My 5 Fav’s of KBIS & IBS 2018

After almost 30 years in the kitchen and bath industry, it might be fair to say that I’m a pretty big fan of the now combined KBIS and IBS shows. I find that it’s a great way to kick off the year, connect with colleagues from past and present, and re-energize my thoughts for the year to come! It gets me out of my own mind for a bit and reminds me how vast this industry is and how many opportunities I still have to grow and learn.

If you made it to KBIS/IBS this year than this might be a recap, but for those of you that did not, I hope to offer an objective viewpoint of what the show had to offer in products and design to stimulate your senses! And while this list is not all-inclusive, it summarizes the top things that caught my eye. I separated this by overarching topic, but it is also clear to see when looking through the photos, the layering effect of all these elements is evident as well.

  1. In Black & Color

    Based on trend forecasts that are saying 2018 is going to show more color for interiors, I may have been on the lookout for this, but it wasn’t hard to find. Color as a topic was in many booths, both in actual products and as a way to grab attention. With this, I’ll mention floral notes, not in wine, but in wallpaper and tile patterns. And to make the color aspect really pop, bold statements of black were prevalent as well.

  2. Playful Patterns

    Both in products and overarching design; patterns were a hit for me at the show! I love how they are being used in unexpected ways (see Stik Wood example below) and in dimensional form to add another level of interest to tile. (see Artistic Tile example)

  3. Multi-media Materials

    From ultra-rustic to sleek and modern, the blending of materials continues to drive stimulation to the aesthetic of something as simple as wallpaper. (see Vahallan example) My personal favorite is the hand-painted art front on integrated refrigeration.

  4. Engaging Entertainment

    I don’t think I could walk past a couple of booths without being pleasantly distracted by the amount of effort a lot of companies put into keeping the show interesting with various forms of entertainment. From speakers on product education, to live cooking events (these appear to be the most popular) to theatrical multi-media booth elements, it kept my senses heightened and kept me from thinking about my feet!

  5. Stepping up the Sophistication

    This viewpoint might be a bit skewed based on being a host of our own booth through the years, but I noticed an increased level of tailoring within booth structures seemingly to create a luxe feel to the show. (I’d say they took a tip from EuroCucina!) Great lighting and crowd-friendly open layouts made the show that much more enjoyable. I hope to see this theme continue to expand!

And now for what you really want to see, I’ve created a bit of a slideshow for your viewing pleasure and comments. As much as possible, I’ve included sources in the file names of my personal photos.

Click on photos to expand the image. 

Formica has my vote for the most Fun in a booth!

Not sure about the fashion-side of our industry? Well, these images might change your mind. I think this dressing room needs to go on my 2018 wishlist! Yes, please! 

Rustic elements were abundant and full of character:

And of course there were layers upon layers of beautiful hardware:

Luxurious materials and wall coverings sure to please every taste:

Patterned multi-medial materials used as design statements within cabinetry and as wall/ceiling dividers:

Unexpected materials for back of islands and statement lighting:

My personal favorite, artistic integration:

And if that wasn’t enough color for you, how about cranberry appliances!?

Oh and a bit of black and copper pairing up:

I couldn’t leave out statements for the farmhouse lover in all of us:

A few of my fav’s from Elkay’s booth:

While it would be impossible for me to share the entire show, I hope this gives you something to look back on for inspiration in the coming weeks and months. I would love to hear your thoughts as well!


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