Leading luxury products from a number of plumbing and hardware categories recently competed for top honors in the 2018 DPHA Product of the Year awards. An independent panel of judges reviewed a selection of products for the prestigious honor, presented each year by the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association. This year’s recipients were announced at the opening breakfast of the 17th Annual DPHA Conference and Product Showcase, held at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL in October.
The awards program recognizes a product’s uniqueness, design, functionality, innovation and technological superiority. The DPHA Products of the Year were named in five separate categories: Plumbing Fixture, Water Delivery, Furniture, Hardware and Accessory.
The independent panel of judges selecting this year’s award recipients were: Mary Jo Peterson, Mary Jo Peterson Design; Eliot Sefrin, founding editor and publisher emeritus of Kitchen & Bath Design News; Nicole Weiland, project design manager for the residential division at Charleston Building and Development, a luxury custom home builder in the Chicago area; Alissa Ponchione, executive editor, Hospitality Design magazine, and Lindsay Crozier, director of interiors at Made LLC, a design build practice in New York.
In addition to the products considered for each of these categories, DPHA once again held an open forum for the selection of the Dealer’s Choice Award. All DPHA members had the opportunity to vote for the product they believe stood out as the most innovative, design forward, functional and technologically superior among the products entered into the 2017 DPHA Product of the Year competition.
The 2018 DPHA POTY award recipients are as follows:
First Place: Filtered Water in the Bath
Sigma Flo is a valve assembly available from Sigma Faucets that provides filtered water from the bath faucet. The valve assembly attaches to the cold side handle on almost any 8″ widespread lav faucet and allows the faucet to become a point-of-use, on-demand filtered water dispenser. The handle dispenses normal cold water when pulled forward but will dispense filtered water when pushed back. The assembly connects to most undercounter filter systems but does not include a water filtration system.
Honorable Mention: Articulating Kitchen Faucet
The articulating arm of Brizo’s Litze Articulating Kitchen Faucet can be moved out of the way, providing the sprayer with a full range of motion. MagneDock Technology, a magnetic docking system, securely holds the spray wand in place when not in use. The optional SmartTouch Technology allows users to activate water flow with a simple touch to the faucet body, arm or handle for ease of use.
Honorable Mention: Moonlit Spa Shower Experience
Dornbracht’s Rainmoon Rain Panel delivers an individual spa shower experience via its two newly developed flow modes and unique moonlight fixture, with the minimalist design turning the focus to the water experience itself. A dome in the ceiling forms the central element: By means of a concealed light strip inside the semi-sphere, the unit provides mood lighting while generating a feeling of infiniteness when gazing upwards, according to the company.
Honorable Mention: Multi-Functional Shower Mixer
Hansgrohe delivers enhanced functionality with its ShowerTablet 600 2-Function Exposed Shower Thermostat, with easy-to-decipher symbols for the two different spray mode options and temperature control settings. The ShowerTablet has an exposed thermostatic mixer that doubles as a large shelf for convenience. The exterior surfaces are comprised of mirrored safety glass, and the shelf is comprised of anodized aluminum available in chrome or white/chrome dual finishes.
First Place: Black Matte Framed Shower Enclosure
Inspired by the industrial look of the Roaring Twenties, Zitta’s Materia collection of shower enclosures includes matte black framed shower doors. The black aluminum strips are finished on both sides and sealed on the outside of the glass only, allowing for the application of ZittaClean treatment to the inside of the glass for ease of cleaning. A range of configurations is possible due to the framed door and panels, and the 180-degree pivoting door allows for a wide opening inside and out.
Honorable Mention: ADA-Compliant Shower Base
Fiora Shower Bases, available from AD Waters, are made from Silexpol, a proprietary material with a non-slip certification. The base features the company’s proprietary Nanobath technology, which inhibits bacteria growth, and is finished with the firm’s Metalface technology for added protection against damage and water. The shower bases can be cut to fit on-site and installed above or flush to the floor for an ADA-compliant design.
Honorable Mention: Geometric Bath Sink
Showcasing a contemporary style, Graff’s Charis sink is fashioned from the company’s Sleek-Stone – a material comprised of 75% natural dolomitic minerals bonded with resin. The company employs casting technology alongside artisanal processes to create the sink, which features a sloped basin with a subtle grid drain concealed by a decorative cover plate. The sink allows for countertop and wall-mounted installation, and is available in matte and gloss white finishes.
Honorable Mention: Classic Bath Washstand
Victoria + Albert’s Metallo 100 Washstand, designed by Meneghello Paolelli Associati, features a classic mix of brass frame plated in polished chrome and the company’s proprietary Englishcast, a composite of Volcanic Limestone and resins. The washstand features right angle tee joints that reference traditional bathroom pipework, along with a towel bar and a shelf for storage. The Metallo 100 is topped with a Victorian-inspired Lario 100 Solo basin.
