Water accessories are also becoming more aesthetically pleasing, designers report, as consumers demand a “designer package” with every element of the kitchen contributing to that overall designer look. For that reason, pull-out sprays that are included in the spout of the faucet and water filtration systems that are either under the sink or designed to match the faucets are getting a designer overhaul, with fully coordinated designs and finishes, so there’s nothing jarring to break up the line of the sink station.
“The fact that faucet companies are now designing water filtration systems to match the design of the faucet versus some of the more utilitarian looks makes it much more complementary,” says DeJardin.
As for the trend toward designer-name faucets, the design community seems split about what consumer response will be. While all agree that a beautiful, well-designed faucet will sell based on its merits, not everyone is convinced that a designer name will add value. As Collins says, “Designer names may sell jeans and handbags, but most plumbing-ware purchasers seek reliable manufacturers [as their top priority].” He adds: “I’m sure one could live a little easier with a scuff on their Gucci shoe rather than the constant drip of a leaky faucet.”
Kitchen Sink and Faucet Trends at a Glance
- Diversity and personalization are key consumer concerns in the kitchen, and, as such, today’s kitchen sinks and faucets must allow consumers to express their unique style – without sacrificing high performance standards.
- Durability and convenience are important trends, as consumers increasingly try to simplify their lives with products that are attractive, yet also long-lasting and easy to maintain.
- Suppliers are seeing an overwhelming demand for undermounted sinks, as they make clean up easy, with no rims to collect bacteria and dirt. Additionally, these allow for the clean line of the countertop to remain unbroken, ensuring a more stream-lined appearance.
- Stainless steel is still in high demand, and designers and manufacturers expect this to continue indefinitely. Interest is also growing in solid surface sinks, which can create a natural flow from the countertop to sink.
- Large, deep, single-bowl sinks are gaining in popularity as the primary sink because these will easily handle oversized roasting pans or cookie sheets that won’t fit in the dishwasher.
- Secondary sinks are still on the rise – and sometimes designers are even putting three sinks in a kitchen to create multiple “satellite” work spaces or zones for the multi-cook family.
- Water filtration, pull-out/pull-down sprays and pot filler faucets are among the most popular kitchen accessories, and these accessories are becoming more sophisticated in design to ensure a seamless look.
- Faucet designs and finishes are more diverse than ever, with a “style for any choice,” providing designers with another great way to personalize their clients’ kitchens.
NPD Study Cites Stainless, Chrome as Top Finishes
Stainless steel remains the hottest pick for kitchen sinks, while chrome remains the most popular kitchen faucet finish. That’s according to data from NPD Houseworld, a division of The NPD Group, Inc., a Port Washington, NY-based research group. NPD Houseworld is focused on tracking the appliance, housewares, home improvement and home textiles market.
It found that between January and December of 2005, 9.3 million kitchen faucets and 2.9 million kitchen sinks, totalling $740.2 million and $595.5 million respectively, were sold in the U.S.
In faucets, top finish choices among households earning more than $75,000 per year were chrome, stainless steel/nickel and brushed steel/nickel/aluminum. In sinks, stainless was the clear favorite, followed by “other” (which might encompass solid surface, quartzite, natural stone, etc.), porcelain and acrylic.
1. Kohler Co.’s D-bowl family of Undertone stainless steel kitchen sinks includes 10 sink configurations, including a large single basin, a medium single basin, two offset double basins, two high-low basins, a triple basin and two small basins.
2. This wall-mounted sink from Concrete Encounter, LLC is made of solid concrete that’s sealed with the firm’s Super Seal. It features a slot drain in charcoal.
3. Stainless steel sink-bottom grids from Wells Sinkware are available in four colors: white, chrome, blue and red.
4. The Woodmere pull-down kitchen faucet from ShowHouse by Moen offers a ‘pause’ button that halts water flow from the wand without turning off the water source.