>>What’s new overseas?

Alessi FreshSurfer
Germany & Austria
Household cleaning products used to live a very functional life, hidden under the sink or in a bathroom cupboard, to be taken out, used and put back as required. Then there was the development of attractive slow-release air fresheners meant to be left on display, and the appearance of more upmarket cleaners in packaging akin to that for personal toiletries.
The design of in-bowl toilet cleaners has certainly also come a long way in the past few years, adding a degree of design even to that least glamorous of household chores. However, despite the fact that some boast sophisticated fragrances, the products remain as functional as ever and the consumer is faced with a choice only of colour and/or scent.
For the household that already owns the Alessi toaster, kettle, lemon squeezer and corkscrew, what about the Alessi toilet cleaner? Henkel, in Germany and Austria, has teamed up with the Italian designer for the latest extension to its WC Frisch toilet cleaner brand.
The Alessi FreshSurfer is a device to hang under the rim of the toilet bowl, which looks like a man riding a windsurf board, where the sail is the refill cartridge of fragranced cleaning liquid.
The designer concerned, Miriam Mirri, is named on the back of the pack in order to add a degree of authenticity to the concept and the product retails at £2.99, which is a significant premium to the regular version.
The line is available in lemon, lime and grapefruit fragrances.
Alessi has also lent its designer touch in the past to a line of liquid hand soaps in stylish teardrop-shaped bottles.
UK retail sales of bathroom accessories have grown by 67% in the past five years and slightly more than 40% of homes in the UK now have more than one bathroom, shower room or toilet.