Picasso, Leonardo, Van Gough are all epic names associated with classical art. Likewise, there are certain designs among kitchen faucets that will always be tagged as retro or classical. For instance, anything with a rusted brass finish naturally looks rustic and traditional. Personally, I don’t have much inclination towards retro styling but I hear that it is slowly making inroads into an otherwise function and style driven world of kitchen faucets.
Return Of The Classics
I find more homeowners asking me about retro fittings and fixtures. From the bathroom to the kitchen, retro is making its way back. Brass, chrome finishing, polished nickel are a few favorite finishes that folks want their retro fittings to have.
Vintage style bridge faucets and wall mounts remind me of the days when there wasn’t much difference between the toilet and kitchen plumbing. Things were so simple back then. Functionality beat style any day and if something wasn’t necessary, it was never purchased. Well, today retro isn’t necessary but the demand is certainly there. With under-mounted sinks growing in popularity, the need for bridge faucets has risen. Together it definitely speaks boldly of ancient fashion while maintaining a decent amount of functionality.
Definitely not meant for a streamlined look, retro faucets are more of a style statement than anything else. Today’s modern-traditional faucets thankfully are much easier to clean and maintain while having all modern day marvels such as single handle function, pull-out wands and even ceramic or diamond sealed valves.
A few highly ornate neo-classical designs can be difficult to maintain. Unless you are truly a retro lover, these faucets can be difficult to clean and use. Alternatively, if you want something retro but aren’t willing to compromise on functionality you could go with traditional designs that have all the functionality but are finished in a retro look with warmer materials and classical styling. Thankfully, many of the current retro faucets are actually a blend between contemporary and tradition. Basically retros today are a refreshing change from the modern and sometimes bizarre designs.
The Allure Of Old World
Old world faucets had one thing in common – every single piece was handcrafted and authentic in its design. Unlike the retro look, vintage collections are actually more about sticking with the past 100 percent. They give me an impression of living in a country farmhouse or out under the Tuscan sun. The only modern trend among old world faucets is that they use greener products with natural materials and wooden hues taking precedence.
These timeworn classics are typically darker with oil-rubbed bronze being a perfect example. Then there are antique copper and wrought iron pieces that bring out the patina over time gracing these fixtures with a time worn truly natural and aged look. Such a style is more organic and natural than today’s contemporary designs and it is such designs that truly catches my fancy than faucets painted in a rusted hue. When properly maintained such vintage faucets can exaggerate a traditional kitchen like nothing else. Couple it with a copper or stone sink and you have made history stop and salute you.
Quite naturally, the truly rustic designs that oxidize or age with time such as wrought iron can lose its appeal if it isn’t maintained properly. Moreover, you will have to use a lot of stained wood or natural products in your kitchen to co-ordinate with such faucets, something that few homes retain from the past. Beware, if you fall in love with a classic design you may just have to redo your entire kitchen in a rustic style.