The traditional role of the kitchen has changed in recent years, from being a center for cooking and meal time to being command central, where family activities and social gatherings alike get their start. With regard to design, the walls have come down between the kitchen and the surrounding rooms, transforming the area into one open space.
As an integral part of the Great Room concept, the kitchen acts as the workhorse of the space. And, more than any other spot in the kitchen, the water station is the area that bears the brunt of that work.
Products on the market today make the water station more functional than ever for the busy cook, who often needs to do meal prep and clean up while socializing. And, because of the open concept, function must be combined with beauty in order to fit well in the overall design of the entire space.
While stainless still reigns supreme for kitchen sinks, a multitude of finishes and materials continues to gain ground. Additionally, today’s styles go way beyond the square rectangle, with elegant curves and apron-front designs making a personal statement.
Faucets that offer functional flexibility now provide a helping hand when an extra one is needed. Technology has made a dramatic impact in this category, yielding pieces that can now perform with the bump of an elbow or the wave of a hand.
Below are some of the hottest trends in today’s kitchen work station.
–Single-bowl styles are trumping double bowls with regard to kitchen sinks, providing extra space for movement and soaking large cookware. Today’s double-bowl options often incorporate different sized bowls, interesting curves and shapes and lower height dividers for easier use.
–Sinks are now outfitted with a variety of amenities, such as cutting boards, colanders, sink grids, strainers and built-in drainboards. This allows the sink to be used as an additional prep surface, serving area and even an ice tub or wine chiller.
–Kitchen sinks now go beyond just stainless steel, with materials such as quartz, concrete and cast iron providing decorative touches and enhanced durability. Natural materials such as stone and copper are also gaining in popularity.
–Cleaner lines and transitional styling reign for the kitchen faucet, with pull-out and pull-down options becoming design staples. Most offer multiple spray options including stream, spray and pause, with extended hoses and magnetic or specialty docking features making retracting easier.
–Technology has made a dramatic impact on the kitchen faucet. Touch-activated faucets allow the user to tap anywhere on the faucet – even with an elbow – to turn the water on and off, keeping messy hands at bay. Hands-free, touchless faucets turn water on when activity is sensed, with water turning off automatically when finished. Lighting additions have also come into play recently, with several faucet styles now featuring LED lighting that indicates hot and cold water temperature.
–Not to be forgotten are water options, such as filtration systems alongside the main faucet, or in some cases, built right into the faucet. Also available are faucets that can provide filtered boiling hot or carbonated water right at the water station.