First Place: Compact Floor Drain
Infinity Drain’s new patent-pending clamping floor drain has been redesigned to a more compact size, with a 3-1/4″ diameter at its narrowest part instead of a 6-1/2″ diameter. The smaller footprint of the Compact Floor Drain Body makes it easier to achieve the desired look – the linear drain directly against the shower wall with no strip of flooring material between the drain and the wall tile, notes the company. The clamping floor drain is available in cast iron, PVC and ABS.
Honorable Mention: Hidden Chromatherapy Bath System
The chromatherapy LED lights of BainUltra’s Illuzio are hidden inside the structure of the bath so they’re invisible when the system is not in operation, resulting in an inner shell that is completely intact and smooth. When activated, the oval colored lights glow through the bath’s translucent acrylic shell, providing the same therapeutic benefits as traditional chromatherapy systems, according to the company.
Honorable Mention: Steam Mood Lights
The ChromaSteam3 from MrSteam is a mood light system that uses an intuitive color wheel interface to achieve the desired output, with countless colors and combinations available at the touch of a finger. The iSteam3 can control the intensity of the light, the duration of the session, and even set the light to pulse in a gentle, rhythmic pattern or lively disco show.
First Place: Detailed Contemporary Hardware
Colonial Bronze’s Empire Collection puts a decorative spin on the concept of contemporary, minimalist hardware, delivering clean lines with the addition of subtle detailing for a more distinctive look. The radius back of the handles provides an ergonomic feel without compromising the clean look of its rectangular lines, notes the company. The collection has been certified to contain 94% pre-consumer recycled material by third-party auditor SCS Global and is available in a range of finishes in polished, satin, distressed, matte and antique versions.
Honorable Mention: Oversized Snake Pull
At 24″ long, the Double Snake pull from Lisa Jarvis Jewelry for Furniture makes a dramatic impact on doors, drawers and refrigerators. The solid brass pull’s artful engraving and textured feel delivers a sensual experience in the hand, notes the firm. Pulls can be used individually or paired on matching doors of wood or glass for a striking design statement.
Leather and Metal Hardware
The handle of the Edge Wing Scroll from Turnstyle Designs is made of bridle leather that is hand stitched to keep the metal portion secure. The hardware sits on the top edge of a drawer and, once the drawer is morticed, will sit flush. The grip finish is available in Chestnut, Chocolate, Black, Tan and Slate Grey, while the metal is offered in seven finishes, three with hand-applied patinas.
First Place: Modular Bath Pieces
Elemental is a modular concept that combines integral stone sinks, wood drawers and steel or wood shelving in unlimited combinations for the bath. The collection, available from Stone Forest, includes brass legs with knurled fittings that support the components, offered in either aged brass or polished nickel. Shown is the 24″ Elemental storage stand in aged brass with Cement Gray Wood drawer and shelves. Additional storage options include stone shelves in Carrara Marble or Antique Gray Limestone, and folded metal tray in Tuxedo Gray Metal.
Honorable Mention: Mid-Century Modern Vanity
Delivering a Midcentury Modern vibe, The Furniture Guild’s Josie vanity showcases four handmade solid brass legs and brass trim that wraps around each fully inset drawer. Metal finishes include brass finishes, polished nickel and oil can, with the vanity is offered in all standard paints and stains as well as custom paint color matches. Multiple configurations are available, in sizes ranging from 24″ to 72″.
Honorable Mention: Modern Vanity Options
Clean lines and a modular approach are the hallmarks of the Stratos vanity from Hastings Tile & Bath. Options include side cabinets, underneath storage and drawers that can be aligned or offset to the left or right or floating just above the floor, available in 35 matte or glossy colors or three wood laminate finishes. The solid surface countertops are offered in three matte or six glossy finishes.
Honorable Mention: Slim Profile Vanity
The elements of the Linea Vanity from Lacava are designed to appear extra slim by incorporating miters and routing. The fronts of the vanity are mitered to create the look of inset drawers, and the frame meets this with a partial miter. The solid surface countertop is routed out to set into the metal frame. The vanity can be customized with 26 wood finishes and four metal frame finishes.
Dealer’s Choice Award
Floating Handle Bath Faucet
The floating handle of the Morro Bay bath faucet from California Faucets is part of the product’s overall distinctive design. The thin, flat, rectangular handle is as wide as the spout of the geometric-shaped faucet, and moves independently of the body, turning on the faucet and adjusting both flow and temperature without using the top portion of the faucet. Morro Bay is available in two heights and more than 30 artisan finishes, including 15 PVD finishes.