Paula’s Top KBIS Picks

Written by Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, with Timeless Kitchen Design


What an incredible show this year!  I’m still recovering and getting caught up with life and business and following up on all the connections and action items that were inspired by KBIS this year. So let’s get right to it. Here are a few Game Changers, and then also other trends or movements that I saw during the show. It’s always fascinating to read what everyone else is writing. We are all drawn to different things but inevitably there are consistent themes. And its so hard to get to see everything, so I rely on all my peer Bloggers and Instagram’ers to see what I missed.

#1 Game Changer: Pfister Auris Voice Activated Kitchen Faucet

Happy day! No more hand waving! Just like we talk to Amazon‘s Alexa, now we can talk to Auris, our new faucet. I was telling my boyfriend how it worked, “Auris, turn on hot, turn on cold, 50% hot, turn on filtered water, FILL 8 oz’s!” I loved that last one -just fill a certain amount. But he really perked up when I said, “ANNNNND, Auris Off!” Yes, you can turn off the faucet you left on from across the room! Talk about water conservation!

#2 Game Changer: American Standard ActiClean (self cleaning toilet)

It’s crazy the things that make this Kitchen and Bath designer giddy! In a household full of kids, or full of roommates, keeping the toilet clean can be a full time job. American Standard keeps it simple. Today we’ve gone from the self-cleaning oven to a self-cleaning toilet. I’m in love, silly, I know! What can I say, I love what I do!

#3 Micro Size Me! I just wrote and delivered a CEU at KBIS this year on the Micro Size Me movement. I was so thrilled to see so many manufacturers already jumping on board.

I see “Micro Size” as a movement, not just a trend. There is a cross-generational and cross-regional movement to downsizing, minimalism, urban living, the micro apartments, income-generating Airbnb or renting mother-in-law apartments, aging in place, etc. And yes of course, the Tiny House, though it’s not just all about the tiny house!

Last year US appliance companies did not think small appliances were worth investing in. Even though Europe, of course, has been supporting small appliances forever. But then this year on the KBIS show floor, smaller appliances were EVERYWHERE! BUT, small spaces do not always mean small budget – many of these consumers still want high-end quality and function. I was so excited to see good quality 24″ gas ranges with convection ovens. Smaller ovens, modular-sized cooktops and venting were everywhere, too.

While the 18″ dishwasher already exists here in the states, I am waiting for the features to catch up as well.  Today most manufacturers have a stripped down 18″ version for us, which is ok for now, but let’s keep asking them for more. And/or let’s perfect that dishwasher drawer.

#4  Everything INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink!  The Water Appliance

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There’s a new appliance in town! I’ve known about the Water Appliance concept for a couple years now but this year they just took a big leap forward. I’m designing a large kitchen for a huge family and for the first time I am incorporating one of these multi-functional, multi-user sinks into the design plans.

#5 Color me Custom! 

We have more options than you can imagine! Moving forward I see this as more than just a trend. There’s a deeper underlying theme happening here -a sense of personalization, customization, self expression. We want choices, we are designing more for ourselves than for resale these days.

Grohe really stood out in this department. This is the same faucet but with interchangeable “color gloves” that fit your design, mood, season! This was a real star of the show that showed they understand at a deeper level what is driving us in this topic.

There was so much more but we’ll stop here for now. Until next time!

Paula Kennedy CMKBD CLIPP Timeless Kitchen Design COPYWRITE 2017 ©

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