When it comes to water accessories, more and more consumers want the whole package. As Rohl points out, “Consumers want it all when it comes to the function of the kitchen sink. The only limitations have been space.” But while more is usually viewed as better at the sink station, style concerns can also impact accessory choices, as consumers are increasingly seeking a fully coordinated look. That means they may pass on certain extras if they can’t find something they feel truly complements the overall design.
For that reason accessories must be as up-to-speed aesthetically speaking as the high-end sinks and faucets they adorn. As Detgen says, “Consistent styling and finishes across the entire water station are critical in order to stay true to the décor that is being created.”
Burhans agrees: “We try to develop accessories that complement each other, giving people a chance to match styles and colors across the board.”
So what are the most popular accessories at the sink station? Pull-out/pull-down sprays are high on the list of desired water accessories, while pot filler faucets over the cooktop are gaining in popularity. Soap dispensers are a frequent choice, as well.
Manufacturers also consistently cited water filtration systems as an absolute “must-have” addition to the faucet area. The reason for this is simple: Today’s consumers are increasingly health and safety conscious, and they’re willing to pay extra to ensure their family’s overall well being.
“We want to know that what we are drinking is pure, and water purification systems give us this assurance,” says Webster.
Morse agrees, adding that consumers also like the savings benefit.
“It’s giving consumers access to bottle-quality water at an affordable price,” she concludes.
Dealers See Growing Interest in Sinks and Faucets That Offer Easy Maintenance, Contemporary Style
When it comes to hot trends in kitchen sinks and faucets, “the need to have maintenance simplified is more important than ever, and, as a result, products are being developed – whether it’s the finish or the design – that answers that need,” says Julie DeJardin, owner of DeJardin Design in Portland, OR.
Peter Collins, kitchen and bath designer for Alure Home Improvements in Plainview, NY concurs. “One can see our changing lifestyle by our choice in practical, easy-maintenance plumbing wares.”
Designers surveyed by KBDN all say they are seeing a great demand for undermounted sinks, in either D-shaped or rectangular bowls. This style works well with today’s popular larger sinks because the undermount style helps to minimize the sense of bulk, according to DeJardin. She notes, “Regardless of the size of your sink, its size is dwarfed by the fact that it’s mounted underneath solid stone so it doesn’t appear to dominate the overall look.”
DeJardin and Collins still see quite a demand for stainless steel sinks, but Sally Ann Sullivan, owner of Showcase Kitchens and Baths, in Tulsa, OK says she rarely sees them now. The greater interest in her region is in granite, which she says she prefers because “size is no issue, and there is no interruption of materials, shapes and color on the horizontal plane when the sink matches the counter surface.”
Contemporary styling, too, seems to be gaining in popularity, designers say. “In the Midwest, we have been quite conservative and more traditional in taste. That’s beginning to change,” says Sullivan.
Collins is also seeing a rise in contemporary styling, especially evident in faucet selection, he reports. “Because of the sculptural characteristics of faucetry, one can choose a style of smooth, clean lines in a brushed nickel finish for an industrial look, or a style reminiscent of an old water pump in an oil-rubbed bronze finish.”
Sullivan adds: “The more ‘artistic’ the faucet design, the more interest it seems to generate in the new move toward cleaner lines.” She is seeing polished chrome as the finish favorite, but brushed nickel is the “tried and true.”
DeJardin notes that the faucet, much like cabinet hardware, can act as an artistic accent, and designers are increasingly using this to create a subtle design statement within the overall design. Satin nickel and chrome are the most popular finishes in her region, she adds.