BLANCO’s Director of Marketing, Tim Maicher, certainly has a keen eye for what is up and coming in the kitchen design world. Check out our interview with Tim to learn more about the new and exciting design trends and technology that are becoming increasingly popular.
Q: What are the biggest trends you are seeing in kitchen sinks, faucets and water accessories?
A: The biggest trends are personalization and livable design. Everyone wants something unique for his or her kitchen… to make their own design statement. Personalization in the sink and faucet category has created a strong demand for integrated accessories such as cutting boards, workstations, caddies and grids. Grids are used for protection, but also are decorative and functional for drying and baking outside the sink. Workstations and caddies hold knives, utensils and cleaning tools inside the sink to save counter-space and provide greater convenience. Consumers and designers can personalize the sink area to match their needs for space, functionality and ergonomics.
BLANCO defines livable design as transitional in feel – but with organic lines that are naturally inspired and offer durability and easy-to-clean performance. It’s not enough to walk the line between traditional and modern… today’s styles must also be performance driven – they need to save water, last longer, be easy-to-use and easy-to-clean. They also need to offer organic lines – gently sloping and easy to match with today’s surfaces, cabinetry and flooring. Even modern cabinetry is reliant on nature’s palettes and textures so the fixtures must match.
Q: What are the most popular finishes and materials for sinks/faucets? What styles are most in demand?
A: Granite sinks are on trend as they fit the model of livable design as its organic, durable, functional and contemporary. BLANCO is the leader in this category both in terms of innovation and in patents. BLANCO’s SILGRANIT® sinks come in 8 colors that match well with today’s surfaces. In fact we offer an App in iTunes or GooglePlay that helps designers to match sinks and counter surfaces. Our top selling colors are brown, grey/black and beige. Our fastest growing colors include a warm grey, grey/black and metallic grey. Grey is one of the fastest growing neutrals in both warm and cool tones.
For faucets, polished chrome and stainless or satin nickel are still the biggest sellers as they are both contemporary and durable. These finishes go with most appliances and other fixtures in the kitchen and are easy to maintain.
Q: What are the size trends in the sink and faucet market?
A: Super Singles and undermount sinks are still trending upwards in popularity. Big sinks do not always need to be deep. About 9-9.5” are desirable and keep sink usable for aging in place. Low divide sinks cleverly offer separation – but room for large pots and pans. These help with ergonomics and are a growing category for BLANCO.
Q: Are there any must have water accessories? Are there any new accessories that are on the rise?
A: Integrated cutting boards are continuing to expand in popularity. These, and other integrated features like colanders help you prep inside the sink to save space on the countertop.
Q: Are there new technologies impacting the faucet and water accessories trends, and if so how?
A: There are no real “new” technologies in play. Most are existing technologies that are being expanded and refined for home use such as “instant” hot and touchless features. Real technological breakthroughs include simple solutions such as the CULINA™ magnetic hook up or improved pump actions on soap dispensers that are the small details that make a huge difference long term.
Q: How does the overall design style of the kitchen impact sink and faucet trends?
A: Open kitchen designs have called for chef-inspired faucet designs that are lower in height and more transitional in design. Our new CULINA MINI faucet fits this new category of downsized pro-style faucets that are also more streamlined and less industrial in appearance.
More matching faucet fixtures – such as matching bar faucets and accessories are also in demand. Many kitchens are featuring multiple stations or prep areas and sinks. A two-sink kitchen may have a prep faucet and a super single. Both require matching fixtures and accessories.
Q: Are there other factors, such as the need for universal design or water conservation concerns, that impact trends?
A: We are continually reaching new water saving levels – now with the launch of 1.5 GPM faucets this year. Regulations in states such as California drive the need for more water saving faucet availability even though the kitchen faucet does not contribute greatly to overall water use in the home. It’s only a small percent of total use. Universal design has driven the need for easy to use and maintain faucets ongoing. BLANCO faucets have always innovated in this area with single lever faucets and our CULINA faucet with magnetic hook up.