Rohl has seen a renewed interest in what it calls the Transitional/American Moderné style. “Homeowners are looking for bath hardware and accessories that offer a timeless, lasting look,” says Lou Rohl, COO/managing partner for Rohl in Irvine, CA. “As a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, transitional rooms feature elegant, enduring design.”
The Finish Line
With regard to finishes in the bath, the move back to basics is translating into a return to the familiar.
“The ‘newest’ finishes are actually traditional ones,” comments David Tyler, v.p. of marketing for Top Knobs in Hillsborough, NJ.
Traditional finishes have emerged as top sellers in bathroom hardware, concurs Peele. “Polished chrome and satin nickel are examples of popular metallic finishes that can be used to coincide with any fixtures.”
Peele notes that these finishes can also easily be incorporated with a variety of leather options, such as Doug Mockett’s CPH6 Cup Holder. The mixing of materials – such as metal with leather, glass or crystal – is a significant trend in decorative hardware that is being carried over to accessories.
While the classic finishes such as chrome, nickel and satin nickel are still very popular, dark finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze are getting increasingly popular as well, according to Charles Fishman at Cool Lines USA in East Rockaway, NY.
Brodey also acknowledges the “revival of antiqued, rubbed or oiled bronze, as well as gold finishes that set a traditional tone.”
While it’s no surprise that gold tones remain popular (they have been trending up for the past two seasons, according to Parrish), the emergence of brass is a different story.
“We are seeing a trend to polished brass – much to the shock of some designers who thought we were beyond that,” says Tyler.
“Brass and bronze living finishes are making a comeback for homeowners with a conservative and classic eye,” notes Adrienne Morea, president of Atlas Homewares in Los Angeles, CA. “Still, stainless is the sustainable material of choice.”
Satin stainless steel offers a quietly sophisticated look for any bathroom, according to Peele. “With a clean and sophisticated look in mind, a streamlined satin stainless theme can go a long way in terms of style.”
In addition to satin stainless, designers are also reaching for brushed nickel. And, according to Lenora Campos, Ph.D., at Toto USA in Morrow, GA, “Polished nickel is enjoying a resurgence. Homeowners appreciate the clean look and easy maintenance of polished chrome, but are looking to move away from polished chrome itself.”
Silver, bronze and black are also in demand for mirror frames, according to Lisa Huntting, president of MirrorMate in Matthews, NC. The company’s new Cherokee brushed silver frame provides a brushed stainless look that is “extremely simple and selling well,” she notes. Huntting adds that both the burnished brown and black are hot right now. “People seem to be increasingly comfortable with bolder style,” she notes.
Parrish is also seeing a heightened interest in black – especially matte black – as well as white when it comes to hardware and accessories. “These finishes can be used to make a high-contrast statement, or to complement other fixtures in the composition of the room,” she states.
From sinks to tile, Amerock has also seen optimistic pops of color in small amounts “to create visual interest in the space. They usually become the visual focal point of the room,” reports Claire Parrish, product manager, new product development, for the Huntersville, NC-based company.
“High-gloss poly resin materials, especially whites and dramatic colors like orange and turquoise…mixed with polished chrome for a rich finish, will be all the rage coming up in hardware,” according to Morea. “This exciting and very fashionable choice will be complementary to gloss-colored faucets and tiles, which are already available in European interiors,” she states.
Interest in sustainability has continued to emerge as a hot trend. “People are using sustainable materials when they can find them, as long as they can maintain the overall planned aesthetic of the space,” says Parrish. “More and more manufacturers are developing products to give consumers value-added products in this area, and that will only continue in the future.”