Put a little steel in your soul Stainless steel makes a strong fashion statement in kitchens and bathrooms
Stainless steel has long been a stalwart of the domestic interior; but its role is no longer limited to the humble kitchen sink. Steel splashbacks, plinths, cooker hoods, work surfaces, tables, doors, fascias, taps and bathroom fittings are all increasingly chic additions to stainless steel's repertoire, alongside a handsome range of appliances such as fridges and dishwashers.
Designers have even turned their attention towards that basic kitchen sink. The latest high-end designer sink from German firm Blanco, for example, is the Axis M-60, part of their "A la Carte Elite" collection. It features a main and secondary bowl with a patented prop-up draining rim and multi- functional fitted colander for each bowl, plus a unique safety-glass cutting board which glides smoothly across the main bowl and drainer. Everything and the kitchen sink.
So what is the appeal of steel? On a purely aesthetic level, says Mike Heath, marketing manager of Blanco, "steel will always be a style leader because it can change to suit the environment in which it finds itself". Combining stainless steel units with granite, slate, or marble, is particularly effective, he says. "Customers today prefer natural materials, and it's as though they see stainless steel as one of them; it fits in far better with natural materials than polyester or acrylic." And, he points out, steel is further enhanced by its surroundings. "It reflects back what's around it, while a white sink is just a white sink."