Ask most UK householders which tap finish they’d specify for a new kitchen and I’d pretty much guarantee that the question would be met firstly with a blank look, and then the question right back at you in a tone which implies you’re a complete idiot : “Which finish?”
Yes, finish. Because no longer is there simply the minuscule UK choice of polished chrome or brushed nickel…. the times they are a changin’. The UK Pinterest crew can at last have their lusted after US inspired brass, bronze and copper, those with factory fixations can get fixed up with matt or nickel black and neutral aficionados can order their taupe taps.
Interesting taps were everywhere at KBB. The lead image and the first three below are from Danish company Vaucets and their brassware was beyond cool. Black rubber, lustrous brass and rich coppers drew me in like a moth to a flame. Such good prices too, check them out. I’d a long conversation (for a trade show) with a lovely guy on the stand about the company ethos – very environmentally conscious – and high levels of accountability during the manufacturing process to ensure top quality. They’re currently looking for UK distributors and I expect to see them in style mags very soon.
That black matt rubber one? So deliciously tactile and I also liked the idea to mix materials by using the back on the base and the gold / copper for the spout. This was a choice made by a couple of the companies at the show and one which creates a really interesting visual effect for designers.I loved this Carron Phoenix brass kitchen tap, currently only a prototype designed to gather feedback at trade shows. It’s just gorgeous right? I can’t decide between the all brass one or the one white ceramic handles. I tried sneaking it into my handbag whilst they were busy with customers but Mr M made me stop being naughty #sowantthattap.Or maybe black’s more your thing?This angular Blanco version above worked brilliantly with the graphite sink (more on those soon). Looking at this I can’t even imagine why someone would want to put a chrome tap on a charcoal sink, or have a steel sink with one of these taps, can you?
Then again what about just a touch of the dark side without going the whole hog….Super industrial in style was a black nickel version below by Carron Phoenix. This would look amazing with a huge white ceramic Belfast sink, maybe on a deep charcoal work surface. I think so anyway!I’ve installed a cream tap before, in a very pale kitchen at Project Pad where I didn’t want the area to look too ‘kitcheny’. These ones were space age white and possibly best kept to futuristic, minimalist kitchens which look like no humans have ever entered the space, never mind cooked there 😉
Kelly Hoppen fans eat your hearts out because taupe taps have arrived! These are very stylish and very new to me. Advances in attractive but tough materials are allowing much more unusual finishes to taps, which naturally get a hammering from water and cleaning products so need to be durable and hard-wearing. These taupe ones would need to be designed into very particular spaces but I can totally see them in pared back contemporary kitchens working neutral or grey palettes.There was a Caple silicone tap called Navitas which I didn’t manage to get a snap of at the show but I’m going to include as it’s an affordable & stylish option in black. Great for the minimalist kitchen with en trend dark cabinetry.
It pains me to say I almost ran out of time on the day and managed to see just a fraction of the bathroom stands. One tap which jumped out at me was this copper special on the Hurlingham stand. Very reasonably priced and a great change from polished chrome. Their copper shower heads were also delightfully bonkers.What do you reckon then, tempted to go for a more unusual style than the usual suspects in the tap line-up? Go on, stand out from the crowd!
More here from KBB 2016:
Kitchen worktops : Full Fat Or Skinny Minnie?
Hobtastic Finds : Gas V Induction – Which Side Are You?