When American designer Josh Owen started examining the bathroom for innovation opportunities, one thing jumped out: "It occurred to me that hardware is mostly just that: "hard," he tells Co.Design. So he set about making a collection of silicone-covered accessories for Kontextur that would be easy to install as well as soft to the touch, including a hanging line for towels or reading matter and a toilet-paper that makes changing rolls as simple as connecting two magnets (no more excuses, boys!).
Both hanging pieces are cinches to affix to the wall. The silicone construction creates its own resistance, eliminating the need for a washer or additional hardware; the wall anchors attach with one screw each. "Minimizing steps and parts is about making things better for people," Owen, an industrial-design professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, tells Co.Design. The larger towel holder is sized to accommodate an open newspaper, and an optional hook provides a place for a hanging a back brush or eyeglasses.
But the real standout is the toilet-paper holder, which creates the same rolling action as a traditional model without the awkward retractable bar. Instead, the two silicone ends release and reattach with magnets, which makes replacing TP almost fun. "Magnets are often overused for their surprise factor," Owen writes. "In this item, they give just the right amount of holding power and make the change-out of the TP roll easy and intuitive." Now, if they could only be installed in office bathrooms around the country.
The Hanging Line collection is available from Kontextur in Ferrari red, matte black, or porcelain white; $12–$35.