Let’s face it, up until recently, most folks were lukewarm about selecting their bathroom sink. After all, there are so many exciting things to think about during a bathroom remodeling project – luxurious soaking tubs, impressive waterfall showers, gorgeous tiles, high-tech touches like television screens built into mirrors and heated tile floors – that somehow, the sink and faucet seemed like an afterthought. That’s no longer the case, as bold designs and innovative materials are elevating these once humble fixtures into the new stars of the show.
What are these new styles? While traditional is still king, across the board, transitional designs are gaining a strong foothold. Equally at home in contemporary or classic homes, these designs give an unexpected edge to traditional décor or a touch of warmth to modern interiors. Graceful curves and rounded edges give a sleek look to these sinks and faucets yet soften the hard lines often associated with contemporary pieces.
Porcelain is still a favored choice for sinks, thanks to its durability and design flexibility. Advances in ceramic technology have allowed sinks to be thinner with more defined edges. At the same time, thicker styles in natural materials create a show-stopping statement – particularly when crafted of materials that have a more organic feel, like textured glass, natural stone and quartz, and even hand-hammered copper.
When it comes to faucets, polished nickel finishes are becoming an appealing alternative to chrome, since they convey that warmer, more spa-like feel. That’s also evident in growing demand for variations of dark bronze and brass, with designers requesting unlacquered “living brass” finishes that will patina over time.
While designs are unquestionably elegant, some consumers are looking for a touch of bling. Turning heads at this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show were faucets in bright or satin gold finishes and even crystal-studded models. While these extremes may not be at home in everyone’s house, the touch of whimsy they display and the idea that you can have safely depart from basic white porcelain and polished chrome to have fun with your selections is a welcome change toward better design.