KBIS 2015 in Las Vegas Part Two —Color, Finishes and Form

KBIS 2015 in Las Vegas Part Two —Color, Finishes and Form

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

As promised, here is the second article about what I learned and observed at the Las Vegas 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and International Building Show (IBS).

Today, I touch upon my impressions regarding color, finishes, and form trends. All four at the show were combined in different ways perhaps described best as: the rustic with the sleek, the industrial with extremely polished, something vintage with something brand new, commercial styles morphing into residential. Of course, my blog below could never capture every impression made upon me. But all below made significant impressions on me making them all “blogworthy”.

Kitchen Color Trends

Neutrality is Still “In”
Would you be surprised if I told you that the palette of neutral colors gray, white, and brown are still going strong? And that this palette consistently appears in cabinetry, countertops, and flooring-—the three main building blocks of any kitchen?

A neutral color palette remains, at least at for now, de rigueur.

At the show, almost all kitchen (and bathroom) vignettes featured these neutral color schemes. They dominated the “canvas” and, then, on occasion, bright “pops” of color would be introduced in the space, such as a tile backsplash or a single furniture piece in a bold color such as red or orange.

The guideline followed is: fixtures that are not easily changed remain neutral in color. If color vibrancy is needed, it is found in items that are changed more easily, such as these stools:
ORANGE STOOLS

Finishes

Hardware — A Slight Surprise
For metal finishes such as decorative cabinet hardware, pulls, knobs and the like, the standard polished chrome and nickel, brushed nickel, black, oil rubbed bronze types were displayed in booths as always.

What made a bold “new” entrance was something that most have considered forever in the history books: antique and polished brass.

The pulls and knobs on display this year were not in their traditional form, but rather presented in contemporary or modern ones:
brass pullbrass hardwarebrass hardware on cabinetsSimply by changing the form, but not the finish, the whole feel is transformed. Applying this concept to almost anything sheds light on how something old can be new again.

Appliances — The Continuing “Go To” Finish

stainless refrigeratorAs for appliance finishes, if you heard a rumor that stainless is going “out”, this is not entirely true. It is true that more and more appliance manufacturers offer “panel” ready appliances — meaning you can have a matching cabinet panel made to make the appliance look like the front of a cabinet. But, outside of this option, stainless is still the most popular appliance finish. Although there continue to be a few appliance manufacturers, Viking, La Cornue and Big Chill, to name a few, seeking to distinguish themselves with bold vibrant colors, the standard “go to” is stainless. It remains so because it is neutral in color.

Engineered Quartz Finishes

raw concrete CaesarstoneCaesarstone, an engineered quartz countertop manufacturer from Israel, displayed some of its new finishes that mimic concrete: Raw Concrete, Sleek Concrete & Fresh Concrete. They also have improved their “art imitates life” with their Concetto series. If you are one who needs color, take a peek at this:

caesarstone profondo

Laminates

Another “wow” at the show was revealed to me when I explored Lab Designs’ booth. Incredible samples of high pressure laminates, one after another, were displayed, and many I had ever seen before. Some of these laminates were so compelling, you wanted to touch and feel them — because they had a 3-D quality to them.

honey cayman rattan laminatelaminate sage

Tile: Art Imitates Life

If you are in the mood to stretch your creative brain even more, the tile industry is not lacking for material to help you do so. Tile has truly become “art”, and the choices are infinite for anyone wishing to expand their options to be creative. A few examples:

Kitchen wood tile floor example

Porcelain Tile with Wood Finish

In the world of porcelain tile, the wood look is exploding. These tiles actually have “grooves” that look like the characteristics of real wood.

Weathered Concrete Tile

Weathered Concrete Tile

Another hot trend: tile that looks like weathered concrete. This trend is due to the industrial/commercial look that is making its way into residential interior design.

And then, if you are tired of tiles offering repetition with 90 degree angles, you can enter the world of Ann Sacks. Below is a photo of Sakura tiles which create an Asian inspired wall.

tile mural

Form

If I had to assign a “gender” to the type of form trends I saw at the show, I would say without hesitation: masculine.

