Elisabetta Rizzato
My name is Elisabetta and on-line I am known as the voice of the pink puppy @italianbark. In real life, I am an architect specialized in interior design. I am a fan of graphic arts, the Web, and photography. I travel often and I share my discoveries on the virtual pages of ITALIANBARK. 
Time to read 15 minutes

Let us clarify what design is

What is Design?

The literal definition is: “Preparation of preliminary plans that summarize function and appearance starting from a basic concept”.


What is Design to me?

Design is a concept that meets a requirement, both functional and artistic. On one hand it is the product of aspiration and on the other a product of engineering. It is something that never becomes unfashionable: it becomes part of the present but with a clear vision of the future. 


“I got to know Novellini first hand during the company’s celebrations of its 50th anniversary. The idea that this company had never left its city of origin (beautiful Mantua) and yet produces inspirational shower cubicles installed around the world, with the idea sharing the beauty of Italy in terms of interior décor and design with the rest of the world, could only fascinate an architect/blogger who has called her blog ITALIANBARK” 


Novellini is truly Made in Italy, completely, from the initial design phases to the final stages production “Cradle to Grave” / “Conception to Production.


”In fact, the company has chosen to work with two Italian Design professionals: Massimo Farinatti (architect), creator of the Divina tubs, and Marco Pellici (designer), creator of the Eon and Gala shower cubicles, Vanity and the Dress shower columns.

novellini design box 2013
A sketch by Marco Pellici, designer of the Eon and Gala shower cubicles and the Vanity and Dress show columns

Today, I want to discuss these creations, and more!


The designer bath:

minimal clean lines

The Divina bath can be customized with six wood effect finishes to coordinate with Iotti bathroom furniture

I noticed the Divina bath, in its standard rectangular version with wood-like finish and generous proportions, as soon as I entered the company showroom. It is impossible not to notice this bath with its simple lines, a perfectly defined object with lines that enclose all of the functions of a high-quality product (you can learn more about them here) and is also larger and deeper than usual bath dimensions for luxurious bathing. Also features a true floor mounted mixer that stands out in the center of the room.


The designers description:

“With Divina I created a minimalist experience, eliminating everything that was unnecessary, not simplifying; rather, searching for the essential. […] incremental subtraction, removing the unnecessary to create a more captivating experience. In my opinion, it is a new way of understanding personal intimate space.” cit. Massimo Farinatti


Then I discovered that Divina's side panels could be customized… This just shows Novellini’s search for beauty does not stop with the individual design object; rather, it expands to the other elements in the bathroom. Therefore it possible to customize the Divina bath with different side panel finishes, made using brand-new environmentally friendly PVC free materials, which coordinate with the bathroom furnishings.


In fact, the company from Mantua has established a partnership with lotti, a bathroom furnishing company, offering a series of interior design elements with the same PVC-free finish as the Divina bath, to perfectly compliment each other. The result is a clean, contemporary room that “never goes out of style”.

I must insist on the aspect of never going out of style because to me, it is one of the characteristics of a design object, that makes a design product a long-term investment. To me, design blends with current trends without being a slave to them. It is like a handbag that you can use now and in ten years, which is never out of place (women will understand this well!). 


The same materials are available for the other Novellini baths, like the Sense and Iris, the easy-access whirlpool bath. Specifically, there are six different finishes: glossy white, matt white, textured white, grain, Burlington, and Wengé.



Designer shower columns:

beauty combined with engineering

The new Vanity and Dress shower columns, both designed by Marco Pellici

Forget about classic shower columns: Vanity and Dress are real design sculptures.


Both by Marco Pellici, they feature sleek lines and in-depth materials research, using quality materials and having the ability to coordinate.


Initially I described design as the search for beauty that accompanies engineering… In my opinion a Designer is in part also an Engineer, it may be strange to say so but that is how it is for me.

To give shape to an idea, a concept, you must know the materials and their potential, inside out. An object that is drawn remains on paper. An object rationalized from the very first phase of its creation to the final phase of production can become a design object.

At times, it is a question of having the intuition of applying a specific material or production process that normally would not belong in that setting.


For example, take the Vanity shower column: Basically, it is a bent, welded, powder coated metal sheet that comes from the same production process... as a car :)


Baths become showers:

shape that responds to needs

Revolution in the version with compartment for washing machine and laundry basket

Design to me?

A concept that answers a simple daily need and takes shape thanks to creation, design and construction.  


When I saw this shower with the integrated washing machine compartment, I immediately thought how brilliant it was in its simplicity. 


Looking into it, I discovered that Revolution is another Marco Pellici creation, which arises as the solution to replace a bathtub with a fully-fitted shower cubicle (you have no idea how much I need this:  in my house, there is the classic 1990s tub that I use for a shower, definitely not comfortable nor beautiful!).

Not just that: the Revolution system maximizes the use of the available space, positioning a practical bathroom cabinet next to the shower cubicle, perfect for housing the washing machine or drier, or to be used as a compartment for your bath needs. 


It is a design solution for the real need to use bathroom space better, which in today’s home is getting smaller and smaller. In fact, we designers tend to give other spaces in the home more room, such as the livingroom, “steeling” square meters from the bathroom. 


Often, in just a few square meters, bathrooms must also house the washing machine, a mandatory appliance in any home today, but that is not that pretty, to tell the truth.


The designer shower tray:

or design is in the details

There is another aspect that I have not talked about, but that in my opinion is key to design: the attention to detail. 


In a design object, nothing is left to chance and, if it is even partially true that the details can be seen only by the best trained eyes (and those who are a bit obsessed like me), then I can assure you that it is the combination of details that make the difference. Just like there are details that are neglected by most that in reality are very important too, generally speaking.


For example, consider a shower tray: It is one of those things that usually take second place to the cubicle, as they are less cumbersome visually and not at “eye height” Nevertheless, the shower tray is an integral part of the architecture of the bathroom, given that it is physically set in the floor of the bathroom, above the screen instead of the final finishing layer of the tiles. Basically, choosing the wrong shower tray can become a big problem.

The detail that makes the difference is how the shower tray fits into the floor: you can play continuity with it between the shower tray and the floor, seeking for perfect fit between the two elements, or a visual separation of the one from the other.


In NOVOSOLID Novellini offers a uniquely designed product for any solution. A shower tray that can be adjusted on its length up to 9 cm and on the width, 4 cm, allowing it to integrate perfectly in the available space.

NOVOSOLID: The new generation of shower trays

It can be used both flush to the floor or for the elevated solution, thanks to adjustable feet. This is possible as the NovoSolid shower tray is made from an innovative material, 75% of which comes from a natural material with origins in Dolomite marble and the remainder is a special coating of protective resin.


It is a thin material, very pleasant to touch… so much so that the brochure includes two real samples of the material, ready to be touched.


Because design does not only involve the eyes, but also touch, smell and who knows, even sound and at times also taste… Now, rather than clarify what design is, I have only added to your confusion ;)