Founded by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is an inspiring, interactive platform that showcases latest product innovations and trends from leading kitchen and bath brands. Each year kitchen and bath designers, dealers, architects, builders, and remodelers from all over the world attend KBIS to discover the latest styles, spot trends, experience product innovations, and be brought up to speed on industry news. It gives one an opportunity to take a step back and look at the big picture, distill areas of commonality, and recognize new trends that cross boundaries.
This year’s event was held last week from January 9th to 11th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. I had the joy of attending with design colleagues from the NKBA and Interior Design Society (IDS).
Key kitchen and bath trends I observed at KBIS 2018 were:
– Black and White: As decorating for the rest of the home is moving away from the ultra-neutral palette and starting to re-embrace colors (note Pantone’s Color of the Year: “Ultraviolet”, and Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year: “Oceanside”) the kitchen is moving back towards the black and white color palette, but with a modern twist! Standard white cabinets are out to make way for matte black, suede-like finishes with slim profile white quartz for countertops and backsplash. Wilsonart displayed them with LED lighting and raised countertops – STUNNING!
– Colorful Appliances: To contrast these dark color stories, colorful appliances now become the show-stoppers: Smeg showcased a new line of range hoods in 8 brilliant colors to add to their already popular line of retro colored refrigerators. Bertazzoni also unveiled their professional series ranges in 3 sizes. Orange, red and yellow were added in addition to the classic black and white – FUN!
– Emphasis on Water and Metal: I was literally stopped in my tracks by the beautiful “inspired by water” faucet designs by KWC America (Franke Home); as well as by the beautiful brushed finishes “Street-Smart Gun Metal”, “Rosy Matte Copper”, and “Soft British Gold” showcased by Italian maker Fantini – GORGEOUS!
– Resurgence of Retro: One item that seemed very ahead of its time (or even retro) was DeKauri’s bath credenza – a collaboration with Dekton by Cosentino and Italian furniture maker Riva 1920. Classic, modern, and elegant. I can’t wait to see it within the context of a finished bathroom – SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!
– Futuristic Technologies: At Toto I truly enjoyed the NASA-inspired flotation tub that was ergonomically designed for all sized family members to give the “most relaxing bath ever.” Other “smart home” trends were featured prominently by Thermador and American Standard – OOOH!
– Elegance: “Elegance” was the word of the day at the Baden Haus booth whose bath vanities and art-deco inspired illuminated bath mirrors were unique and sophisticated – designed by colleague Toni Sabatino – LOVE YOUR WORK, TONI!
I was honored to participate in Kitchen and Bath Business’ Editorial Advisory Board Conference and hear thoughts from design professionals all over the country on the “state of the industry.” I also had the pleasure of taking over the Interior Design Society’s National Instagram profile for a day to share show highlights and interactions with prominent designers.
Many thanks to everyone that contributed to such an engaging and inspiring show. I look forward to applying this new knowledge to my work in 2018. See you next year in Las Vegas!
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