Almost single-handedly, the KWC/Rohl Corporation, based in Costa Mesa, is changing faucet design. The KWCforma-S basin faucet (about $655 to $695, depending on features), which is made in Switzerland, is not only pleasing to the eye, but also ergonomic.
A retractable hand spray makes it easier to fill the basin or shampoo your hair. And the forward motion of the lever is user-friendly for those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
A scald-prevention control, which allows you to set the maximum water temperature at the faucet instead of at the water heater, is a nice safety feature for families with children. And by adding an available restrictor, you can conserve water, too.
KWC faucets (they also make products for the kitchen and shower), can be purchased in Orange County at Bath & Kitchen West in Huntington Beach, the JM Company in Irvine and B & C Hardware & Bath in Laguna Hills.
A sink can just stand there, or it can stand there and make a statement. Among the latter is the Italian-designed Olimpia 70 from Hastings Tile and Il Bagno Collection.
The 28-inch sink ($4,495; a larger version costs $6,270) is a simple design, with its demi-sphere of blue glass on an inverted cone pedestal. The pedestal is wrapped in brushed copper and set into a clear glass countertop. It is also available with a frosted green basin and chrome pedestal.
The Olimpia 70 can be purchased in Orange County at Eurobath & Tile in Costa Mesa and Bath Concept Studio in Corona del Mar.
If you prefer a softer touch in the bath, a sink that bursts into bloom is the Peonies & Ivy pattern from Kohler of Wisconsin. The Reveries collection is Kohler's line of decorated lavatories and related china products such as decorative jars, tile and faucet trim.
The Peonies & Ivy pattern encircles the rim and interior of Kohler's Cantata self-rimming lavatory. The basin ($865), which comes in shades of rose, cream, lavender and green on a biscuit background, is available at home decorating stores throughout Orange County.