During Sleep + Eat we gratefully accepted the invitation to speak with GROHE‘s Senior Design Manager for Brand Environments and Experiences Carina Buhlert.
GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, the brand pursues brand values of technology, quality, design and sustainability, seeking to offer the “Pure joy of water”. Innovation, design and development are closely aligned with one another and are enshrined in their German site as an integrated process.
Read our interview to learn about a holistic approach to bathroom and kitchen design, the importance of prioritising sustainability and the plastic free water solution.
Please could you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Carina Buhlert. I’m 32 years-old, and I’m a senior design manager for brand environments and experiences at GROHE.
I started my career at IKEA as an interior designer and merchandiser, and then studied interior design in Barcelona and integrated design in Cologne. My master’s degree is in Exhibition Design Institute in Düsseldorf. My whole experience has been focused on working with unique environments, exhibitions, interiors and retail spaces.
Why is Sleep + Eat an important event for GROHE to support?
The hospitality sector is a very important aspect of people’s lives. We have very interesting new developments, for example Airbnb which is disrupting the whole industry. GROHE, as a bathroom manufacturer, and also a kitchen manufacturer, provides very high quality products to exactly this industry.
We’re also looking to expand to new markets, for example, providing our water system to hospitality events like these, to show that with a GROHE beverage system you can actually be much more sustainable in a hospitality environment, because you can eliminate plastic bottle usage. It’s also about the beverage experience and that you can create your own beverage at any time.
Who are GROHE’s consumers, and what do they demand?
Our consumer has changed radically in recent years and is now demanding more from our brand than just a product. GROHE has always provided very high quality products with sophisticated designs and a clear design strategy, now customers are also demanding experiences and emotional connections with the product themselves. This is why our products not only have to be much more than just a faucet, or a shower. It’s more about thinking holistically and creating water or beverage systems, smart home products and emotional spaces. We need much more immersive experiences for consumers because they are longing for something that gives them a meaningful relationship with the brand.
What concepts are you currently exploring in the development of your new designs?
For our contemporary consumers, we have to think about how we fit their need for trends, including for example health and wellness or customization. We’re expanding our color range throughout all our products to provide our consumer with a full bathroom solution. In the future, they will be able to design their bathroom holistically using one brand – GROHE.
Why is innovation in water so important, and how is GROHE tackling this?
Water is of course a very scarce resource and we cannot use water like it’s endless. Sustainability is one of the brand pillars at the core of our company. We have a responsibility to not only create quality designs and technology, but actually be sustainable.
We want to get our customers to rethink their behaviour and with our assistance, save a little bit of water every day. At GROHE we care about every drop of water and we really have to make them see that with our products it is possible to have a wonderful experience and still be able to be sustainable. We want to get rid of all the plastic bottles that we normally use. With our beverage systems GROHE BLUE and RED, we have everything that you need to enjoy water without any plastic.
What’s next for GROHE?
GROHE is always developing and it’s been developing a lot in the last years, to create emotional experiences for the consumer, not only in products, but in product experiences.
We want to prove to the customer that we deliver full bathroom solutions, that we inspire her, and that we really care about water experiences and water technology enjoyment. In general, the company has to be flexible to really react to the consumers needs and the customer really needs transparency in all her products and all her services and that’s why of course she’s demanding. I think this company has a possibility of doing great things, especially with our innovative, interdisciplinary and international, award winning design studio.
I think a holistic approach is the best way to go, to approach the needs of the future, the customer.
GROHE Blue Home –the private water source for ultimate taste and enjoyment
Saving time and storage space – no need to carry heavy bottle packs from the supermarket, orworry about bottle deposits and recycling.
Sustainable lifestyle, great taste.
Installed in any kitchen in next to no time.
Whenever we look for a radical change in our lives, the kitchen is as good a place to start as any. So how about this: no more driving to the supermarket on Saturdays to load up the car with heavy packs of bottled water. Instead, imagine savouring glass after glass of delicious filtered water straight from a stylish kitchen tap always cooled to the right temperature, and even available in a choice of strong, medium or no carbonation. This kitchen revolution can start right away –with GROHE Blue Home.
GROHE Red is the perfect choice for kettle hot water on tap! With robust child safety features built in as standard, this stylish piece of kitchen kit offers the ultimate in convenience, whether you want hot water for brewing coffee and tea or hot water for speeding up the cooking process! You don’t have to wait for a new kitchen either. It is simple to install into an existing kitchen, requiring just some space beneath a standard sink, power and water.
The GROHE Red water system quickly delivers filtered water at a temperature of up to 99°C so you never need to wait for the kettle to boil again! It also saves energy as you only ever heat what you use. On top of this it is easy to operate and very safe making it the perfect choice for a family.