One trend stuck out above all at this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS)—technology. From a camera in the oven that allows a baker to watch cookies in real time on a smart phone to devices that can monitor the weight of a carton of milk and automatically add it to a grocery list when it becomes too low, innovation was key at this year’s KBIS.
Joe Wheeler, Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech, demonstrates the camera in the oven feature at KBIS
“Technology is everywhere,” said John A. Petrie, 2015 National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Past President. “I’m seeing cabinets that open with the touch of a button. I’m seeing technology in appliances, in faucets, it’s just everywhere.”
Samantha Hart, editor in chief of Kitchen + Bath Ideas, also noted the prevalence of technology across the show floor. Her favorite finds included customizable sinks, a touchless toilet flushing system, and a dishwasher that uses a proprietary sweeping wall of water to clean dishes.
Kelly Edwards interviews Jonathan Adler, Amy Gath, Veronika Miller, Jayne Michaels and Joan Michaels at KBIS for EditorTV
“We wanted to recognize those manufacturers pushing the boundaries,” said Hart, who searched KBIS to find the 30 most innovative products, which will be featured in the magazine. “These top products combine style and function and are perfectly suited to the needs of today’s homeowner.”
In addition to technology being seen across the show floor, the NKBA rounded up some additional trends:
Kelly Edwards interviews John A. Petrie, Laurie Gorelick, Joe Wheeler and Koy Farthing
For bathrooms, people are increasingly looking for a “contemporary, Zen-like retreat.” What this means: clean, white, contemporary designs; floating vanities; open shelving; electric heated floors; innovative storage; and freestanding tubs.
“One of our more unusual requests this year was installing an iPhone compatible music source and charging station for the family bath,” said interior designer Madeleine Baker of MH Baker in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Kelly Edwards interviews Brian Pagel, Pamela Copeman, Sean Sullivan and Maria Meeuwisse
In the kitchen, stand-out trends include European cabinets, multiples of appliances in one kitchen, the rise of steam ovens, outdoor kitchens, fewer standard kitchen tables replaced by counters or tall gathering tables, TVs and docking stations and wine refrigerators.
The hub of the home is increasingly centered on counter areas versus kitchen tables, according to Audrey Macdonald, Creative Interiors By Audrey in Mississauga, Ontario. “Islands are replacing tables,” she said.
Also on scene at KBIS this year was Editorial Director of Cottages & Gardens Publications DJ Carey, who was honored with the KBIS Outstanding Media Award, which celebrates outstanding work and demonstrated commitment to the coverage of the kitchen and bath industry.
“Our readers are continually involved in creating and renovating these spaces and look to us to inspire,” Carey said. “No other spaces in a home reflect the homeowners as accurately or as honestly as the kitchen and bath.”