Best New Kitchen and Bath Products 2011
TOH editors scoured the market for kitchen and bath upgrades that make life easier, better, or just more fun
TOH editors scoured the market for upgrades that make life easier, better, or just more fun, from a fits-anywhere fireplace to a sleekly coiled pot-washer faucet to a seductive soaking tub.
With home centers expanding their lines and prestige brands striving to offer value, high style at a low price is more available than ever.
Small, Dark, and Handsome
Flatter your cabinets with Amerock's rich-looking Candler Collection knobs and pulls in a new finish called Caramel Bronze (available in September).
About $3.67 to $5.52; amerock.com
With its bulbous glass shade and atmospheric Edison-style bulb, this Past is Present pendant (#198671) has the graceful look of pricey reproductions. Hang one over the sink or three in a row over the island.
About $119; lowes.com
The door on Robern's R3 Series 14-by-18-by-4-inch cabinet is mirrored on both sides, opens 108 degrees for a wide view, and shuts with a soft close. The mirrored interior brightens items stored on its glass shelves.
About $190; robern.com
Put in a bidet without tearing up the tile: Swap in Porcher's slow-close Electronic Bidet Seat with Dryer. Jets gear up when you sit down; just select from five temperature settings for front and back rinsing and drying.
About $800; porcher-us.com
Add a fireplace to your cook space without calling a mason. Hang The Outdoor GreatRoom Company's Inspiration Fireplace on a wall indoors or out and enjoy flames fueled by clean, low-cost gel. It comes in a brushed stainless-steel finish that will marry well with kitchen appliances.
About $699; outdoorrooms.com
Even great products can benefit from a little tinkering. The smart advances here promise to streamline daily life.
Marble That Won't Chip
Nothing else has the patina of the real thing, but Silestone's veined Nebula series engineered stone comes close and, more important, ends the heartache of chips and stains.
From $54 per square foot; silestoneusa.com
It's hard to find a vent-fan light fixture that doesn't look geeky or sound like an airplane. NuTone's sleek LunAura not only blends in, it has the company's quietest and most powerful motor yet. It also features a blue-glow LED night-light that's designed to not wake you in the wee hours.
About $399; nutone.com
Finish a peninsula, an island, or an end run of cabinets with this two-legged storage piece. KraftMaid's Island End Cap arrives as a single piece for easy installation; top it with any counter you like. Comes in a variety of sizes and styles, including the tapered-leg Garrison Maple in Mushroom (shown).
About $750; kraftmaid.com
Know how the bottoms of pots cover—and close off—the drain? Kohler is ridding the world of this nuisance by shifting the drain away from the center in several of its collections, including this Riverby cast-iron sink.
About $625; us.kohler.com
Bypass the electrician and go directly to undercabinet lighting with Hafele's LOOX surface-mount, battery-powered LED fixture. It flicks on with a motion detector, and its cool light won't heat up your pastry station.
About $48; hafele.com/us
Surfaces take on textured finishes; fixtures and furnishings stand out with graceful, sculptural shapes.
Intricate ornamentation is the hallmark of Top Knobs' Passport Collection of knobs and pulls. The Tuscan Bronze finish (shown) has a rich, old-world patina.
From $4.95; topknobsusa.com
Classic Shaker meets Danish Modern in Thos. Mosers Meridian Round Dining Table. The piece's 48-inch solid-cherry
top and compact curved and tapered base comfortably seat four. Its craftsmanship will last a lifetime.
About $2,975; thosmoser.com
Faux-wood-grained porcelain Nocchio "planks" by Ann Sacks meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards for horizontal surfaces in a wet environment. Colors include (from left) Burnt Walnut, Yellow Birch, and Antique Hickory.
About $9.50; annsacks.com
The 70-inch Toulouse tub from Victoria + Albert has an updated vintage look and a soft-white finish. It's cast from a solid composite that is half powdered volcanic limestone and half resin, so scratches can be polished out. And at 194 pounds, it's lighter and easier to install than cast iron.
About $5,000; vandabaths.com
Try keeping your hands off the Danze River Rock lav faucet. Its pleasingly pitted surface and light-reflecting Medium Bronze finish are sure to add warmth to any sink.
About $5750; danze.com
A special finishing process gives Carlisle's wide-plank solid-walnut Watermill flooring the rippled look of wood shaped by colonial-era saws.
From $12.35 per square foot; wideplankflooring.com
From shortening footsteps to adding function, these products promise to make the day flow more smoothly.
Easier-to-Handle Pot Washer
The slim, tightly coiled hose on Blanco's 22-inch-high Culinacommercial-style faucet has a long reach, a springy touch, and a dual-spray spout that docks with the help of a magnet.
From $825; blancoamerica.com
Cook different dishes at different temperatures in the Samsung Flex Duo Oven. Just slide the steel barrier shelf in place; it fits in a groove in the closed door to create two oven cavities. Two controls and two convection fans allow them to operate independently.
About $1,500; samsung.com/us
The Architect Series II four-door refrigerator boasts French doors, an adjustable-temperature drawer above the freezer, and a recipe-friendly water dispenser that will give you a preset amount to the cup or ounce. It's part of a matched appliance suite.
About $2,999; kitchenaid.com
Everpure's slim H-300HSD under-sink canister uses an advanced carbon filter to produce purer water than earlier models, and its 300-gallon capacity means it lasts a lot longer, too. Requires a dedicated faucet (not included).
About $430; everpure.com
This nimble unit has an 18,000-BTU gas burner, an energy-saving induction burner, and a griddle in between. Give it a visible spot on the smallest island; the drip pan is designed for quick cleanups. Bertazzoni 36-inch Design Series Segmented cooktop.
About $2,699; bertazzoni.com