It’s a firmly held belief here at est hq that done well, bathrooms and kitchens can be the design jewels of the home. A striking space in our opinion is not only luxurious but functional – injecting a sense of ease to elevate the everyday. It’s an opinion held too by our friends at Abey, who have struck a chord with their Gareth Ashton range by blending a stylised, conceptual aesthetic at a more achievable price range.
We sat down with Ashley Anderson to discuss the beginnings of the Gareth Ashton collection, its relevance to the Australian customer, and what continues to inform the brand’s evolution.
Produced in partnership with Abey Australia
Abey have long been finding solutions to Australia’s tyranny of distance, bringing a distinctly European sensibility to our bathrooms and kitchens for almost three decades. In 2013, the team spotted a gap in the market for quality fixtures that delivered considered, European-inspired design at the right price. Having cut their teeth servicing the tastes and needs of Australian consumers, the time was right for Abey to launch their own in-house brand. The Gareth Ashton range took shape, initially as a small offering, however this is the first year in which a full collection is on offer. As Ashley explains, “we needed something in that mid range. Something stylish but not over-the-top expensive. And given that we’d been playing in the very high end space it was just that next tier down that wasn’t catered for.”
It’s that kind of judicious, perceptive mindset that informs the minimal yet highly considered look of the Gareth Ashton collection. Much in the way a well-crafted coat does not date, the Gareth Ashton range has been designed to endure trends, making the pieces worthy of long-term commitment. For Ashley, fitting out our homes is a ten-year investment. He explains, “You’ve got to be conservative when you’re choosing the design of your sink, for instance, because it’s a part of the engineering of the structure of your house. The more minimal products have a longer lifespan. You’ve got to be more subtle”.
While the collection may be subtle in detail, the individual designs make a quiet but compelling impact. From matte black tapware to glossy white claw-foot baths, the Gareth Ashton range is not without its conceptual, stylised highlights.
While the collection may be subtle in detail, the individual designs make a compelling impact. From matte black tapware to glossy white claw-foot baths, the Gareth Ashton range is not without its conceptual highlights. But the driving principle behind each piece is the desire to create harmonious spaces that are not resting solely on trends for their design chops. “They’re on trend but they’re not too trendy. It’s all in the longevity”, Ashley says.
It’s evident to us that the longevity of the Gareth Ashton range lies in the brand’s big-picture approach to design. “In a bathroom or kitchen, you really can feel the overall colours, the tiles, the walls, the floor. There’s so much that grabs your eye, you don’t want to compete with it”, Ashley explains of the collection’s understated design ethos. This philosophy is woven into the Gareth Ashton DNA, one that’s proved irresistible to the Australian customer. Ashley confirms, “Product-wise, we’re a conservative people in Australia so the subtleness of the design is really important”.
In many ways, the collection is a distillation of what Abey represents: elegance through simplicity, quality, and longevity of design. The Gareth Ashton range achieves this without a shade of pretentiousness, giving it a uniquely Australian flavour that we can’t help but be drawn to.