The bathroom, especially the master bath, is a place where designers can help homeowners create the personal refuge they crave. With the right sinks and faucets, designers can add a personal touch without hijacking the overall design of the space. A range of materials and finishes tailored to individual tastes helps them create just the right combination for each homeowner.
“In general, homeowners want to showcase their personal style throughout every aspect of their home, which means bath products that are customizable will be trending in 2023 and likely into the future,” says Justin Storm, group product manager for House of Rohl based in Irvine, CA. “Overall design trends pave the way for sink and faucet trends as homeowners look to create a cohesive bathroom environment that suits their personal style.”
“With wellness being top-of-mind, we are still seeing a desire for creating an oasis in the bathroom – a place to escape the daily grind,” reports Mandy Ellington, director, Brizo brand management at Brizo Kitchen and Bath in Indianapolis, IN. “People are willing to take more risks when it comes to design choices, while simultaneously and intentionally creating a uniquely crafted bathroom experience.”
“Design trends in 2023 see designers and homeowners discuss every surface of the project,” offers Michael Pechar, v.p. of sales for Vitraform, based in Denver, CO. “Boring sinks and ordinary faucets can distract from the tireless efforts that go into designing the modern bathroom.”
Materials and finishes that connect to nature, technology that meets hygiene demands, and combinations of finishes that create a warm, welcoming environment are other top trends, according to manufacturers recently surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News.
Optimal function is essential in bathroom fixtures, but that alone is not enough. Homeowners are looking for a retreat, a luxurious feel and a place to truly relax.
Currently, there is a focus on luxury, Pechar says. “Luxury today is this perfect balance of materials and technology. With Vitraform, we capture the magic of light. Whether it’s an underlit countersink or a top lit, mirrored finish, Vitraform combines the aspect of art and light to fit the most luxurious tastes.”
Alex Yacavone, design studio manager, trend and CMF for Kohler, WI-based Kohler Co. observes, “Consumers are starting to view their bathrooms as a space beyond its utilitarian function and grow to appreciate it as a personal oasis. We have seen a growing desire to adorn the bathroom, which is why we have created several new sinks that act as functional works of art. Sinks like the Artist Edition Salute and Yepsen are handcrafted in small batches by expert glassmakers to go beyond functionality and give consumers the beauty they desire.”
“As with many trends, we continue to look to the past for inspiration in design but also reinterpret existing styles to make them fresh for the times we live [in],” explains David Emmons, v.p. of marketing at Newport Brass in Santa Ana, CA. “The Machine Age or Industrial Chic aesthetic, typified by industrial elements – raw iron and exposed steel reminiscent of old factories and warehouses – is popular in bath and kitchen design. Also prevalent in hospitality and restaurant interiors, this style incorporates geometric shapes, diamond knurling – where etched patterns roll and repeat on pieces – and organic textures.”
Jessica Birchfield, principal industry designer for Moen, based in North Olmsted, OH says top trends identified by its team stem from the larger lifestyle trend of home holistic wellness. “This concept is not exclusive to kitchen and bath design or even home design; it is a global movement across art, architecture, fashion and all disciplines of design,” she says.
“This thinking is important, now more than ever, because basic human needs such as health, comfort and connection with nature have existed since the beginning of human history but have been reprioritized and reimagined to meet today’s unique post-pandemic challenges,” states Birchfield.
A NOD TO NATURE
A move toward biophilic design is continuing to show up in bathroom design, inspiring new products that incorporate natural elements.
Biophilic design helps support the innate human desire to commune with nature, Birchfield remarks. “This can mean bringing more plants into the home or incorporating more authentic natural materials, textures and finishes that are known to have anxiety-reducing properties on the brain,” she adds.
Ellington says, “Designers and clients have also expressed the continued trend of wanting to be connected to nature through the incorporation of natural materials and finishes. The Frank Lloyd Wright Bath Collection Single-Handle Lavatory Faucet, available in a split wood finish, really embodies this as a distinctive water flow streams from the side of the spout, channeling the staggering beauty of a mountain waterfall.”
