When you stand before your bathroom basin to rinse soapy suds off your hands, did you know that you were following a ritual as old as time?
The Birth of Basins
Historically, cleansing rituals – and washing of hands in particular – were often used to calm and purify the soul and spirit, forming an important part of many cultural and religious ceremonies. Dirty hands and fingernails were seen as being synonymous with poverty, low class, or guilt of some kind of misdeed, and it was a show of respect to high-ranking guests in your home to present them with washing bowls and a towel when they first came through the door.
In traditional Jewish culture, hands were washed after sleeping, after using the bathroom, after leaving a cemetery, before a meal (if bread is going to be eaten) and after a meal (if the “salt of Sodom” was used).
In ancient Chinese culture, it was traditional to wash your hands after a meal, as well as before. In wealthy households, servants would bring in pitchers of water and a basin, pouring the water over the hands of those at the table before handing them a napkin with which to dry their hands. In poorer households, diners would help each other.
Basins of today
Today’s on-trend and highly sought-after vessel sinks are direct descendants of the ancient, hand-held basins used in these and other ceremonial cleansings, indulging our long-held desire for the benefits of cleanliness and the calming sensations of water flowing over our skin.
Unlike standard bathroom sinks, vessel basins sit on top of the counter surface in a modern nod to the pitcher and basin combinations used for hundreds of years – from the Middle Ages right through to the late 19th and even early to mid 20th centuries.
Basins are often the figurative centerpiece of your bathroom and can either make or break the aesthetic of the entire space.
A beautiful and thoughtfully-designed vessel basin enhances the lines and flow of your bathroom, making it appear more sensual and luxurious, while still offering flawless ease of use.
The Matchless Modern Bathroom
Discerning consumers and designers are spoilt for choice when it comes to modern bathrooms fittings, and especially since today’s trends say that the key elements don’t need to match – neither materials nor color.
The basin, bath and toilet no longer have to match,” says Diana Schrage, a senior interior designer for Kohler, whose MICA range represents the pinnacle of basin evolution. “More and more designers are deliberately making the sink stand out so that it acts as a focal point for the room.
If you are considering something unique and elegant for yourself or a special client, then it’s truly exhilarating to know that your hands are no longer bound by the ties of yesterday’s décor rules.
Let the heritage of the traditional wash basin seep into your design while enjoying a modern spin on the age-old utilitarian favorite.
For more information on the Mica Vessel Basin from Kohler please click here.