Fawning Over Faucets: New Bathroom Designs Deserve Acclaim

JEE-O’s Pure wall mount faucet

“There are two things that Jack Bauer never does. Show mercy and go to the bathroom.”

Kiefer Sutherland

In light of Hurricane Harvey, I thought we’d explore some of the better, less overwhelming aspects of water.  The first (OK, second) place we encounter water each day is our bathroom faucets. It should be functional, sure, but it should also be a beautiful way to kick off the day.

Faucets have long been my weakness since seeing Kallista ads in Architectural Digest in the 1980s (yes, I was that kid). Since then, as I renovate homes, I take special fun in picking really great faucets.  Sometimes I buy them in strange and exotic places like eBay, but I always get a deal.

JEE-O is part of the Dutch company L.J. Moerman, and Pure is one of their lines.  The Dutch are often described as having a spare design ethic, and Pure is proof that simplicity is hard.  It looks simple enough with a ring controlling water flow. But what’s tough to see is that the section of the “pipe” where the ring connects rotates, controlling the flow of hot and cold water for temperature control.  It’s a pretty slick trick and it’s great for those who have difficulty grasping handles and knobs.  Available in brushed and polished stainless steel, Pure runs around $800 – $1,500 depending on the model. The full JEE-O line, including the Soho semi-industrial family, is available in Dallas in the Design District from Bath & Kitchen Showplace and Elegant Additions.

Petracer is an Italian company specializing in tile and bathroom fittings. Luxury doesn’t begin to cover it.  The faucet above is from the Divino collection that marries traditional shapes with a more modern form.  Pictured is perhaps the simplest chrome configuration.  You see, in addition to four metal finishes (chrome, nickel, bronze, and gold) you can accent the handles in 19 different leather and skin options, including crocodile, ostrich and snake. I’m a simple guy and prefer the plain version above. Without any fancy skins, a plain version will run between about $1,300 – $1,800.

Of course, being Italian, they know something about marble. The vanity above is carved from a solid block of marble.  Obviously incredibly heavy, you’ll need a reinforced floor to get this bad boy installed. Equally obvious is the ability to select any stone they can get their hands on.  Price?  Insane.

We all know I’m a fan of Dornbracht, and this latest design is called FIL. It’s a fairly plain body with a curl control blade that resembles a sheet of paper in the wind. Currently, it’s exclusively available at C.P. Hart in London.

But if you’re not in London and you prefer something slightly more angular, there’s Lisse.  It’s essentially the same faucet except the curl controller becomes a more angled bend.  Personally, I like FIL better, but that’s me.  On the upside, neither is on the higher end of Dornbracht’s lines. I see Lisse available pretty easily online from $400, while FIL is listed at about $366 on the C.P. Hart website.

If you do not fear water spots, Italbrass’ Arya might be for you. Oh, and if you have nearly $6,000 to splash out on this wall-mount faucet, it is definitely for you.  Aside from its pure beauty, it’s very functional with a longer than normal spout that moves water into the center of the sink where it belongs.

Dive, another Italbrass family, is another stunning waterfall faucet.  I like the clean look and the roller coaster downward angle of the spout.  I’m also lately a fan of joystick controllers, which in this case can be matching metal or oak, teak, or wenge wood.  They’re slicker than the standard 8-inch spread and allow the body of the faucet to remain uncluttered with knobs.  While a lot cheaper than Arya, starting at $1,700 for the base model, it’s still pretty pricey. But cool.

Coming back to Earth, there’s Brizo’s Sontria wall-mounted faucet.  For those who don’t know, Brizo is the upmarket brand of Moen. Sontria comes in a variety of configurations for any installation type.  I recently saw this in a spec home and thought the wall mount looked particularly great.  It’s available in four finishes (black, chrome, plus brushed and polished nickel).  Chrome can quickly be found for under $300 online with black hitting about $440. Brick and mortar, Brizo is available at Ferguson.

Finally for you traditionalists, there’s Crosswater’s Arcade series. What is clearly a vintage European feel could also work in a transitional environment.  The attention to detail is what makes this interesting. Note that the hot and cold levers are topped by a rounded dome that matches the full “marble” on top of the faucet body.  It’s available in two finishes (chrome and polished nickel) and retails for $649. Crosswater is a UK-based company founded by David Hance after leaving the Metropolitan Police 17 years ago for a new career.  They’ve recently opened distribution in the US with an HQ in Massachusetts.  For those who love English hotel bathrooms, this is your only stop.

Next week, we’re getting even more watery with cool, non-egg shaped bathtubs.

 

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.

 

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