Pechar states that his company sees a demand for more organic or natural materials for sinks. “This includes the actual material, whether it be metal, glass, stone or wood, and the finishes,” he observes. “This style also includes flowing, organic lines and shapes. Bathrooms have become a place of peace and solace. The visual lines and textures of the bathroom fixtures play a large role in this style.”
Storm reports that volcanic limestone and porcelain materials are popular for sinks, because they’re easy to clean, come in many shapes and sizes, and stand up to wear and tear. “There’s also a desire for rounded curves and gentle slopes when it comes to sinks,” he continues.
Finishes offer an opportunity for personalization and playfulness, but the overall design of sinks and faucets remains simple and timeless, manufacturers say.
“Our best-selling faucets are still the ‘classic[s],’” emphasizes Jason McNeely, senior brand manager at hansgrohe USA, in Alpharetta, GA, “simple, elegant designs that are timeless and evolve with the home as the finishes get updated and changed out over the years.”
“Given that fashion, jewelry and car design remain key influences for homes and interiors, it’s not surprising that timeless looks will always be in style. Complementing a variety of looks, transitional styles can look chic when paired with a minimalist, simplified setting or with a colorful and more complex environment,” Emmons asserts.
“The Newport Brass design team pays attention to what’s being shown in fashion and design but, as a brand, we remain committed to producing top-of-the-line products that will look and perform well for the duration of their lifetime,” he tells. “Additionally, we’re happy to offer an array of finishes, even dual finishes, colors and textures to add a touch of vogue to any kitchen or bath, with a simple changeout.”
“Bold and optimistic colors and even playful nods to softer retro forms and finishes help people express themselves and make them feel like they are taking control of their future,” Birchfield relays. “Styles that have been popular for several years, like industrial chic, are also becoming more playful and inviting, featuring softer curves and tactile details.”
Yacavone adds that consumers are looking for larger, standout sinks to complete their design aesthetic. “Vessel sinks have become increasingly popular to act as that unique accent in the bathroom space,” he notes.
A TOUCH OF WARMTH
Black is still a trending color, and there is also a move toward warmer finishes. Manufacturers are also noting that they’re seeing combination finishes that incorporate both.
“Homeowners have become more embracing of design palettes that skew dark and moody, which can create a more elevated and distinguished aesthetic,” explains Yacavone. “We’ve noticed that simply swapping out a faucet with a distinguishing black accent can completely change the look of the space.”
“With that sleek all-black look, we have seen consumers work to create a cohesive and unified aesthetic in their bathrooms,” Yacavone continues.
Traditionally, chrome and brushed nickel or spot-resist stainless have been common selections, but we have seen a dramatic acceleration in matte black over the last several years,” Birchfield concurs. “According to our annual style and finish research, matte black is now seen as a mainstream finish with mass appeal due to its style flexibility to span across any décor – from traditional to contemporary – and its ability to coordinate easily with other matte black elements.”
Storm adds, “Homeowners are increasingly selecting matte black finishes for bath faucets for a few reasons; the finish is easily adaptable and can act as a smooth transition next to surrounding designs, it is aesthetically pleasing, and matte black adds a modern, clean style to any space.”
Warren Pearl, president of Lefroy Brooks based in New York, NY says requests for brass and bronze finishes remain strong, while the most popular specialty finishes are Antique Gold and Brushed Champagne.
“We have seen a rise in warm metals like brushed gold and bronze gold that add a luxe touch to any décor,” notes Birchfield. “Polished nickel is another warm finish that has been around for a long time but is beginning to rise in popularity to provide warmth and timeless sophistication to the room.”
“Brushed Gold is by far the most popular finish for faucets,” McNeely adds. “Matte Black still has its place in popular finishes, however we are seeing a trend of mixing black and gold finishes, either on the faucet itself or within the bathroom, mixing accessories and faucets with different colors.”
“The most popular finish within the Brizo portfolio has been and continues to be Brilliance Luxe Gold, which offers a gleaming warmth to the room. Additionally, we are getting more and more requests for mixed finish options within the bath space,” remarks Elise Byrne, product manager at Brizo. “We foresee this mixed finish look becoming available in other aspects of the home, too.”
As in most product categories, technology has an important role in the development of bathroom sinks and faucets. Whether impacting function, ease of maintenance or design and manufacturing of products, advances in technology have an impact on trends.
