Kitchen & Bath Design News

SEP 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Gracia has also noticed a trend toward splurges on knobs, pulls and handles. "Hardware has really made a comeback," she says. "In the last couple of kitchens I've designed, clients have spent into the thousands [of dollars] without batting an eye." Traditional styles are popular, as is an unlacquered brass finish. Gracia also incorporated antique silver hardware into a recent remodel. "It's beautiful and it patinas just like unlacquered brass," she says. "People are looking for new hardware that will patina over time. They want finishes that don't necessarily appear to be new or will stay new. "When a specific design calls for hardware to take center stage, it really puts the icing on the cake," Gracia continues. "It's a nice added detail." SPECIAL ACCENTS Also in the realm of cabinetry-related splurges is hardware, as well as countertops, the latter of which is frequently high-end quartz or quartzite. "Quartz that resembles marble is popular because of the natural stone's propensity to stain and scratch," says Hall. For O'Rourke, a move to quartzite is often due to its unique, one-of-a-kind look. "Quartzite can be a little wild," she says. "I think that's why people are attracted to it." O'Rourke attributes her clients' increased interest in hard- ware, especially brass and glass, to the popularity of a sleek, clean design style. "The trend right now is so minimalist," she says. "It's white on white on white, so people are looking for one place to make a splash. Because the palettes are very neutral and quiet, people are willing to spend a little more on hardware to have it be the showcase." Emerson has noticed a trend toward customization as a way for people to find just the right style and finish. "We've found that people are trying to introduce different finishes," she says in reference to black, rose gold, copper and brass. "These finishes aren't necessarily widely available. Also, each manufacturer has a different production process and the colors may not be just right, so a lot of people are going to manufacturers who can do custom work. With hardware, you can find pieces that are $5 or $10 a piece, or sometimes $15 or $20. But we have clients who are splurging and spending $30 to $50. Maybe they have an antique metal hood with a unique finish and they want the hardware and plumbing fixtures to match. "However, there is also an eclecticism that we're doing now where you don't necessarily have to have a chrome faucet with matching chrome hardware, or a stainless faucet and hardware to match stainless appliances," she continues. "People are trying to be eclectic." Ergonomics factor into the custom equation for Emerson's clients as well. "When someone does something custom, it not only can be beautiful, but it can also provide the flexibility to customize for touch and feel," she says. "Maybe someone wants something that is flat or more rounded. There is a consideration for what is most comfortable for everyday use. Custom hardware gives people the ability to think about de- tails such as opening and closing cabinetry and how it feels." For some of Gail O'Rourke's clients, tile is the place to splurge, especially in a neutral kitchen such as this one where the bold oceanic graphics can pop. As an avid baker and chef, Gail O'Rourke's client opted to splurge on a bright orange Bertazzoni range. Kelly Emerson often encourages clients to consider tile as their splurge. As the jewelry of the space, it can make a unique statement. Some popular material choices for her clients include marble mosaics and handmade ceram- ics. The designer has also used stainless mo- saics, which can serve as a reflective backdrop. Photos: Robert Radifera Photo: Dan Cutrona Photo: Gail O'Rourke September 2018 • 53

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