There is no question that the kitchen is one of the most important and busiest rooms in the home. It’s the family’s gathering place, the room to entertain friends and guests, and the place of culinary inspiration for an ambitious home cook. The evolution of the kitchen from a mere utilitarian space to the main hub in the house has accelerated over the last couple of decades, and all the products that make up a kitchen are continually redesigned, reengineered and updated.
There are a lot of things happening simultaneously in modern kitchen design, making it hard to put a finger on one overriding trend in kitchen faucet design. It is rather a variety of developments in design and functionality that industry experts are witnessing. “One development that most experts agree on is the growing popularity of contemporary and transitional designs,” says Les Petch, senior product manager for Kohler kitchen faucets. “Partly driving this trend is the desire of homeowners for products that make a strong design statement but also provide great functionality and are easy to clean.”
Parallel to this development, industry experts have noticed a more eclectic product selection, in which contemporary and traditional products are mixed and matched in the same kitchen setting. For instance, stainless steel appliances are combined with a Tuscan kitchen to freshen up the look, or a farmhouse apron-front sink is paired with a professionally looking pull-down kitchen faucet to add functionality.
With the growing popularity of undercounter sinks, as well as sinks without an integrated faucet platform, the classic bridge design is rapidly reemerging in different kitchen faucet applications ranging from modern to traditional. This is caused in part by the fact that undercounter sinks are ideal for deck-mount bridge designs because if the sink is already predrilled with three holes, the middle hole that is not needed with a bridge-style faucet will be concealed by the countertop. In a drop-in or tile-in installation, the sink rests on the countertop exposing the middle hole.
While deck-mount faucets remain popular because of the added functionality of an integrated or separate spray option, wall-mount kitchen faucets are also gaining appeal. Trade professionals and homeowners alike are drawn to this installation style because it offers easy cleaning of the sink surface-be it in the kitchen or bathroom-and it lends a clean, uncluttered aesthetic to the room.
Industry experts have also witnessed a trend to integrate secondary sinks and faucets in the kitchen. “An increasing number of homeowners appreciate the added convenience of a secondary sink area, be it for food preparation or entertaining. And choosing the right faucet can help achieve the desired look and performance,” says Petch. The food prep sink is a secondary sink that calls for a faucet with spray functionality and hot and cold water, while the entertainment faucet can make do with cold water only, possibly equipped with a water filtration system. “One notable realization is that even if the product selection is diverse, homeowners like the kitchen faucets of their primary and secondary sinks to share similar design lines,” comments Petch.
In terms of colors, there is a visible shift to include different faucet finishes in the kitchen than the standard polished chrome or stainless steel. Progressive designers and homeowners increasingly select textured and darker finishes like brushed nickel or bronze.
“Appearance is an important factor in the selection of a kitchen faucet, but the key feature of every kitchen faucet is its functionality,” explains Petch. “A working kitchen faucet, be it primary or secondary, has to deliver on both these needs.” The unequivocal winners in the functionality contest are the pull-down and pullout models, which meld ergonomics and performance into one product. In the case of a wall-mount kitchen faucet or a deckmount version without an integrated spray, a coordinated sidespray will serve the same purpose.
Lastly, hygiene is of paramount importance in the kitchen environment. Some recent introductions of electronic sensor faucets and innovative faucet systems to deliver filtered water have brought significant progress in this area. Electronic sensor faucets have been placed in the spotlight because they greatly help cooks avoid cross contamination in the kitchen, while filtered water has been a basic need in many kitchens for a long time.
“At Kohler, we have worked hard at expanding our kitchen faucet offering to cover every possible need in terms of design, performance, and functionality,” says Petch. “And we believe we have made great strides toward accomplishing that goal.”
Provided courtesy of KOHLER.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home interiors, and international host to award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.
For more information on KOHLER kitchen faucets or other KOHLER products, individuals may visit the Kohler website at www.kohler.com or call 1-800-4-KOHLER.