One of our recent projects in Dubai, which is now a successful and very popular restaurant took us on a historical journey to Wisconsin where we have found a few interesting retro design pieces, but also discovered a story behind the first ever enamel bathtub.
The interior design of the Maine Oyster Bar and Grill in Dubai has been very carefully thought through and is an expression of North American roots, where Montreal gastropreneur is serving up a slice of culinary nostalgia for those longing for an honest dining experience. We were very excited throughout this project as it required our unique selling point – a creative, bespoke and proactive procurement approach. Working closely with the interior designer, we have managed to find a few very unique design pieces, which perfectly blend a post-industrial design aesthetic with a laid-back New England extravagance. The retro-vintage that the restaurateur had in mind for The Maine pays homage to the immortal charm of the state.
One of the pieces we are particularly proud of is the bathroom wash basin, which we have found in North America also discovering an interesting and forgotten story. The company, which still exists in Wisconsin produced the first ever bathtub in 1883. It is incredible that the firm still operates with big success and what really struck us was how they balance almost 150 years of design innovation with a real respect for historic styles and production methods—something that seems really out of the ordinary for such a large, international company.
The company was founded, by an Austrian immigrant, a businessman and a visionary. In 1873, he purchased a foundry in rural Wisconsin that produced a variety of cast-iron and steel products. Ten years later, he took a product in his line, heated it to nearly 1000°C and sprinkled it with enamel powder. Placing a picture of it in the centre of his one-page catalogue, he called it “a horse trough/hog scalder… when furnished with four legs will serve as a bathtub.”
From those humble beginnings, the company has grown into a multifaceted global family of brands that lead the way to enhance our customers’ sense of gracious living. What’s interesting is to see how much things have not changed since the beginning. They still produce almost everything out of their Wisconsin factories, including so many classic styles that are really nicely suited to historic renovations. It made us really happy to see historical styles alongside sleeker, more modern designs.