Bespoke British bath maker opens first U.S. showroom.
By Samantha Myers
The Copper Tay: Wrapped in sheets of pure copper, The Copper Tay bathtub is the perfect picture of bathroom luxury.
While renovating his U.K. home, Drummond Shaw couldn’t find the classic, quality pieces he desired. Focused on preserving and restoring artifacts, from flooring to stones, he began his own architectural salvage business. His further passion for bathrooms — coupled with his difficulty finding bathroom antiques with suitable plumbing — inspired him to found Drummonds in 1988, now a leading manufacturer and distributer of high-end, classic bathrooms.
Fast-forward to May 2016, and Drummonds has just opened its first showroom in the U.S., ready to bring its in-demand pieces from the U.K. to the states. Director of Sales & Marketing James Lentaigne has been in the business for 10 years, working on turning the company’s past as part of a disappearing artisan trade into a definitive luxury bathroom brand. “We manufacture timeless bathrooms that are classic and made to look good now, and over the years as well, when fashions and trends move out.”
Although best known for cast-iron bathtubs, the company brings luxury to the entire bathroom suite, providing a distinctive range of stunning handmade and hand-finished products and bespoke services. With two showrooms already in London, its first American showroom is in the D&D Building at Lapicida in New York City, and operates, like the others, similarly to an art gallery, highlighting individual products or suites. “Our showrooms give hints to room settings, and help guide and give inspiration, but don’t set the tone completely,” says Lentaigne.
The showrooms demonstrate how applicable Drummonds’ classic aesthetic is to a variety of styles. “We try not to bracket products in historical time periods, because they are truly timeless. With subtle dressing, it can change the look of a room. The pieces are adaptable, and the showrooms allow customers to see that.”
Lentaigne hopes to bring the attention to bathrooms and bathroom pieces that other rooms of the house and furniture have received. “Interestingly, in recent years, the focus has grown from the kitchen to the bathroom. People have the ability to design a spa or a sanctuary in the home out of these products on the market,” says Lentaigne.
Drummonds’ products are a result of absolute hand-manufacturing, occurring in three core areas — iron, brass and copper — which allows it to not only produce unrivaled pieces with stunning detail, but also to fully meet customers’ desires. “Customers come to us because we are bespoke manufactures, and they’ve seen our small range of products and want to select them for custom-finishing. We can paint our products any color, we can hand polish, wrap copper or bronze on the baths, make them freestanding or not.”
While the company intends to remain focused on bathrooms, some of its products, such as lighting and fittings, offer slight adaptability for other rooms. But, according to Lentaigne, “The truth is we are a bathroom company. We don’t want to bring out a lot of new products, but we want to refine our trade in-house and grow.”
From castles in Scotland, to hotels in Ireland, to palaces in the Middle East, demand for Drummonds’ is steadily growing worldwide. Although expanding its distribution is important, Lentaigne outlines the ultimate priority — materializing the quality of timelessness. “We want our bathrooms to outlast us, and to truly outstand the test of time.”
The Double Lowther with Arabescato Marble
Providing his and her basins, this vanity suite stuns with natural Arabescato marble.
The Severn Freestanding Shower
Entirely freestanding, this shower can go literally anywhere in the home, even next to your bed.
First American Showroom
Drummonds’ first showroom in the U.S. is in New York City’s D&D Building at Lapicida.
All photos courtesy Drummonds UK.