28 March 2008

Trend watch: new faucet shapes

KBIS (http://www.kbis.com/), the national Kitchen and Bath Industry Show is right around the corner. Manufacturers and suppliers use the yearly KBIS to roll out new products and in the weeks leading up to it, those same companies offer previews to the industry. My preview from Kohler (http://www.kohler.com/) arrived yesterday, and they have some pretty cool new stuff. Kohler's march toward the higher end of the market continues in their new products, that's for sure.

KWC (http://www.kwcamerica.com/) , a high end plumbing fixture company from Switzerland, makes a faucet they call the 1922. The 1922 is pictured above. I've always thought the 1922 was a beautiful, elegant sink fixture. Kohler's new HiRise suite of faucets seems to have taken KWC's idea of the 1922 and expanded it into a whole suite of fixtures.

The HiRise series has a deck mount faucet, a wall mount faucet, a single pole faucet, a pot filler and a sprayer. The tall, arcing shape of the faucet is continuing the trend of the last couple of years for kitchen faucets to get taller and taller. What's different though is that it has no integrated sprayer. I think it's an interesting direction and the HiRise is really gorgeous. As I mentioned earlier, this is definitely another step in the direction of the higher end of the market. The retail price on these things starts at a thousand dollars. That makes it a more expensive fixture than KWC's 1922, and I always think of KWC as an unabashedly high end brand. From the looks of Kohler's preview, I guess I need to readjust my thinking about Kohler as a company in the middle.

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