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Published: Thursday, 6/29/2006

Create a State-of-the-Art Kitchen with Historical-Style Details

(ARA) - Vintage or period motifs have become one of the hottest trends in home kitchen design, but your Old-World kitchen doesn't need to feature modern-looking faucets to take advantage of the latest technology. Whether creating an original design, restoring an old kitchen, or merely redecorating, more homeowners are turning to new period-style plumbing that offers traditional style with all the modern conveniences.

"It's all about marrying form and function," says Jeff Pratt, vice president of sales for Danze, a manufacturer of decorative plumbing products including kitchen and bath faucets, bath accessories and showerheads. "Today's styles are greatly inspired by the past, but live in the present. As more homeowners gravitate to high performance kitchen products, the industry is responding with new products and finishes to ensure no one has to compromise on style."

In addition to products such as the pot filler faucet (a faucet mounted near the stove to bring water right to the stovetop) and various pull-down or pull-out faucets, other high-performance kitchen products like commercial-style dish rinse faucets and even hands-free electronic faucets are quickly gaining popularity. Though modern in function, their range of styles and finishes ensure even the most up-to-date kitchens can evoke the grandeur of an earlier age.

Pratt points to the Danze Opulence Collection as one example. The popular collection, based on Victorian styling cues, achieves the Old-World look many homeowners are striving for while delivering performance that is anything but traditional. A pull-down faucet, pull-out faucet and pot filler faucet offer convenience in the kitchen, but the selection of finishes from antique copper to oil rubbed bronze capture an authentic vintage look.

"Creating ambience in the kitchen is all about the details, so homeowners shouldn't underestimate the impact of a unique finish," Pratt says. "Stainless steel has led the way in popularity for metal finished kitchen appliances and accessories, but if you're going for vintage style, you can now rely on a range of aged or distressed finishes to complete your look."

Coordinating metal finishes is one of the easiest ways to create a professionally designed look in your kitchen. Oil rubbed, black and other types of subdued metal finishes are appearing on faucets, lighting, cabinet knobs and other trim and hardware elements for the kitchen, offering a simple way to create a period-inspired look. As you work to put a vintage stamp on your kitchen, try these simple tips to help accentuate your d cor:

* Start by selecting fixtures with a vintage style in an antique finish to set the tone for your design. For example, a farmhouse-style sink with a wall-mounted kitchen faucet in a period style is a great way to capture a more rustic look of days-gone-by.

* Don't stop your new look with the faucet. Replacing cabinet knobs to match the finish and styling of your faucets is a simple and inexpensive way to tie everything together.

* Try a new backsplash tile that features an aged finish (such as copper glaze) or a distressed texture to expand your look with an eye-catching display.

* Consider a wood countertop for your center island. Apart from offering a more traditional look, it will provide a food-safe and heat-resistant work surface.

* Makeover your ordinary dishwasher or other appliances by adding a vintage-inspired door panel. Dishwasher and refrigerator doors are especially well suited to "hide" their functionality.

With today's variety of styles and finishes, kitchens with a vintage flavor don't need to sacrifice function to get all the current features. Integrating many of these details into your next kitchen project can help you achieve an inviting traditional d cor that also reflects your personal tastes. Courtesy of ARA Content

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