The kitchen has become a multi-faceted living space and many specialists in the kitchen and bath accessories market are delivering innovative new products and technologies to meet the needs of homeowners, contractors, engineers, and designers. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, ETNA Supply Company has been serving industries since 1965 as a plumbing products distributor with six state-wide showrooms and a suite of products and services that aid designers and homeowners in creating their ideal kitchen and bath.
As consultants for these spaces, the representatives at Infusion Kitchen & Bath Showrooms by ETNA Supply—the company’s series of showrooms—are familiar with the ways they have and have not functionally changed alongside the current pandemic’s influence on home life. Though demand for certain qualities like cleanability and storage potential have increased, as has a general desire to invest in home interiors, some trends, such as kitchens functioning as more than mere cooking spaces, were already unfolding beforehand.
“I’ve talked to some designers recently about this, because we were already seeing the preview to the mindset before the pandemic hit, or at least before we became aware [of it]. Kitchen spaces were already that multi-functional entertainment space and now we’re seeing it more,” said Benjamin Karmann, a regional manager of Infusion Kitchen & Bath Showrooms by ETNA, which is the showroom series throughout the state.
As such, many kitchen and bath products on the market now—and available at ETNA Supply—are made to be multi-functional or easily customized once they reach homeowners. One product offered through Infusion by ETNA is the Franke Culinary Center, an arrangeable kitchen workstation that includes two cutting boards, a colander, an accessory compartment, and a draining rack in its sink system.
Another recent addition created by the Indiana-based brand Brizo® is the Kintsu™ Bath Collection, which is a suite of kitchen and bath accessories like faucets, showerheads, handles, and tub spouts that draw inspiration from “Kintsugi,” a Japanese method of joining pieces of cracked pottery with gold.
On Kintsu™, contours alluding to a Scandinavian minimalism meet the geometric motifs inspired by wabi-sabi, a view in traditional Japanese aesthetics that embraces imperfection. The collection, which won a Kitchen & Bath Industry Show “Best in Show” 2020 award, holds a reverence for natural materials as well; in the knob handle offerings, these include Concrete, Teak, Mother of Pearl, and a custom option that allows unique inlays.
“The portrayal of a minimalist style like this can really fit in the traditional as well as more contemporary [styles]. You get a sharper right angle to some of the handles and pulls, but you still have those elegant arcs with the faucet,” Karmann said. “It really crosses borders there to become that transitional piece that will lean left or right depending on where you want to go, and then of course the finish options take care of the rest for us.”
The Kintsu™ suite, which will be incorporated into Infusion by ETNA’s Wixom, Michigan showroom, speaks to current fixture trends that favor minimalistic and versatile forms and materials that can be embedded into multiple rooms for cohesion, ease, style, and of course, more customization.
Whether through systems like the Franke Culinary Center, water features that deliver sparkling water as easily as tap, or even the Kintsu™ Bath Collection, Infusion by ETNA has curated collections of accessories that service the growing need for multi-functional, attractive, and comfortable spaces that will continue to adapt with new innovations on the market.
“Most of what I’m looking forward to are the cleaning technologies that come with some of these things,” Karmann said. “Everybody’s focus is very much on staying clean right now and personal hygiene. I’m excited for those things for my own home.”
Text: R. Collins | Senior Staff Writer
Photography: Infusion by ETNA and Brizo®