There is almost an infinite choice of colours, finishes, materials and home comforts when it comes to designing and specifying products for our bathrooms these days  – including heated towel rails.

With over three decades in the market the form of ladder towel warmers while evolving and introducing new styles and finishes is still constrained by the basic ladder form.

One of the pioneers and leaders of heated towel rail design is Heirloom, a New Zealand owned and operated company, who can take credit for introducing Kiwis to this technology some 20 years ago. Since establishment 40 years ago, Heirloom has grown in stature to become a well known and trusted New Zealand brand, and are considered leaders in the front-of-wall bathroom product sector, or ‘bathroom fashion’, as Graham Rea, CEO of Heirloom International Ltd calls it.

Talking to ArchiPro about Heirloom’s new Strata single bar towel warmer Rea says this new range of products will give New Zealand consumers multiple options when it comes to design choices for their new bathrooms.

“We gave a lot of thought to how we were going to extend our range into this new sub-category of towel warmers,” he says. “What we have brought to the New Zealand market with Strata is the largest range of single bar towel warmers in terms of style, size and finish.”

Rea says that Strata towel warmers allow designers and homeowners the freedom to put as many or as few on the wall as they like, which gives scope for a lot more creativity and customisation. “You can make quite a feature of them, depending on how many and where they’re placed in the bathroom,” he says. “They also give an integrated look – which is in demand at the moment.”

These discrete individual bars can also blend into most décors more discretely than towel ‘ladders’, yet still add an accent or highlight – appearing to float on the wall, they add to a look rather than dominate it. Rea calls it an integrated highlight.

“You can also tailor them to fit into an available space – whereas the traditional ladder-style towel warmers have fixed dimensions. This gives more flexibility in unique areas,” he adds.

Strata towel warmers come in four styles – Strata Studio One, Strata Genesis, Strata Loft and Strata Heiko – two widths, slimline and standard (460-700mm), and two stylish finishes.

“The emerging trends are for warmer metals – rose gold, brass, copper, and antique gold – so it’s conceivable that we may introduce new finishes in the future,” says Rea. “But at the moment we have polished stainless steel and powder-coated black.”

Rea says that Heirloom also looked very closely at practical considerations, particularly the installation process, when they were developing its new Strata range.

“I believe that our mountings and our fittings are one of the easiest to install and are potentially more robust than any of the others on the market,” he says. “Also, being powered by 12 volt transformers gives it an extra degree of perceived safety over mains voltage units.” Rea, however, is quick to point out that all Heirloom products – 12 volt or mains driven – are designed, manufactured and tested to NZ standards.

Rea sees the market for the new Strata range of single bar towel warmers as wide ranging in the residential sector, be it group housing or for one-off architectural projects.

“The common theme will be the more design-focused projects,” he says. “And I see exciting new design possibilities, especially with the Loft and Heiko models, which are quite stunning. I haven’t seen anything like them on the market – the Heiko in particular, in chrome or black, looks as if they just float on the wall, and are absolutely spectacular.”

Visit Heirloom on ArchiPro here to find out more about the new Strata range, and how to create an integrated highlight in your bathroom.