Now that we’re halfway through 2017, the ever-evolving kitchen and bathroom design trends that will define and enliven our industry this year have taken shape. As we reflected on our time spent at kitchen and bath trade shows as well as our many conversations with industry experts, shelter magazine editors, consumers and interior designers, eight trends in kitchen and bathroom sinks emerged.
1. (Even More) Mixed Metals
Messy. That’s what people used to call it when you mixed brass fixtures with chrome fixtures or even mixed brushed nickel with polished nickel. But now all the cool kids are mixing metals as a way to add visual interest and depth. And we’ll be given even more metal choices in the months ahead, as rose-gold hardware and appliances in a variety of other warm finishes join the many other options already available. Mark Woodman, president of the Color Marketing Group, predicts that copper and gold finishes will enjoy their biggest jump in popularity yet. “That’s what you’re seeing, in any number of iterations, in both matte and polished,” says Woodman. “Lots of accessories are coming up in copper and gold, really pretty metals, with a lovely warm look. Copper is the quintessential color for the kitchen.”
2. The Farmhouse Sink 2.0
The farmhouse sink trend isn’t budging—in fact, apron-front sinks remain so in-demand that they’ve actually been shown to increase the value of homes on the market—but they are seeing an evolution this year. In addition to porcelain and stainless steel sinks, look for farmhouse sinks made of new or unusual materials, especially stone, concrete and hammered metals. Ebony Stephenson, whose company Designs by Ebony is based in Newport News, Virginia, says, “In the kitchen, homeowners used to just go with anything, but now they want the sink to be a showcase and a statement piece in the room. Customers are having more fun with sinks.”
3. Everything’s in Black and White
Expect to see all things black and white in the kitchen and bath (including black appliances). This trend will extend to sinks in the form of luxe charcoal-colored soapstone basins and black matte faucets (Kitchen and Bath Business recommends Danze’s Foodie pull-out spray kitchen faucet in Satin Black) that will offer a crisp contrast to classic white lighting, furniture and countertops. The good news, says Brian Patrick Flynn, interior designer for HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2016 home giveaway, is that this palette is so timeless that “if you go black and white, you really only have to spend once.”
4. Reflect on Things
The future for kitchen and bathroom sinks is looking a lot brighter, as basins with a mirrored finish shine on in 2017. Native Trails has answered the call for more polished finishes this year, with the unveiling of our new copper sinks and bathtubs in Polished Copper and Polished Nickel finishes fit for a king or queen. These glittery surfaces are the perfect foil for matte marble countertops and can be used to bounce light around a room. Benjamin Moore Color & Design Manager Hannah Yeo says reflective metal finishes can even be enhanced with paint, as higher sheen paints will reflect more light and create ambiance.
5. Touch-Free Soap-Wash-Dry Sinks
The tech revolution has now extended to your sink; see the new generation of smart sinks that can dispense soap and water and dry your hands, all without you having to lay a hand on the sink or faucet. These sinks—e.g., the AER-DEC Integrated Sink System by Sloan—are designed to be both hygienic and efficient: A HEPA air filter included in the Sloan design sweeps dirty air away and replaces it with cleaner, purified air while an indicator light comes on when the soap needs to be refilled.
6. No Vanity Necessary
Blame it perhaps on our suddenly universal obsession with maximizing spaces with minimum square footage, but wall-mounted sinks have become a favorite way to carve out extra space in both the kitchen and bath. (Cue the “Tiny House, Big Living” marathon.) That’s why we predict that these sinks will make as much of a splash as freestanding tubs did in 2016. We will see them in sizes both tiny and roomy, ranging from the lilliputian-sized Universal Oxigen Wall Hung bathroom sink (which clocks in at 12” long by 7.3’” wide) to the 20” Rejuvenation Alape Bucket Sink to the 48” Kohler Brockway wall-mounted wash sink. This trend will also have wings because, depending on the design, a wall-hung sink can establish a sought-after farmhouse or industrial feel.
7. Kitchen Island Corner Sinks
The Los Angeles Times and kitchen designer Matthew Quinn have made a case for positioning the kitchen island sink at an island’s corner instead of smacking it in the center and creating dead space on either side, as can be the case with smaller islands and when prep space is at a premium. Two great options for such a sink: Our 24-inch Farmhouse 2418 in concrete, or hammered copper Fiesta, shown below.
8. Hello, Prep Sinks
What’s out? Pot fillers, says Alana Busse of Westside Remodeling in Thousand Oaks, California. What’s in? Prep sinks. “Honestly, we don’t see many pot fillers anymore. Instead, we see prep sinks coming into play. For someone with an island, they might have a secondary sink available, which works great if two people are cooking at the same time.”
When considering which if any of these trends to try on for size, consider the wisdom of Vanessa Traina, co-founder and executive creative director of The Line. As she told MyDomaine.com, “Home isn’t about trends. It’s about expressing yourself through your personal space and creating an environment you want to spend time in every day … the tricky part about home trends [is that] if you bring in one piece, it often leaves you feeling like you have to redecorate. Stick with what feels like you, and try not to get carried away with what’s trending. It will always change.”