There’s something about luxury products for the kitchen and bath that can elevate the whole design of the space. Whether it’s captivating, dual-finish hardware, sculptural tubs and sinks, or bath furniture with dramatic detail, the right piece can take a design from special to spectacular.
And, let’s not forget the exceptional elements that add to the overall experience within that space. Lavish steam showers, touchless faucets and luxurious lighting are just a few examples of how upscale products can enhance daily living.
The Bethesda, MD-based Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association focuses its time on the products and companies involved in the luxury plumbing and hardware markets. Each year, it honors exceptional new products through its Product of the Year Awards, which recognize the uniqueness, design, functionality, innovation and technological superiority of luxury plumbing and hardware.
For the 2023 DPHA Awards, an independent panel of judges – experts in the field of design and construction – was chosen and included: Eliot Sefrin, founding editor and publisher emeritus of Kitchen & Bath Design News; Alissa Ponchione, executive editor at Hospitality Design magazine; Molly Switzer, creator, Molly N. Switzer Designs in Portland, OR; Alena Capra, owner, Alena Capra Designs in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Eric Goranson, CKD, producer and host of “Around the House with Eric G,” and Garrison Hullinger, founder and principal designer, Garrison Hullinger Interior Design.
Award winners were presented in nine separate categories: Bathroom Fixture, Kitchen Fixture, Innovative Engineering, Water Delivery, Furniture, Accessory, Cabinet Hardware, Door Hardware and Innovative Technology. The Products of the Year were announced at the 22nd Annual DPHA Conference and Product Showcase held in October 2023 in Chicago, IL. ▪
Hydro Systems: Cold Plunge
The Cold Plunge bath by Hydro Systems offers revitalizing cold hydrotherapy in a traditional tub, using cooling, filtration and sanitation to deliver cold, clean water that can be reduced down to 37°F. Cold hydrotherapy involves soaking in water 59°F or below to achieve health benefits such as reducing pain and inflammation, increasing metabolism, and accelerating muscle and joint recovery after a workout, notes the firm. The technology can be fully integrated into nearly any Hydro Systems tub.
ALFI Trade: HammockTub2
The elevated HammockTub2 bathtub from ALFI Trade is made of solid surface resin that retains heat for a longer bathing experience. The fixture, which is available in black or white matte in a variety of shapes and sizes, hangs suspended from the floor mimicking the luxuriating design of a hammock. The tub features wide edges and full-length metal support beams to ensure stable installation.
California Faucets: Kitchen Bridge Faucets
The Kitchen Bridge Faucets from California Faucets are thoughtfully designed to meet a range of styles, including Traditional, Contemporary, Industrial and Transitional, according to the company. The faucets are available in over 25 artisan finishes with multiple handle options, as well as with or without an insulated, mixed-temperature matching side sprayer. Coordinated accessories include water dispensers, soap dispensers, garbage disposer switches and air gaps, as well as cabinet and appliance hardware.
Mountain Plumbing Products: Stealth Waste Disposer with Stealth Trap
Keeping storage space in mind, Mountain Plumbing Products offers the Stealth Waste Disposer with Stealth Trap which, according to the company, has more power and torque with a 41% smaller footprint under the sink compared to the leading competition. To further maximize the usable space under the sink, every Stealth disposer includes a complementary Stealth Trap with everything needed to hook up a single-bowl or double-bowl kitchen sink and then connect to a garbage disposer.
Effe Perfect Wellness: INSIDE Internal Steam Generator
Designed to be installed inside the shower just a few centimeters above the floor for a minimally intrusive presence, the INSIDE mini internal steam generator from Effe Perfect Wellness contains a boiler and diffuser in one compact panel. The unit features intuitive commands and LED RGB lighting at the bottom for added ambience. Available in 3 and 4.5 kW for volumes up to 4.5 m3, INSIDE comes in two versions: INSIDE GLASS and INSIDE CAMOUFLAGE.
Brizo: Mystix Steam System
The Mystix Steam System creates a spa and wellness experience in the shower, notes Brizo. Two curated experiences are part of the system, each featuring the Mystix Steam Generator and a wide range of finishes. The Mystix Elemental Experience allows the user to tailor the steam shower to exact preferences with two user presets, while the Mystix Transcendent Experience combines the Elemental Experience with the Digital Interface with up to 12 presets and a full suite of spa options including aromatherapy, chromatherapy and audiotherapy.
The ORIGINI collection of bathroom faucets from Gessi includes an array of colors, shapes and finishes. A series of five triads using distinctive chromatic groupings that represent iconic themes are featured. The faucets themselves are each sculpted into silhouettes and finished in chrome and matte surfaces, glossy hues including Ocra, Coral, Black, and distinctive metallics of copper, nickel, bronze and brass.
