The days of white, porcelain baths and stainless-steel kitchen sinks are over. Combining function with style and design, a new era of basins has arrived.
Exploding into the decorative and innovative categories are the newest bath tubs and sinks. To peruse the new offerings in decorative sinks, you need to look no further than vessel sinks. In the past few years, the vessel sink trend has grown, and this year, it has become an outlet for sculptors, creating works of art using a wide variety of materials. From hand-carved stone and onyx to tile, granite, colored glass, copper, bamboo and much, much more, the incredible palette of materials to choose from make the vessel sink a brilliant addition to any bath.
Innovations in the use of materials, incorporating water-saving technology and creating a spa at home have dramatically upgraded the options in today’s bath tubs. From chromatherapy and hydrotherapy to the use of Quaryl in Villeroy & Boch’s Squaro tub—a material that conducts heat very slowly, so the bath stays warm to the touch—upgrading your bath to a luxury suite is becoming more mainstream.
According to Lyn Peterson, author of the book Real Life Kitchens, “The sink happens to be the most-used kitchen feature, bar none. We probably spend 75 percent of kitchen time at or near the sink. Why shouldn’t a sink be the knock-out in the room?”
Beautifying the kitchen sink has resulted in the use of an array of materials—from granite and fire clay to metals like copper, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and even recycled aluminum.
The kitchen sink has also multiplied in number—many of today’s kitchens have two, sometimes even three sinks. Each sink has a separate purpose: food preparation, entertaining, washing dishes, etc. To increase the style of your multiple-sink kitchen, many designers recommend choosing sinks made of different materials. For example, your dishwashing sink can be made of copper, and your entertainment sink can be a hammered nickel.
Introduced in 2008, the following products will make you take a second look at remodeling your bath:
The performance of your drain system can be improved by regularly applying a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or an organic drain cleaner. Harsh drain cleaners are not recommended.
—National Kitchen and Bath Association, www.nkba.org