Published on November 24, 2020

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Photography by Eric Piasecki; Styling by Kate Berry

We’ve all done that one move where you’re standing at the kitchen sink with greasy fingers and you use every muscle in your pinkie to shift the faucet handle ever so slightly. “Is there not a better way to do this?” Lauren Wall asked herself back in 2008. It took a few years before the avid cook and her husband, Matt, realized that yes, there is: a foot pedal. 

The fixture has been around since the early 1900s, and you’ve probably seen it in a doctor’s office before, but it actually makes a whole lot of sense for your home. Not only do you reduce the spread of germs by going hands-free, you have more control over your water usage. That’s why, this fall, the Walls, along with friend John Porteous, launched Principle Faucets, a line of sink faucets that can be controlled either with a hand lever or a foot pedal. 

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Photography by Sand and Stone Media

“It’s simple and intuitive,” says Matt of the pedal. The design allows you to start and stop the flow of water, regulate the pressure, and adjust the temperature, all with your foot. Before bringing the product to market, the couple tested their prototype in homes across California and found that, on average, people could save up to 44 percent on their water usage (or 185 glasses per day). All the seconds when you would normally allow your faucet to run add up. “I think this period has really caused us to reevaluate our lives,” says Lauren. “How can we do better? How can we best serve this planet? That’s kind of our whole mission.” 

The Principle system, which includes the faucet, pedal, and engine, starts at $800 and allows you to seamlessly operate between the hand lever and the pedal without having to turn a valve on and off. If you love your current faucet but just want the bonus of the pedal, you can buy the step on its own starting at $400 (Psst: Domino readers can get 20 percent off right now when they use the promo code Domino20.) Either option is a step in the right direction. 

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