In my previous post I shared color trends from the 2018 kitchen and bath show (KBIS). Today I have part two for you of my kitchen and bath trend report from 2018 KBIS.

1.Smart Home Technology:  In previous years at KBIS, smart home technology was just beginning to move the needle at the show. This year I felt it was the number one trend overall. We are headed to living like the 60’s TV show The Jetson’s. Smart home technology is rapidly becoming better and more affordable for all. Refrigerators and stoves have evolved into computers that link to our cell phones, ipads and Alexa (or a similar smart device).

kitchen control panel | kitchen and bath trends

Home Connect control center

Smart technology refrigerators can do everything from create a grocery shopping list to suggest recipes based on what’s inside the refrigerator. Today’s smart ovens and ranges can perfectly cook a roast or a chocolate flan.

seeing inside the refrigerator

shopping while viewing the inside of your refrigerator

Smart technology toilets clean themselves, open and close the lid as needed and identify which “user” is approaching. One of the more talked about smart technology exhibits at the show was from the car company Tesla and the kitchen appliance company Thermador.

Tesla and make your coffee

Tesla shown with Thermador’s oven and coffee maker

These two companies have partnered and linked the Tesla’s in-car computer to two of Thermador’s appliances. I can’t decide if it is a life enhancing feature or just a fun gimmick but imagine being able to preheat your oven or brew an espresso from inside your Tesla. The advantage given is that you can turn on your oven on your way home from work. This is a time saving luxury as the oven is ready for immediate use upon arrival home. If preheating the oven doesn’t excite you how about a barrister style espresso or cappuccino waiting for you upon arrival home from your early morning gym work out? Now this is a feature I can get behind!

Bottom line, high end appliances are evolving into computers and can be controlled from your phone, tablet, alexa….or Tesla!

2. LED Lighting: This is another trend that was seen in almost every KBIS booth. LED lighting was featured inside drawers and cabinets, inside kitchen appliances, and used as accents on kitchen and bath cabinetry.

Cabinetry with led lighting

Kitchen Cabinetry with led lighting

The onyx back-lit tiles from Ann Sacks was pretty special as well!

I like the idea of LED lighting on the bathroom vanity because it can double as a night light.

LED lighting in bathroom

Kohler LED in bathroom vanity

Many ovens and dishwashers have interior LED lighting that can be programmed to change colors. Not sure I care what color the light is inside my appliances but maybe I’m in the minority.

LED lighting in kitchen range

Blue LED lighting in Thermador’s Smart range

As you can see, Blue LED was definitely the top lighting color at the show.

Wine cooler with blue LED lighting

Wine cooler with blue LED lighting

3. Organized Storage: It seems like everyone has jumped on the organization and decuttering band wagon. Upon opening any drawer at KBIS, the story was a place for everything and everything in it’s place. Kitchen and bathroom drawers resemble jewelry boxes and can be customized with inserts perfectly tailored to one’s needs. Have ten different hair products or a collection of soufflé pans? There’s a drawer for that.

organization in bathroom vanity

organization in bathroom vanity

I really liked this plastic under sink pull out drawer. Besides the fact it glided as if on air, the water proof bottom is perfect for messy cleaning supplies or damp sponges.

under sink organization

sink drawer pull out at KBIS

You would all get a good laugh if I showed you my real life kitchen drawer in our apartment. Let me just say, it doesn’t have any of these beautiful features as shown in the drawer below.

luxury kitchen drawer dividers

drawer dividers in kitchen drawer

4. Clean Lines: Maybe it’s a reflection of our desire to live a simpler and less cluttered life but the majority of the cabinets, appliances and faucets reflected a very sleek, streamed lined contemporary look. Flat front cabinets out numbered shaker style for the first time since I’ve attended the show.

contemporary flat front cabinets

Flat front cabinets

side note: Open shelving is still trending.

KBIS kitchen cabinets

flat front cabinets

Also, note the rod hardware.These were the most prevalent handles at KBIS. This struck me because this is what I used in my 2003 kitchen remodel two houses ago! Here are the same rod like handles again, also on flat front cabinets.

flat front cabinets with rod hardware

flat front cabinets at KBIS

The sleek vanity below is from DXV’s new Modulus collection.

contemporary cabinetry from DXV

DXV bath vanity

The majority of the faucets at the show were also very sleek and sported clean lines.

sleek clean lined faucets

sleek clean lined faucets

Remember hidden appliance walls of the 90’s? At KBIS, concealed, integrated appliance walls were once again trending.

concealed appliances at KBIS

integrated appliance wall from Liebherr

integrated appliance wall at KBIS

Miele integrated appliance wall

5. Honey I shrunk the appliances: Following right along with the downsizing and the living small trend comes smaller scaled appliances. High end professional quality ranges, dishwashers, wine coolers and washers can be found in slimmed down sizes. No need to sacrifice function or style with these smaller scaled versions.

24" gas range from Bertazzoni

24″ gas range from Bertazzoni

This 24″ gas range from Bertozzoni comes in a multitude of bright fun colors besides the standard stainless steel.

Miele showed off their slim 24″ washer and dryer. Made to fit into a small closet by stacking them, they still can accommodate up to 15 lbs of laundry per load.

Miele 24" washer and dryer

Miele 24″ washer and dryer

For smaller kitchens with limited counter space I thought these elongated sinks were genius. The sinks themselves become a full prep island with a variety of accessories that allow you to chop, clean, prep and prepare all at the sink.

elongated prep sink

elongated prep sink

6. Luxury at Home: A consequence of our new reality is that many are fearful of venturing far from home. This has expanded the product category for luxury living or vacationing at home. Backyard pizza ovens, gas grills that have every bell and whistle and spa features in bathrooms such as steam showers and soaking tubs are now trending. Why go to a spa when tubs and showers have features that rival a five star resort? Refrigerators can place a grocery order that a local store will deliver. There are in-home mini dry cleaning units that tuck easily into a closet. Ovens and ranges that are so advanced they prepare restaurant quality meals simply by touching a food photo on a display pad.The luxury market for kitchen and bath continues to grow and evolve and KBIS is the best place to see it all.

Summing up. Every year we seem to have more stress in our lives and much less time. Our home, now more than ever, needs to function as our sanctuary and haven. The kitchen and bath industry is rising to the challenge and helping us achieve a more purposeful and thoughtful way of living. Not everything new for kitchens and baths will be something to covet but there certainly was something for everyone. I’m excited about some of these products, how about you?

To see how fast (or not) things change in the kitchen and bath industry check out my KBIS report from 2017 here.

Looking for affordable art work? Do you know I’m now selling limited additions of my photography? You can check them out here.

I hope you enjoyed my 2018 KBIS trend report. In my next post I will share my very favorite finds from the show.




Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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