Our KBIS Experience 2018

For those of you who don’t already know, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) hosts the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) every year as a part of Design and Construction Week. This year, four of us went to Orlando, Florida to learn new things, find new trends, and bring back as much information as humanly possible. Now, we can share with our coworkers, clients, and really anyone who will listen to us! Boy – did we have a fantastic time. And now, without further ado, here are some of the top trends and takeaways from KBIS 2018!


Kitchens are the heart of the home, still. We took away a lot on design trends, but there were two interesting ones that really stood out. First, color. Color is a main factor in home design now. We are moving away from the sterile whites and neutral grays just a bit to incorporate more color through the house. Tile as well as countertops are the perfect choice if you still prefer those neutral cabinets. Somer Tile had a fabulous color display this year. The second big trend for both indoor and outdoor kitchens is “the kitchen workstation” which the Galley really nails. Imagine as area built specifically for your needs to both wash, prep, and clean up all in the same area – brilliant!


We saw a few trends pop up around appliances this year: induction cooking and grey. Induction has been around for quite some time. For anyone unfamiliar, the cooking surface heats up pots and pans through magnetic induction. Because this type of heating warms the cooking vessel directly, temperature increases more rapidly. What does that mean? That pot of water comes to a boil in 3 minutes instead of 8. It’s also safer – the cooking surface itself it’s getting hot. Ones from Samsung and Thermador are shown below. The other big trend – grey – could be seen through several appliances lines. Miele’s new ovens and two Thermador cooktops are different shades of grey. No more “black hole” on that island countertop!


Any tub users here? The “spa bathroom” style has really been booming lately as the star trend, and KBIS did not disappoint. Freestanding soaking tubs are a huge hit among some of our clients, and Toto has really gone above and beyond on their “Zero Dimension” tub – soak like an astronaut! But seriously, we can’t wait for this to be available! The other big trend in bathrooms revolved around the shower. Open and clear glass showers have dominated the market recently. The trend is starting to move towards translucency, where glass is just a portion of the material used – think colored panel inserts (seen below), wood mullions, and even frosted glass options.

Back in Black

Black and white and gold – OH MY! The classic look is returning with an upgraded style and we cannot wait for some of our bolder clients to hop on this trend with us. Kohler showed us a lovely black and white vignette showing us a bold patterned tile with a bolder shower and tub combo. Brizo gave us a combo black and gold kitchen faucet that was to die for. Sietto showcased some fabulous hardware that we are hoping to spec in the near future. Also, matte black was just everywhere at KBIS this year – and even the Best of KBIS award went to the “Grid” by Kallista, which was.. I think you can guess what color before you even scroll down. What’s your favorite?!

NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 Program at KBIS

At KBIS, the NKBA awards 30 individuals in the industry under the age of 30 for going above and beyond each year since 2013. Last year, we had our first 30 under 30 winner, Rebecca Sutton. Her group worked shared a presentation on refurbished material, which we talked about in our KBIS 2017 blog post. This year, our very own Erica Illions was honored with this prestigious award. Each group design and presented a “Product of the Future” and Group 1 (which Erica was a part of) presented the D-Range: a pot filler companion product. Read a little more about it here, and see what else these fabulous under-thirties presented!


And that’s all folks – see you at KBIS in Las Vegas next year!