The Top 10 Kitchen, Bath, and Tile Designs Out There Right Now
Our editors select their favorite designs from the hardest-working rooms in the home—along with slam-dunk runner-ups.
By Tiffany Jow
April 10, 2018
For our inaugural Standouts feature, in which Surface’s editors review countless objects in search of the top 10 most artful and forward-looking new products in a category, we tackle the hardest-working rooms in the home: the kitchen and the bathroom. As each piece that follows proves, the quotidian rituals of cooking and washing up can be a surprisingly refined, inspiring experience.
Equipped with a foot warmer, remote control, and motion-activated seat, Kohler’s Numi Intelligent toilet redefines the way we go. Built-in Bluetooth speakers and ambient lighting—in seven colors—enhance this next-level john.
Designed by Michael Gottschalk using Blu Bathworks’ signature Bluestone—a durable, non-porous material composed mainly of quartzite—the Fini 1 bathtub’s seamless shape has a natural, stonelike texture.
DESIGNER OF BISAZZA MOSAICO GREG NATALE COLLECTION
“Creating sinuous forms with these little squares is an intriguing process. It’s a lot like working with image pixels, and the team at Bisazza are the world leaders in this game. The process of applying a pattern to a grid isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. What was also fascinating was the breadth of glass types available to work with. Laying tiles with a slightly rougher nish alongside smooth, glossy ones with metallic ecks results in a fabulous texture.”
Australian interior designer Greg Natale’s striking New Malachite mosaic pattern for Bisazza is composed of meticulously arranged 10×10” green-and-gray glass tiles.
Available at Avenue Road, French designer Bruno Moinard’s Signature Kitchen for Obumex incorporates rose copper, brushed oak, and lava stone in its refreshing interpretation of the cooking space.
Founder and CEO, Henrybuilt
“The most challenging part of designing the Unity 1 was maximizing the usable space, and building it so it would support the sink without a visible cross-member. The result has the presence of a piece of furniture rather than a built-in unit. So its form remains pure and unaffected by how it’s installed.”
Despite its small footprint, Henrybuilt’s handsome Unity 1 vanity incorporates a substantial dark wood base and a generously sized enameled steel sink.
This monolithic faucet, part of Brizo’s Vettis bath collection, delivers a cascade of water via its rectangular open-flow spout, creating a kind of in-home waterfall.
Made for that hard-to-outfit space between the kitchen counter and cabinets, Arclinea’s aluminum and stainless-steel Mensolina storage system offers made-to-measure open wood shelving and integrated lights.
Caesarstone’s cool, confident Rugged Concrete quartz countertop is marked by its rich gray base with cloud-shaped splotches of white.
Porcelanosa studied more than 1,500 different trees to create its Desert Nebraska Coffee porcelain tile, which mimics the knots and whorls of real hardwood with striking precision.
Designer, Dekton Industrial Collection (Cosentino)
“There’s something to be said for finding beauty in the ugly. Exploring materiality in decay is what inspired the development of the Industrial series. It’s about appreciating materials for what they are and embracing their organic decomposition. The rich, intricate patterns of these processes can be paired beautifully with modern furniture and design. The current offering of the series only scratches the surface—we’re exploring new metal- and cement-inspired designs to further expand the collection.”
Arizona-based designer Daniel Germani created Orix, one of four colors in Cosentino’s Dekton Industrial collection. Made of inorganic raw materials found in glass, porcelain, and quartz, its blue-gray and green surface evokes eroded concrete.
The white Sola Matte lacquer cabinets and marble-and-granite countertops in this kitchen by Avani contrasts with rift-cut white oak cabinets, which are hand-rubbed with a black matte stain.
Geometric shapes and dark, industrial materials including aluminum and brushed brass anchor Italian designer Elisa Ossino’s moody Elementi collection for Boffi.
Part of Bulthaup’s B Solitaire series, this customizable storage system’s aluminum frame can be outfitted with glass, stainless steel, or solid oak overlays.
Duravit’s Luv freestanding bathtub, created by Danish designer Cecilie Manz, is made from the brand’s own Durasolid A, a cast-mineral material that allows the seamless piece to feel warm to the touch when full.
Coated in a matte gunmetal finish, the brass showerhead and controls of Salvatori + Fantini’s Fontane Bianche collection were designed by Elisa Ossino, who added a contemporary twist to each piece’s streamlined shape.
Gaggenau’s stealth 400 Series dishwasher opens with a simple nudge, revealing a softly backlit stainless-steel interior that shines like a diamond in the rough.
Created for Hansgrohe by German studio Phoenix Design, the Raindance Select E 300 shower pipe allows users to transition from the showerhead to the handheld device via controls integrated into its solid brass, chrome-finished body.
Konstantin Grcic designed the rimless Val Wall-Hung WC and bidet for Laufen using the manufacturer’s SaphirKeramik ceramic material. Each piece’s streamlined, circular shape evokes a sense of lightness.
Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of London-based firm Raw Edges created their inventive Tape collection for Mutina by applying a series of variously colored patterns to black-and-white ceramic tiles.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s porcelain Aster collection for Nemo Tile is a contemporary take on classic cement tile patterns. Available in three color schemes and five patterns, the pieces can be mixed and matched for an eclectic effect.
Understated, unexpected shapes informed this stainless-steel showerhead and taps from Piet Boon by Amsterdam-based firm Cocoon. Available in matte gunmetal black, brushed stainless steel, and copper, it’s equally comfortable in the washroom or kitchen.
For its 125th anniversary, Poggenpohl presented this updated version of its +Segmento kitchen, in which details such as handleless cabinets and elegant wall panels create a minimal, open space.
Polished cocoa-hued glass, lacquered steel, and black aluminum comprise this wonderfully warm and open Artematica kitchen from Valcucine.
In a nod to design elements from the 1930s, the metal cross handle of the Dash thermostatic from Waterworks is available in a nickel, chrome, or unlacquered brass finish (shown here).
Blue-chip appliance maker Sub-Zero makes its first foray into dishwashers with Cove, a next-level device complete with more than 200 cycle options, an “extra quiet” cycle, and strategically angled rack baskets and tines—which allow water to run off the rims of bowls and glasses.