True to LifeWe’ve talked about compact living room/bedroom contraptions in this space before, and with apartments seeming to get smaller by the day the subject is never less than timely. Having a queen-sized Murphy bed and wall-spanning shelving unit in one cleverly spinning piece is great, but once again you need enough space to move around in. What if you don’t even have that, or you’re using a building’s unit for multiple purposes — home, office, studio, party venue? Hey, it could happen.

New to the interiors landscape is New Yorkbased TrueLiving, not so much a straight ahead brand or label as a community of designers from around the world with the singular aim of “carefully examining the definition and redefinition of luxury and living within each new invention [and] exploring the very essence of inspiration of our relationship with objects and why it matters,” as True itself describes itself. If you ever felt like you needed vindication for your desire to put a washbasin in the middle of the so-called living room, True can help. They don’t think that’s odd at all.

To that end, TrueLiving’s first concept is a collaboration with designer Tony Chi and Associates (Mandarin Oriental Miami’s Azul, Spoon Hong Kong) and Hong Kong’s BSC Group (the brain behind home design stalwart Colour Living). Very simply it’s a reexamination of the bath, the initial steps being the Elica footbath and basin, parts in a larger series for the bath that are intended to marry art and function.

One of True’s underlying ideals is highlighting the connectivity of space and how a space’s inherently social qualities can best be exploited. That may sound odd to discuss in relation to how most of us think of the bathroom, but in the context of “evolving contemporary living, connecting the ritual of bath across cultures,” it’s not that far-fetched. The central item is the footbath, precisely because, “It’s a very Eastern idea to slow ourselves down at home. We experience life at an accelerated pace and the footbath is designed to just bring the spa function to everyday living,” explains True creative director Jessica Corr.

Along with the Elica is the Island, which Corr sees as potentially the central, defining piece of a small space. The customisable Island console incorporates electrical, data and/or plumbing components and can be augmented with any or all from among an additional eight modules — including a glass table, tower shelving, minibar, vanity block and sconce. The pieces can be mixed and matched depending on where you want or need each item, and if you have a big open loft-type space it really only comes down to your imagination. Ditto for limited space.

“The True Island is a concept that explores our everyday routines as they have evolved into common experiences and are altered by increasingly smaller urban dwellings,” notes Corr. “Our goal was to provide a central experience for socialising, refreshing, working, relaxing. The outcome offers what you need, when you need it, in a beautiful way.” Sure, maybe not everyone wants to hang out around the bathroom sink, but True’s efficient ideas do have their place in tiny Hong Kong. TrueLiving will slowly roll out more items for other specific functions as time goes by, but for now take comfort knowing someone is looking out for your tender tootsies.