An expert guide to choosing kitchen and bathroom tapware

Sponsored by Phoenix Tapware

We showcased interior designer’s Emma Blomfield’s fabulous circa 1933 Art Deco Sydney apartment renovation recently and there’s no doubt that the bathroom and kitchen are standout spaces within the home. Overhauled with the designer’s signature timeless yet modern aesthetic, Emma turned what were very ordinary spaces into highlight rooms and Phoenix Tapware’s Cromford collection was part of the winning mix.

Emma Blomfield kitchen
Emma’s new kitchen

“I knew I wanted to choose tapware that was in keeping with the 1920’s vibe of my unit, so the Cromford range was on my must-have list from the start,” says Emma. Named after the birthplace of Britain’s 18th century industrial revolution, the versatile Cromford collection looks equally placed in a modern farmhouse setting as it does in an industrial warehouse and it proved the perfect complement to Emma’s home.

Phoenix Tapware
Let’s zoom in on that gorgeous Phoenix Tapware Cromford Sink Mixer in Brushed Gold

“The silhouettes and contemporary design of the Cromford Collection were the perfect match to reflect the art deco heritage of the apartment and the Brushed Gold finish brought that luxe look I was aiming for,” says Emma.

Emma in her kitchen

An often overlooked aspect of kitchen and bathroom design, and like jewellery for both rooms, tapware has the power to elevate a space and is an important part of the overall look and feel of a room. “Taps are one of the most telling nods to the style you’re emulating with your kitchen and bathroom so they’re just as important as the tile choices in my opinion,” says Emma.

Emma’s new bathroom features the Cromford Vessel Mixer and Twin Shower

As for finishes, it’s hard to believe that chrome used to be the only option, with the plethora of hues on the market today. A case in point, the Cromford range is available in Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Matte Black and Brushed Gold and Emma went with the latter in her home.

“You need to know what colour suits your bathroom before you select the style. Just like how you’d know you suit gold or silver jewellery better. Then you know when you go shopping what to look for,” says Emma. And when choosing which finish you should also consider how many tapware piece you need and thus how much metal you have on display. “If you have a shower and bath, you’ll have a mixer, bath spout, hand-held shower head and possibly also a shower rose,” says Emma.

Phoenix Tapware
The Cromford Twin Shower pays perfect homage to the apartment’s original Art Deco era.

The designer also has some sage advice when it comes to mixing metals – make sure that you stick to the same undertones if you’re going to do it. “For example, you’d do black and nickel together as they’re both cool-toned but you wouldn’t do chrome and brass together because brass is warm and chrome is cool, so they’d look at odds.”

Phoenix Tapware
The classic Cromford design won an international iF design award for innovation and design excellence in 2023.

Photography: Joe Cheng

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