It’s no secret that wellness has been top-of-mind for the last few years. Pandemic fears of contamination and contagion, as well as conversation surrounding burnout and mental health, have led homeowners’ desire to transform their homes and spaces into retreats—especially their bathrooms.

While not everyone can afford to upgrade their bathrooms to have a walk-in sauna or a multifunctional LED waterfall shower system, there are still many ways to personalize the bathroom space without sacrificing style or comfort. Simply customizing a faucet and handles can dramatically transform a space and allow for personal style and comfort to come together.

Original Design

“Individuality through design continues to unfold in interesting and playful ways,” says Jessica Birchfield, global director of industrial design for Moen. “[We’re] seeing brands and designers provide consumers with platforms for heightened creativity by offering options that give homeowners the ability to customize spaces and products to their personal preferences.”

Allowing homeowners the ability to carefully customize each room to their own unique style means they are better able to relax in the space, creating a sanctuary or getaway space for them and their families. For example, Moen is continuing to expand its offerings of faucets that come with a choice of handles in two different finishes to allow consumers to mix and match if they choose. Moen’s Tenon Faucet Collection comes with a finish-matching handle and a teakwood handle for the option to mix textures and create a calm and comfortable form.

The Moen Cia bathroom faucet line allows homeowners to choose a manual or touchless faucet, depending on their preference, and a finish choice that best suits their personal style.

“We’re seeing that this form of personal expression is being influenced by holistic wellness,” Birchfield adds. “By embodying the lifestyles and habits of everyday living into each room, consumers can choose what their environment says about them, which improves mental and physical well-being.”

Mix and Match

With the ability to customize more features of the faucet and handles comes an expanded color and material selection.
Popular for the last couple of years, matte black has gone from an elegant accent color occasionally used to a mainstay in the design world, challenging more traditional color and material options such as antique gold or brushed nickel.

“Matte black is a timeless, versatile design choice that continues to resonate with designers and consumers,” Birchfield says. “It is a bold, dramatic finish that can take a room to new depths, heightening both classic and contemporary designs. Plus, it can blend seamlessly with both modern and traditional styles to fit into any home’s aesthetic.”

In the past, traditional colors such as chrome or stainless steel have dominated markets for their all-purpose appearance and ease of cleaning. Rest assured, those colors are still dominating the design space, with warmer colors such as bronze and gold adding a touch of elegance to many design profiles.

The Brizo Frank Lloyd Wright Bath Collection Widespread Lavatory Faucet combines sleek modern lines with natural materials, complementing two aesthetics.

Lines such as Kohler’s Occasion bathroom faucet collection utilize these warmer tones mixed with matte black to evoke high fashion and effortless glamor.

“In terms of consumer design preferences, self-expression continues to be a leading trend in home design, and the bathroom is a key moment for self-expression,” says Crystal Riste, Kohler bathroom faucet product manager. “We offer finish options across all aesthetics to allow consumers to design the bathroom space to be reflective of themselves, to become a sanctuary for re-energizing. Collections like the new Kohler Occasions faucet have been gaining traction due to the mix-and-match design process of choosing your preferred spout and handles—and the ability to choose a single bold finish like Vibrante French Gold or a striking two-tone effect with Matte Black and Brushed Moderne Brass.”

In addition to the mixing and matching of colors and metals is the desire to bring more natural components into the bathroom space.

Biophilia, an innate affinity for life and nature, has taken over facets of every industry, with potted plants and patterns dominating the interior design world in recent years. As we covered in our October 2020 ceramic tile trends article, this is a trend that has been around for a while, and it ramped up especially during the pandemic when many people were trapped inside.

“Biophilic design is a trend that mixes industrial, minimal and playful elements and is a type of design that encourages, supports and celebrates the desire to be one with nature,” Birchfield says. The Frank Lloyd Wright Bath Collection Single-Handle Lavatory Faucet, available in a split wood finish, is one such example of a faucet that combines elements of nature—the wood—for a softer, more organic feel.

The Delta Faucet Tetra Bath Collection melds industrial design with customizable handles, including the firm’s first T-lever handle. Tetra, meaning four, nods to the faucet’s four sides and geometry.

The desire for more natural components doesn’t stop with the materials that the faucets are made of, either. Designers are taking inspiration from nature as they shape and produce the faucets themselves, opting for rounded, flowing lines and shapes in many cases instead of straight lines and sharp angles.

But just because some designers and homeowners are turning toward biophilic designs does not mean everyone is. Sleek minimalism and modern industrial aesthetics are still very popular. Lines such as Delta’s Tetra Bath Collection boast “familiar geometries and subtle curves [that] combine to bring a sleek, architectural look and feel.”

Pfister seeks to combine both traditional and contemporary designs with its Colfax faucet collection, which features industrial elements inspired by the steampunk aesthetic.

Touchless Technology

It would be impossible to reference touchless faucets without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to impact homeowners around the world. Though on the market before 2020, touchless faucets in the home were primarily relegated to the kitchen and, even then, were still considered a novelty until the last few years. Yet, with the pandemic and an invested interest in hygiene, touchless faucets have piqued the interest of homeowners nationwide.

The Pfister Colfax bath faucet collection, inspired by the steampunk era, features industrial elements that complement both contemporary and traditional designs.

“We’re finding that consumers continue to be interested in smart and touchless technology, especially when it’s combined with elevated design,” Birchfield says. Moen even recently released its first line of touchless residential bathroom faucets: the Moen Cia Bathroom Collection. This product features a single-sensor touchless activation that allows consumers to turn water on and off with the simple pass of a hand to make bathroom routines more convenient and cleanly.

Still, despite taking off in the kitchen sphere, not many other manufacturers have expanded their touchless faucet collections into the bathroom sphere.

Sustainability Focus

The idea of functional versatility has also become a priority for many households. So, too, is the desire for water-saving features to both lower water bills and to live more sustainably. Users can incorporate sustainable design and functionality into the household through fixtures with water-saving features and products that use recycled ocean plastic.

“We see increased growth in our water-savings products, labeled with the WaterSense certification,” says Kohler’s Riste. “These faucets perform at or better than industry standards and have water savings backed by the EPA WaterSense program, making it easy for professionals to choose the style and installation type needed while also saving on water use.”

Grohe EcoJoy bathroom faucets are designed to use significantly less water without compromising hygiene, comfort or style.

One such water-saving product is Moen’s Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff. The Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff can automatically take action to notify the homeowner and shut off the home’s water to reduce the risk of water damage. The Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff can help reduce more than 90 percent of annual household water waste when potential leak issues are promptly addressed.

EcoJoy faucets from Grohe feature flow-limiters with an aerator, reducing water consumption without sacrificing the experience or hygienics and resulting in a flow that never exceeds 5.8 liters per minute.

Additionally, Grohe has committed to eliminating the use of unnecessary plastic and a move toward establishing carbon-neutral facilities. “With water at the core of our business, it is our responsibility to care for every drop of this precious resource and commit to paving a pathway for clean water worldwide. Grohe’s Less Plastic Initiative will bring us a step closer to this goal,” says Trey Northrup, leader, LIXIL Americas. “Our belief is that it’s critical to give our planet the utmost care and attention now and into the future.” QR

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