Off the Wall.
Vessel-style lavs are all the rage nowadays, and they demand special consideration when it comes to the faucet. Deck-mounting a high gooseneck is one option, of course; another is to really raise the bar by installing a wall-mounted faucet. The LK6156 coordinates nicely with this maker's vanity basins; the pared-down design is bound to work well in other contexts, too. It costs $634 in a chrome finish and $856 in brushed nickel. Elkay, 630/572-3192, www.elkayusa.com
This kitchen faucet from the Bali Collection has enough personality to stand on its own, but probably ought to have a sink nearby to do it justice. The maker touts the spout's "European craftsmanship," citing its high design, solid feel, and thoughtful engineering. It retails for $465 to $581, depending on finish — polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, or brushed nickel. Graff Faucets, 800/954-4723, www.graff-faucets.com
Individual hot and cold levers make faucet use as intuitive as it gets. Color-coded supply lines for faultless hookup don't hurt, either. The Appleton I comes in stainless steel, brass, copper, pewter, and chrome finishes. With a side spray, it costs $420 to $620; without one, $325 to $525. Blanco, 800/451-5782, www.blancoamerica.com
Dandy Deck Mount.
In high-design circles, a deck-mount three-hole lavatory faucet seems almost like a rarity. The Square Vogue's clean, updated lines, however, should appeal even to the minimalist-minded. The attractive faucet comes in polished chrome or matte platinum for an equally stunning $967 and $1,267, respectively. Villeroy & Boch, 609/409-6792, www.villeroy-boch.com
Glass & Ceramic Tile
Glass mosaic tile is a current hot item that invites at least one question from the installer's end: How do you cut it? Try a pair of Glass Mosaic Pliers, which allegedly cut tile of up to 1/4 inch thick as easily as a pair of scissors. The tool costs $28. Karl Dahm, 866/463-9590, www.dahm-tools.com
Make Your Own Mosaic.
Each of the 17 colors in the glass-mosaic Ashland Series can be custom blended onto sheets for a highly personalized color scheme. Individual sheets cost between $8.40 and $15.20 per square foot, depending on color selection; custom blending involves an upcharge. The company encourages customers to view options and make choices online; there is no minimum order requirement. Hakatai Enterprises, 541/552-0855, www.hakatai.com
Use these way-cool tiles to bust out of the blahs, but do so sparingly. It's not just the prospect of eyestrain; at $22 to $35 per piece, restraint seems only prudent. The Angela Adams floor and wall tile collection includes decorative borders and nominal 6x6 and 8x8 sizes. Ann Sacks, 800/278-8453, www.annsacks.com
Radiance Glass tiles are cast with a texture on both the front and the back, resulting in a surface that refracts the light for greater visual depth. They come in 3x3, 3x6, and 6x6 sizes and are 5/16 inch thick, making them suitable for floor applications. The series contains nine "water-inspired" colors; prices — $2.50, $5, and $9 per tile — correspond to size. Crossville Ceramics, 931/484-2110, www.crossvilleinc.com