an assortment of the Chromablock faucet taps in various colors

Wood Melbourne Brings Postmodern Pop to the Bathroom

Olive-tinged Dirty Martini pairs especially well with retro-pink Boiled Prawn—which is the entire point of Chromablock, Aussie bath fitting brand Wood Melbourne’s evocatively hued (and titled) resin faucet handles. The collection’s 12 shades and two shapes—cubical Corbu and cylindrical Kahn—are designed to comingle on sinks, tubs, and showers. The mix-or-match taps are the brainchild of New York–based, New Zealand–bred Georgina McWhirter, a lover of slightly warped color combos and (did we mention?!) an Interior Design editor whose influences range from William Eggleston photography to the Memphis Group to grunge makeup artistry. “I see makeup as akin to art supplies,” she explains, “and my imagination is sparked by Lisa Eldridge’s brilliantly formulated lipstick hues and MAC’s Terry Barber, famous for his subversive eyes.”

Efforts to makeover her rental apartment’s blah bath inspired McWhirter to prototype colorful faucet handles using nail polish (natch) on wood shapes—yielding plaudits from houseguests and the encouragement to approach Wood Melbourne founder Oliver MacLatchy, an artisan unafraid of bringing unexpected materials to wet zones (think timber tub spouts and terrazzo lav sets). After a protracted R&D phase involving buildout of a temperature-controlled production space (“resin is incredibly finicky, even one or two degrees will make or break a mix” notes MacLatchy), and countless pigment test blends, graphically charged Chromablock is now available globally by custom order.

Pair the shapely geometric handles with any of the company’s faucets and backplates, or mount flush to the sink or wall. The dozen hues range from the palest shade, buttercream yellow Crème Brulee, to deep gray Footpath (the Antipodean term for pavement). Rounding out the mix is orange-red Hot Sauce, mustard Fetid, pale lilac Fervid, blue-gray Inclement, green-around-the-gills Pistachio, terracotta Burnt Clay, dirty pink Boiled Prawn, maroon Red Velvet, and ultramarine For Yves (after Klein, of course).

A Closer Look at Wood Melbourne’s Edgy Cool Faucet Handles

an assorted collection of the Chromablock faucet handles
Chromablock, a collection of cast resin faucet handles by Georgina McWhirter for Wood Melbourne.
light lilac faucet handles on a yellow-green wall
Kahn tap handles in Fervid, a light lilac.
Chromablock faucet handles in a blue-gray color above a red sink
Kahn faucet handles in Inclement, a blue-gray.
Oliver McLatchy of Wood Melbourne at his studio
Wood Melbourne founder Oliver McLathcy at his studio in Melbourne, Australia, where the taps are made to order.
pink and green faucet handles on a concrete backplate
Kahn in Boiled Prawn and Pistachio on Wood Melbourne’s concrete backplate with aged brass Cape Barren spout.
a blue cube shaped faucet handle in Wood Melbourne's new collection
Corbu in For Yves.
the Kahn tap handle in pistachio
Kahn in Pistachio.
purple and brown-green faucet handles above a concrete sink
Fervid and Fetid colorways are paried with a timber backplate and brass Cape Barren faucet.
a green cylindrical faucet tap next to a matching green cube one
Pair Corbu and Kahn in geometric juxtaposition.
eyeshadow that resembles the color of baked beans above eyeshadow that resembles a green sink
Makeup artist Terry Barber served as inspo.
Chromablock faucet handles in Dirty Martini and Pistachio
Dirty Martini and Pistachio colorways.
Chromablock co-designer Georgina McWhirter with her dog, Dobby
Chromablock co-designer Georgina McWhirter.
a rainbow of faucet handles in cubes and rounded cylinders
Round Kahn and cubic Corbu are in inspired by Louis Kahn and Le Corbusier’s respective love of round voids and square grids.
cups of paint as part of a color tests
Color tests.
a checkerboard sink with Chromablock faucet handles above it
Wood Melbourne's Chromablock faucet handles atop acrylic bases
Chromablock from Wood Melbourne and Georgina McWhirter.
an assortment of the Chromablock faucet taps in various colors

read more

recent stories