What’s new for 2019?
Let me give you the insider’s tour.
February was a fun month for me as I made my yearly venture to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas. KBIS has been the showcase for the latest products, trends, and technologies in the kitchen and bath industry for more than 50 years. 600 exhibitors in the LV Convention Center show their wares to designers, builders, dealers, and tech integrators making for a great experience.
I would like to share the three things that made the greatest impression on me.
White has been overused and now homeowners are getting tired of its sterility. Enter the color black. Black is everywhere! Not only is it moving into kitchen cabinetry, but it is also hitting the world of plumbing and accessories for both kitchen and bath. Almost every plumbing manufacturer introduced new pieces in a matte black finish. Many offer two-tone options; chrome and black, stainless and black, and gold and black.
You may ask why. Simply put, black adds drama, sophistication, elegance, and it is a fresh option to chrome. Plain chrome has become passé. I gave my take on black in a nationally published news story recently. You can read my views and those of other professionals here.
This year. we’re seeing many matte, polished, and brushed metal finishes in new golds, nickel, and bronzes but I particularly like this dark grey fixture from Brizo.
Brizo introduced a new line of polished finishes called Brilliance. These new finishes are guaranteed not to corrode, tarnish or discolor and they are designed to look pristine for the lifetime of the piece. These fixtures have a softer, more muted look to the finish which immediately gives them a subtle yet fresh sheen. They offer a new level of elegance for kitchen and bath design.
Free-standing tubs are also exhibiting black finishes. The exterior of this tub is a deep, dark matte finish, giving crisp contrast to the white on the inside. The timeless combination of black and white was quite pronounced, especially when you consider the many distractions of lights, presentations, demos, people, and products. The showroom floor was somewhat chaotic but these tubs stood out. You could not walk by without stopping to admire them as they commanded attention.
The energy level on the floor was palpable, which takes me to my second takeaway. New technologies and innovations. Virtually every exhibitor was introducing new products with technological upgrades and enhancements.
From water efficiency and touch and motion sensors in new products to manufacturing plants’ efforts in sustainable water use, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and their use of sustainable resources.
Technologically speaking, we were all excited when it became possible to operate your shower via Bluetooth, which is still a big part of kitchen and bath accessory functionality but this year manufacturers are doing much more by pairing kitchen and bath fixtures with Amazon’s Alexa. Delta faucets allow you to speak a request, “Alexa, fill one cup of water,” and the unit will dispense exactly one cup of water. They also have preset capabilities allowing you to program your fixtures with common commands.
You’re probably familiar with touch faucets. Fixtures that turn on by simply tapping the faucet if your hands are covered in flour or cookie dough, allowing you to avoid getting them messy. This year—wait for it—faucets, including this one by Moen, have sensor controls that, within specific proximity, will respond (on and off functions) with the wave of a hand.
While on the subject of sensors, I can’t tell you how many homeowners have called me to discuss a remodel because of a leak that had destroyed part of the house. Moen premiered a new sensor, Flo by Moen, that attaches to your main water line and will detect and stop leaks. I think this is amazing. It monitors the water supply system; toilets, showers, faucets, and the pipes behind walls or in the foundation. Once detected, Flo will shut off the water.
So rest easy if you are away on a business trip or on vacation and there is a leak or a pipe failure, you won’t come home to a flooded house. Flo by Moen is out now but most of the new sensor products won’t be available until Q3 of this year. Do you think they will teach her to fill the dishwasher for next year’s show?
Color is definitely back! Are you tired of your stainless steel range? Welcome to the world of color in cooking appliances. From reds, blues, greens, and yellows, to chartreuse, and deep eggplant purple. This colorful range was designed by Dolce & Gabbana for SMEG.
If you want a focal point in your kitchen, this would certainly be it. Otherwise, the colors below are some of the options manufacturers now offer. Some will even let you provide your own custom color.
We all know about the Italian passion for red. Who has not seen and admired a red Ferrari? Fulgor Milano remains true to that tradition in their rich red appliance color.
One last moment from the show was from Thermador regarding their new steam/speed convection oven. I consider this statement revolutionary for future kitchens and remodels since we all own microwaves.
The KBIS trade show, the only one of its kind, hosted eighty thousand designers, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, builders, architects, journalists, etc., over a three-day event. The products on the showroom floor were from all over the world, including the US, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, etc., and were as creative and unique as their countries of origin.
I did not win at blackjack, the slots, or roulette, but seeing the new products and innovations for 2019 made me a winning participant.
If you’re planning for a new kitchen or a bath remodel contact us. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the industry as kitchen and bath specialists.