BLANCO’s Director of Marketing, Tim Maicher, shares his personal views and thoughts on current trends in kitchen sinks and faucets and the impact of technology, design and style.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest trends you are currently seeing in faucets and water accessories?
It’s about right-sizing to the space in an elegant manner. The open room concept is one of the hottest trends today and requires that all things work together to create a good flow of space within the home. A large, tall, or conventional professional-looking faucet can unintentionally disrupt or unbalance the room and / or view. Our design team has come up with faucet designs like CULINA™, CULINA™ Mini, NAPA™, and SONOMA™, that bring out the best in an open room concept by making the size, style, and function complement the space, rather than crowd it.
Based on consumer popularity, what are some of the most popular finishes and materials for faucets? And with that, what styles are the most in demand?
Stainless remains a popular and in-demand product. However, the use of color as an accent within kitchen design is growing and again ties into the trend of “the personal touch.” This can range from using color on accent tiles, cabinets and even faucets. A splash of color can totally change the room and make it unique! This is why we’ve seen growth in products like our ALTA™ Compact, which uses elegant accent colors mixed with metal to complement the kitchen design.
There are so many choices in sizes for consumers to choose from when picking their BLANCO sink. What are some of the popular sizes currently trending in the market?
Kitchen sinks appear to be getting bigger although it really is a shift from the bulky looking double bowls we grew up with to single bowl sinks. Faucets are actually going in the opposite direction. They are not getting small, they are getting right-sized so that they work within an open floor plan, yet deliver on performance, cleanability, and yes… style! Creating a true balance between open plan design and faucet design was the inspiration for our newest faucets like CULINA, CULINA Mini, NAPA, and SONOMA.
In what way would you say Universal Design impacts kitchen sink and faucet trends?
Universal Design does have an impact and will continue to do so as the boomers age. Faucets, for example, in many cases already meet the basic functional needs with easy-to-move levers, but the heart of Universal Design is really about making life easier in the kitchen. Incorporating Universal Design themes into products in an aesthetically pleasing way is growing in importance. Our designers looked at how to blend great functionality in an easy-to-care-for, and easy-to-use design that delivers great style. We reinvented the concept of a professional-looking faucet to meet this growing demand with our CULINA and new CULINA Mini, which feature an easy-to-clean coil and a magnetic spray holder.
What new technologies do you think are currently impacting faucet and water accessories trends?
The use of magnets in faucet design is making things better for the user – it’s as simple as making it easier to access and put away the hand spray. I love the idea that technology surprises and delights the user when they interact with the faucet. Looking forward, technology in all forms will continue to make faucets even simpler to enjoy.
What role does the overall design play when impacting kitchen sink and faucet trends?
For faucet design, it has everything to do with matching the trend of style. While traditional design still has a far lead in the U.S., a growing movement is to modern design, which is really another way of bringing a new sensibility to transitional forms. The trend in modern kitchen design has allowed us to open up our view of transitional styling to incorporate more organic elements of shape – like our NAPA series. We also look to softer plays on traditional design, like our SONOMA series. Another key reason for this new sensibility of transitional design is that the kitchen now extends into other living spaces – which means that the faucet has to balance with the entire space. This is a long-term trend that will continue for as long as the open space concept is popular.
Water conservation is such an important trend these days, especially in kitchen products. What role does BLANCO play in conserving water with their faucets?
It’s growing, but has not taken on full steam. The growth we have seen on the kitchen side is due to legislative actions like CALGREEN and municipalities requiring water saving kitchen faucets. We do believe, however, that we are in the early stages of water conservation and that it will rapidly increase over the next 5 years.