Years ago, the kitchen served a very utilitarian function – a place to prepare food and clean the dishes. Today, it's truly the nerve center of the house where families eat meals, discuss the day's happenings, plan calendars, check e-mail and even entertain.
As a result, more homeowners than ever seek ways to make their kitchens work harder so they can re-focus their energy away from cooking and cleaning, and put it more on their family and friends who have gathered.
High-tech faucets and appliances, expanded work surfaces and carefully thought-through floor plans are just a few elements that have emerged in kitchen trends. But one of the most noticeable differences in today's kitchen is the demand for multiple sinks and various water sources.
According to Jeff Pratt, of Danze, a manufacturer of decorative plumbing products, many homeowners are using multiple sink areas to increase efficiency. However, they don't want to sacrifice the ability to showcase their personal tastes and eye for design.
"Homeowners and designers place a lot of emphasis on a sink's role when planning a kitchen remodel," says Pratt. "While convenience and functionality have always been concerns, today's homeowners also want to enhance the room's ambiance and decor they've worked hard to achieve. Style can't be sacrificed for function or convenience any more."
According to Pratt, the countertops you surround the sink with and the faucets you place on them, can add much of the design a homeowner seeks.
If you're looking for ideas on how to make your kitchen more functional and stylish, consider integrating these options into your kitchen remodeling plan:
An all-purpose station primarily used for clean-up duty, the main sink often features a deeper, single basin to handle dishes and oversized pots and pans. Pratt suggests pairing these sinks with a high-rise pre-rinse faucet or pull-down faucet. These faucets improve functionality of the sink area by allowing users to literally "take the water to the work," but are noticeably fashionable.
In addition to the primary functional faucet, many kitchens feature a water filtration faucet or tap as part of their main sink configuration.
Often located in a center island, this sink helps avoid congestion at the main sink and is a great way to increase a kitchen's workflow. Many refer to this sink as a prep sink, which quite literally is one of its primary uses. Homeowners commonly use this extra workspace for cutting vegetables, chilling wine or washing hands before a meal. Choosing a faucet style and finish that complements the room's decor can add an eye-catching decorative piece to an otherwise "ho-hum" island.
Also referred to as a convenience sink or a beverage center, this area is traditionally used for entertaining purposes. It's occasionally located on the center island, but is often placed on a separate countertop in the kitchen or adjacent room (if space allows). Make sure to choose a faucet that matches the other kitchen faucets. Danze offers several types of bar faucets including high-arc options, small-scale faucets and pull-down faucets. Choose a style that will make this space "entertaining."
Looking for another water source without a full sink? Try incorporating a pot filler faucet at your stovetop. These faucets provide a convenient, safe way to add more water to boiling pots or saute pans. Danze offers a variety of wall mount and deck mount pot fillers in traditional and contemporary options.
As you plan your kitchen remodel or look for ways to maximize your work areas, don't be shy about making your sinks, work surfaces and water sources work hard for you. But don't forget that style is just as important in today's kitchen.