Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KBIS 2013

Sunday marked the end of a jam packed four days in New Orleans at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). For those of you that do not know, KBIS is a four day event focused on all things kitchen and bath related, specifically new products and design trends.

This was my fifth KBIS and my second time in New Orleans but as per usual, no visit or show is ever the same. This year's show was on steroids for me because in addition to attending the show as a designer, I was apart of the National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) first ever 30 under 30 group. I told you all about the program back in March, and as you know I was very excited. However, once I finally got to New Orleans and met the other uber talented, driven and inspiring 29 recipients my enthusiasm was really taken to the next level.

30 Under 30 Group at the Awards Ceremony.
These people were truly the bomb-dot-com. This group was comprised of CEO's, principal designers, bloggers, CKD's, design studio owners, co-owners, marketing/communications directors and design award winners. It was an honor to be recognized amongst this crew!

Before arriving in New Orleans we were split up into groups of 10 and assigned a topic in which we would research and present on the final day of the show. My group's topic was - Design Trends and Innovations. I was pretty stoked to have this topic, I mean HELLO we were at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show surrounded by trends and innovations. Plus, I was going to be looking for these things anyways for YOU, my readers, so yeah... I lucked out :)

After spending a few hours at the show I was hit by the semi humorous correlation between the trends I was seeing and the nickname for this city ......


Yes, The Big Easy, the famous nickname for New Orleans seemed to also be the theme of the show. Everything from faucets and tubs to cabinet doors and countertops were being designed to perform with as much ease as possible for the consumer.

Touch & Sensor Faucets:

Photo from Delta's website.
Delta Touch20
Delta, Moen, Kohler, Brizo, the whole lot of them were showcasing touch and sensor faucets. Where the need to pull a lever is no more. With just the touch/waive of your hand the faucet activates.

Here I am trying out Brizo's touch faucet at the show.

This technology is not brand new but anybody whose anybody at this show was displaying their version. Not to pat myself on the back but, a certain #StoneMountain kitchen features the touch faucet....

Shower head + Wireless Speaker:

Photo from apartment therapy.

With Kohler's Moxie Shower head you can listen to music while you shower. Using Bluetooth technology your device can link wirelessly to the shower head for your listening pleasure for up TO SEVEN HOURS!


The magnetic speaker literally sits right in the shower head. You can even pop it out and take it with you to other rooms in the house or to the lake!

Quartz Countertops:

We've talked about quartz countertops before, but for those of you out of the loop, quartz is a man made stone impervious to staining. There was a lot of quartz on display at this years show and it plays into the "Big Easy" concept in that people want the look of natural stones, specifically the white marbles without the maintenance. All of the big quartz players had their latest and greatest out on display, but the one that stole my heart was from Silestone. It's their new suede finish in white. Beautiful.

Photo from Silestone's website.


Cabinetry:

The blum booth was one of the first we visited upon entering the show and we left pretty impressed. For me, when I think blum I think ease of maintenance and efficiency in storage and their booth definitely did not disappoint. They were showcasing hardware that enabled you to open cabinets, like the trash cabinet shown below by just touching the cabinet door. Touch it with your hand, your leg or your head and poof...it opens. How nifty is this? I can think of about a 100 situations when this would be extremely handy.

Photo from Google.

Photo from blum's website.

See the lady above showing you how this works on their aventos lift. Just tap and.....voila it opens. Please note blum does not guarantee your hair will blow in the wind while inside your kitchen as shown in the photo. :)

Photo, my own.
The above vanity is from Robern. As you can see the doors have a beautiful wood grain that really makes this vanity pop. What would you think if I told you the wood grain you were seeing was actually a digital photo of wood on glass. Let that sink in for a moment and consider that with this product you get the look of wood with super easy maintenance. It's glass! You clean it by wiping it down with water, Windex, etc...I love it.

As you can see there is definitely a huge trend going towards ease and technology. For most of us we count on technology in almost every facet of our lives. For me, my cell phone is my alarm clock, calculator, camera and GPS. I use my cellphone to deposit my checks and talk to my Mom. It's my right hand man and I'd be lost without it.  At the show we saw technology that will allow you to unlock your house from your cell phone. There were tubs that you can turn on and choose your temperature, from your cell phone. There are even toilets with heaters, radios, lights, and remote controls all to make your life easier. Accessibility and convenience are key and these products have made it happen.

Of course I'm only skimming the surface of the products at the show but these were a few of my favorites. The rest of my trip was full of dinners, galas, parties and fun. I even got my picture made with famous designer Mick De Giulio.

Here are some of my pictures from my time in NOLA...

With fellow 30 Under 30 recipients Ashley Avery & Kelly Manas with Mick De Giulio.

With the Bell crew - Mike Bell & Holly Floyd at the 30 Under 30 Awards Ceremony.

Holly Floyd and I at the NKBA Gala at Mardi Gras World.
I enjoyed my fair share of Beignets. Maybe the best part of Nola.

This lady was at Mardi Gras world. We were comparing muscles. I win!
Needless to say I had a great time in New Orleans. A big thanks to the NKBA for giving me the opportunity to meet 29 great peers. This years show was a success and I'm already excited about KBIS 2014 in Vegas!




3 Appreciated Comments :

kellymanasdesign said...

Great review Courtney! I had such a nice time with you working on our presentation and hanging out :)

Courtney Foster said...

Thanks Kelly! I had a great time with you too! Hopefully the Atlanta trip works out and the wolfpack can reunite :)

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