At this year's annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) we spotted a move towards products that make life in the kitchen less arduous — whether it's the push-activated lift-system cabinets I wrote about yesterday or, as in today's look, a set of smart faucets and sink accessories that operate quickly and almost intuitively.
- Moen: Moen debuted a few new faucets and sink accessories this year. Their new Etch single handle pulldown faucet features an integrated pulldown wand that fits very neatly into the spout. You hardly even notice it's there! The modern new Tilt pulldown faucet comes in chrome and a new fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, and features a pullout design that's stylish, minimal, and easy to use.
As one Moen rep told me, the company is branching out to meet consumers' demand for versatile, have-it-all-in-one-place living spaces ("solutions for all needs in one area," as one press release read). To that end they've debuted sink-side accessories like beverage faucets and soap dispensers to match the other products in their line. Their new Sip Beverage filtering faucet has a flashing LED light that indicates when the filter needs to be changed, while the new soap dispensers can be refilled above the counter.
- Kohler: I first wrote about Kohler's Sensate faucet last January, so I was glad to see it in action finally. It really is a sweet-looking faucet that only turns on if you pass your hands right underneath the high arc. (This precise spot is to prevent you from accidentally turning on the faucet if you pass your hands underneath or near the spout itself.)
This year Kohler improved the Sensate by adding Sweep Spray technology, which is basically an angled nozzle that forms a wide, powerful spray. (You can see the angle of the water in the photo above.) This angled spray lets you really "cut" into corners and power-blast dirty dishes and sinks for a quicker clean. The Sweep Spray will be available on Cruette, Bellera, and Simplice faucets, in addition to Sensate, beginning March 15th.
- Delta: Delta also moved into the sink accessories area this year with their own line of touch-activated beverage faucets and soap dispensers that operate with just a light tap —or, in the case of the soap dispenser, a light wave of the hand near the spout.
- InSinkerator: I wouldn't be able to talk about smart faucets this year without mentioning InSinkerators new 3N1 hot water faucet. In one tap you get hot, cold, and near boiling water. The knob on the right gives you standard hot and cold water; the knob on the left gives you 200 degree water.
The 3N1 model must be paired with InSinkerator's new High Performance Steaming Hot Water Tank and Water Filtration System, which holds 100 cups of 210 degree hot water and looks fairly unobtrusive underneath the sink. (Side note: this high-performance water tank, which gives out instant boiling water, is apparently what Starbucks uses!)