I just returned from Las Vegas (again!), where I attended KBIS – The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, where I spent two days racing through the show floor during the day, and the evenings meeting up with my fellow G+ Interior Design Community Moderators and IDC members.
Recession – what recession? The show floor was packed to the gills and the aisles were buzzing – so much so that during the media tour for the press, all present were given headphones so that we could actually hear the speakers at each booth! It was a zoo.
As always, there were so many interesting things to see, including technology being integrated into the home and advances and innovation in materials and applications. So without further ado, here are the major trends I observed at KBIS:
Surface innovation has come a long way in recent years and now there is a blurred line between what is real and what is fake, as surface manufacturers are getting quite good at making their products look like the real mccoy – the same aesthetic as a quarried stone, natural slab, or poured concrete but at a fraction of the price. Stonepeak makes the porcelain flooring below, and the slabs are available as large as 5’x10′, which make them ideal for a variety of applications – floors, walls, countertops. Formica also debuted a wood collection that can easily be mistaken for the real thing, providing the look of real wood, without the cost and impact on the environment.
Valhallan Papers debuted “Broken Lines”, a new addition to their “Elegance and Texture” Collection. “Broken Lines” consists 29″ blocks of non-woven, class A fire-rated substrate mixed with rope and is hand painted with latex paint, glazes, and metallics.
New Lighting Solutions in Specialized Places
LED lighting is illuminating the kitchen and bath in so many ways. LED strip lighting was in virtually each and every cabinet I opened, and makes sure that nothing gets lost in the dark abyss that exists in the rear of every cabinet. I especially loved Häfele’s series of three sliding pantry doors that opened to reveal beautifully illuminated and organized kitchen and utility spaces. The two cabinets on either end had LED strip lighting running up both sides and the cabinet in the middle had three LED spots shining from above.
In the bath, Laufen utilizes LED lighting to illuminate their “living city” toilet and Toto uses LED to illuminate their Luminist vessel sink. The Luminist is made of a hybrid resin epoxy that combines the translucence of glass with scratch/stain resistance and durability. The translucent quality is the perfect material from which to cast a luminous glow and create drama in the bathroom. In addition, no volatile organic compounds are released during production, making it eco-friendly . Who doesn’t love green design?
Mixed Cabinetry Finishes
I love that eclecticism is now being embraced in the kitchen. Materials and finishes are being mixed and matched in the kitchen – especially in regards to cabinetry, and this makes for a visually more dynamic environment. Below are examples from Omega, with one being a contemporary and the other a bit more transitional, but both beautifully designed and executed.
The Smartphone Controls the Home
You must have known it was coming. The smartphone controls just about every other aspect in our lives, so why not our kitchen and the way we cook, too? At KBIS, Dacor unveiled the Discovery™ iQ 48″ Dual-Fuel Range – the world’s first range to feature an integrated, wirelessly-connected tablet that enables home chefs to control their range via smartphone or tablet.
Viking’s new 7 Series range features iGrill app technology. A probe is inserted into the piece of meat being cook and is connected to Viking’s external thermometer. The home chef can view the exact temperature of the meat, enabling him to kick up his feet and read the paper in the other room while the meat is cooking instead of waiting impatiently in front of the oven. When the desired temperature is reached, a message is sent directly to the smartphone – easy as pie!
Keeler introduces “SecuRemote Technology”, which uses 128-bit encryption and allows homeowners to control and monitor their entry doors via their smartphones and the SecuRemote app, which can be downloaded from the App Store.
Long gone are the days of having the simple choice between chrome, polished/satin nickel for fixtures. There are now a myriad of metal finishes available on the market, and now the use of metal is not limited to fixtures and hardware, as they are now being used for sinks, tubs, and basins as well. Below is a variety of metal finishes for the bath, kitchen and washroom from Thompson Traders.
Emphasis on Eco-Friendly
Green, eco-friendly companies are on the rise as technological advances are now making it more and more possible for beauty and environmental responsibility to coexist. Formaldehyde-free MDF in cabinetry, Low/No VOC paint, water saving fixtures are now commonplace, and in the future we will be sure to see more, as consumer education continues.
Below is the “Stealth System” toilet from Niagara Conservation. With the Stealth’s performance being 30% more efficient than EPA standards – 0.95 gallons needed for solid waste and 0.50 gallons for liquid waste, it is currently the lowest flush volume toilet on the market.
And there you have it – the top kitchen and bath trends I observed at KBIS 2014. I especially loved how environmentally conscious manufacturers have become. As consumer education continues, I hope to see more of a demand. I have to admit, that at one time I pooh-poohed the idea of going green and making a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly, thinking that it was a fad and only for “granola-types”, but that was because of my own sheer ignorance. As I learn more about the manufacturing processes in the industry and how amazingly easy it is to create eco-friendly and sustainable design, the more I will make an effort to protect our environment by making smarter choices, and I urge you all to do the same.
If you have a chance, please check out “the TwentySIX”, my friend and newly minted media mogul, Brandon Smith’s , who luxury lifestyle magazine. It is a publication not to be missed that is chock full of visual and literary inspiration and covers high end fashion and interior trends, as well as automotive, yacht, and travel. Be sure to check out page 20, where Brandon features my photos of the Rolls Royce Wraith!
One more announcement that I totally forgot to mention here, as I have been on the go since it was announced on Monday. This April I will be taking part in High Point Market as a Style Spotter, and will be doing what I do best – spotting and identifying the trends – I can’t wait!! Have a wonderful weekend!