KBIS 2023: Bold Beautiful and Sustainable Design
This year’s show was a return to the days of old. Overall, there were record-breaking numbers of exhibitors and attendees at KBIS 2023 which was part of the larger Design and Construction week in Las Vegas. The overriding theme was bold, beautiful, and sustainable design in products and materials. These are definitely not color palettes you will find in Wednesday Addams’ dorm room. Regardless, you could feel the excitement of being back at one of the industry’s best conferences.
Manufacturers commit to bold beautiful and sustainable design.
Almost every manufacturer seemed to strut their stuff with a commitment to color, innovation, and sustainability. In addition, sustainability of our mental physical, and emotional well-being was a top theme with products and installations meant for the human aspect of design, health, and wellness. Although this theme has been a hot topic in design and construction, it is now a respected and encouraged aspect of today’s home.
Heritage colors made a bold comeback.
Interestingly, Kohler and their colorful display of toilets and freestanding sinks stole the show. Not only did they provide and encourage color inspiration, but attendees were also able to vote on which retro-inspired color would be added as a limited edition to their line of products. The big reveal came with the announcement that Spring Green and Peachblow would be the playful colors used to bring the character back to the bathroom. Remember this is a trend and they come and go.
Bold Beautiful and Sustainable Design: Plumbing
Plumbing fittings and fixtures were in abundance. Steam showers were in almost every bathroom product booth I visited. Wellness begins at home and a steam shower is attainable and sustainable when it comes to washing the world away each day.
Bold colors for fixtures
Marmite showed deep green and navy tubs alongside a beautiful tub covered in colors that looked like an abstract painting.
On one hand, matte and shiny hammered finishes were combined on faucets at the Brizo booth. They look like jewels adorning the fittings. Honey bronze and soft gold were also displayed.
On the other hand, handles took the show with materials like Lucite which are finished to withstand daily use. Industrial-style faucets for the kitchen were also shown in a variety of finishes including a white powder-coated finish by Jason Wu for Brizo.
To be sure, Mid-century modern is still a strong design theme. A collection inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright displayed architectural details in the form and combined metal and wood finishes in an ode to Falling Water.
Multi-purpose faucets were shown in almost every booth. Imagine one faucet which not only provides hot and cold running water but also dispenses sparkling water, sparkling wine, beer, or mixed cocktails. Then again, there is nothing like impressing your friends where with the touch of a button you can tap a cold beer or instantly pour a Moscow mule. Home entertaining is taking on a whole new meaning with these introductions. Gathering at home in small intimate circles will continue to gain popularity.
Bold and Sustainable Design: Kitchen Appliances
Induction ruled the day. Once again burners that are concealed in the countertop were extensively displayed. Food preservation is another sustainable theme for refrigeration and both Beko and Signature Kitchen Suite are leading the way. Signature Kitchen Suite introduced their prototype home garden cultivation appliance. Home gardening exploded in the last couple of years. This is a great solution for year-round indoor gardening to provide nutritious food for family meals.
Miele demonstrated their new countertop coffee center. For those who love their barista but prefer preparing perfect coffee at home, this new portable system brewed delicious coffee.
Steam ovens and steam cooking are 2 of my favorite kitchen appliance staples and most manufacturers are offering their version. Once again the popularity of health and wellness as it relates to nutrition has become a standard in the appliance world.
Mixed metals and materials combined with colorful accents are the perfect finishing touch for any cabinetry. Belwith Keeler did not disappoint. Much of the fabulous hardware seen in the GE Monogram display was created in collaboration with this company. I particularly loved this leather and honey bronze pull.
Fireclay apron sinks with functional accessories were especially interesting. Besides the fact that Bocchi’s Baveno Sink System won best in show, their sinks provide the multi-function of larger galley-type sinks but offer smaller options. They even make a retractable faucet that drops down into the counter. The perfect foil for smaller spaces and coffee or wine bars where counter space is prized.
Rev-A-Shelf showcased several new products for kitchen, bath laundry, and even pet centers. One of my favorites was a built-in dryer rack that tucks away into a drawer. Personally, I drip dry many items rather than dry cleaning, significantly more sustainable than dry cleaning.
I have shown you the LG Styler, the perfect home appliance for garment care, well they have now introduced the same system for shoes. With sneakers rising to status symbol levels, this might be the perfect cleaning/display solution.
I hope you enjoyed this quick trip through KBIS 2023. As you can see, bold, beautiful, and sustainable design is unquestionably here to stay at least for this season. Most products were versatile, sustainable, with a nod to wellness, and full of technology and color. Everyone seemed to gravitate to the usual products and booths, I tried to follow the road less traveled and find other interesting and design-influencing products.
How to bring these ideas to your home.
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Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD
Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KB&B Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Sharon has also received a Kitchen Bath Design News 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.
Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Bergen NJ magazine, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger, and Aspire as well as several books.
Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on DesignNJ.com and KBBonline.com. She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini. In 2022, she was a featured *Voices From The Industry* speaker at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business.