Decades ago, the biggest faucet trend was to dispense water with enough water pressure to clean a dish and a shower head was supposed to be able to rinse the soap from your hair. Most sinks had separate hot and cold faucets. The mixing faucet in which hot and cold water is blended inside the faucet did not arrive until the 1930s.
The modern plumbing discussion started in the mid-1800’s, and it wasn’t until 1940 that half of the American homes had indoor plumbing. Primarily cities enjoyed the plumbing privilege first, and rural areas followed, due the lack of electricity, which was needed to drive the pumps.
Today, trends in the whole luxury plumbing landscape couldn’t look more different, and the team at Brizo Plumbing is making sure that is the case. We talked with Seth Fritz, Director of Future Design, to learn what’s trending in the world of plumbing, what innovations are available and why Jason Wu, fashion’s wunder-designer signed on board eight years ago to design fixtures for the home.
We thank Brizo for sponsoring our ICONIC LIFE designer showhouse ICONIC HAUS, showcasing luxury plumbing trends, and we want to share the brand story of how Brizo brought ICONIC HAUS to life along with Circa Lighting, Crestron and Dunn-Edwards, among our luxe brands sponsoring ICONIC HAUS.
An amazing luxury home deserves high-design plumbing fixtures from the kitchen to the bath to the shower to the butler’s pantry and in-home bar.
WHAT’S TRENDING NOW
An amazing luxury home deserves high-design plumbing fixtures from the kitchen to the bath to the shower to the butler’s pantry and in-home bar. The team at Brizo brought design to the designers. According to Fritz, 2020 was a year of innovation, and products available today offer an array of functionality. We talked to Fritz for his take on luxury plumbing trends in a company that values the classics.
ICONIC LIFE: Love your job title; what does design futures mean at Brizo Plumbing?
SETH FRITZ: On my team, we look at future strategy, future exciting things within our company, industry and world, as well as new colors, new materials and ideas from a trend perspective both near and far. Our chief chemical engineer is exploring and developing all the new finishes for the company.
ICONIC LIFE: What luxury plumbing trends are you seeing?
SETH FRITZ: We’re noticing the introduction of texture beyond just new metals and finishes, and we are looking at what can we do with materials and with actual texture and visual texture.
Anything health and wellness is a big focus during these times. We’re looking at to take a more personalized approach with health and wellness in mind—whether it’s a faucet that helps you clean your hands easier or clean your dishes faster or safer or create a great experience in the shower from a physical and mental health perspective.
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ICONIC LIFE: When the golden, brass-toned fixtures showed up across the design industry, I wondered when they would fade out, and it feels like that’s a luxury faucet and fixture trend that is here to stay, and I love it. Your thoughts?
SETH FRITZ: From a trend perspective, the gold tones in faucets and fixtures are here to stay. From a Brizo Plumbing perspective, when we look at finishes, we are looking for timeless classics that are going to be around for a long time, not fads. That’s just not us. Those tons are a nod to history, and I think that is what we like about them—that warmth and approachable texture is what we are drawn to.
We are seeing a lot more vintage fixtures installed in homes and curated pieces from all over the world that have a story behind them. Those warm gold tones have that feel like it’s an older piece that has a story behind it, and that’s why they have been so universally appealing to people.
ICONIC LIFE: You talk more about the experience than product specs.
SETH FRITZ: It’s absolutely about the experience we are creating, whether it’s making a task easier or making your shower more indulgent those are our philosophy even more than luxury plumbing trends. It’s at the center focus of everything we do to create that inspiring experience. The showering space…if we can calm your mind or relax your body with an indulgent experience, we’ve given you a few restorative moments to yourself.
Not all faucets are created equally and the Brizo Plumbing design model is about making people’s lives easier, more efficient and safer—the overall experience. And technology is bringing functions to the kitchen and bathroom we’ve not seen before.
ICONIC LIFE: Where can we see Brizo’s innovative nature?
SETH FRITZ: Our main innovation is the technology built into our kitchen faucets. We are working on voice-controlled faucets. We have smart touch technology, based on research trends of how people live their lives and how they use our luxury plumbing products in their homes. If we can make it easier to turn on and off a faucet, if we can make it safer, if we can integrate it into the smart technology in your home, and if you can ask it to dispense exactly one cup of water while you’re making something, those little things are how we are trying to make a difference in people’s homes.
In the showering space, it’s about conserving water while still creating an amazing indulgent, drenching experience that enables you to have an awesome experience. At the same time our innovations in shower systems allow us to be cognoscente of how much water we’re using. We are about a greater purpose, understanding we have the ability to conserve that precious resource.
ICONIC LIFE: How has the pandemic impacted Brizo Plumbing’s thinking and trends in luxury design?
SETH FRITZ: During these times, our smart-touch technology makes even more sense right now to be able to tap on and tap off a faucet to make hand washing easier. In the kitchen, we want to create an absolute stunning and beautiful product, and we also want to make it more efficient with the ease of pull-down functions and multi-spray functions. We want durable finishes and to make the fixtures easier to clean than ever.
Eight years ago, the team at Brizo had a vision to talk with uber-fashion designer Jason Wu to design fixtures.
Eight years ago, the team at Brizo had a vision to talk with uber-fashion designer Jason Wu to design fixtures. When approached about the non-conventional collaboration, Wu said, “design is a state of being,” and whether you are designing gowns for the First Lady Michelle Obama or designing for the home, the same principles are in play, and his eye was ready for the challenge tackling the classics and trends in luxury plumbing.
The collaboration began with fixtures by Wu for the bathroom in matte black, but most recently Wu has designed matte white fixtures for the kitchen in a design named for Wu.
ICONIC LIFE: How did the collaboration with Jason Wu and Brizo Plumbing come to be?
SETH FRITZ: We’ve had a partnership with Jason for more than eight years. He’s an absolutely fantastic human being: so genuine, nice and approachable. He’s been that way since day one. At his core, he believes in good design and making a difference in people lives. So, it aligns with us. We did get a lot of questions…plumbing brand and a fashion designer? But it’s fashion for the home. He’s purposeful with his design choices, focusing on the classics along with pushing trends.
The collision of those worlds is what has led us to that collaboration. The design process is fascinating with him. His brain works just like you’d imagine any other designer works, but he has that extra something about him that he can see further into the future and predict the luxury plumbing finish trends, forms and functions.
ICONIC HAUS / Paul Moore
ICONIC LIFE: What’s special about Jason Wu for Brizo: Bathroom and now, Kitchen?
SETH FRITZ: The kitchen collection is all about classic geometric design, and he was the one who suggested the matte white finish. It wasn’t something we had thought about until we crashed worlds with him. He saw the ying to the yang from the bath collection, where he introduced the matte black fixture, he calls the “little black dress of the bathroom.”
We lean on him to help us think further, and then it’s our team’s job to develop those finishes. He’s also really into the manufacturing and technology behind it. He lives design. That was the easy connection with Brizo, as we are all passionate about design. The beauty is we can challenge each other every day in this super collaborative environment.
Brizo Plumbing is a sponsor of ICONIC HAUS 2020/21, where we showcased high-end luxe kitchen and bathroom fixtures exclusively. Our DESIGN LAB series highlights the brands and products that made ICONIC HAUS the best of the best.