Designing bathrooms for women: Yes, it actually makes sense

by - September 16, 2015

Sisters Fleur Sibbel and Wilhelmina McCarroll are well aware of the challenges many women face in the bathroom when getting ready in the morning. Where do you put the hairdryer? What about your make-up and accessories? Conventional bathroom storage sometimes just isn’t enough.

The sisters — the team behind popular furniture label Zuster — have turned these problems into inspiration for their first foray into bathroom design. The result is the ISSY collection, which is available exclusively at Reece.

What prompted the move to bathroom furniture for you?

After renovating one house and building a new house I have a good understanding of the flaws in bathrooms and it made me think about how the perfect bathroom should be put together. Our lives are getting busier and our desire to be well groomed is ever increasing. In the ISSY by Zuster Butterfly design, we wanted to offer users a functional bathroom with easy access to the essentials all in one place including make-up, hairdryer and laundry basket, as well as provide movable mirrors.

ISSY Butterfly by Zuster for Reece

Who is your collection aimed at?

ISSY by Zuster has truly been designed by a woman, for women. The customer we have designed the range for is a woman who takes pride in her appearance, leads a busy and successful life and enjoys a little luxury in her everyday routines.

How have you translated Zuster’s signature style into bathroom furniture?

It was very important that the bathroom had to have the Zuster DNA — streamlined with our signature Zuster detailing. The handle of the Butterfly cabinet is a design detail that has been used for two generations in our family design and construction business. The solid American oak curve in the Ballerina vanity is also easily recognised by those familiar with Zuster furniture.

ISSY Ballerina by Zuster for Reece

What is the number one mistake people make when furnishing their bathroom?

The biggest mistake is not having enough storage that is easy to access and designed around the things we use every day. The second mistake is choosing products that can’t be customised to suit people’s evolving lifestyles. Similar to living rooms and bedrooms, people are wanting more choice and customisation in their bathrooms — something Reece taught us early on. People should consider furniture that can be customised to suit their needs, or adapted to fit different spaces.

Why does timber work well in bathrooms?

We incorporated timber because of its beautifully natural and timeless qualities. We also used American oak for the finishes. I was so inspired by my personal day spa and luxury hotel experiences that I wanted to replicate that at home. The high-end aspect as well as the fact that it is a fully customisable collection was also in keeping with Reece’s ISSY brand, making it an ideal collaboration.

Tell me about your dream bathroom.

The bathroom is an emotional space for many women, therefore a dream bathroom is one that is luxurious yet functional and can be enjoyed daily. Given this is our first venture into the bathroom space, it was important that we worked with a well-known and trusted brand such as Reece. They do a wonderful job at creating products that transform the bathroom space into your own mini retreat, a living room for one, which is what we wanted the ISSY by Zuster collection to represent.

Fleur Sibbel and Wilhelmina McCarroll are the sisters behind Zuster

What’s next for Zuster?

After 21 years of designing and manufacturing furniture in Australia, we are only just entering the bathroom space for the first time. Given the success of the collaboration with Reece so far, we feel we have a lot more to offer in this new space and we’re really excited about what’s to come next.

First published Home, The Daily Telegraph 12 September 2015

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