Q & A with Holly (The Kitchen Hub) – Choosing the right tapware for your bathroom design - Misc. NZ
Q & A with Holly (The Kitchen Hub) – Choosing the right tapware for your bathroom design

Q & A with Holly (The Kitchen Hub) – Choosing the right tapware for your bathroom design

Words by Superior Renovations

Bathrooms are often the smallest space in any home which means that they must find the right balance between functionality and aesthetics within any bathroom design. Even a decade ago, most bathrooms had a clinical look about them with white tiles or walls and standard shiny chrome fixtures. Bathrooms of today however are very different in terms of aesthetics as there are many more options to choose from.

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your bathroom is to integrate statement taps within your bathroom design. Bathroom accessories are often overshadowed by bathtubs and vanity which means that they are often a secondary consideration when renovating. Most people don’t realise however that statement tapware can really elevate a bathroom design.

Statement tapware and basins can transform a bathroom whether you are doing minor upgrades or renovating your entire bathroom. In the last year or so we have seen an increasing number of our clients opting for designer tapware for their bathroom design.

Hence we decided to look for suppliers in Auckland that could fill this niche and hence our partnership with The Kitchen Hub was formed. The Kitchen Hub specialises in designer tapware for bathrooms and kitchens designed by leading designers in Australia, UK and the USA.

We met with Holly from The Kitchen Hub to understand a bit more about their company and the trends in tapware seen in Auckland.

This article will discuss the following:

  • Q & A with Holly – The Kitchen Hub’s process on narrowing down the right tapware for clients
  • Top 5 Tips on choosing the right type of bathroom accessories for different styled homes in Auckland

Meet Holly from The Kitchen Hub

“My role is to assist in promoting and advertising our bespoke collection of kitchen, bathroom and laundry products. My passion is to create brand awareness for our high-end boutique ranges that will assist our clients in discovering and selecting the right products for their homes. At The Kitchen Hub, we strive ourselves on offering unique brands that create luxury statements. Which is why I am always working closely alongside our clients to help provide innovative outcomes.”

Holly, Sales & Marketing Manager

We sat down with Holly from The Kitchen Hub to see how she helps clients with their tapware choice

Superior Renovations: How can clients narrow down their choices amidst such an overwhelming tapware selection?

Holly: I usually first ask what kind of budget they are working with and how much they are willing to allocate towards the products that they are after. If they are working with a tight budget then I will usually point them towards Meir and our other more cost effective brands, or if they have a larger budget then I will suggest Astra Walker or The Watermark Collection.

Understanding the client’s budget helps me identify the brands that are suited for them. Once I have identified the brand, then I dive a little deeper and start to understand the design a bit more. This is where I ask what kind of build it is (new build or renovation) and whether it is contemporary or traditional design. This helps me narrow down to specific product ranges which I can then show to the client.

Superior Renovations: How do people choose through the various finishes? How do you help them choose?

HollySelecting finishes will depend on various factors. First I need to understand what the setting is and who will be using the tapware. If it is for a family home, then clients will be wanting something that is durable and easy to clean. So I tend to recommend a stainless steel or brushed finish, something that won’t show finger prints and is low maintenance. Sometimes, if clients have young children, I do suggest not to use a matte black finish. While most of our matte black finishes are electroplated and are very durable, they still tend be easier to scratch if they are not handled carefully.

Superior Renovations: What is the difference between living finishes and Sealed finishes?

Holly: Living finishes are becoming more popular for their raw and organic appearance. They are designed to change and evolve, so they will develop a unique worn appearance over time. But the aged look is not for everyone.

If our clients want a living finish then our go to would be either Astra Walker or Buddy. These brands offer of range of living finishes, including natural brass and aged brass, which are the most common finishes that our clients tend to go for.

If the client wants a finish that will remain the same over time then I would recommend our trending sealed finishes which are matte black, brushed brass, stainless steel, brushed nickel and gunmetal. These finishes are offered by various different brands which gives a bit more flexibility when it comes to product selection.

