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Kitchen Faucets: Modern vs. Traditional Designs

What do modern kitchen faucets have that older faucets don't? Plenty. Learn how a new kitchen sink faucet can make your life easier and more stylish.

Kitchen Faucet Design Styles: Modern or Traditional?

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s where the family gathers to prepare for dinner at the end of a busy day. The delicious scent of home cooking, or even take-out pizza, emanates from your kitchen to fill your house with the welcome smell of home. And if the kitchen is the heart of the home, the kitchen faucet and sink are generally the focal points of that heart.

You may not realize it, but the eye is generally drawn toward the sink area of every kitchen, mainly because it’s almost always placed in front of a window. And because the kitchen faucet is the centerpiece of the sink, it’s shape and style are often reflective of the entire mood and design of the kitchen itself.

Because of this, choosing the style of your kitchen faucet is of significant importance when deciding on your kitchen style.

what are the Differences Between Traditional and Contemporary Faucets?

Ever since Alfred Moen invented the single handle faucet to blend hot and cold water in one tap, kitchen sinks took a large leap forward. Moen’s inspiration famously came from the fact that he burned his hands trying to wash under a hot water tap. By the 1950s the “single handle mixing faucet,” was the faucet of choice around the world, and his design was featured as one of the top one hundred designs of Fortune Magazine’s best-designed, mass-produced products list.

By the 1970s his initial design was in seventy percent of American homes with the traditional look most of us had in our childhood homes.

In the 1980’s we still had only two choices in faucet finishes: chrome or brass. Polished or brushed nickel joined the palette in the 1990s, to the delight of designers everywhere. Soon after, the high arc style kitchen faucets stuck their long necks out and were welcomed as a hugely refreshing new look, not to mention how much easier they made it to fill large spaghetti pots. At that point, the traditional low, chrome kitchen faucets mostly became a thing of the past or were only found in your grandmother’s kitchen.

More recently, however, the now “vintage” look of those faucets and older style faucets are making a comeback in some homes.

what is the Traditional Kitchen Faucet Style?

Traditional faucets in kitchens have a long, ergonomic look with straight lines and no high arcs. Spacings are wider for faucet features. New faucets made in traditional designs fortunately come with updated, innovative technologies despite their vintage looks. Cute, dual, cross-style spin handles with ceramic tap buttons have returned to further the vintage appeal. Brushed nickel, dark oiled bronze, and vintage copper takes the traditional look back even further into the past into a period look that works well with farm style kitchens, Victorian-inspired kitchens, or cottage styles.

Are Modern or Contemporary Kitchen Faucets better?

Modern style kitchen faucets feature a cleaner, uncluttered look, generally with single tap style faucets and many interesting designs. Both high arcs and L-shaped designs are popular, with L-shapes rising in popularity by keeping the popular minimalist look. L-shapes stay at a low eye level for a more open aesthetic in the room itself.

Rather than cute, vintage, or retro, contemporary kitchen faucets are sleek, visually simple, and sophisticated. Dark, metallic colors are increasingly popular to contrast with lighter kitchen countertops. New technologies with increased functionality are available, such as concentrated water jet power to blast away stuck-on foods for more thorough pre-rinsing before putting dishes in the dishwasher. Some modern faucets can swivel 360 degrees.

Also hugely popular are pot filler faucets. They actually swing out from over the stove on a long, jointed arm so you can conveniently fill your favorite spaghetti pot close to the stove to save the trip from the sink to the stove with a brimming pot.

While many people stick with either modern or traditional looks in their kitchens in general, and with their kitchen sinks and faucets, it’s also possible to blend some of both styles. You can mix and match a little and have a transitional style kitchen, or mix and match a lot and have a kitchen that could be considered eclectic!

Resources— Kitchen Faucet Depot, Delta, TheKitchn.com