Flicking through glossy magazines it isn’t hard to be instantly inspired by designer fashion houses, steeped in rich history, quality, and design. Whilst this history is recognised unconsciously as part of design’s cultural milieu, it is often an untold story for some of Australia’s very best product design and manufacturing companies. We were so inspired by and in awe of the story behind one of our favorite tap-ware and bathroom companies, Sussex that is made us love their products even more. First off, there are very few manufacturing companies which still exist in Australia which create top-of-the-line designer products – however this is where we often find most of our favorite designs. Australian companies understand how Australians live and make products which are functional, beautiful, and high quality. Sussex was founded in Australia by watch and jewelry maker, turned tap-maker Nicolaas Johannes van Putten who arrived in Australia in the 1960’s. Today the company is run by Nicolaas’s daughter, Vanessa Katsanevakis and her husband George, this dynamic new generation are bringing customisation and the expression of individual tastes to the high-end bathroom market, constantly moving towards innovation and design excellence. The brand champions that imagination is at the centre of everything that they do – searching for the ultimate example of aesthetic perfection and celebrating the tactile pleasure of metal. Our sister brand The Designory have been huge fans of the brand, and most notably the Calibre Collection using it in the Bronte House project. It is clear when seeing these taps installed that they extend upon Nicks legacy as a jeweller, becoming the literal jewelry of the bathroom. What is unknown by many is Sussex’s level of true customisation that they offer across their range – meaning that you can match your hardware to any design you have in mind. You can mix colours and finishes, match paint swatches and even combine individual components with different finishes exactly as you please – creating a signature look which only you will have! Raw brass, electroplating and paint finishes provide almost infinite variation. Users can choose a classic chrome finish, brushed textures, raw metal for a living patina that will continue to evolve, electroplated effects or the bold range of colours available with a paint finish. One thing we know for sure having renovated over 80 houses ourselves is that often the products on the market don’t always work with the design you have in mind. Sometimes it all comes down to a few millimeters and the product you wanted to use needs to be scrapped as it won’t reach, is too big, too small – the list goes on…. This age-old problem is swiftly alleviated with Sussex so that you don’t need to compromise your vision – consultations can easily be made from Sussex’s Melbourne design studio to customise their products to your specifications and needs. Where else do you have that kind of flexibility with a high-end designer product?! Sussex is a true local company, with its own foundry and manufacturing workshop in Melbourne. Each piece of tapware begins as a solid block of sustainability recycled brass, then passes through a six-phase process conducted with the closest care and attention. Nothing less than perfection will suffice; the tiniest flaw will lead to a component being rejected. At Ayana House, we were so thrilled to use the Calibre Collection in…. wait for it… living brass! This finish will ultimately patina with age, creating a completely natural and bespoke finish unlike anything we have used in a bathroom before. We are so in love with the look of the bathroom already – the living brass finish helps to warm the space but unlike a sealed brass it gives a more relaxed modern feel – embracing the natural patina and imperfection of the base metal itself.