How to Use the Next Big Plumbing Trend in Your Kitchen and Bath
It's as elegant as it is edgy.
Published Sep 2, 2018 5:10 AM
As brass was stealing the spotlight (and our hearts), a new plumbing trend crept quietly into our bathrooms and kitchens. While matte black might not be as flashy as its brassy counterpart, its velvety finish and graphic silhouette is giving warm metal a real run for its money. Both classic and edgy, matte black harkens back to Victorian claw-foot tubs and farmhouse water pumps, all the while managing to look modern and industrial.
In a world where metallics are constantly in and out of favor, a matte black faucet is a bathroom’s little black dress; always classic, always elegant. Paired with a diverse array of hues, against a flat backdrop or bold texture, these fixtures always look sharp, fresh, and new. If your bathroom is ready for a revamp, try this trend that’s sure to stick around.
Why It’s On Trend
This finish works with styles as diverse as soft modernism and farmhouse industrial, and everything in between. Chrome and nickel finishes feel stark and cold next to velvety,dark painted cabinets
and patterned cement tile. Delicate pastels like millennial pink can clash with brass but glow next to matte black. Jessica Birchfield, senior designer at Moen notes, “Placing a matte black finish on a minimalist form instantly creates a modern, urban industrial vibe… on a traditional faucet, it evokes a vintage farmhouse industrial mood. Both elevate the experience with a strong sense of distinctive character and nostalgia.”
Why It’s Timeless
Metal trends cycle between warm golds and cool silvers. Black stands apart from these popular finish options. “Black is a timeless color that won’t go out of style,” says Jessica Birchfield of Moen. Brizo agrees, “The popularity of matte black really comes from black being a neutral…it’s such a versatile finish that can go with any design style.”
Where to Find This Finish
Matte black finishes are popping up everywhere. High-end manufacturers like Crosswater London focus on sleek contemporary looks, while go-to brands Moen, Delta, and Kohler offer both modern and traditional styles. For the budget reno project, Home Depot and Lowes, stocks a good array of black fixtures too.
Pair it with: Black & White
Black plumbing fixtures and white bathrooms are a match made in heaven. Black faucets and showerheads add a graphic pop against white subways or penny-rounds, and “appeals to minimalistic and streamlined design enthusiasts,” notes David Hance of Crosswater London. Think early modernism with a sharp 1930s feel.
Pair it with: Saturated Color
Black enriches already rich, saturated hues. Unlike brass or rose gold, black doesn’t compete with surrounding tones. Matte black is stunning with flatpaint finishes
in dark, moody schemes that include colors like midnight blue, eggplant purple, or jade green. Perfect for creating a Neo-Victorian vibe.
Pair it with: Pastels
Black is an excellent foil to pale pink, mint, or powder blue. Jessica Birchfield of Moen points out, “the velvety finish reduces the form to its unique silhouette and makes it feel distinctly soft modern.”
Pair it with: Pattern
Patterned concrete tiles are still topping the trends and matte black works great here too. A traditional farmhouse-style faucet in matte black adds to a vintage look without feeling old-fashioned. Brizo tells us, “Currently, all of our collections featuring matte black are more modern or contemporary styles…however, we are launching a new collection for the bath that is more of a transitional design—almost a new traditional.”
Pair it with: Natural Materials and Textures
Flat black is a great complement to natural woods, stone, and concrete. The richness of the finish adds depth and weight to these earthy materials. Unlike a polished finish, matte black feels warm and adds to an at-home spa experience.
Pair it with: Marble
Dramatic Carrara or Statuario slabs are to die for when paired with matte black. A black faucet accentuates veining, unlike a chrome or nickel fixture that reflects light and blends with the surroundings. Think ultra-luxe Italian style.
Pair it with: Other Metals
Gone are the days of matching metals throughout a house. Today it’s all about a collected, eclectic feel. Since matte black is neither warm nor cool, it pairs with chrome and oil-rubbed bronze and everything in between.
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