Each year, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) provides a spectacular showcase for the latest and most inspiring products, trends and technologies on the horizon for kitchens and bathrooms. This year, it was bigger, better and even more exciting because the sponsor, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), combined KBIS with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, under the banner of Design & Construction Week.

Smart is Here to Stay

Anything that’s “smart” is gaining popularity: wall ovens that are controlled with a wireless remote, digital faucets and showers that tell you the actual water temp on a screen so there are no surprises, fridges that  have flex zones that can switch between cooling and freezing, induction cooktops that warn you before a pot boils over, and an increasing variety of products that can be controlled from a phone app. There are also products that are smart in other ways. Medicine cabinets have lights inside for convenience, and electrical outlets are hidden away in drawers for charging your devices.  Cabinet organization and storage is more customizable than ever before with dividers, knife blocks, compartmentalized bins and pull-out trays to reduce clutter and make meal prep easier.

Clean, Contemporary Lines

Industry insiders at the show agree that the style seen most at KBIS this year was a more spare, contemporary aesthetic focused on clean lines, space efficiency, and universal design features. While transitional styles are still popular, kitchen design is definitely trending to the more contemporary, with less clutter and little ornamentation.

LED Takes the Lead

There was no nostalgia at KBIS for old-style incandescent or fluorescent lighting. LED has taken the lead in all areas of the home. The many variations on LED lights are highly efficient, don’t give off heat in the room, are dimmable and they last a long time. Put light right where you need it: inside a drawer or cabinet, on a backsplash or baseboard or even install a vanity sink or toilet that can glow like a nightlight. One exciting product category is the LED fireplace that needs no vent and can be placed anywhere you want the ambiance of flames but not the heat, even in the middle of a room.

What’s New on the Surface.

KBIS predicts that in 2014 kitchen and bath designers will be looking for surfaces that are both beautiful and easier to care for. Quartz is taking over granite’s top spot this year. Also surging in popularity for countertops will be engineered and recycled surfacing materials, both because of their environmental friendliness and their natural, distressed look. Adding a fresh touch to kitchen decor this year will be metallic finishes, especially copper, and tile colors and patterns that might just steal the spotlight in the room.

We believe that the most important trend of all is designing your kitchen and bathrooms around your personal aesthetics and lifestyle. If you’re thinking about increasing the beauty, functionality and efficiency of any room in your home, this is an exciting year to do it. Let us help you select the fresh looks that are just right for you!