KHIS Design Baths: A More Natural, Luxury Bathing Experience

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

Frants Seer, founder of KHIS, 2017. 

Frants Seer, founder of KHIS, 2017. 

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."

'Eternal KHIS' wooden bathtub.

'Eternal KHIS' wooden bathtub.

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.

http://www.khisbath.com/

HIIS Design Furniture: Interior Solutions with an Eternal Stamp

Looking for something to light up your interior design dreams? Something timeless, yet modern? Something bold, yet subtle? Estonia-based HIIS Design furniture stunned us with their effortlessly elegant design furniture made sustainably, with a dash of care and love. To shed light on HIIS Design’s innovative creations, young furniture maker Tõnis-Sander Maarits opened us a door to his creative workshop...

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

What’s your personal take on furniture? What makes a piece of furniture excellent?

The attractive outline, not only at the shop or in pictures, but in the interior where it’s used. Comfort and simplicity, while having down-to-the-tiny-detail design and quality combined, make a piece of furniture a great one. Something made from heart is not just another piece of furniture, but creates an exquisite experience in a room. Take a table, for example – it’s not just some thing to sit and dine at, but it creates a heartwarming shared experience with your friends and family. Good design can help enhance that feeling. 

How does HIIS Design apply ethical practises in your workshop? What’s particularly important for you?

The most important thing in furniture manufacturing is that quality and timeless design [are there]. When a design piece lasts you ages, fitting in with the old and the new, it becomes an environmentally sustainable piece. HIIS Design is for someone who values quality and wants an enduring piece of furniture to bring into their interior that lasts for years. We aim to create furniture that can be the anchor-point in a room, around which you can design everything else. 

As wood production can be harmful for our environment, we make sure to use FSC certified wood as our resource. For Hiis Design, it’s of high importance we use consciously produced wood to ensure forests lasts for future generations. That also reflects in our name (’hiis’ in Estonian translates to ’ancient grove’).

"We aim to create furniture that can be the anchor-point in a room, around which you can design everything else."

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

Is there a personal story… how did HIIS Design come to be?

As a young boy, I used to make ships and other toys in my father’s wood workshop, hammer and chisel in hand. When I was 13, we moved to a new house and I didn’t have any furniture in my new room. That’s when I decided to design and make my own furniture. I made a pretty good bed, which gave me more drive to build other things, like a closet. Every summer I used to earn pocket money from furniture making and restoration. At first, in 2013, fresh out of university, I started my own custom-made furniture workshop, but I always felt like it was not enough for me to build things designed by other people. I began to experiment more with my own designs and one thing led to another, as they say. In spring 2016, HIIS Design was brought to life. 

“Take a table, for example – it’s not just some thing to sit and dine at, but it creates a heartwarming shared experience with your friends and family. Good design can help enhance that feeling.”

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

HIIS Design furniture, 2016. 

With regards to environmental protection, how do you imagine the future of furniture design?

Endurance is what makes furniture environmentally friendly. An oak table will last generations, unlike a cheap mass produced equivalent from melamine. A toxin-rich piece of furniture will last 10 years at most. But an oak table will last you until a new, baby-oak is growing, reducing environmental damage. More materials will be used, of course, and a lot of new solutions to battle space deficiency. However, we must not undermine natural materials and living in harmony with nature. I find that people are starting to value earthiness and natural things even more [in furniture design]. Families with kids, especially, want to be able to make more sustainable choices when choosing products for their homes. 

If your brand has a soundtrack, then what would it be like and why? 

The first song that popped up in my head was ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC. Probably because I often listen to that song, when I start my day at the workshop. It creates a nice energy and gets you going for the day. But that’s only a small part of our brand. HIIS Design’s soundtrack would be ‘Spiegel im spiegel’ by Arvo Pärt (Grammy-winning Estonian composer), because when I listen to that piece I find myself in a powerful state of creativity. As the title suggests, a mirror against a mirror reflects into infinity, the same way inspiration has no boundaries. 

"A mirror against a mirror reflects into infinity, the same way inspiration has no boundaries."

Where do you draw inspiration from for new pieces?

Inspiration can strike at any moment, which is why I always carry a notebook along. Even a quick sketch right there in the moment can be a life-saver of a striking flash-idea. I feel like inspiration is deep inside of us, piling up in our sub-conscience since childhood, and is often brought onto the surface again by some small trigger in our adulthood. It’s important to capture those moments and know how to fuel them. I like to get my creativity flowing by going through old books, magazines and websites. Other times, I draw inspiration when watching a movie or a TV show – like Mad Men, where the 60s American-style surroundings can fire up some great memories.

http://www.hiisdesign.com/