The very definition of a family-run business, West One Bathrooms have come to Clerkenwell. One half of the sibling management team, Duncan Waters, talks to us about the company’s evolution.
Family-run businesses always seem to offer a little extra - they remain connected to the very reason their shop or company was launched, and being their own, they are constantly out to improve. If you consider that, then West One Bathrooms is a company you can trust.
Brothers Kevin and Duncan Waters joined the established family retail bathroom business over 25 years ago after leaving higher education, and today they are sole owners and jointly manage West One Bathrooms. This summer they opened their eighth showroom in Clerkenwell, called rather enticingly The Bold Look Of Kohler at West One Bathrooms. This new showroom will display only Kohler brands, which include Daryl, Mira and Kallista, and Duncan explained to us how it all fits in with what they want to offer the public...
What is your company’s ethos today?
“We are very aware that offering an excellent service is imperative. It is a highly competitive market with the availability of many cheap lookalike products. We maintain the highest level of client service throughout, although we are always looking to improve. We offer an enormous selection of products sourced worldwide and are continually seeking new and innovative products to give clients maximum choice.”
So what do you think makes West One Bathrooms stand out from other bathroom companies?
“We like to think we are the best, but having said that we are not complacent. As I said, it is a competitive world and we must strive to maintain our position by offering a service of excellence, quality products and professional advice from staff with many years' industry experience.”
Why did you decide to work with Kohler on your latest showroom to be launched?
“Kohler are at the forefront of the bathroom industry - they have progressive designs and a large portfolio of products that dovetails well with ourselves. The synergies were there and the opportunities are vast.”
And why was Clerkenwell the perfect location?
“Clerkenwell lies at the heart of the design district with a high density of architects and specifiers, which are key in our industry. The aim of Clerkenwell was to be ideally located to service this sector and make the process of product selection as easy as possible by being a one-stop shop where these professionals can source all products required for their projects without the need to travel around London.”
In general Duncan, what are the current trends in bathrooms?
“A rise in textural trends, such as leather, timber, fabric and steel effect tiles are on the up. Such materials not typically found in the bathroom until now help to create a rich, tactile and warm environment to be in - a true sanctuary and retreat that bathrooms are becoming.”
You mention them being a retreat, how important is the bathroom to the home?
“Gone are the days when the bathroom’s purpose was solely a place of functional bathing. In the last decade, the way in which we use and view this space has changed dramatically. With the advanced progression of product ranges and availability, we have become more sensitive and aware to the importance of the design and functionality of the bathroom.”
Looking ahead, what plans do you have for West One Bathrooms?
“West One Bathrooms will continue to expand in a controlled manner in strategic locations to offer a constant source of inspiration and the widest possible choice of quality branded products along with a service of excellence.”
The Bold Look Of Kohler at West One Bathrooms can be found at 44-48 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PS; 020 7324 0780