DXV’s Vice President Of Design On The Return To Art Deco

DXV by American Standard, which has more than 150 years in the business, is known for its luxury kitchen and bathroom amenities, including tubs, toilets, faucets and more. DXV’s fixture and faucet collections are categorized into four design movements: Classic (1880-1920), Golden Era (1920-1950), Modern (1950-1990) and Contemporary (1990-today). 

DXV recently launched their Belshire Collection, inspired by Art Deco design, and part of their Golden Era movement. This collection captures the glamour of this opulent era and offers fixtures, fittings and furniture inspired by this design style and celebrates craftsmanship at its finest. With an array of luxurious materials, the Belshire Collection is perfect to spruce up your bathroom, especially as we are spending more time at home. 

Jean-Jacques L’Henaff is the Vice President of Design for DXV and American Standard under the LIXIL Americas division and has spearheaded award-winning product design known for form and function. He speaks to Forbes about DXV’s design influences, luxury bathroom essentials and innovation in design.

As Vice President of Design, what are some of your goals with the direction of the brand? 

DXV celebrates 150 years of American Design and craftsmanship. My goal when designing a new collection is to channel the past to inspire the future. We create complete collections that reflect our customers’ aspirations and tastes, and enable them to fully express their creativity through carefully curated suites of products. By designing within specific design movements or periods, we simplify their selection process and turn it into a smoother and easier experience.

Tell me about some of DXV’s most recent collections and what you’re most excited about.

Our collections are grouped by four of the most influential design movements of the past 150 years: Classic, Golden Era, Modern and Contemporary. Our latest launch, named Belshire, is part of our Golden Era movement. It was inspired by the Art Deco style of the 1920s and really captures the glamour and opulence of the period. The Belshire collection exudes luxury and elegance, from the meticulous attention to detail found in Belshire’s faceted handles, to the exquisite European craftsmanship and care found in our one-of-a-kind cabinetry. I am extremely proud of this collection, as our team of world-class designers and engineers spent three years honing every curve and detail of each product until the lines and proportions reflected a unique and perfect balance between elegance and fluidity. The result is a striking assortment that effortlessly infuses beauty, quality and creativity into everyday living.

What are some essentials for a luxury bathroom? 

When I think about luxury, I think about the enjoyment of comforts and pleasures. Many times, this comes through visual and tactile stimulation. In order to have a luxurious bathroom, the pieces that come together to create the space must provide elevated sensations. This can be done by paying attention to the details. For example, the Belshire Cushion Faucet Handles are defined by precise faceted edges, reminiscent of the Art Deco period, which are not only beautiful but create an entire tactile experience while you wash your hands. Actually, each piece in the Belshire collection has been meticulously crafted to result in the creation of a luxurious experience. So for the consumer at home, make sure to pick items that can elevate the bathroom experience through one or more sensorial touchpoints.  

Tell me about this idea of recreating historically significant designs and periods of design. 

DXV is all about timeless designs reimagined. We all love stories and identify with specific styles, so before we began the design of a new collection, we immerse ourselves in the time period, its mood, its influence on architecture, interior design and fashion. We also look for connections with today’s consumers. As an example, when considering the Belshire collection, we looked at architectural icons such as the Chrysler Building and the Stella Tower in New York. We strived to ensure this new line pays homage to the decade’s master craftsmanship, sophistication and elegance. We infused in our design, through carefully considered proportions, a sense of glamour and elegance, and incorporated all the modern conveniences of today’s best engineering. Belshire pays tribute to the past, celebrates the present and promises the lasting beauty exemplified in these treasured structures.

 DXV uses innovative techniques, like 3D-printed faucets. Tell me how this is reshaping and reimagining the design industry, and how these innovations make your products more desirable.

We were indeed the first in the industry to launch a 3D-printed faucet, and our aims were to push the boundaries of what can be done, rethink the experience of water and understand what luxury means in the 21st century. These faucets are statement pieces that have helped us further our thinking process when we develop new collections.

What are DXV consumers looking for?

DXV’s discerning consumers seek inspired design for all aspects of their home, particularly in the solace of their master bathroom retreats. They look for products that represent their personal style and aesthetic, and take pleasure in the creative process of designing new spaces.

How does DXV differ from other brands on the market?

DXV creates luxurious bath and kitchen collections that celebrate four influential design eras, serving as a curator for people with discerning tastes and the desire to elevate everyday living. Our collections simplify the product selection process for our consumers. We take the chaos out of projects by delivering curated collections and exquisite pieces that inspire and empower people to express their design creativity.

What are some trends you’re seeing in the world of premium bathrooms?

Bathrooms are some of the hardest spaces to design because they are so incredibly private, yet often meant to be shared. Within families, each person has a different routine and habit that must be considered. When it comes to trends, space and storage planning tend to be key to alleviate some of the personality requirements. Our console sinks create the illusion of space, while vanity sinks provide ample storage. Choosing materials and products so the aesthetic is pleasing yet equipped for everyday living is equally important.

How might Covid-19 be reshaping people’s approach to their home, whether it’s redoing the interiors to add more beauty now that we’re spending more time at home, or changing the functionality of certain rooms?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and work. Our home is our refuge, and given how much time we have been spending there over months, spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms have become all the more important. They have become places to reconnect and share with our family while cooking or eating, or places to rejuvenate, or to step away from the anxiety of the outside world. People are taking the time to update these spaces within their homes to improve the everyday living experience. The beauty of DXV is that our curated collections take away the stressful, overwhelming feeling that can come with designing a kitchen or bathroom, so that people can focus on expressing themselves, on designing spaces that inspire and empower them, and just enjoy the process.

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