Sealed Finish
Living Finish

Superior Renovations: Are there any specific trends that you are seeing in bathroom tapware?

Holly: There are a couple of design trends that have started to emerge with bathroom tapware. I have noticed a lot of people are now going for coloured tapware, especially brass finishes, as opposed to standard chrome and matte black. Living finishes are also becoming increasingly popular for the more industrial and retro design look. Elevated tapware is coming back into fashion as well, with a lot of interest in our cross handle and lever options as opposed to standard wall mixers.

Top 5 tips on choosing the right tapware for your bathroom design

Tip 1 – Design your bathroom which complements the rest of your home

Every person is unique which means that the style of every home is different from the other. However, the 5 broad categories that most homes fit into is contemporary, Traditional, Modern, Rustic, and Industrial. Most homes are not however designed to specific style and often contain a mix and match of various styles.

Modern or minimalistic Bathroom designs

Modern bathroom designs usually have tapware which are sleek and with straight lines. The overall look of a modern bathroom design often features a minimalistic look with a clean and uncluttered look. Most modern bathrooms used to feature shiny tapware, but a growing trend has seen a shift towards black matte tapware. Matte black look adds a certain sophistication to a bathroom design. It is versatile and works with most colour schemes in a bathroom. Even with smaller bathrooms where the colour scheme is often neutral, black matte taps can add a great design element to the bathroom.

If you are going for a Trendy and modern look for your bathroom then this range can be great to incorporate within your bathroom design.
Astra Walker provides over 23 finishes and textures which means that you can choose your tapware in any colour or texture provided
Traditional Villas and Bungalows

Most bungalows and villas in Auckland feature traditional elements within their structure like hardwood floors, casement windows, and traditional chandeliers. The overall design of traditional homes can be carried on to bathrooms while still having modern luxurious like bathtubs and wet rooms. You can add a traditional element to your bathroom design by installing traditional tapware like the classic range from Aster walker.  The classic range has taps and bathroom accessories are reminiscent of old Victorian and Edwardian times which come in over 23 textures and colours to suit most traditional bathroom tastes.

Matte Black Olde English 3 tap set up used from the Astra Walker range. This set up is perfect for Villas and Bungalows that want to retain the old world charm for their homes.
Rustic Style bathrooms

There has been a growing trend in rustic style bathrooms in Auckland. We recently renovated two rustic style bathrooms which featured brass sinks and antique gold finishes. Rustic style bathrooms often feature elements of nature such as wooden accents, warm colours and matte brown or golden fixtures with an antique finish. If you are looking at adding rustic elements to your bathroom then changing your tapware could be a great way to do so.

Elk Eco Brass is a great choice for a Rustic bathroom
Icon range can be used for a modern Rustic Style bathroom
Contemporary bathrooms

Contemporary styled bathrooms are one of the most popular in bathroom designs of today. The contemporary style borrows a bit of every style for a streamlined look. It is mostly a bit of old and a bit of new. There is a lot to choose from when you are designing your bathroom in a contemporary style. When choosing accessories for a contemporary bathroom, think about your colour scheme as well as your family situation.

Contemporary bathrooms often feature basins which are placed above the countertop with tapware attached on the wall (Metropolis Black matte tapware from The Kitchen Hub)

If you do have a young family then opt for tapware which is shiny and not matte. Matte finish tapware leaves fingerprints on them a lot easier which means you will have to wipe it more often. Hence, if you have a busy household with young children then we would recommend you to use a shiny finish for your tapware.

Industrial style bathrooms

The industrial look was first inspired by the typical New York style apartments. Most industrial design takes clues from old industrial pipes and old factories. This style works great for apartments and architectural homes. However, if you love the look then you can add a vanity, basin or tapware in an industrial design without changing the whole look of the bathroom.

