I’ve always loved design shows. The exhibits, the demonstrations, the opportunity to admire up close the latest designs and products. For my colleagues and me, the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is like Christmas morning – the grand poobah of design shows and an event that we look forward to all year. The 2016 KBIS was held in Vegas, and the glitz and glamour of that famous city definitely found its way into the show floor at the convention center where a spectacular array of the latest kitchen and bath innovations were on display. Here are just a few of the highlights that particularly caught our eye.
Water movers with style
It stands to reason at a kitchen and bath industry event that you’re going to see exhibits related to water. What was impressive at KBIS 2016 was the extraordinary style and thoughtful design that was obviously behind many of the products on display. Case in point: the Isenberg booth and its amazing in-wall Cascade Flow tub filler/showerhead. As its name implies, this Italian-made beauty can serve a dual function and performs beautifully at both. Its sleek, modern design creates a flat arc of flowing water that is mesmerizing to watch and listen to, and its flush-to-the-wall installation is perfect for a minimalist setting or a cozy alcove tub. With a built-in adjustable flow rate, this unique device can be tweaked to create a gentle stream or an invigorating cascade to suit your mood and preferences.
Lenova is known for its exceptional sinks, and its display at KBIS was filled with stunning examples of the company’s artistry. The brand also just unveiled a new line of vanities as well, with eight different styles and a wide range of finish options. Constructed of eco-sensitive zero emissions solid hardwood, the vanities are CARB-certified and finished with five layers of premium, eco-friendly paint. These beauties come with many thoughtful touches, including soft-close drawers and door hinges, pre-drilled tops in granite, marble, travertine or porcelain, and a high-quality Lenova square under-mount porcelain sink.
Huntington Brass impressed KBIS crowds with its sleek Euro Collection. Visitors loved the novel idea of being able to remove the faucet handles and replace them with coordinating buttons for a custom look at a very reasonable price. Finished in polished chrome, the collection includes a wide-spread lavatory faucet, vessel filler, shower head and Roman tub filler. As an added bonus, the faucets are all EPA WaterSense-certified and are compliant with California CEC Title 20.
QuickDrain was on the scene at KBIS 2016 with a mobile booth that attracted some serious attention. Its award-winning WallDrain system is rocking the plumbing world by changing the way water is removed from wet areas. This revolutionary system allows for the most seamless design possible by installing the drain in the wall itself and sloping the shower floor to one subtle channel. The company’s patented SureFlow System leaves no standing water in the drain body, while the drain itself is incredibly efficient and nearly invisible. The magnetic drain cover can be easily adjusted to the thickness of the surrounding tile or stone, creating a uniform appearance that allows for complete design flexibility. Great for hospitality, residential or commercial projects, WallDrain is ADA-approved and easy to install.
There’s nothing like the perfect hardware to finish off a well-designed bathroom or kitchen. Atlas Homewares was front and center in Vegas with a fun new collection with a military inspiration. Known as the Campaign Collection, this industrial look is reminiscent of classic army trunks and offers a fun mix-and-match assemblage that allows users to create their own unique look. Options include a traditional rope or screw backplate design and a selection of round or rectangular knobs and pulls, along with drop pulls, cup pulls, and bar pulls. We also noticed that Atlas had been chosen to supply the decorative hardware for Thermador’s 100th anniversary display, which included nine kitchens styled with a variety of Atlas’s most popular collections, from Steam Punk to the exotic Zanzibar.
And speaking of exotic, Zen Design was displaying some very cool collections. The company pulled out all the stops for fashionable hardware, even showing leather and laced pulls. Its Garage Collection particularly caught our eye with its mix of materials and colorful hues of red, teal and brown. We love that urban-chic style that manages to be grungy and upscale at the same time. The collection even includes a magazine holder for a completely cohesive look!
The Lenova booth was crowded throughout the show, and one of the main attractions was its new Aqualogic faucet, which uses cold ozonated water to sanitize kitchen and bath surfaces, clean hands, and remove residues and pesticides without the need for harsh chemicals. Its ingenious design includes a small, thin ozone generator that naturally produces ozone water, a safe yet extremely effective way to kill germs and let consumers feel confident about the cleanliness of their home. The Aqualogic comes in polished chrome or brushed nickel and has a minimalist style that is well-suited for any décor. It is UPC- and NSF-certified and is the only ozone faucet tested and certified by the Food and Drug Administration on the market in the United States.
Lasertron Direct used KBIS 2016 to showcase its sustainable line of stainless steel backsplashes, cabinets and countertops. These are so beautiful! The craftsmanship here is impeccable, and the finished products are amazingly strong and durable. They even resist fingerprints! We love the customization options here, from drawer configurations to cabinet fronts. The Lasertron technicians can create nearly any design, from a simple brushed look to glass inserts, artwork, patterns and wood grains. The fact that they’re eco-friendly is just another reason to be a fan. Stainless steel products are 100 percent recyclable, so unlike many other engineered materials, stainless steel can be recycled without any degradation.
Du Verre Hardware made an appearance at Northern Contour’s booth to provide the eye-catching hardware for its bathroom vanities. We particularly love Du Verre’s Argyle Collection, created by owner and designer Gina Lubin. Made from post-consumer recycled aluminum, these clever knobs and pulls are a modern twist on a classic pattern. This simplified version of the timeless Scottish motif uses a strong graphic pattern of small diamond shapes, creating a finished look that is all about texture, sparkle and fun.
One of the most exciting aspects of eco-friendly manufacturing is the innovative repurposing of materials into new products. QuickDrain USA showed off its ShowerLine pans, each one made of 350 16-ounce recycled soda and water bottles that could have ended up in a landfill. These shower pans are pretty amazing for other reasons too. They are suitable for interior and exterior uses and can be used with both sheet and liquid topical waterproofing.
As you can see, KBIS 2016 was a pretty amazing show. The exhibitors there represented the best of the kitchen and bath industry when it comes to innovation, quality and design aesthetics. I’m so proud to be part of this exciting industry, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s show when KBIS returns to Orlando. See you at the show!