What I Learned at the 2015 KBIS Show in Las Vegas

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

I made it to the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and International Building Show (IBS) in Las Vegas last week together with my Class A Contractor husband, Guy.

The two shows, intentionally combined, offered three huge exhibition halls—North, Center, and South–at the Las Vegas Convention Center. There among many aisles was a plethora of design and building elements to explore, understand, and make your head spin. For three full days, Guy and I walked each of the long aisles engaging our brains and legs, as this show’s participation required huge mental focus and lots of walking.

I arrived home greatly inspired with so much to share, I decided to do this blog in three parts. This PART ONE blog will cover appliances only.

The 2015 Look–Sleek and Seamless

Almost all appliance manufacturers, with a few exceptions such as La Cornue and Bertazzoni, embraced the integrated European style: a sleek look with seamless installations into the cabinetry and countertops. Here is an example from Bosch:

bosch-miami-kitchen-appliances

Note the overall horizontal aesthetic with nothing “protruding” and functional drawer storage below each oven.

The German manufacturer Gaggenau also offered similar aesthetics. Click the image below to view Gaggenau’s online showroom:

Gaggenau Online Kitchen Showroom

Perhaps after watching the Gaggenau online showroom (above) you concluded, as I did, that the geographic location can change, but the contemporary look can stay the same.

I think due to our “global” economy and world, this is most definitely a long term trend, the message being that contemporary design has a place everywhere.

Induction Cooking

Again, if you are still questioning the validity of my blog article about induction cooking last year, a visit to the 2015 KBIS show might have swayed you. Induction cooktops were displayed front and center at every appliance booth.

In fact, at the Gaggenau display, I had a nice chat with the executive chef who was cooking at their booth. He said he would cook with nothing but induction. While we were chatting, he explained the beauty of what he was cooking on: Gaggenau’s CX491 induction cooktop where the induction zone is continuous. The cooking zone recognizes your pan or pot no matter where you move it on the surface (see picture below):

Gaggenau Induction Cooktop

In addition, the CX491 Induction Cooktop can be installed so it is flush with the countertop.

New or Improved Ventilation

A flush ceiling mounted ventilation hood? Somehow I missed this product’s release three years ago, but thankfully I discovered it on this visit to Best by Broan’s booth. Their Cirrus built in ventilation hood is unlike any other I have ever seen. It offers a flush installation into the ceiling, and the ultimate plus is it can be mounted in ceilings as high as 9 feet. This eliminates any bulk above the cooktop regardless of location, wall or island.


Best by Broan also offers a new downdraft: Cattura™ (click picture below for details).

Cattura™ downdraft

Quieter but taller (18” versus 14”) than other downdrafts when fully engaged, its big bonus is that it can be installed with any other appliance manufacturer’s cooking unit.

Integrated/Specialized Food and Beverage Storage

Two dominant themes at the show were:
1. flexibility in design/ unit location, and
2. integrated installation.

With a large section of the population “aging in place”, improved undercounter refrigeration options were offered by both U-Line and Perlick.

Most notable was Perlick’s Signature Series Sottile Collection

Perlick™ Kitchen IslandPerlick’s “Sottile” display demonstrated how food storage needs can be addressed below the counter at 18” deep — easy access for all.

Throughout the appliance booths, a strong theme included the specificity of each appliance. The thinking is: you do need a separate icemaker, beverage center, wine captain, independent freezer and refrigerator because the more specific you are regarding these functions, the more efficiently you can design your space and work flow.

As for integrated refrigeration: we know that Sub Zero put integrated refrigerator and freezer installation on the map years ago. Now, more consumers recognize the benefits of integrated appliances that offer specific and superior storage with a clean design aesthetic.

Presently, if you are considering integrated refrigeration installation for your kitchen, you have a broader range of manufacturers to choose from:

  • Liebherr
  • Gaggenau
  • Thermador
  • GE Monogram
  • Jenn Air
  • Bosch

Compact Appliances for Small Spaces

If your kitchen space is extremely limited, which is typically the case in a metropolitan city such as New York or Washington, DC, Bosch is an appliance manufacturer you should seriously consider. Their 18” wide integrated dishwasher has been a mainstay for several years. Now, they have a 24” refrigerator and a 24” wall oven. Soon to be released is their 24” gas cooktop.

Bosch 24" RefrigeratorBosch 24" wall oven


Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designs, Northern VirginiaSandra Brannock has designed beautiful and functional custom kitchens for clients throughout Northern Virginia and the metropolitan Washington, DC region. For more information about Expert Kitchen Designs services, call Sandra direct at (703) 801-6402 or email sandra@expertkitchendesigns.com.