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On trend July

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HOUSING's top pick of innovative building products for July 2020. Photo courtesy BoxBrownie.com

Tap into the future 

Taqua – a prominent Japanese sink mixer – is now available in Australia. The built-in filtration tap is integrated into the nozzle to provide filtered water directly from the tap and to save space under the sink. 

You can choose between filtered or tap water by pressing the button located at the head of the tap. The flexible options also extend to the style of the tap, with a traditional spray function and pull-out hose.

The filter cartridge is easily replaced in 10 seconds by twisting off the nozzle and inserting the new filter. Taqua has been installed in all 4000 units of the Tokyo Olympic Village.

Light on astrology 

  British lighting brand Astro has unveiled its 2020 collection bringing five new additions to its existing range.

The io, a cylindrical wall-mounted piece and pendant, is the first in Astro’s portfolio to use the production process of gravity-fed glass extrusion, while the Velo flaunts a pared back, sweeping shape, suited to smooth plaster.

The Ottavino is a decorative wall or pendant luminaire suitable for bathroom application while the ceiling-mounted Shadow Surface creates an eye-catching accent by contrasting light and shadow. Finally, the Kinzo 140, a dimmable LED ceiling spotlight, brings structure and balance to a room with its clean, rectangular form.

Drama scene

Easycraft has released its material collection DRAMA, a decadent palette for the confident colour curator who wishes to include feelings of modern mysticism into their designs.

Styled by Carlene Duffy, Cedar & Suede, the collection pairs up violet with dark purple, counterbalanced with the richness of polished marble, stone, leather and brass, and the warmth of timber. The Easycraft ascot.Vogue and easyAscot panels also help to put a stamp of distinction in any internal room or space.

Easycraft has six other material collections available, perfect for 2020 interior trends.

Hotplates that migrate 

The portable hotplate system Ordine from Fabita is an innovative space-saver, particularly well-suited to small lots and tiny homes. The cooking element is made up of two induction hot plates which hang on the wall when not in use.

Unlike conventional stovetops which fix elements in place, usually in close proximity, the two cooking zones are independent from each other, allowing for two large pots or pans to be used simultaneously.

Available in a range of colours and finishes in the hanging version (with table or wall bracket) or with a wooden base, Ordine represents a highly flexible solution for small and modular spaces in the modern home.

Branching out

Highgrove Bathrooms has launched a new range of heated towel racks that serve as a unique and graphic design feature while combating the harsh chill that comes with stepping out of the shower on winter mornings.

The practical heated racks also keep bacteria in wet towels at bay, promoting a clean and healthy environment in the bathroom.

Designed to mimic the shape of a tree branch with a sophisticated finish, the racks are available in matte black or sleek chrome and can be installed with a plug-in cable or concealed hard wiring.

Pro on the go

Houzz has recently launched Houzz Pro, an all-in-one software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that empowers industry businesses to stand out, and stay connected with their clients and teams. Houzz Pro enables residential renovation and design professionals to manage their entire project and client lifecycle in one place.

The software is available online or as a mobile app. Subscriptions are available for as little as $89 per month, and are priced to fit any budget or team. Given the unique demands facing the home improvement industry with COVID-19, Houzz is providing the software to all existing Houzz pro subscribers as part of the service.

Cost-effective editing 

Australian-based property technology company BoxBrownie.com is offering photo editing services to the residential building and real estate industry to help them improve their marketing from as little as $2, and virtual staging and renovations from $40. The services also extend to floor plan redraws, and 360-degree renders and virtual tours. BoxBrownie.com says it can also provide copywriting services for online listings produced by qualified communications professionals.

The company uses a no subscription, pay-as-you-go format with 24/7 customer service to ensure product satisfaction to its clientele of more than 75,000 customers in 82 countries.

Rome in the home 

Simple to install and available in custom-sized rolls up to 1.3-metres wide, these doorpaper coverings from Italian wallpaper manufacturer Instabilelab present a creative opportunity to bring Rome into the home.

While durable enough to withstand high-volume traffic in young family homes for years, the wide range of inspired designs gives a homeowner the chance to update the look of a door regularly to suit the mood of a room.

From photos of arched hallways that draw the eye in and timber-look designs to abstract paintings and depictions of roman statues, there are options to complement any style in any home.

Mould protection

Knauf has introduced InterShield, an improved addition to the popular InterHome separating wall system. The system – designed for adjoining residential dwellings, such as duplexes or townhouses – is set apart from conventional separating wall systems with ShaftLiner. Knauf’s ShaftLiner is a 25mm central fire-resistant plasterboard made with a gypsum core and recycled blue liner paper.

InterShield offers the same fire and acoustic performance as ShaftLiner but with the added benefit of superior mould- and water-resistance. It significantly minimises the risk of interstitial mould in the built structure during and after construction, while also protecting against water damage and severe weather conditions.

Knauf says the mould resistance technology used in InterShield dramatically reduces mould growth as shown by testing to ASTM D3273 Resistance to Growth of Mould on the Surface of Interior Coatings in Environmental Chamber.

Focal fireplace

The Gyrofocus suspended fireplace has received momentous recognition for its design concept, being voted the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Object’ in the Italian Pulchra Design Competition in 2009 and even featuring in a James Bond movie. The fireplace itself has been around for decades, marking a revolution in fireplaces with its then cutting-edge suspension feature upon its release in 1968.

Named for the focal point it creates in any space, today’s models are perfect for recessed conversation pits and sunken lounge areas. Made of solid steel and available in white, the French-made work of art pivots 360-degrees to accommodate changes in furniture layouts.

Photo courtesy Bellevarde Constructions

Tectonic power 

Rogerseller has released its new Tectonic shower collection, combining water, light and steam extraction in one.

The Tectonic shower collection extends to single function wall and ceiling showers, a quiet standalone extraction fan and a halo LED light above. It comes with two available shower functions, drenching rain or massaging waterfall. Even in low pressure areas, the shower will deliver a full pressure flow rate of 9l/min thanks to its low-flow technology.

These three distinct elements come together in a slim 3mm design and are available in brushed or polished stainless steel.

Whiz-bang wardrobes  

Stegbar has released its own offering to the smart home trends with its Galleria 2020 collection of wardrobes, featuring Bluetooth controlled lighting and music.

Lighting options allow users to create a number of moods or zoned areas by adjusting the brightness of lighting independently or in sections. Users can also set timers and build pre-set options to move between light settings throughout the day.

The Bluetooth system enables users to play their favourite tunes through their wardrobe as they get ready to face the day or wind down before bed.

The app can be used through smartphones or tablets.