Tip 2 – Choose the right type of shape for your bathroom fixtures

Not all types shapes are right for certain bathroom designs or even the layout.  When choosing your tapware make sure that you are choosing something that looks great but also something that is functional for your family. Think about your family dynamics and who is going to be using that bathroom. Are your young children going to use the bathroom, are adults or the elderly members? If young children or someone who is elderly are using the bathroom then it would be best to install a basin and tapware that is easy to use. Perhaps a single leaver which can be used with one hand is more suitable but if there are adults using the bathroom then you can install a 2-leaver set up for your bathroom.

Also think about your overall bathroom design to make decisions on the tapware that you choose. If you have a traditional or vintage look in your bathroom then opt for 3 tap set up for your basin. Use a separate hot and cold-water knob fixture to re-create a traditional vibe. Do not use a very sleek or shiny tapware and basin. Opt for more traditional looking basins and tapware. If you have a more modern or contemporary like set-up then go for large square sinks with tall-curved tapware.

If you have a small bathroom then think about a smaller and less cumbersome vanity set up. Always choose your bathroom fixtures in accordance with the size of your bathroom. A lot of people make the mistake of buying bulky fixtures for their small bathrooms which often ends up becoming an eyesore when the renovation is completed. A great advantage now is that there are a lot of options when it comes to smaller vanities in various design and style options.

Tip 3 – The type of finish you choose should depends on your family situation

Our clients often find it hard to choose the right finish for their tapware due to the countless options available today. They often struggle with whether they should get chrome, matte black, or a brushed finish.

Choosing the right type of sheen or finish is important as they determine how your bathroom will look as well as how you will be maintaining it. So we decided to ask Holly for her expertise in choosing the right finish for bathroom tapware.

When asked how she helped clients using the right finish she said “Selecting finishes will depend on various factors. First, I need to understand what the setting is and who will be using the tapware. If it is for a family home, then clients will be wanting something that is durable and easy to clean. So, I tend to recommend a stainless steel or brushed finish, something that will not show fingerprints and is low maintenance. Sometimes, if clients have young children, I do suggest not to use a matte black finish. While most of our matte black finishes are electroplated and are very durable, they still tend be easier to scratch if they are not handled carefully.

Tip 4 – Size of your bathroom

It is important to choose the correct size of tapware for the size of your bathroom. Getting the size of your tapware wrong can disrupt the overall look and flow of your bathroom design. Before you choose your fittings, you should measure up the space of your bathroom. Measure the space for your vanity, shower, toilet and the height available between your vanity and mirror for the tapware.

If you have a small bathroom then perhaps you can opt for a shorter tapware set up or even wall mounted tapware. If you have plenty of space available, then you can choose a long-arched tapware. The same goes for your vanity. If you have a small bathroom then make sure you measure the space available for your vanity before you go shopping. This will help you choose a set up for your bathroom in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Tip 5 – Choose tapware that is compatible with your water pressure

If you are renovating your home, then chances are that you are going to be using your existing plumbing. Auckland homes that are built over 20 years ago often have low water pressure. Its always good to check the type of water pressure you are working with before you buy your tapware. You can get your water pressure checked by a professional or simply look at your water cylinder. If you have unequal or low water pressure, then your water cylinder will say ‘low pressure’. Unequal water pressure means that your cold water will have more pressure as compared to your hot water, hence unequal water pressure.

This porcelain basin and 3 tap set up is perfect for villas with low pressure water (Edwardian Nickel black porcelain basin and tapware from the Astra walker range)

Newer homes do not have unequal water pressure which means that your cylinder will say ‘main pressure’. The pressure for hot and cold water for newer homes however is equal. Most villas and bungalows in Auckland have low pressure which means that you will have to find tapware which is compatible for low pressure. Most single leaver tapware is only suited for main pressure cylinders . If you have a low pressure water system and are not ready to change it to main pressure then you have to ensure that you choose tapware which is compatible for low pressure water cylinders.

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