out to Evostyle and with just a simple email, we started a great conversation, and they became an. enthusiastic partner in the project.”
Elvire is a big Collection that took over two years to bring to market. The timber components form part of a larger assembly with other components being developed concurrently by a different supplier. So, the key challenge was how to bring it all together.
“That would normally be quite a big challenge, says Michael, “and this was a particularly stressful range, as an industrial designer, to deliver to market.
“But a quick chat with Evostyle and Luke took the pressure off. They quickly understood what we were trying to achieve, and Luke could bring his knowledge and expertise to the project ensuring that we were able to collaboratively execute what we were trying to achieve.
“Evostyle allowed us to build momentum working with us to develop various prototypes and providing samples for testing until we got everything sorted out, finalised and resolved. No challenge seemed too big.”
Each timber component was machined on the 5-axis and then hand-finished, which allowed each component to be inspected proving quality control to every piece of the collection.
Di Michiel explains that Evostyle went the extra mile.
“Caroma was getting components from overseas sent directly to Evostyle who were putting those assemblies together with the timber components on our behalf.”
When looking at timber options, Caroma was keen to embrace sustainable Australian timbers. They also wanted to provide consumers with a choice of the colour palette in the range. Working with Luke and the team at Evostyle, they were able to embrace the beautiful look of a darker timber by using Tasmanian Blackwood, as well as a lighter option with Tasmanian Oak.
Caroma also wanted to keep a natural finish on the timbers, to be as true to the timber as they could, while still having a durable product that could withstand the harsh conditions of a bathroom.
“Evostyle had the latest technologies available in finishes that provided durability in a natural finish that really showcased the beautiful timber.
“Evostyle were a pleasure to work with because of their enthusiasm and that true collaborative approach. They believed and saw what we were trying to achieve and gave us the encouragement and support to keep going and believe that we could execute this.”
“I look back and what I think stands out the most is the collaborative approach and that ability for us as Australian designers and engineers, to engage with other Australian designers, engineers and manufacturers here. We’ve all played a part in bringing this collection to life. I’m super proud of that.”
Captivated by the relationship between contemporary design and natural materials, Australian born designer Tom Fereday has established a thriving career in furniture design. Taking an honest and holistic approach to…