Thursday, July 7, 2011

KBIS - Premier Show for Kitchen and Bath Designers

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is the world’s largest international trade event .  It's a trade show that targets the knowledge needs of the various professions within the kitchen and bath industry - kitchen and bath designers, architects, remodelers, wholesalers and custom builders and the kitchen and bath showroom dealers. This is the place to go for the latest products, designs, trends and education that the industry has to offer. This year it was held in Las Vegas and, as a true addict for trade shows and designer showhouses, I attended. Here are just a few of the many interesting products presented at the show.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was to attend a design session given by Mick deGiulio, author of Kitchen Centric.  I have the book and enjoyed hearing his explanations of some of the kitchen layouts.  While he is known as a kitchen designer in the Chicago area,  it is not well known that he has designed a series of sinks that are just beautiful.  Pictured on the right is his 45" Multiere brushed 16-gauge stainless steel single basin sink. Notice  
 the drain in the top corner of the sink.  That is strategically placed to maximize the interior of the usable space for dishes, pots etc. and also to maximize the storage space within the cabinet.  This sink also comes with a teak cutting board which glides along the top rim of the basin.  For your comfort and convenience there is also a guiding rim below the top one.  Other task-oriented accessories such as a colander, a knife holder and a flatware tray are also available.  There were several of his sinks presented but this one is exceptional.

The Grothouse Lumber Company also had an extraordinary sink in their area.  Wooden sinks are still a novelty but are becoming more acceptable as more people are interested in having wood as their countertop material.  The real show stoppers presented by Grothouse Lumber  were the wood countertops.    If you would like to know more about the beautiful craftmanship and the finishes for their wood products please treat yourself to a visit of their website:  Below is an example of the beauty in their countertops.
I intend to visit this showroom on my next trip to Pennsylvania, so you will be hearing more about this company from me in the future.
Design by Artisan Kitchen and Bath; provided by Grothouse Lumber Company.  

Rather enticing as well was the Soapstone sink display.  There are two types of soapstone - Artistic and Architectural.  The Artistic one has a high talc content making it very soft and not suitable for the kitchen environment.  The Architectural Soapstone has a lower amount of talc making it appropriate for sinks, countertops, and other architectural applications.  As for color, there's basically only one - gray.  You can get some veining disbursed through it  as well as some flicks of other colors, but it is basically a charcoal gray which will darken over time.   If you want more information on the Soapstone sink please just checkout the Green Mountain Soapstone website:

As a bath designer I am constantly checking out new products for showers and bathroom materials.  I have designed several snail showers so that while they don't need doors on the shower they still like a sense of privacy.  There could be two issues here, one is privacy and often the other issue is light.  In this case it is advisable to devise the shower glass so that most of it is etched or frosted and then clear at the top so that light can enter the space. Take a look at this picture and you will see what I mean:  

One other aspect of shower design is often the drain.  If you are going through all the trouble and expense to update your bathroom than you need to consider the drain.  A nice drain gives the shower the finishing touch that it deserves.  In the TileRedi booth they showed an interesting way to dress the drain and insure that things other than water do not go down the drain.  In these two photos you can see the center square has a space around it when it is in place in the shower.   

My next what's-new-in-design endeavor will be touring the  Hampton Designer Showhouse in Bridgehampton, NY.  Undoubtedly it'll be a very exciting display of talent and artistic design that will be well worth a few post in this blog.  After that is the Las Vegas Market which is 4 buildings of design products and countless educational opportunies for us in the field so that we can better serve our clients.
Next year KBIS will be in Chicago.  I will be there as well. 

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