“While style is always a driver in design, technology is constantly impacting the way we develop our products,” offers Birchfield. “Consumers continue to look for products that not only look good but elevate and ease the way they move about their homes. This is especially relevant in the kitchen and bath spaces.”
“Technology is playing a larger role in trends,” Pechar stresses. “There is a fine balance between function and form.” At Vitraform, he continues, they are seeing lighting incorporated into sinks, whether underlighting that creates a glowing surface or top lighting to create a surface that shines.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on trends as well, prompting more interest in touch-free faucet options and products that attend to hygiene.
Storm remarks, “Technology and smart products that cater to the hygiene-conscious homeowner continue to be important as they look to reduce germs and contamination. Touchless faucets in particular are becoming more popular in the bath; they’re user friendly, offer germ control and are efficient.”
“Especially after the pandemic, people are concerned about hygiene and seek out easy-to-clean options,” offers Pearl. In those instances, he adds, they recommend polished chrome or a PVD finish, which are the easiest to maintain without special cleaners.
Some manufacturers, however, say that interest in sensors has subsided. “During COVID we saw a slight increase in people asking for sensor or touchless faucets for the bathroom, but that has died down as people still prefer the mechanical look and feel of a traditional design and functional bathroom faucet,” believes McNeely.
“Technological changes in our industry are primarily gimmicks with little – if any – real impact other than temporary excitement that dissipates quickly,” adds Pearl. “Faucet trend fads always go back to basics or back to authentic design with trends that say to the owner: ‘This is not a gimmick. This is real design meant to last and be respected.’” ▪
The Speakman Neo SB-1021-E Widespread Faucet features a simplistic frame. The solid, low-lead brass construction is engineered to deliver durability while the slim handles provide precise temperature control, notes the firm. It is available in various corrosion-resistant finishes with a …
Brizo now offers the Allaria Widespread Lavatory Faucet with clear handles for an upscale, illusory touch. Sporting a softened square ribbon spout, the faucet’s updated handles include split finishes of Brilliance Black Onyx/Matte Black, Brilliance Luxe Gold/Clear and Polished Chrome/Clear.
The fluted spout base and handles of the Trousdale Series by Christopher Grubb represent the same rhythm and symmetry as architectural columns used throughout history, notes California Faucets. Paired with either cross or lever handles, the faucet is available in …
The epiSone Bathroom Sink Collection encompasses fixtures crafted by skilled Italian artisans. Made of epiStone solid surfacing composed of 70% crushed natural stone and minerals, the Ruvati sinks feature a satin matte powder finish in colors such as Black, White, …
Duravit North America collaborated with designer Sebastian Herkner to create the Zencha line, inspired by traditional Japanese bathing rituals and tea ceremonies. The above-counter basins, which taper with a subtle curve to a slightly outward sloping rim, are fashioned from …
Native Trails has introduced Gunmetal, a dark, rich titanium-colored glaze, as part of its Precious Metals Collection. The glaze is cultivated through a proprietary blend of genuine gold, silver and platinum – the existing 25th anniversary Precious Metal finishes. Each …
Part of its collaboration with industrial designer Marc Newson, Drummonds’ Bibury bath and basin faucets are inspired by vintage industrial fittings. Made by hand using the lost wax casting technique, the faucets showcase wheel handles. They are available in nine …
The Industrial Chic aesthetic is reflected in the Clemens bath collection from Newport Brass. The line integrates the industrial-styled diamond knurling and looks to a geometric shaping for the silhouette. Fashioned from solid brass, it is available in 20 decorative …
Delta Faucet’s Tetra Bath Collection melds industrial design with customizable handles, including the first Delta Faucet T-lever handle. Familiar geometries and subtle curves combine to bring a sleek, architectural look and feel to the bath. Tetra, meaning four, nods to …
Fantini has extended the Venezia collection, created in collaboration with glass maker Venini. Two families of products – the filigree and the two-tone handles designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez – utilize distinctive techniques of ancient Murano glass making. …
Joining the FLOW by Bemis line of faucets, the Grove series bathroom faucet from Bemis Manufacturing Company features a modern design that integrates advanced technology – including motion and touch activation, an LED temperature display, and a built-in hand-washing timer. …