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Plumbing Fixtures : The Do's + Don'ts

I spent my 20's living in rentals. Not just one, actually about 37. Ok, maybe not THAT many but you get the point - I've seen some things. And we all know, the glorious reality of renting vs. owning is that you don't have to pay to change/update/fix anything...buuuuut that also means you have to love or squint your eyes really really tight to "love" what you see. Now, perhaps this feels like a larger problem in my life due to the professional career that I have found myself in, but I can't remember a single rental apartment/condo/townhome that I lived in where I loved the finishes of the plumbing fixtures. In fact, I do believe it was because of these 72 rentals that I lived in (**exaggerated for dramatic effect) that I have a disdain for chrome. Why? Because it screams "builder bought out warehouse liquidation sale" to me and for some reason, chrome is always the selected finish for nearly 99.9% of rental units.

Now that my rant is over...if you stop reading here...just hear one thing. SAY NO TO CHROME.

Ok, phew. Glad to get that off my chest. Now, let's get learning.

If you've ever found yourself in a renovation of a bathroom or kitchen and you jump onto good ol' Google Chrome for a search of plumbing fixtures you'll first notice there are endless brands and an even lengthier list of finishes.

Photo Source: Rejuvenation

A few plumbing brands that we find ourselves sourcing from over and over again are Delta, Kohler, Brizo, Rejuvenation, Kraus, and Waterworks (if you are looking for a gorgeous, high-end detail). All of these brands have been "plumber approved" and can be trusted to stand the test of time. Of course, with every brand, there are some lemons so we always make sure to read user reviews and ratings to avoid any issues for our clients.

Realm Design Co. "Treat Me To Transitional" Project

Another "designer tip" is not to be afraid of mixing metals and finishes when making selections for your renovation! We know it can be outside of the comfort zone for many but it truly does give a more polished and intentional finished product vs. a space that has the same finish for every item. An easy way to do this is to choose two complimentary metals and alternate them throughout the space! In the above photo, we selected aged brass hardware, lighting, and mirror frames to pair with a clean and classic polished nickel wall mounted faucet. This is a tried and true duo that always looks timeless and well designed.

Photo Source: Rejuvenation

A good rule of thumb is to pair a matte or aged metal with a polished metal to give a complimentary look rather than a competitive/clashing feel. A flat black paired with a polished nickel would provide a modern and minimal feel (see our powder bath addition photo below for reference) while selecting a satin nickel with a polished brass would give you a softer and warmer design. Most companies offer finish samples of their options so we always recommend getting in person samples to confirm the selections are blending well together.

Realm Design Co. "Office + Powder Bath Addition" Project

This is just scratching the surface in the world of plumbing - have any questions? Throw a comment down below and we'll give you our best advice! Have a renovation in mind and zero clue where to start with it? Shoot us a hello on our contact page and get the conversation started!

If you are already in the renovation process with selections made but could use a set of professional eyes and insight to review, we would love for you to schedule a video session with us and we can tackle it together.

Photo Source: Pirch Mission Viejo

Cheers to making the world a better place...with no chrome! :D




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