Product Focus: Tapware

Published 18 Oct 22
Product Focus: Tapware

At KWD we work on such a wide variety of homes, from Modern Farmhouse to Coastal Chic and from Mid Century Modern to Hamptons-style, and everything in between. When we are engaged to work on the design of a property, be it a new build or a renovation, the most signficant rooms in terms of attention and expense are the kitchen and bathrooms, and the laundry.

Our starting point for any design is the space planning. Careful and considered space planning is the key to the success of a project. And from there we start working on the hard finish selection. Not only do we take into account the aesthetics of the materials – how they suit the design of the home and how well they will function for those who live in the home – we also have to take into account the budget, and the availability in relation to the timeline of the project.

Once these important foundations are in place, we start to look at the door hardware, at the furniture and lighting, and of course the tapware. Explains Kate Walker, “I always believe in investing in tapware – investing in the items that you use the most is never a waste. You want your tapware to perform perfectly every time, and to look beautiful. The right tapware can anchor a design aesthetic and the period of a home. Quality tapware feels beautiful in your hand, and works so effortlessly. The spray rinse is a fabulous feature too, as I am an avid flower lover, and have it to fill my vases every week.”

KWD’s go-to supply partner for tapware is The English Tapware Company. Not only do we love the incredible tapware they import into Australia, they are reliable and supportive and always keep us up to date with the latest trends, styles and finishes. So we had a chat with Anna Rees, Creative Director of The English Tapware Company so she could tell us a bit more about the company and about choosing the right tapware for your home:

KWD: Can you tell me a bit about the history of The English Tapware Company?

Anna: We started out 25 years ago in New Zealand importing English & French antiques for the residential design market and, with our English connections, subsequently obtained the distribution for Perrin & Rowe tapware and fireclay sinks for New Zealand and Australia. The provenance of these fittings really tied in beautifully to what we were offering so in 2003 we dipped our toes into the Australian marketplace. We slowly released new tapware to the market, working with the Perrin & Rowe engineers to create a fully Australian Standards compliant product offering.

Since 2012 we have been offering a full range of English-made kitchen & bathroom products through our Sydney & Melbourne flagship showrooms. A few years after launching we added a dedicated hardware specification department and have been able to partner with leading architectural hardware design & manufacturing companies in England. We have been proud to support our English and Italian manufacturers and their staff during this pivotal year of Covid-19, and we look forward to a brighter future for everyone in 2021.

KWD: What tapware brands do you offer the Australian marketplace?

Anna: We specialise in the one leading brand, which may seem like a bold move, but we stand by Perrin & Rowe with its comprehensive range of the best quality tapware in the world. Perrin & Rowe has been a pleasure to work with and we have completed countless fit-outs of beautiful homes, hotels and hospitality spaces throughout the last 25 years. The beauty of this product is that it is all designed and manufactured in-house which means control over the process from start to finish with a strict QA process – they even pressure test every single tap before it leaves the factory.

Perrin & Rowe

Perrin & Rowe was conceived by two friends – Bob Perrin & Greg Rowe – who were both engineers and wanted to create tapware that was as precision engineered as timepieces made by the elite watchmakers of the world. Their passion for traditional manufacturing craft is still seen in the products designed and produced today and stands the test of time in some of the most luxurious high-demand residences and lodgings in the world.

KWD: Can you tell me a bit about when you joined The English Tapware Company and how you have seen the interest in beautiful tapware evolve in recent times?

Anna: The English Tapware Company is part of my DNA. We are the quintessential family business – Stephan is my stepfather and our Managing Director and Shirley; my mother is our Media Manager and chief-organiser and glue to everything we do. From day dot, Stephan has been an incredible design and business mentor, and the three of us have grown this business together from the ground up, with them in New Zealand and me in Australia. We have a wonderful, capable and loyal team who support our vision in every way, and I feel very honoured to be involved in creating such an exciting and world-renowned company.

KWD: Designer tapware is more expensive than standard tapware – why is it worth the investment?

Anna: Perrin & Rowe tapware is incredibly good value for money, and while we appreciate that everyone has a budget to some degree, the value which beautiful, durable, well-engineered tapware adds to a project more than compensates for the additional investment. We are firm believers in the proverb: “Buy the best and only cry once”.

KWD: What types of homes / design aesthetics does your tapware suit?

Anna: We offer a wide range of tapware from country to contemporary styles that perfectly suit the KWD spectrum of design offerings. Our clients understand what they are subscribing to when they choose Perrin & Rowe – the luxury of inhabiting a space that feels effortless and a joy to come home to. This is the essence of what KWD offers too.

KWD: What are the current trends in tapware?

Anna: In this COVID-19 world, working from home has become the norm for many people and will remain so. People seek to create unique spaces in which they intend to spend a great deal of time, which has been a boon for the building industry. The demand is high for hardware, lighting and tapware as design features, and homeowners are taking particular interest in their selection.

Luxury products fit into this emerging trend of appreciating the provenance of the objects you surround yourself with in your life – understanding the origin of an item and knowing that there is an authenticity and quality behind them. The fact our products are beautiful and considered ‘the must-have’ jewellery of the home is really a bonus.

KWD: You have other products in your offering?

Anna: At The English Tapware Company, we present new brands or products that really fit into our ethos and add to what we do. Our hero launch for 2020 is the Rockwell Tapware Collection. Designed by The Water Monopoly, and manufactured to the highest standard by Perrin & Rowe, this is a truly mouth-watering collection with a range of ceramic coloured handles – we really have something different to offer all our clients here.

Another jewel in our crown is the Martha Bath from The Water Monopoly. This double ended tub is available in the raw materials of brass or copper, with options of tinned, black paint or high polished mirror finish.

Joseph Giles, our exquisite UK architectural door hardware offering continues to delight. This is hardware unlike anything you have experienced before – the design, materiality and quality is second to none. From maximalism to absolute minimalism – Joseph Giles should be your new go-to for hardware.

For the kitchen Perrin & Rowe now offers the highest-grade 304 corrosion resistant stainless-steel sinks, which are perfect for undermounting into any benchtop. And we now provide safety grab rails from Hawthorn Hill in contemporary, traditional and ornate styles. These are Australian Standards compliant to match any project and are streets ahead of anything else we have seen in the market. And our Oxford Grilles are perfect for residential and commercial fit outs. Just let KWD know what you require – we can organise each piece to be custom made to specification.

For more information on the range available from The English Tapware Company, you can contact the KWD team on 5974 1800 or via email: