May 12th, 2022
New in 2022: The James Collection
We’ve been living in a “new normal” for about two years now, so for 2022, Watermark Designs wants to deliver something a little different — and certainly not the norm. We’re thrilled to announce the James collection for kitchen and bath, our newest debut for 2022.
This bold and sophisticated design is a result of close collaboration with one of today’s most talented architects. We think you’ll agree that the time, talent and effort that went into product development has certainly paid off.
Designer Spotlight: Barry Goralnick
Barry Goralnick is a renowned interior designer and accomplished architect, based in New York, and is known for his impactful interiors and eclectic design. As a young architect, he worked with Robert AM Stern and Wayne Berg before eventually opening his own firm. Since then, Goralnick’s team has overseen residential and commercial projects across the globe.
Goralnick’s work is influenced by history, art and industrial design, and he’s known most for his trademarked Blended Modern design.
His sweet spot for residential design is in the kitchen and bath. “My favorite things to design are kitchens and bathrooms,” says Goralnick, “because every trade comes together there - the tilers, electricians, cabinetmakers and plumbers. It’s like creating a laboratory for the home. It has to function as well as be elegant.”
Goralnick’s team was hired in 2020 to renovate public spaces in The St. James, a historic office building in the NoMad neighborhood of New York. This project opened up the opportunity for new bathroom designs and allowed Goralnick to explore designing his first plumbing fixtures.
“I’ve always wanted to design plumbing and started a dialogue with Watermark,” says Goralnick. The two formed an exceptional team.
Diving Into the Design Process
Goralnick’s design process often involves collaboration, and he knew that he wanted a partnership with Watermark Designs for the office bathroom project. “The architect part of me loves nuts and bolts and the pieces of hardware,” he says. He began to develop his ideas for a fresh take on the classic building’s new design.
“I start everything with hand sketching, which is rare nowadays,” explains Goralnick. The sketches provided direction for the development of the product design.
Using his signature style, Goralnick redesigned the bathrooms of the historic building, combining an industrial look and his own distinctive flair. “It’s a neo-classical building from 1896,” says Goralnick. “My reorganization of the space created perfect unisex rooms, made modern with my sensibilities.”
Part of Goralnick’s product development included modeling, and he used 3D-printed metal prototypes to help bring his idea to life. He referenced design elements of the St. James to inspire details in the updated look. “I reimagined the rosettes from the ceilings as gears, which became a motif for the rooms and fixtures,” he explains.
From there, the spout design and finishes were refined further, and the black and brass samples caught the team’s eye.
“Props to the team at Watermark,” says Goralnick. “We started, and they flew with it, with different renderings, finish options — and it was really, really smooth. It was a true melding of minds; they made the realization of my designs feel almost inevitable.”
For this project, the spout was simplified and the bathrooms were finished with a touch-free faucet option to meet today’s safety and health standards for public space.
Finishing the Design
The last iteration of the James collection was finalized for production and includes a variety of spout, handle and finish options. “Overall, it took about a year to develop,” explains Goralnick.
Many might assume Goralnick named this collection after the historic St. James, but it’s actually named for his father, James, a DIY enthusiast.
“My father was a DIYer and not a good one,” jokes Goralnick. “But he loved puttering with projects. To this day, I still use some of his tools from many decades ago. I think he would really love this collection.”
Goralnick’s work has been awarded Best Product Design from the ARTS Awards, which includes recognition of this new collection. He is also a recipient of the “Innovation In Design Award” from Cottages & Gardens and is a “Best of Year” Winner for Product Design from Interior Design. You can learn more about his firm’s work here.