Beauty and functionality make an ideal team in many areas, but nowhere more so than in the bath. Whether kitchen and bath designers are creating a master bath, guest bath or powder room, the marriage of these two ideas is critical to the space’s overall design.
As such, the sink and faucet are gaining greater importance in the bath, and designers should take note of the evolution of these products in order to stay ahead of the curve. Cleaner, more modern looks, updated sink shapes and decorative options, darker faucet finishes and environmentally responsible products are among the hottest trends being cited by manufacturers recently interviewed by Kitchen & Bath Design News.
“While 80 percent of homes in America are traditional, we’re seeing certain geographical areas demanding more transitional and contemporary designs,” explains Lou Rohl, COO and managing partner for Rohl LLC in Irvine, CA.
“Contemporary designs and more contemporary-leaning transitional designs are outgrowing the demand for traditional designs by big strides,” Jason McClain, marketing communications manager for Alpharetta, GA-based Hansgrohe, reports.
Al DeGenova, director of marketing communications and training for Grohe America, agrees: “There is a steadily growing interest and demand – especially from cosmopolitan urban centers – for European minimalism.”
“Minimal modern is increasing in popularity, which is being driven significantly by urban high-rise condo developments and younger homeowners who identify largely with contemporary looks,” he adds.
However, it is also imperative that the product retains a sense of warmth, no matter how contemporary or sleek its design, stresses Eric Moore, interior designer for Kohler, WI-based Kohler Co.
The widening of styles has led to an increase in available product options, including more luxury items, which provides the ability to make a bold statement in the bath.
“Consumers are looking for that one unique piece that create the ‘wow’ factor for their space,” reports Kathleen Sarniak, president and COO for Jeanette, PA-based JSG Oceana.
Beauty and Function
A major factor in choosing the right sink and faucet for a bath is the type of bath it is, and what its function is going to be. The master and guest/family baths continue to be rooms where function is primary and beauty of secondary importance, as opposed to the powder room, where function takes a significant back seat to the overall look.
“People tend to be ‘bolder’ in the powder room with their product choices,” states Mike Wurth, director of design for Danze, Inc. in Woodridge, IL. “This seems to be a room where people feel free to take risks, while the master bath is more about high function and spa-like extras.”
The master bath is often designed with two sinks – a “his” and “hers” – sometimes in two separate areas of the room. The trend here is also toward larger sinks, again with a nod to function.
“The larger space available in the master bath allows for more of an overall design statement,” notes Rob Muller, director of marketing for San Luis Obispo, CA-based Native Trails. “The size of sinks varies with the available space in the bath.”
“In powder rooms, we’re continuing to see interest in textures and designs that make a bold statement,” confirms Muller.
“For instance, we’ve brought the apron front sink, which is usually found in the kitchen, into the bath with our new Calypso sink. It can serve as a focal point for a smaller space.”
The vessel sink is gaining in popularity for all the baths in the house, as its design becomes more functional and its presentation more striking.
Toto USA’s new Kiwami Collection of vessel lavatories fits this idea, and works well in any number of bath designs, according to Lenora Campos, spokesperson for Morrow, GA-based TOTO USA.