You’ll see an Asian influence in bath faucet designs in streamlined, modern faucets. Companies are also responding to consumer wishes for traditional faucets with flair. “The Asian influence is popular because [Asians] are such admirers of water—their culture celebrates water,” says Judy Riley, vice president of design at Moen.
Moen’s Bamboo design started out in its cutting-edge powder room line and became so popular that it made its way to the company’s high-end Showhouse line. “It’s metal, but it has the shape of bamboo,” Riley says.
American Standard’s Green Tea design offers a contemporary look with an Asian influence. “The Asian-inspired designs meet the desire to create the illusion of simplicity,” Uhl says.
The Green Tea faucet offers one fun feature usually seen in kitchens: a pullout hose. “We designed it as a surprise and a delight,” he says. “You can wash hair in the sink. When you’re cleaning, you can reach every corner. People wanted more flexibility, so we took the technology from the kitchen and added it to the bath.”
Symmons’ Asian-influenced faucet is called the Naru for the Japanese word meaning “a sense of calmness.” “Water flows out of the lavatory in a waterfall,” says Jeffrey Reilly, vice president of marketing for Symmons. “The shape, spout and angles are really distinctive.”
American Standard’s Green Tea bathroom faucet has an Asian-influenced design and a pullout wand spout.
For more traditional-looking faucets, look toward Symmons’ Oxford Suite, Price Pfister’s Saxton, American Standard’s Copeland, Moen’s Rothbury and Delta’s Victorian. The Oxford Suite, for example, is inspired by the spheres of the buildings in Oxford, England. “The Oxford Suite will appeal to people who are very traditional but who want to try something with a little more flair,” Reilly said.
Ease of Use In the kitchen, consumers are looking for features that make chores easier. “People want ergonomics,” Whitmer says. “They also want to make life simpler and more enjoyable.” Price Pfister has a pull-down sprayer that comes out six feet versus the standard four feet length. “You can water plants [or] fill pots,” Whitmer says. “You’re not dragging a lot of water across the kitchen.”
Moen offers a faucet wand with an easy grip that you pull straight down instead of twisting. “You grip it as if you’re shaking hands,” Riley says. You can also get a variety of aerator sprays so you can clean your pots as well as rinse your raspberries without crushing them.
Finishes As for finishes, brass is still popular but the shine is off. Oil-rubbed bronze is big and chrome is making a comeback in more modern designs. “We’re seeing a pickup again for those gold tones but not as shiny,” says Moen Brand Manager Shaun Hardy. Consumers are looking for antique and brushed and antique bronze.
Also popular are oil-rubbed bronze and aged pewter. “We’re offering more variety in materials, making sure we have a wide variety of finishes in all of our products,” Whitmer says. “People like to experiment with different faucet finishes, depending on the finish of their countertops. Chrome and satin nickel continue to be mainstream. Tuscan bronze is increasingly popular. People can change the materials their faucets are made of and the whole kitchen has been revitalized.” You can accessorize your kitchen and bathroom to make them more enjoyable and easier to use with fixtures that have wow power. “The faucets can become like jewelry for your kitchen and bath—the finishing touch,” Riley says.