Highlights from KBIS 2016

Hi friends!

The insider scoop on the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show - and what trends we are likely to see in the future!

I’m back from the 2016 KBIS for a few days before heading off to the Las Vegas Winter Market.

What a week! Last year, KBIS and Winter Market happened at the same time, so I was able to squeeze in both in one trip. But having them offset a week this year allows me to spend more time at each one, talk with more folks and (of course) my favorite part, do some trendspotting and take lots of pictures!

KBIS is a great time to network with others in the industry, check out the latest products and connect with manufacturer reps.

Co-located with KBIS is the NAHB Builders’ Show (IBS), which gives builders and other industry professionals the chance to see what’s new in building products. I typically spend at least one day at the Builders’ Show as well, since manufacturers don’t usually double up, and that way I make sure to see them all.

Once in a while, a celebrity or two might make an appearance, and of course you’ll find me geeking out a little about that.

This year I had the chance to meet Ty Pennington, who did a presentation at the Lapolla booth, as well as Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes and Mike Jr.

Anyway, the whole point is to see what is NEW… which brings us to this post, which is why you’re here!

So without further ado… here are my 10 picks for trends to be watching for, from this year’s KBIS:

1) Black and gold + bold:

After a season of muted gray tones, contrast is back! I think we can expect to see more and more black accents and features in kitchens over the next few years.

This was (in my book) by far the biggest news and the most noticeable trend at KBIS and at the co-located builders’ show (IBS). Black is paired with bold color and gold for a luxe, modern take on a classic look.

La Cornue is known for its pairing of black and gold, shown here with a rustic feel with open shelves:

LG showed this lovely combination, including black grouted subway tile and an island with open shelving featuring gold metallic accents:

Note the use of butcher block at the island and warm wood shelving to bring in natural and warm elements.

This kitchen vignette at Wellborn included a statement color cabinet with gold hardware and a bold, graphic black and white splash.

2) Quartz that Looks Like Natural Stone

Next to the use of high contrast, black and white elements in kitchens, this is the second more noteworthy item from this year’s show.

We’ve seen quartz come a long way in the last couple of years with introductions of patterns that much more closely resemble marble. Both Caesarstone and Cambria upped their game this year with several new introductions that mimic natural stone very well, but without the maintenance and porosity concerns that we see especially with marble.

Wilsonart, LG and HanStone have each introduced their own patterns and I expect we will see many others do the same in the coming months. The other big news is that several of these colors are also available in jumbo slabs, which provides more flexibility with islands for seamless installations.

With white kitchens being at the height of popularity, having a patterned quartz rather than a solid white provides interest as well as an organic and natural feel to a space that could otherwise read a little sterile.

3) Rustic Glam

Rustic everything has been big for a while, but it can sometimes feel heavy and worn. This year’s rustic looks featured soft metallics that bring in the feeling of luxe. Think of it as the “glamping” version of rustic decor! It’s still paying homage to natural elements, but it has a little more of a spa getaway feel.

Freestanding tub at Native Trails booth, KBIS 2016
Litze faucet at Brizo, KBIS 2016

The best part? Replacing lighting, hardware and faucets can be an easy way to refresh a rustic kitchen or bath if you’ve grown a little tired of its rugged beauty but don’t want a complete overhaul.

4) Texture play:

From faux fur bar stool cushions to tiles that look like menswear fabrics and carpet, texture was BIG at this year’s show. We love texture for the depth it gives any room, regardless of its color scheme, but the new uses of texture were both fun and refreshing.

These textures pair particularly well with soft metallics (which are still hot) and are a perfect counterpoint to the sleek, smooth surfaces that are trending right now.

5) Rose Quartz:

One of Pantone’s colors of the year showed up with creamy white, rose gold and the cool grey of marble. I love the energy this warm-meets-cool pairing creates.


La Cornue also introduced some Suzanne Kastler colors, including this stunning pink, shown here with both soft gold and silver metallics:

Keep an eye on this one! The warmer, luxe version of pink has a modern feminine elegance I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of!

6) Copper and marble

Speaking of warmer metallics, I fell in love with this kitchen vignette at the Wellborn booth.

The butcherblock on the furniture island adds warmth, but what really shines is the copper hardware and lighting. The farmhouse kitchen isn’t going anywhere and this soft, sophisticated palette is a great alternative to the heavier rustic versions we’ve seen recently.

7) Hi Tech Storage

Robern brought even more innovative bathroom storage to this year’s show with medicine cabinets that include USB charging stations and mirrored glass that doubles as a speaker. I love that the door and the interior of the cabinet are mirrored as well, to maximize utility and the feeling of luxury. There is even a magnifying mirror mounted inside. No more closing the medicine cabinet door to see what you’re doing!

Kessebohmer showed this gorgeous charging drawer with a hidden arm behind the drawer that protects the wiring from getting pinched then the drawer is operated. The drawer also features interior lighting so you can find everything.

8) Navy with wood tones

Last year I posted a navy-and-brown kitchen from the Electrolux booth. It was notable because it’s not a combination we are used to seeing very often, but it worked. When I got back I saw the same palette pop up in a Pottery Barn mailer.

This year I saw a few more variations of dark blue and stained wood pairings:

9) Statement Lighting

The right amount of light can make or break a well-designed room. But fixtures are getting more and more expressive and fun! Oversized kitchen lighting is going strong, but it isn’t all about schoolhouse and industrial lights anymore.

Take a peek at some of these statement pieces:

Rose-colored light fixture by Cyan Design at KBIS 2016


10) Patterned Tile

We saw some great patterns and textures last year, but this year’s show brought even more patterned tiles, and I think we can expect to see more of this in the coming years.

So that’s it for 2016! Looking forward to seeing some of the trends play out and seeing what next year has in store! Do you have any favorites?

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