The craze for copper continues, for the most part happily. Some versions of the metal do veer off toward the orangey segment of the spectrum, but generally the hardware has an authentic warmth. Here's a new, rather sophisticated spin on the color. Called Cyprum, it's a rose-gold hue that I think is an elegant alternative to the mainstream; it's available on select lines of the manufacturer's kitchen and bath plumbing. A reliable source tells me that the floor-mounted tub filler will be offered in a split finish: the upper portion of the fitting will be in Cyprum, while the base will be in black or white. Dapper, I say. dornbracht.com
Appropriate to DAED [Day After Earth Day, and a loaded anagram if there ever was one], the Chatham kitchen island is cobbled together from salvaged timbers and tin ceiling panels. The butcherblock top has a particularly curious provenance: It's made of reclaimed pickle-barrel staves. sundancecatalog.com
Carbon-dependency, de-forestation, climate change—on this Earth Day, there's certainly no shortage of global crises to address. On a more manageable scale, the Water Pebble can help keep your water usage in check. Placed near the drain, it takes a baseline measurement of the duration of your shower and the volume of water consumed. For all subsequent showers, the Pebble not only signals [via a yellow light] the half-way point of the cleansing routine, but also automatically shortens the length of the shower.
Easter has come and gone, its concentrated dose of color and pattern having served as a kind of graphic jump-start to spring. Adding to the visual stimulation for me was an afternoon spent walking the galleries of the Met. And so this kitchen, gentle on the eye as it is, makes an uncomplicated entry point for the week ahead. obumex.be
Unlike most quarried stones with their slabbish heaviness, alabaster has a sense of mystery about it. Its liquid-like veining, its translucent depth, its alternating smokiness and luminescence—all these qualities combine to make it one of my favorite materials. And here are all those traits transformed into a verisimilar porcelain tile, making what could be considered an impractical surface an accessible design element. rex-cerart.it
Konstantin Grcic has been developing sink prototypes—lots of them, take my word for it—for Laufen, utilizing its SaphirKeramik material. The lightweight clay can be formed into tight corner radii, ultra-thin walls, and subtle textures; all properties Grcic is methodically exploring with both precision and vigor. We'll have to wait and see which designs make the cut, but this sneak peek should keep your curiosity up. laufen.com
Leslie Clagett is a seasoned yet passionate observer of the international kitchen
and bath industries, and the founder of KBCULTURE.com. An editor at publications ranging from Arts +
Architecture to Kitchens & Baths, she is also the author of The New
City Home [The Taunton Press], among other books. Leslie has a
tremendous respect for quality design and the people who labor in its
pursuit; her discerning eye has been known to get a little misty in the
presence of true beauty.