Black coming back in baths
August 24, 2018
Bath giant Kohler is pushing to have black come back as a sophisticated option in bathroom décor including a voice-activated, matte black Numi toilet that proved a surprise hit at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The concept contrasts with the white motif found in most bathrooms, according to Kohler—a veiled pitch at the home renovation market.
“The new black Numi truly is a stunning piece,” said Richard Kong, Kohler vice-president of Industrial Design for Kitchen and Bath Americas. “It’s a natural fit for the ultra-clean, ultra-white bathroom space.”
The new black Numi is currently showcased in Kohler Experience Centres and is said to be a favorite of architects and designers.
At the centres, Kohler uses an augmented reality (AR) app to show how black can be integrated into an existing bathroom. AR users can experience the toilet lid opening and closing, ambient lighting activation, and a cleansing wand extending and spraying.
The Numi toilet, when fully loaded with smart features, costs in the neighbourhood of $7,800, Canadian.
Betsy Froelich, a Kohler marketing manager, says black has been in its line for 90 years. But in some decades, such as now, sales of black go up. To put it in perspective, the overwhelming choice in toilets is still white. But black is No. 3, based on U.S. industry sales statistics, and it seems to be getting more attention.
Luxury brand Toto sells 15 toilet models that come in black, and a spokeswoman said the company has been getting more requests for them recently.