Shopping for Kitchen Faucets – The New York Times

Compared to towering refrigerators and commercial stoves, a faucet appears to be a minor component in a kitchen. But it has an oversized effect on the overall look – and function – of the room.

“It’s usually in the front and center, so it’s an absolutely huge element in a kitchen design,” said Paris Forino, a New York-based interior designer whose projects include condos like Steiner East Village and 50 Clinton Street in Manhattan. “There are some chunky, bulbous products out there, but I prefer something that is sleek and elegant.”

And it’s important to see a faucet that you personally consider because not every brass, nickel, or oil-bronze finish looks the same – a difference, she said, that “can look absolutely chic or completely gaudy” .

Then there are the practical considerations. Taps with separate controls for cold and hot water, she said, “look nice doing a more traditional kitchen.” Remember, she added, they might not be as comfortable as one with a single control stick, especially if you’re a rushed cook.

• How big should it be? “Look at the height of the free space. So if you have a really tall vase you can fill it up,” Ms. Forino said. But don’t overdo it: “There are a lot of huge faucets that wouldn’t look to scale in a small apartment in New York City.”

• Do you need a spray? “You can have a separate hand spray or one that comes from the actual spout which is really practical and nice,” Ms. Forino said.

• Painted or not? “I love unpainted brass because it has a nice patina, but a lot of people may not like it because they think it looks dirty,” she said. “It’s a personal preference.”

One-hand faucet in standard style with double-function spray head | Starting around $ 180 at Lowe: 800-891-8035 or

Single lever tap with pull-out spray head | Starting at around $ 208 at QualityBath: 800-554-3210 or

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One-hand spray faucet by Antonio Citterio | From around USD 400 at Wayfair: 866-263-8325 or

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Bridge tap with separate handles for hot and cold | Starting at around $ 634 at build: 800-375-3403 or

Faucet with pull-out dual-function spray head and blade lever | Starting at around $ 734 at eFaucets: 888-991-8312 or

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