The Top Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2017 Seen at KBIS
I just returned from Orlando where I saw the top kitchen and bath trends for 2017 at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. This year was chock full of emerging trends, inspiration, and technology. KBIS is a show that I look forward to attending every year, and this year I was fortunate to attend as a blogger on BlogTourKBIS, the mastermind of Modenus, who masterfully aligns bloggers with brands to build awareness of what is new in the market. It is interesting to see how quickly the industry continues to evolve, and at each subsequent market not only do I see new introductions, but I am also able to see trends emerge and watch as those same trends evolve over time. While there were a countless number of trends seen at KBIS, I will be highlighting those that seemed to stand apart from the rest.
The Top Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2017
Artisanal Metal Finishes
Shift to Bronze and Matte Black Finishes
Goodbye, White Subway Tile
Natural Wood Tones / Warmer Grey stains
Cabinetry as Furniture
There is no doubt that brass is here to stay, and the same trends we’ve been seeing in furniture are trickling into the kitchen and bath. In other areas of the home, brass has been inlaid into wood table tops and case goods. Now we’re seeing it integrated into hard surfaces, tile and marble surfaces, bringing an element of warmth and a little touch of “bling”.
In Wilsonart‘s booth, inlaid brass strips added interest to a laminate backsplash, but they took brass inlay to another level with a laser cut clock and laminate inlay.
Ann Sacks Tile introduced the most beautiful brass inlay marble tile which recalls the glamour and decadence of the Art Deco period.
Antolini’s booth contained larger strips of brass in a zig-zag pattern between slabs of natural stone to create an over the top, luxe bathroom experience.
Artisanal Metal finishes
We are seeing a shift in going back to traditional metal techniques by utilizing skilled craftsmen and artisans. Hand tooled metal, unlacquered metal eventually resulting a rich patina, hand finished cast metal have a warm quality that cannot be reproduced with machine manufactured metal.
Anyone who has been to KBIS knows that no one does hand-crafted metal like Thompson Traders. While I have seen many beautiful custom hoods with strapping, none are quite like what one would find at Thompson Traders.
I have also seen metallic and irridescent tile on the rise, some manufacturers doing a better job than others. This tile from Artistic Tile takes the cake. It is rich and has a unique, hand-made quality about it. The fact that it is uneven and imperfect makes it that much more special.
Darker Plumbing Finishes – Bronze, Matte Black
While brass finishes are still strong, bronze and matte black finishes are giving brass and nickel a run for its money. Brass can come off as trendy when not done right. Oftentimes we see brass that is too yellow, brushed, lacquered (think 80s) Bronze and matte black read as rich, warm, and modern. Below is an example from DXV‘s newly launched collection, Modulus.
Goodbye, White Subway Tile
Texture, 3-dimensional, metallic, printed, multi-media tile all had a presence at KBIS but notably absent was white subway tile. As a matter of fact, judging by what I witnessed at KBIS, white kitchens, in general, seem to be a vision of the past.
This particular half-hex tile was seen in the Signature Kitchen Suite booth. I have no idea which manufacturer it is from, but I love it and hope I see more of it in the near future.
Let’s face it – we’d all like to express our personal style and don’t want to have the same exact thing that our next door neighbor has, which is why the design-savvy consumer is either shifting away from big chain stores and either shopping small to find unique items or they are looking at manufacturers that offer ways of personalizing their product so that what they put in their home is a true reflection of their own personal style and/or color palette.
Even before I walked in to see Grohe on the second day of the show, I had already seen the Essence Semi-Pro kitchen faucet several times over on my Instagram feed being posted by designers and bloggers at the show. Designers always prefer options, as it helps in personalizing a kitchen and differentiating it from every other kitchen on the market. Grohe’s Essence Semi-Pro is inspired by the professional kitchen but with an emphasis on a contemporary, European design aesthetic. I loved the rainbow of vibrant color options, as well as their selection of neutrals. In addition to its striking appearance, the Essence Semi-Pro’s fully rotating spray arm makes it a workhorse in the kitchen both during food prep and clean up.
Chameleon Concepts manufactures custom bathroom vanities domestically in New Jersey. They offer 2 basic styles in a variety of finishes and sizes, and each can be customized with decorative front panel inserts that can be chosen from their library or alternatively, you can send in your own insert, be it tile, wallpaper, a thin layer of stone. The vanities can be wall-hung or legs can be attached in a variety of finishes to customize the look.
