A couple of weeks ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to have lunch with Barbara Sallick, owner of Waterworks. It was really nice to meet someone so inventive and to be able to pick her brain. I found sitting with her and talking woman to woman to be so delightful. As someone who focuses on creating interiors, it’s fascinating to me to speak to someone who instead focuses on creating a product. What Waterworks does is very specific, constructing items that must be precise down the the millimeter while maintaining the high standards of elegance for the product. They really must think of everything throughout this clever process.
Waterworks was founded as a plumbing supply company in 1925 by Sam Grogins, Barbara Sallick’s father. In 1978, Barbara and her husband Robert set out to bring their vision of beauty and perfect performance to a part of home design that often lacked attention. Their son Peter later joined the company and Waterworks became an industry leader with a well-deserved reputation for craftsmanship and design. With the growth of Waterworks, the company hasn’t lost its vision or mom and pop feel. They truly listen to designers and have honed in on an ideal balance of functionality and gorgeous design, inspired by history rather than trends.
What I love about Waterworks is the diverse styles they offer. They don’t just offer fittings, they offer an entire bath experience that truly has something for everyone. The Studio Line, for example, is very accessible and well done. The Henry line is designed so beautifully, with so many different facets. Honestly, I can see uses for Waterworks elements in the kitchen and beyond.
If you want to also pick Barbara’s brain about her thoughts on design you can access her excellent ideas through her blog, The Perfect Bath. Barbara is also the author of two books: The Definitive Guide to Designing the Perfect Bath (self published, 2006) as well as Waterworks: Inventing Bath Style (Clarkson Potter, 2001).