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18 April 2024

Designer living


By Aimee Greaves


Kohler has been a family-run business since its inception in 1873. Specialising in kitchens and bathrooms, the Wisconsin, United States-based company has carved out a successful share of the Middle Eastern market, supplying to a number of five-star hotels as well as homes. Emirates Business sat down with Executive Vice President David Kohler to find out why the kitchen and bathroom are the most important rooms in a house.

How much impact do kitchens and bathrooms have when it comes to someone selling a house? People are passionate about their kitchen and bathroom because they spend a lot of time in them and are the places they choose to relax at the end of the day. They can also become show rooms and we find customers spend a lot of money on them to make them unique.

How much value can they add? They have driven investment in many markets as people see them as a reference point for quality over the whole house and as such can create a premium of 20 per cent or more.

Do trends differ between the Middle East and United States? There are some unique aspects in the Middle East but the rest are common with other markets. There is a trend towards increased technology, such as electronics in kitchens and bathrooms. Around the world, people are concentrating on water conservation, particularly here in the Middle East because there isn't a lot of water, so it's important products reduce energy consumption.

What is the best advice you can give to people when it comes to redecorating? Design is personal and great design should be emotional so what is good for one person is not right for another. But it is important to think about what you want and how you will use it before you start, for example, do you like to shower or bathe or do you want to integrate a dressing area in there? It's also important to think about colours and textures first to ensure you succeed in what you are trying to achieve.

What can we learn from your corporate projects? We have done Anantara on Desert Islands and Atlantis, the latter of which has created some bold design combinations and made spaces that captured the designers' imaginations. They have created something very different so that hotel will stand out because of its uniqueness. That's what we enjoy because we're passionate about innovating.