Report from the 2018 Shows: Technology, Color and New Metal Finishes Lead Trends at KBIS and Lightovation Dallas

By KLAFFStyle Editorial Staff

Designers Caroline Kopp and Tori McBrien and KLAFFS Candace Pereira Weigh In

Each January designers and retail buyers head to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and to the Dallas Market Center for the lighting show known as ‘Lightovation’. This year we asked interior designers and KLAFFS fans Caroline Kopp of Caroline Kopp Interior Design and Tori McBrien of McBrien Interiors, LLC to share their impressions of KBIS. Our in-house expert, lighting manager Candace Pereira shared highlights from Lightovation.

KBIS – Artificial Intelligence and Sleek Modernism

Both Kopp and McBrien were amazed by the extent to which technology is automating the home. Amazon’s Alexa seems to have taken the lead in integrating with everything from door locks, to lighting, to media and kitchen appliances – all enabled to respond to AI voice commands and connect to smartphones.

Kitchen Innovations

For example, an in-fridge camera allows shoppers to double check what they need to replace right from the supermarket via an app. This trend is still pretty much in its toddler years and we can expect it to continue til, before long, it’ll reach a Jetsons level.

In the realm of cooking technology, induction cooking is growing in popularity and, according to McBrien, ranges are encompassing areas for steam and sous vide cooking, both becoming entrenched techniques in home chefs’ repertoires. Elkay, the sink company, has come up with a water bottle filler like you’ll find at the gym. They make one for outdoors that includes an ice-maker drawer.

Color is also a big story for appliances, cabinets and tile.

Dark Navy Blue range from La Cornue
Image Courtesy of La Cornue

Both designers remarked on the degree to which kitchen cabinetry and overall design swung toward modernism. Push-to-open cabinets and appliances allow for wide, sleek expanses of wood or colored cabinet surfaces with nary a handle in sight.

Image Courtesy of Ovation Cabinets

“I happen to like handles,” said Kopp, “but it’s certainly dramatic to have a seamless, unbroken wall that does not appear to house storage at first glance. Once you look inside there are many new elements, including LED lighting that comes on when the cabinet door opens.”

Faucets, likewise, are moving to modern. For example, Kallista previewed a 3D-printed design called Grid, that it will be debuting later this year. The finish is Matte Black, characteristic of another trend – faucets and sinks of colored and mixed metals with more finish options.

Photo by Kallista

Fantini, the high-quality Italian faucet maker always leads in design. At KBIS, the company showed its three rich new finishes – Matte Black, Brushed Copper and Matte British Gold. With more plumbing hardware looks to choose from, designers can explore new paths to creating unique modern looks for their clients.

Image Courtesy of Fantini

New Bath Styles

Tori McBrien was taken by the return to black and white for the bath. Black tubs, black toilets, sinks and vanities. Some tubs have black exteriors and white interiors. Victoria + Albert have done a particularly good job with this concept.

Image Courtesy of Victoria + Albert

To add texture to a bath while still keeping things light, she loved Artistic Tile’s three-dimensional orchid layout by Michael Aram.

Image Courtesy of Artistic Tile

Dallas Market Center Lightovation: Industrial Chic, Satin Brass and Color Rule

After decades of leading the lighting departments at KLAFFS, Candace Pereira has an eye beyond keen for what’s new and worth talking about at Lightovation.

If there was an emerging design look, it’s an industrial chic that somehow transcends all styles – traditional, transitional and contemporary.

Here are a couple of examples from Hubbardton Forge’s latest line: the elegant minimalism of its Penumbra pendant with state-of-the-art LED light and the Apothecary from its 2018 New Traditional Collection.

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Penumbra LED Pendant

Images Courtesy of Hubbardton Forge

Apothecary Pendant

Vermont Modern combined the minimalistic, industrial look with another important 2018 trend – color!

Synchronicity Lighting showed a collection of highly artistic and sculptural fixtures that incorporate Swarovski crystals.

Some of the brands mentioned in this article are represented in the KLAFFS Catalog. If you haven’t visited the catalog yet, check it out to see how wide a range of wonderful products you can access at KLAFFS. Even better, come in to one of our showrooms to see them first hand and get expert help from KLAFFS design and sales consultants.

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