Highlights from KBIS 2012: Kitchen and Bath Trends

May 4, 2012

Last week, a few members of our team attended the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The show was filled with designers, builders, architects, and many more industry professionals interested in seeing what new products, styles, colors, etc. the kitchen and bath industry has to offer. As the trend hub for the kitchen and bath industry, KBIS helps to inspire those in attendance and create awareness for all things new in the industry.

This year, the show featured a number of high-end artisan or designer series products. Jason Wu, a fashion designer, teamed up with Brizo (a luxury bathroom company) to create a chic collection of bathroom faucets and accessories. The modern matte black finish provides a classic and timeless look that goes with just about anything. The faucets have SmartTouchPlus technology, allowing for hands-free and touch-sensitive operation.

Jason Wu Bathroom Accessories (photos from

Technology was everywhere. From remote-controlled shades and toilet seats to apps that keep you connected to your kitchen no matter where you are. Smart appliances in the kitchen continue to grow, with Sub-Zero and Wolf partnering with Control4 for its new smart kitchen. Control4 helps to bring easy automation, management and monitoring to the kitchen.

Sub-Zero and Wolf partner with Control4 to create a Smart Kitchen (photos from

Kohler continues to lead innovation by integrating more and more technology into the bathroom. The Numi, their most advanced toilet, combines design, technology, and engineering and has a hefty price tag of $6,400. It has a very unique form, a touch-screen remote, a self-opening and closing lid, and innovative flush technology that helps with water savings and power.

Numi Toilet (photo from

In an effort to bring more audio devices to your home, Kohler’s StereoStik is a sleek add-on to their mirrored cabinets and brings audio entertainment to the bathroom.

Kohler's StereoStik (photo from

Kohler also introduced their VibrAcoustic® technology that essentially turns your bathtub into a stereo system, simply by plugging in your iPod or other music player. The technology is incorporated in their Underscore bath line and is a technology-based sound therapy defined as hearing and feeling vibrations through the body.

Kohler VibrAcoustic® Technology (photo from

Adding even more technology to your home, Serena™ remote controlled cellular shades from Lutron provide convenience at the touch of a button. The shades are available in four different pleat options, as well as in five different textures and a variety of colors.

Serena Remote Controlled Shades (photo from

Looking at sinks and faucets, there seemed to be a trend toward products appearing handmade. There were hammered copper sinks and distressed finishes that communicated the nature of how things were created. ROHL’s new line of stainless copper sinks provide a commercial-grade sink system that offers a design aesthetic fit for a show kitchen.

Rohl Copper Sink (photo from

Delta’s new line of Fuse™ kitchen faucets adds a splash of color to your kitchen—or any other area of your home. It is designed to complement and soften contemporary styles. It is available in shades of red, black, and white and comes with the company’s DIAMOND™ Seal Technology for lasting performance and MagnaTite® Docking to hold the spray wand firmly in place.

Delta Fuse™ kitchen faucet (photo from

With the trends seen at this year’s show, the economy continues to encourage homeowners to not only enhance the appearance and functionality of their homes, but to consider energy-saving options and long-term value. Advanced technology is being integrated into a variety of different products and fixtures in order to provide a better user experience and increased value for the consumer. We look forward to seeing how the kitchen and bath industry changes and advances in 2012.

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