I love going to trade shows to see what’s new, but my favorite part about attending trade shows is to report on what inspires me. There are so many things that inspire me – beauty, innovation, and the occasional “Why didn’t I think of that?” (There were a few of those at KBIS this year.) There was so much to see at KBIS, but I thought I’d narrow things down to just a few of my top picks and favorite finds.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Ann Sacks Tile
Eastern Promise, handcrafted in Morocco, is inspired by zellige terra cotta mosaic tile that was once a symbol of wealth and sophistication. It still continues to dot the Moroccan architectural landscape and the sight of it is purely breathtaking. Bullard’s Eastern Promise collection is a modern interpretation of zellige tile work and consists of subtly honed handcrafted Moroccan tiles that continues to exude wealth and luxury, but in a much more understated, timeless, and sophisticated manner.
Bullard’s Hermitage Collection, handcrafted using 18th century mirror techniques, consists of mirrored tile in 4 different antiqued églomisé patterns: Leopard, Mamounia, Python, and Zebra. Recently I have seen églomisé used in a number of applications, but unlike the others, Bullard’s interpretation is one that I would call a breath of fresh air, as it is the first time that I have seen current decorative motifs interpreted by using old world techniques.
TOTO Neorest with Actilight Toilet
I know – you’re thinking how cool could a toilet possibly be? Well the TOTO Neorest is pretty nifty and is as close as we’re going to get in today’s world to having our own Rosie (you know- from the Jetsons!). It combines flushing and cleaning technologies to prevent, purify, and control both visible and invisible waste. In addition to the hands-free flush, automatic open and close lid, and heated seat, it also has a continual self-cleaning glaze and a UV-light that is activated to zap bacteria once the lid closes. TOTO’s Neorest with Actilight toilet is just one step away from having a fully self-clean toilet – now if I only my boys had better aim, I’d be set!
Omega Cabinetry showed a lot of innovative storage solutions, including a special place for Fido to sleep under the stairs. Grey cabinetry seemed to be a common them throughout the show, but this laundry set up was one of my favorites.
The kitchen below juxtaposes warm wood cabinetry with stainless steel trim and door fronts. I especially love the glass front doors trimmed in stainless with puck lighting from above to illuminate the natural wood lined interior.
The barstools below are ingenious and the perfect way to keep the floors clutter free. In addition, they conserve space, as they can be stowed away underneath the countertop when not in use. Perfect for the “Industrial Chic Kitchen”.
Kitchen Organization by Poggenpohl
I just about drooled when I came across the kitchen at Poggenpohl. The walnut trim and accessories within the drawers make for an incredibly organized kitchen with a place for everything.
Häfele is taking kitchen storage to an entirely new level with this hidden undercounter storage. It is perfect for those small appliances that you use often but don’t want to have sitting on top of the counter taking up valuable kitchen real estate.
Häfele’s Lavido Pantry Pull-Outs
I loved Häfele’s solution of keeping kitchen supplies and equipment within reach. The use of Loox LED strip lighting features a better illuminated space while also providing ambiance in the kitchen.
The Tailored Vanity Collection by Kohler
Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection was designed as a solution to the consumer’s desire to finish the entire bathroom in Kohler product. There are 5 vanity styles ranging from Damask, inspired by traditional early American architecture to Jute, a play on contemporary mid-century modern design. In addition to the 5 vanity styles, there are 8 different wood species and finishes, and 6 standard industry sizes, allowing for further customization to tailor the bath to the consumer’s aesthetic and spatial needs.
Solid surface countertops, iron enameled cast iron vanity top sinks, and ceramic vitreous china vanity top sinks are also available, and the color and size offerings coordinate with each vanity style. The solid surface countertops are available with or without a cutout while the cast iron and ceramic vitreous china options offer an integrated basin design. My favorite of the 5 vanity styles is Jacquard, shown above, as it has a certain timeless elegance and echoes the understated glamour of the ’40s.
Ok, now for the best part about Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection – what’s inside. The options available provide the perfect solution to keep the bathroom organized and the countertops clutter free. Not only are there adjustable shelves and rollout trays, but there are also electrical outlets built in so that electrical toothbrushes and electric razors can be stored away from plain view. To complete the bathroom space, mirrors and medicine cabinets are offered. I especially love the magnified mirror that folds out when the cabinet door is open, eliminating the need for ugly mirrors that disrupt the visual balance in the bathroom or having to lean forward or sit on the countertop to get a closer look in the mirror!
Glideware Cookware Storage
Glideware, based out of Grand Junction, CO, is the brainchild of inventors Jenny and David Hall. The minute I saw their contraption, I thought to myself “Duh – This totally makes sense.” With as much as I cook and the amount of pots and pans I have, I should have come up with this. But I didn’t. Glideware is mounted to the sub-top with 4 screws – That’s IT! But it makes a world of difference in the kitchen. With Glideware installed, one does not have to shuffle through all the pots, pans and lids to get to that one perfect pan for making paella, because as big and hefty as my All Clad pans are, it really is a physical workout.
Last but not least, we have the DockingDrawer™, which hides your phones and small electronic devices while they charge. I despise clutter and the last thing I want to do is purchase a docking station to place it on top of a counter or desk only to take up more space. Counter and desktop real estate is valuable in my house and the last thing I want to do is clutter it with unsightly phones and cords. The DockingDrawer™ provides the perfect solution to both charge the phones and keep the phones and cords out of plain view.
I hope you enjoyed my KBIS top picks. As you can see, new and innovative storage solutions in the kitchen and bath seemed to be a big trend. As complicated as our lives are, we could always use ways to simplify the way we live. I have so many thoughts racing through my head at any given moment, that having everything at home in it’s own special place would make every day life so much easier! I sure hope you think my finds are as cool and inspiring as I do!
Also, be sure to check out my last post on the Top Kitchen and Bath Trends at KBIS 2014!