So far, 2016 is promising to be a record-setting year for builders and buyers. So many great new innovations make it an exciting time to build and buy a new home. As a Lifestylist I’m always on the road looking for new trends, and we found some great ones at The International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. The one I’m most excited about though was 3D printing and how this can be used to build and design products for the home.
American Standard has changed their image by introducing their flagship luxury brand DXV. If you’ve been wanting to change out your 80s bathroom with the garden tub, now is a great time to do it. The entire line has products that are treated as functional art, and even a small investment in the line can make a boring bath into a spa.
What really got us excited, though, were the first residential faucets created with 3D printing debuting at the show. Lots of products have been made using this process in plastic, but these are the first ready-for-market working residential faucets to be printed in metal. I’ve seen photos of them, but didn’t grasp how special these are until I saw them in person.
The 3D printing process makes it possible for these intricate designs, which reinvent how water is brought to the user. It’s hard to imagine by just looking at the photos, but the open latticework that is at the base of the Vibrato faucet actually make up the waterways from which the water is delivered. This is so unique it that won the Best of Show in the Bath division at KBIS.
Similarly, the Shadowbrook has 19 separate waterways, and when they come together at the mouth of the faucet it looks like the water is coming from a waterfall or a stream, with the water bouncing over pebbles.
I have always thought that 3D printing was a way to get things made quickly and inexpensively, but that isn’t the case with these — the printing acts as a way to get precise, intricate features that couldn’t be made any other way. The printing process takes at least 24 hours, then they are hand finished over four days by hand to accomplish the luxurious, artisan butler finish. The handwork means that each faucet is unique and no two will be the same.
When I asked how quickly I could get one of these shipped for my home, I was told that only 99 of each of the three designs would be produced and available in the second half of 2016. There will be less than 20 stores that have access to these, and when I asked what Dallas retailers would stock them, they said there would only be one store in Texas, and it probably would be in Houston.
After sharing with them some of our recent record-breaking sales in Dallas, including the Hicks residence, I think they may be reconsidering. Even though these limited edition beauties range in price from $17,000 to $19,000, that’s chump change for most luxury real estate buyers. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of these innovative 3D printed fixtures here in our Dallas luxury homes.
Let us know who is the first to get their name on the list!