• • •
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is the largest trade show in North America dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry. For the last two years, Las Vegas has hosted the show in conjunction with the International Builders’ Show for a total of three days in January. I attend most years, and this year was no exception. I saw new upgrades in plumbing, refrigerators, and ranges; increased new technologies including smart home capabilities and more companies producing sustainable materials.
This year's show did not disappoint.
I love textures?
In nature, art, and interior design. Learning about the many ways some manufacturers are using more sustainable materials in their products was heartwarming and inspiring.
You might ask, what defines sustainability?
• Water conservation
• Energy efficiency
• Buying local
• Recycled content
• Indoor air quality
• Natural materials
• Universal design
DeWils Fine Cabinetry is another company that believes in environmental stewardship. Fifty years old, the company follows a strict waste reduction plan and recycle as much as possible. They adhere to using low-VOC finishes, low, or no-added formaldehyde plywood, they use sustainable, certified wood suppliers, and are SFI and Japan Four-Star certified.
DeWils was my favorite semi-custom cabinetry company at the show. I found their product to be well made, with a full range of styles and solid woods such as quarter sawn oaks. How can I tell that this is a quality product? I check the type of hinges used in the dovetail joinery of the 5-piece drawers and on their doors, not to mention the overall fit and finish.
This is the most important reason why I attend the show, to speak directly with companies such as DeWils about their quality, construction, finish applications, order process, and the company's service before, during, and after installation.
Kohler partners with several organizations and nonprofits to promote water conservation. They were launching the Avior Tankless Toilet, which runs on 4 AA batteries, which will supply power to operate the quad jet flush engine mechanism for a year, thereby reducing water usage in a tank and the need for nearby electrical in the wall-outlet.
They have water-saving showerheads, faucets, and toilets and participate in rebate programs
If you're interested in finding out what your family's environmental impact is, go to the Global Footprint Network.
There is so much to offer in the arena of kitchen design today. I was delighted to see the work being done by the craftsmen at Kraus. The single handle pull-down faucets in black are terrific. Last year I saw a lot of black in plumbing; this year, it is being combined with other finishes. Kraus has a new series of pull-down kitchen faucets for 2020.
For those who entertain, one of my favorite things this year is the wine and entertainment stations.
Bosch also made a great showing with their all-new Refreshment Center wine drawer. It's like having a wine cellar right in your refrigerator.
Dacor is offering its Wine Station; the first automated, temperature controlled, four-bottle wine dispensing and preservation system for the home. You can choose the right wine and just the right amount —a taste, half glass, or full glass—with the touch of a finger. It maintains the freshness of your favorite wines for up to 60 days without the loss of flavor or natural aroma.
Dispensing heads keep wine safe from oxidation by pouring wine directly from the bottle. Locks in the taste and aroma with each pour. It will hold regular to magnum size bottles simultaneously.
As you can see, a refrigerator need not just have a matching kitchen cabinet panel or stainless door anymore. This Dacor refrigerator was outfitted with a custom resin panel created by artist Alex Turco and had lots of people gathered around to admire it.
Quite the show-stopper.
Monogram showcased leather strap pull hardware on their wood cabinetry. A uniquely subtle design for a refrigeration system. The direction in kitchen design as we move forward is more about not seeing the appliances and having them hidden behind cabinet doors and drawers.
There have been innovations in the arena of presentation and how appliances can be fitted with a specialized door and drawer front custom panels. In some cases, refrigeration was well hidden and looked utterly decorative.
Below, we have a different approach to appliance placement from Monogram — a bookshelf-style installation using stone shelves and where all appliances vent out of the front. Believe me; I asked if this was possible!
The sleek designs at Miele are always a favorite. Need to save space in your kitchen between counter and island? Miele has come up with a dishwasher that opens when you knock on the door, keeping the 3" handle projection out of the aisle.
There is one range; however, that was a true, Best In Show for me. It is the Signature series range that offers 4 methods of cooking in their 36” range, and 5 methods in the 48" model. The only appliance manufacturer to offer a home chef solution that included a sous vide (precise temperature control—low temp, long time cooking, LTLT) bath, gas burners, induction top, and a convection oven all in one 36" unit. The 48” range goes on to include a good size steam oven.
Every appliance in the series talks to one another, and the company monitors the machines for the lifespan, including the transfer of ownership, should you sell your home.
Have you considered adding steam to your bathroom design? There are many benefits. Increased metabolism and circulation, pain relief, skin care, stress management, and aids in recovery from exercise.
Or maybe you want to soak in a tub.
Feast your eyes on the Zero Dimension tub by Toto.
There were many innovative, jet-filled bathtubs, but this one held a calming, quiet moment. It suspends you in a flotation posture that reduces gravity and releases stress on joints.
This vanity would be great in a powder room.
Mixing finishes and materials in bathroom plumbing and vanities were evident throughout the show. Fleurco has some modern designs that incorporate various elements well.
If you like the mirror, it is a fog-freemirror for a bathroom with a shower. Fleurco offers several mirror designs, not to mention other handsome, minimalistic pieces for the bathroom.
The advancements in plumbing and appliances continue to grow. This year's appliance companies were featuring connectivity between their appliance collections, Alexa, or your phone. You no longer need to be in the room to run your dishwasher or turn on the stove. For example, you can bring up the oven up on your phone, select the recipe, and program it to cook to perfection. Then, either turn it off when it is finished or bring down the heat to a warm setting if you had to pick up one of the kids from soccer practice. Now you can have that meal ready to serve upon returning with nothing overcooked and dry, nothing cold, and now, no need to reheat.
I really could not end this without showing you one of the funniest items at the show. We found this in the Builders Convention Hall.
It's like a Roomba for your lawn! The sales team told us people like to customize them with their own wrap or paint and give them names. But don't laugh too hard, this baby can mow an entire acre.
I wish I could show you everything I saw, but we would be here for three days. LOL! I have top-lined some of my favorites to give you a sample of the best. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you have questions or are interested in remodeling in the hopefully near future as things come back to the new normal, we hope you remember us at Lauren Jacobsen Design. We are kitchen and bath specialists.
Until then, embrace your home for the safe and happy sanctuary that it is.