Last week, I had the pleasure to dive into all things kitchen and bath by visiting the annual Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) in Orlando which is the largest show in North America where hundreds of vendors showcase their latest industry products, technologies, and trends. I've been to KBIS a few other times but this time was even better because I was able to attend as part of the 2022 DesignHounds. After a few years without shows due to the pandemic, I enjoyed being able to be in-person to network and learn more about industry trends and search for inspiration. It was a crazy few days filled with product viewing to networking to panel discussions. I even participated on a few panels (check them out here and here) but what I was really there to do was to learn about what is new and interesting to be able to bring it back to our clients (and my own house).
As we’ve mentioned in our last blog about delays in renovations and challenges in production due to the ongoing pandemic, KBIS was no exception. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions and overall concern with the Covid-19 variants, some of the vendors that we would have normally expected to participate were not in attendance which affected the diversity of products and innovation in what was presented this year.
So, what I thought I'd do is highlight a few key products that I had the pleasure of diving into a little deeper due to the presentations. I'll also be sharing my top 10 products and other tidbits over on IG but wanted to put a comprehensive list of the special behind the scenes items we saw at DesignHounds.
Signature Kitchen Suites (SKS)
Let's start with an old friend. I've written before about my love for SKS and their innovative approach to the kitchen appliance world. While they are backed and supported by a brand that we are all familiar with (LG), they are using the opportunity of entering the luxury appliance market as a way to scrap all old ideals and start over from scratch with new innovative processes. When you hear the people talk about the way they approach these products, it's inspiring (even if you're not a kitchen nerd like me). During KBIS, they debuted a few new products that are game changes in so many ways. First, if you are renovating or have an old school luxury kitchen, you know that the 48" refrigerator is a beast to replace/find. The options are limited, and you don't have much control over what you can get as an all-in one. SKS introduced the first 48" French door refrigerator at this KBIS and this mama jama has convertible (fridge or freezer) drawers, two types of ice (normal or craft), wine storage, etc.
The other cool item in the SKS line up is the use of gas, induction, and sous vide in the ranges and cooktops. Yes, you heard me right - you can have all 3 things in one cooktop. That's just crazy! Listen, I've never sous vided anything in my life and now I can't stop thinking about why every range doesn't come with one of these. Ha.
While Mr. Steam wasn't actually at KBIS this year, because we were DesignHounds, we were able to get a special presentation of the new offerings this year. One of the things I miss the most about our Oakland house is the steam shower so this one was very important to me as I plan out or shower elements in the new house. Mr. Steam is the cream de la creme of steam showers so it's no surprise that their offerings are. They have different type of generators allowing us to properly heat up that small 3' x 3' shower as well as the 6' x 6' shower that we all dream about. For a smart home geek like me, the best part is they have a wireless and touch screen control system that both can be connected to WIFI and scheduled/started from the touch of a button on your phone. No more waiting for the shower to be ready for you!
I don't think we've photographed or posted about a few of our recent projects, but we are joining the bandwagon and been in love with terazzo for the last year. So it was great to learn more about Compac, a leading manufacturer of terrazzo (quartz and obsidiana too) based out of Spain.
Learning about their revolutionary process was really interesting but what really stole the show is the new process they have created to manufacturer an indoor/outdoor stone in ways that terrazzo has never been used. I talked about this in my IG Live, but they created a design collaboration using their new Terrazzo High Performance Stone to create a gorgeous (and sexy) free standing outdoor island/cooktop. I imagine this looking amazing on many of the small outdoor spaces in the Bay and can't wait to see more from this product.
Nobilia is the largest German kitchen manufacturer in the world but what they really make is more like furniture. Their European style kitchens are sleek with amazing internal functions and showcasing German engineering. They are flexible and allow installation in a variety of creative and fun ways.
In the IG live, we walked this kitchen, and the small little details were just amazing. The peek-a-book reveal to show the brass detailing while also reducing the need for handles is really clever. They are also on trend with bringing in more colors (#nowhitekitchens) and showcased kitchens in blues, greens, and darker tones as well.
NKBA Global Connect
Last, but certainly not least, we had the pleasure of learning about the efforts that the NKBA is using to bring in more global influences. This program helps global companies enter the North American market with resources and programs to assist with the variety of regulations and distribution problems that can arise. I loved seeing the new ideas and talent that was introduced due to this program. Here are the some of the new companies that I thought were awesome:
Anyway, that's the recap of all the awesome presentations. I also had too much fun at a variety of dinners, happy hours, and other industry events that you should have seen in my stories (and I will never post here because it doesn't expire in 24 hours). I would also like to take time to thank our sponsors KBIS and NKBA GC for the opportunity to participate as a 2022 DesignHound. As well as the contributing sponsors MrSteam, Compac, Nobilia, and Signature Kitchen Suite(SKS) for supporting and hosting an outstanding show especially with the ongoing and ever changing new reality of Covid-19.