Making a Splash

by Anita Shaw

Many elements in the kitchen can be used as a focal point in the design, as colorful ranges, stylish islands and custom range hoods can attest to. Of late, the water station is getting much more attention, moving up in the ranks from a utilitarian, functional area to an element that can add a wow factor. From decorative apron front sinks to high-end, semi-professional faucets, the clean-up center is evolving into a favorite spot to play with finishes and styles.

The kitchen faucet has gone through a dramatic metamorphosis, with traditional chrome and polished nickel finishes giving way first to bronze, then gold, then black. Now, a kitchen faucet can showcase any color imaginable, thanks to powder coating and PVD. And, not forgetting function, styles range from semi-pro to pull-down/pullouts to bridges.

Some of the hottest trends in kitchen faucets include:

  • Softened contemporary looks lead the way, with clean lines and softened geometric styles blending with transitional and modern design styles.
  • Color – from shiny and matte metallics to vibrant reds, blues and greens – is becoming more acceptable and even standard for many faucet lines.
  • Smart faucets that operate with the wave of a hand, touch of an elbow or the sound of a voice are in high demand, as consumers learn the value of hands-free faucet operation in the kitchen. These faucets also deliver pre-measured amounts of water and preferred temperatures to prevent scalding.
  • Mixing finishes is hot, and includes combinations of not only color and metal but woods and other elements as well.
  • Black and white matte finishes are making serious inroads into the metal finish base.
  • Manufacturers are upping the game when it comes to spray options, with everything from sweeping water shields to needle spray to mist becoming part of the offering.

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