Patterson: Today [in the kitchen], the typical finishes are still very popular, like brushed nickel and stainless steel, but when we’re developing product for [our companies] Hinkley or Fredrick Ramond, we’re not as concerned about whether or not our fixture finishes match exactly what’s going on with the cabinetry, sinks or hardware, but rather, does our product coordinate with what’s going on in terms of the overall presentation? And what we’re seeing over and over is that people are really going for an eclectic mix when it comes to decorating their kitchen areas. Nothing is all traditional or all contemporary now. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Along with that eclectic mix, we’re noticing that the kitchen island really has become the centerpiece of the room. All the traditional stuff that we used to think about when it came to laying out the kitchen is thrown out the window. It’s becoming a multipurpose space, a social gathering point. As a result, lighting for that area is important, as well. It’s an area where people are really making a design statement, and nothing is out of bounds.
We’re seeing totally contrasting concepts work side-by-side with these island fixtures. People are putting a very contemporary piece into a traditional environment or vice versa. Many times, it’s from one end of the spectrum to another; some are even using unique hanging lanterns as pendants. It’s become more about putting together a collection of pieces with personality and feel as opposed to a perfect ensemble.
We try to keep these interesting shifts in mind when looking at what new products we should bring to market. We try to look at both [Dallas] markets combined as a total statement for our introductions for the year and balance the looks across the design spectrum. This year, we’re doing a lot of shaded product on shapes that you would not typically find them on. We’re also doing a lot with metallic finishes in warmer tones. The main thing is to offer as many options as possible, so we don’t limit our customers. Transitional looks are still very hot right now because they can be used in any environment, and they fit right in with how people are wanting their homes to look and feel.
Our new oval Hampton pendant, in particular, is a great example of what we’re doing in the kitchen to keep the space transitional. It brings in some of the warmer tones, a brushed metallic finish with a soft contemporary edge. Similarly, Flair from Frederick Ramond offers a great island piece in the collection that can go loft, lodge or soft contemporary. Its linear shape works well over an island or rectangular dining table, and these days less is more.