Sometimes a fleeting moment of relaxation is all we need. What better way to unwind than losing the sense of time whilst soaking in an indulging hot bath? Bathing is an ancient sensory ritual – a simple way to slow down and take a break from the daily hustle. In Estonia, KHIS Design bathtubs are here to transform your bathing experience in a natural way. Their custom-made wood baths are a unique staple - a subtle statement piece to complement your cosy indoors solutions. We sat down with Frants Seer, the founder of KHIS Design Baths, and touched upon slow living from a slightly different perspective.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
How did the journey of KHIS begin? Did you background direct you in any way?
One’s scholarly background is often boring. I always like to say that I have learned mountain-skiing, which is a great passion of mine. KHIS actually stems from my personal interest in woodcraft. That’s how and why I learned. I honestly became a designer overnight. I began to build myself a home and there it all began.
How did you come to this idea of creating high-quality wooden baths?
As I mentioned, I was building my home and I really wanted such a bath in it. From that personal desire, or need, we created the first prototype. We put a lot of hard work into creating [the first bathtub], so that it made sense to me to make something bigger out of it. Despite there being other wood-bath manufacturers around the world, such technological solutions [like ours] don’t exist elsewhere. But again, we did put a lot of effort into achieving this durable product.
"One’s scholarly background is often boring. I always like to say that I have learned mountain-skiing, which is a great passion of mine."
We support environmentally conscious consumption. How does KHIS follow the principles of sustainable design?
Now, I’m not 100% sure, but I believe sustainable design means that you have something that’s consumer-friendly, durable, and made out of a renewable resource. That’s what we have tried to follow as well - to create something that lasts for decades and is of the best quality. We use thermally-processed Nordic ash. In addition, the post-processing finish is natural, either with natural linen seed oil or hot waxing. .
What’s your idea of design?
Less is more. Similarly to Nordic design, the less you use to make the most practical product you can - that’s the key. Of course, my tastes have changed over time. I often worked with antique furniture, because of the environment the building or apartment is surrounded by. But now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m dreaming of a self-sustainable house with glass walls somewhere remote in the middle of the woods.
"Similarly to Nordic design, the less you use to make the most practical product you can – that’s the key."
Who or what is KHIS?
For us, it means the feeling you get when you come into contact with wood. When your skin touches that naturally finished wood surface - it creates a sense of warmth. Naturally, it took a while before we settled for a specific name. We were looking for something short, yet memorable. It comes from the word ‘kiss’, as you might be able to tell. Our bath models actually refer to it as well - First Khis, Eternal Khis, Natural Khis. It just felt right and it stuck with us.
Bathing is all about the sensory experience. I, for example, love to listen to relaxing music when taking a bath. If KHIS baths could play music, what would the play?
I have actually thought about this before. It has to be classical music. Like ‘Four Seasons’ by Vivaldi. That’s how I imagine it at least.
Finally, let’s dream a little. What are your dreams for 2017?
You know, this year has kicked off well. I think we will look into expanding our sales to China and other parts of Asia. Hopefully that will work out.