Far from being rooms of pure function and, er, business, kitchen and bathrooms have become spaces to find solace and privacy. The increasing amount of attention and money spent on their design have led to sophisticated and smart products that encourage people to linger in these spaces and feature them as selling points in commercial and residential real estate. Here are eight recently launched products that make cleaning and cooking enjoyable.
Aqueduct LED, Altmans
The Aqueduct LED bathroom faucet from Altmans takes the guess work out of handwashing. The self-powered, 1-1/2 gpm faucet features LEDs that sense water temperature and generate colored light appropriately. Red signals hot, blue signals cold, and purple indicates a warm water temperature. The faucet is constructed of low-lead brass. altmansproducts.com
Square, The Good Design Studio, Assa Abloy
This collection of decorative door hardware from Assa Abloy’s The Good Design Studio has all the right angles suited for modern commercial interiors. Square includes levers, pulls, stops, and hinges featuring the eponymous shape compiled from collections by Assa Abloy Group brands Corbin Russwin, McKinney, Rockwood, and Sargent. Complementing square coat hooks and floor and wall stops are also available. thegooddesignstudio.com
Regan, Hardware Resources
Sometimes the best designs come from the blending of styles. The Regan collection by Hardware Resources has a contemporary profile but can be specified in finishes—such as brushed pewter and oil rubbed bronze—that blend with a transitional kitchen. The flared-foot pull series comes in three lengths: 96mm, 128mm, and 160mm. hardwareresources.com
Keeping a low profile can be a good thing. Constructed with a concrete core and an acrylic surface finish, the Ballast shower base by Kohler has a threshold that ranges from 1-5/8” to 3-7/32” tall. The short stature helps users to enter and exit easily, while creating a streamlined transition with surrounding floor finishes. The base requires less maintenance than a tiled shower floor and has less risk of leaking, according to the manufacturer. kohler.com
Vitreous china and, more recently, fine fireclay—a blend of clay and minerals that is molded, glazed, and then fired at high temperatures—are two of the most popular options for ceramic bathroom fixtures worldwide. But Swiss bathroom-fixture manufacturer Laufen is offering another possibility. According to Laufen, its SaphirKeramik material has the strength of carbon steel and twice the strength of vitreous china, allowing it to be formed with radii and edges of unprecedented thinness—1mm to 2mm. laufen.com
In a kitchen, the faucet is often a visual focal point. Blanco’s Alta combines a streamlined design with venerable water-saving features. Offered standard with a 2.2 gpm flow rate, the single-lever-handle, solid-brass faucet also comes in a 20% water-saving model. It is compliant with AB 1953’s lead-free standards. blancoamerica.com
Advocate AV-Series Lavatory Systems, Bradley Corp.
Bathrooms have gone high tech with hands-free faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers. Bradley Corp.’s Advocate AV-Series goes one step further by combining all three into one unit. The AV-Series allows users to wash and dry hands without moving from a sink to a hand dryer, eliminating water drips on the floor. Made of Terreon solid surface material, the unit includes a 0.38 gpm faucet, a dual-sided hand dryer, and a top-fill soap dispenser. bradleycorp.com
SoSo Stacking Armchair, Emeco
French designer Jean Nouvel cited a “philosophy of nothingness” as the drive behind this streamlined and lightweight version of Emeco’s 1006 Navy Chair, first released in 1944. SoSo is made of 80% recycled, hand-brushed aluminum. It measures 21” wide by 16“ deep by 31” high, and weighs 8 pounds. emeco.net