  • Countertops—thick, simply in form in edge detail, often 6 cm thick.
  • Kitchen sinks and faucets—straight, linear, minimalistic
    Cabinetry—rustic or sleek. Less details.
  • Hardware—minimalistic with right angles. Some outright “rustic.”

Stay tuned for my next and last article on the show. This one will cover new storage solutions for the kitchen.


Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.

Kitchen Appliance Innovations — KBIS 2015

Kitchen Appliance Innovations — KBIS 2015

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.

The Latest and Greatest Appliances: Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Tips

The Latest and Greatest Appliances: Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Tips

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Dennis Trigg, Kitchen Appliance Expert

Dennis Trigg

A few weeks ago I contacted Dennis Trigg , Appliance Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises in Chantilly, Virginia. He graciously afforded me some time to answer a few questions I had about the latest and greatest on appliances.

First, a bit about Dennis. He has been working in the appliance industry since 1988. He is a gastronome in every sense of the word as he cooks from scratch every day and uses only the freshest ingredients. He is often so excited about his culinary creations that he sends pictures of them to his friends. And, from my perspective, if you get the chance to meet him, you will no doubt come away thinking: “Wow, he truly is an appliance “guru”.

For the Homeowner Shopping for Kitchen Appliances: What Comes First?

When asked, What is the most important thing (or things) that a homeowner should consider when shopping for appliances? Dennis had the following suggestions.

  1. Establish a realistic budget. This will help you shop more efficiently for what you want and need.
  2. Consider your cooking style: Do you cook every day or just once a week?
  3. How many people live in your home and what is the size of your kitchen?
  4. What type of kitchen do you have presently? What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen?
  5. What kitchen appliances do you want to have and why?

What Drives the Cost of Kitchen Appliances?

Often, homeowners do not understand the factors that affect the cost of kitchen appliances. For example, why is a Wolf gas rangetop more expensive than a Kitchen Aid?

Dennis states that kitchen appliance prices are driven by the production and materials costs, volume of appliances being sold, and the level of technology built into the product. For example, a smaller volume company might have higher production and materials costs than a company with a huge volume of sales. Companies that sell in large volumes may also have a larger R&D department.

Brand name also plays a part: luxury brands come with a luxury price because the materials incorporated into the product are of a higher quality.

The Evolution of Kitchen Appliances

Dennis believes that in 5-10 years we will be seeing more “smart” technology built into kitchen appliances, such as user-friendly Droid or IPhone controls and WiFi-enabled self-diagnosis features that can alert you when a problem arises or service is required. This would help ensure that maintenance and repair issues are addressed in a timely manner before significant damage occurs.

Cooking appliances will be equipped with apps that allow you to monitor the cooking mode from your phone. For example, if you have a beef roast in the oven, and you need to make a quick trip into town for another errand, you could “connect” to the temperature probe with your phone while you are away and, if needed, adjust the oven’s temperature setting remotely.

Stainless Steel Finishes: Are They Going Out of Style?

The fate of stainless steel finishes has been hotly debated in the media. For years we have read or heard, “stainless is going to go out of style.” From my viewpoint, stainless continues to be a dominant finish selection for almost every appliance. Dennis agreed with me that stainless steel will never go out of style. He noted, however, that there is an upturn in the return to “color” for appliances. Because homeowners are remaining in their homes longer, they wish to “personalize” their space with customized color choices. Some homeowners are choosing to have one appliance piece in the kitchen, such as the oven range or refrigerator, “stand out and make a statement with color.”

Consumer Reports: Yay or Nay?

Consumer Reports “is a a good guideline and reference to start the research,” says Dennis. But in his opinion, and mine, Consumer Reports and similar publications will never beat the expertise of an educated local appliance professional who can guide you through the selection process and be available to consult after your purchase if service needs or other issues arise.

Induction Cooking Technology: The Biggest Leap in the Industry

Dennis and I agree that the biggest leap in the appliance industry in the last 5-10 years is, “The return of induction cooking technology in the North American market!”

A big thank you to Dennis Trigg from Ferguson Enterprises for taking time out from his busy schedule to help educate homeowners everywhere.


Related Articles

Kitchen Appliance Trends Favor Flexibility, Energy Efficiency and Smart Technology
Celebrity Kitchens
Induction Cooking: Pros and Cons


Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.