Written by John Nichols, Monogram Marketing Manager
Each year I look forward to starting the year fresh, full of new ideas and excited about the possibilities in the year to come. There is one industry show that embodies everything I enjoy about starting a new year – the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The show continues to raise the bar each year. It was once again co-located with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show as part of Design and Construction Week. This year’s show was held in Orlando, Florida, and, as expected, it did not disappoint.
Of course, there are always plenty of new trends and technologies announced and launched as part of KBIS. This year two themes stood out as being incorporated in the exhibits, product offerings, and the general buzz with the trade community.
The first theme was home control. Home control includes the advancements in home automation or making homes “smarter.” Manufacturers continue to find ways to incorporate smart technology into more products, simplify controls, and find more cost-effective ways to integrate it into their products. The primary way automation is being integrated into the home is through products that operate by gestures and proximity sensors, and especially, products connected through WiFi to operating systems and other products in the home. Ultimately, the idea is that products can predict your needs before you have to dictate or manually act to utilize a product. Some of the best examples I saw at the show, include:
- Pfister Auris – a voice-controlled faucet that offers filtered water and precise measurements of water at specific temperatures, which are perfect for cooking.
- U by Moen – creates a customized shower experience via your smartphone. You have the ability to start the shower, customize the temperature, and even get alerts when your shower is ready.
The second theme that continued throughout the show was kitchens moving toward cleaner designs that focus on efficient living. The clean designs focus on getting rid of clutter and competing lines, and hiding appliances with cabinet panels or cabinet configurations. These kitchens still infused life and fun into the kitchen design with use of color and combining finishes in cabinetry and countertops.
- Wellborn Cabinet showcased their Best of KBIS kitchen entry. They also launched their new line of Aspire cabinetry that is full-access frameless product.
- Häfele’s Tab collection of cabinetry hardware allows the clean lines of the cabinetry to be the kitchen showcase. The hardware can be top mounted on drawers and bottom or side mounted on swinging cabinets. With a variety of colors and finishes, some designs make the hardware almost invisible.
- Poggenpohl showcased a new line of chrome-plated lacquers in 14 colors, including green, gray, and blue that offers a clean look with a splash of fun.
- Masterbrand Cabinetry showcased their Omega brand of cabinetry that integrates different finishes into the kitchen.
Hopefully you enjoyed the show as much as I did. Maybe you got a few ideas or a new perspective. I might have come away with a new project – the show just about pushed me over the top on a kitchen remodel. I hope my wife doesn’t mind!