The back panel of the door is removed and the panel is inserted. I’m assuming if it is this easy, the panels can easily be changed out should your taste change a few years down the line.
I will have a more extensive post on the many other lines that I saw that offered personalization and customizable options in the near future. This was a very big trend so stay tuned for more in-depth coverage!
Natural Wood tones, Warmer Grey Stains for Cabinetry
Over the last few markets, I’ve seen a shift away from dark, stained wood and a return to lighter, more natural wood tones. Last year at KBIS we saw a lot of grey being used in the kitchen, but mainly painted grey cabinetry. This market we see the grey trend evolving, showing a warmer side of grey by allowing the wood grain to peek through with stained rather than painted grey finishes. Multiple finishes on cabinetry throughout a room is also not uncommon these days.
Wellborn Cabinet showed a full overlay door style in hickory in a Cloud stain and Slate glaze finish on top, while the lower cabinets featured oak in the new Nature Collection paint, Tensile and the island in a New Collection stain, Tungsten.
Cabinetry as Furniture
Cabinetry was seen throughout KBIS as standalone furniture to complement built-in cabinetry in other parts of the room. Larger stand alone units such as this Modernistic Butler’s Pantry from Wellborn Cabinetry, act as an auxiliary prep area. Outfitted with a stainless steel countertop, wooden shelving, metal and glass doors, and a Gloss Marine finish (navy was a color that was trending at KBIS) this is one piece of furniture that would be most welcome in any kitchen, space permitting.
Many kitchen islands seen at KBIS were also built with legs, raised off the ground, so that they appear more like a freestanding piece of furniture rather than a permanent island. Having the island raised also allows light to flow through from underneath.
Non-polished surfaces are quickly becoming the preferred finish for countertops and solid surface lavatories. I personally prefer a non-polished surface, as I tend to be a bit OCD and with a polished surface, I find myself constantly spraying and wiping to rid of fingerprints, smears, etc. A sueded surface does a much better job at masking fingerprints, and let’s face it – who enjoys cleaning?
Silestone had several introductions at KBIS, and while in the past only a handful of styles were available in a sueded finish, this time around almost every style I encountered was available in a sueded finish. It’s a sign of the times.
Brands have quickly caught on that collaboration is key. Not only are designer celebrities endorsing particular brands, but now more than ever I am seeing talented designers, some with less of a following than others, but equally as talented, take part in shaping the product lines that are coming to market. You don’t have to be popular or famous to be talented!
The DXV Design Panel, now in it’s fourth year, brings together several of the country’s top designers. This year’s group of designs were tasked with utilizing DXV product in a bath or kitchen to reflect a given iconic city at a certain period of time. This year the DXV Design Panel designs were used as DXV’s national ad campaign, showing the creative and imaginative ways designers use their product, and designers get the recognition they deserve. It’s a win-win situation for both brands and designers!
Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs brings us to “Southern Classic” Charleston in 1890.
Richard Anuskiewicz’s decadent kitchen reflects “The Golden Apple” New York City in 1920.
Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry of Pulp Design Studios, bring us to a “Mid-Century Resort” in Palm Springs, 1950.
Genevieve Ghaleb takes us to present day “Contemporary Beach” Miami.
While at KBIS, the 2017 DXV Design Panel was announced and I was pleased to hear that all four chosen are friends of mine. There is nothing I love more than watching the success of my friends!
One brand collaboration at KBIS that yielded one of the most innovative products was that between Bobby Berk and Coastal Shower Doors.
Laser cut, powder coated aluminum was sandwiched between two layers of glass, and the result was stunning. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as with laser, almost any design is possible. Be sure to look out for more, as this is one product that is still in its infancy. As the demand for customization continues to grow and more people become aware of the capabilities, this will be sure to evolve into a much bigger market.
Well, that wraps up my report on the top kitchen and bath trends for 2017 seen at KBIS. If you have yet to attend KBIS and are a designer or member of the trade, I highly recommend attending, as it is truly inspiring to see the season’s top trends and introductions up close, and what better way to keep abreast and recommend product to clients than experiencing them first hand? This is one event that I look forward to every year and I already cannot wait for next year.
A huge thank you to my sponsors, especially Veronika Miller, the mastermind behind Modenus and BlogTour. Here’s a photo of our group – from both front and back. Yes, that’s me going rogue and taking the photo from the backside.