Franz Viegener: Groovy
Named for its deep grooves and aesthetically pleasing curves, the Groovy Collection of bathroom faucets showcases precision engineering and streamlined design, notes Franz Viegener. The sleek, distinctive silhouette pays homage to the 1960’s phrase ‘groovy’ as well as the coinciding resurgence of art deco design. The faucets and spouts feature continuous grooves from base to spout. Groovy is available in 12 finishes including PVD.
Tenzo Fine Plomberie: PALT74-BG
The PALT74-BG wall-mount bathtub filler from Tenzo Fine Plomberie highlights two distinctive features: a 59″ retractable hand shower hose and a 180° swivel spout. The tub filler delivers 7.9 gpm with 60 PSI and includes a Vernet thermostatic cartridge and a diverter valve with two functions. It is offered in chrome, brushed gold, gun metal, matte black and champain gold.
Madeli: Illusion Lighted Mirrored Cabinet
The Illusion collection of recessed-mount medicine cabinets from Madeli features an accent frame that delivers a clean, minimal design. The lighted perimeter frame allows the door to operate independently, and the Acrylens light diffuser offers three-directional lighting – frontal, side glow and interior lighting. Dimmable at the touch, the Lumen Touch+ Switch Technology offers warm 2700k or daylight 4000k task lighting. Also included are built-in defogger, 120V and USB outlets, magnifying mirror, cosmetic tray and cell phone holder.
Amba Products: Quadro 2033 in Brushed Bronze
From Amba Products comes the Quadro 2033 towel warmer in brushed bronze finish, added to coordinate with plumbing fixture finishes. The unit can warm two towels at once, with a digital heat controller delivering nine different heat output levels. The hardwired unit is designed to be on continuously. It is also available in brushed stainless, matte black and polished stainless.
Hastings Tile & Bath: Allegro Console
Italian design is reflected in the Allegro floor-mount basin console, part of the Hastings Bath Collection from Hastings Tile & Bath. Offered in 44 diverse colors, this series is hallmarked by its bush hammer textured exterior and smooth inner basin. The matte black frame with accented brass feet holds the stone sink with contoured basin edge detailing. The console also provides functional storage with a lower shelf that matches the basin finish.
Lacava’s Flutti Collection showcases wall-mount vanities with fluted design in 24″, 30″, 36″, 48″, 60″ and 72″, providing a range of options to fit different spaces. Countertops are available in a selection of finishes in quartz, marble or solid surface and are cut to fit an undermount porcelain sink. Decorative hardware is included as a finishing touch and is available in multiple finishes.
Baldwin Hardware: Modern Cabinet Hardware Collection
The full Modern Cabinet Hardware Collection from Baldwin Hardware sports a sleek design. A key driver of the collection, the 4″ is available with three center-to-center options to support pre-existing drilled cabinets – 3″ CTC, 3.5″ CTC or 4″ CTC – showcased vertically or horizontally. The collection’s elongated pulls provide flexibility and are available in a range of sizes and finishes.
Keeler Brass Company: Anthology Series
The Anthology Series is the first product line to relaunch the 130-year legacy of the Keeler Brass Company, notes the firm. Designed in-house and fashioned from American-made solid brass, the hardware is available in array of styles and finishes. The posts, bar and finishes can be chosen from over 30,000 combinations, with textures and a palette of leather options offered. The line includes appliance pulls, bar pulls, t-knob, offset t-knob and round knob.
Baldwin Hardware: Graphite Nickel Finish
An exploration into darker nickel tones, the Graphite Nickel Finish by Baldwin Hardware is a new-to-market finish that takes historical cues from the antique nickels and pewters in the traditional space and expands to a broader mix of transitional and contemporary tones, notes the firm. The finish joins Baldwin’s portfolio of Lifetime PVD finishes, offering durability, corrosion resistance and color retention, states the firm.
Croft Architectural Hardware: Pocket Door Jamb Bolt
The Pocket Door Jamb Bolt from Croft Architectural Hardware is designed to prevent a pocket door from opening. Featuring a stylish design, the bolt is a premium solution for high-end projects available in over 25 signature finishes and patinas, notes the firm. When the top of the lever is pushed, the lever will make contact with the strike plate on the frame of the door.
Robern: Tenor Lighting and Sway Light Control
Tenor Tunable Lighting with Robern’s proprietary SWAY Control combines modular vertical lighting with dimming and color tuning technology for control over the bathroom lighting environment. Flicker-free LED lighting is dimmable to 5% to provide the correct brightness for any task, notes the firm, and color temperature can be fine-tuned from the soft tones of warm white (2700K) through bright white (5600K) tones for daylight.
MrSteam: iSteamX Control
MrSteam’s iSteam X combines WiFi connectivity with a native app environment experience in the steam shower and can be connected to a song playlist or podcast, chroma lighting and aromatherapy. The unit’s design delivers a tailored steam bathing experience via a steam control with a completely sealed electronic assembly design to live in the hot, humid steam environment. The rear angle of the bezel helps to divert condensation that forms on the steam room walls away from the control.