The Untrendy Guide to What’s Cool in Kitchen & Bath
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Showcase (KBIS) is the largest tradeshow in North America, and I was lucky enough to attend last month in Las Vegas. Being it’s the size of -Lord knows how many- football fields and packed to the gills with exhibits, it’s quite the whirlwind. I’ve finally had some time to digest (and get 1,200 emails from vendors thanking me for stopping by) and wanted to share some of my lasting insights, products and favorite vendors from the show.
What I loved most was all the subtle earthy tones and textures represented. I’m an Earth sign, and though ashamedly more of an “indoor girl,” I am most at peace when surrounded by nature and a palette of soothing natural tones, stones, textures, and the handmade.
While a good manmade quartz countertop still holds more aesthetic appeal to me than say an overly grainy granite, I was really drawn to the natural stones and the improved quartz offerings that look like marble. My countertop fave was this particular style from Cosentino Dekton ,“Laurent,” it’s a jaw dropper. It isn’t on the market yet (hence the crappy iphone photo) but trust me it’s luscious. I stopped by more than once to run my hand over the smooth suede finish.
The entire Antolini exhibit made me want to rethink my entire kitchen….maybe I am more glam than Earthy!
Recognizing the All White Kitchen will never go out of style there is so much beauty to be had with color and texture especially those that hint at nature’s subtleties. Like the soothing warmth and depth of cabinets in natural walnut, or a good hand-painted rich hue like this kitchen from St. Charles New York, with their proprietary built-in hinges.
Those handmade creations that are consistent, yet one-of-a-kind from Native Trails also stood out, and they too feel great to the touch- like this Native Stone Tub made of a sustainable blend of eco-friendly concrete that is both lightweight and super stain resistant.
And I never tire of the Native Trails signature hammered copper farmhouse sinks.
This faucet is very much on the industrial side but I just love it! The California Faucets Steampunk Bay – Who can resist it’s durable lines? It reminds me of the inner workings of a Swiss time piece.
The Krauss booth debuted a fun, color changing faucet that lets you know when it’s hot to the touch. It was more impressive than it sounds, but so new they wouldn’t even let us snap a photo. Bridge faucets with pull-downs were also everywhere and I am already a big fan! We have one of these Elkays in our house and I love it!
If you know me well enough you’re probably aware that I’m not the tech savviest of gals. I can barely work the remote and it’s not because I’m that old (!). I just never much cared for it. Just a low tech girl, living in a high tech world! I particularly don’t like Alexa knowing my business (unless it’s my dearest friend, Alexa). It’s bad enough that I can simply think of something and have an advertisement for it arrive in my inbox within seconds, so I personally don’t want to own a “Smart House.” Nevertheless, I can totally appreciate that Jetson’s style homes are not only here, they’ve damn well perfected them!
“A Smart Home,” sets your perfect water temp & pressure & queues up your favorite smooth jazz before you step into the shower. You can of course, pre-heat your home, and your oven without the touch of a button, and there are even new options like ranges with touchscreen apps that can have the most undesirable cooks serving up bites of heaven. I was very impressed with master chef functionality of the Fisher & Paykel 48” Dual Fuel Professional Range. (I believe this range won the top appliance award of the week.)
I also love the built-in sous vide functionality of the new 48″ range from Signature Kitchen Suite. The demo was oddly mesmerizing and the filet & chicken tastings were perfection. Evidently guys really dig this sous-vide cooking thing! My husband has already asked for one.
Also, GE has really stepped it up from their days of supplying the 55+ older communities with their new Monogram line. This range is really a looker! Again, please pardon the crappy iphone photos!
Also, GE’s Café Line is darling! With its endless base and hardware tones (no more stainless steel only) it is totally on trend and works in a variety of kitchen styles.
Lastly, I loved the European premium Power Cooling line from Liebherr. Maybe it was that their booth was mysteriously quiet, and I found myself hanging out there alone with ze Germans, in a moment of peace from the great masses, but in that time I discovered everything from integrated columns to wine cabinets and undercounter options for sleek, long-lasting, high performance power refrigeration. Now that’s cool!