See What’s Cooking in Kitchen Design

THE ROAD TO KBIS 2020 | Article by houzz PRO

Patterns dancing across natural stone surfaces. International style-setters revealing global trends. Appliances offering smart ways to address wellness. All this and more will be at this year’s KBIS in Las Vegas. Below, designers and an NKBA executive share trends and tips to help you prep — shoe-insole advice included.

Healthy Developments

Wellness will be a big theme at the show, with kitchens joining the growing movement. “Most of my clients love to cook, and additional sizes and configurations in both speed and steam ovens would help me open up options for clients interested in innovative cooking technologies,” says Sarah Robertson, owner of Studio Dearborn in Mamaroneck, New York. But that tech should be seamlessly integrated, says Rebecca Sutton, a designer at Kitchen Design Concepts in Dallas. “People want more behind-the-scenes options than super interactive.” 

A Global Component

Show style this year will stretch beyond national borders. “We’re really increasing the international component,” says Suzie Williford, NKBA’s executive vice president of industry relations and chief strategy officer. “Delegations of designers and manufacturers are coming from all over the world — Germany, the U.K., Jordan, Turkey — which we’re very excited about and intend to keep growing.”

Natural Elements

Expect options pulled from the environment to make a strong showing. “I’m really excited to see biophilic design and to bring the outdoors in,” Sutton says, listing living walls as an example of an idea she’d love to incorporate into a project. Robertson says bold stone surfaces, living finishes and light- and midtone wood cabinetry are natural kitchencentric themes she wants to see at the show.

Bringing Back the Bold

Keep an eye out for bright colors and bold finishes. “I love the options we’re seeing in custom-colored appliances, and I’m hoping for even more customization of appliance handles and knobs,” Robertson says. Sutton adds, “The expansion of maximalism is also bringing back patterns.” As for finishes? “We’re seeing a push to more contemporary,” Williford says. “Black steel on ranges; glass on appliances going from white to a softer gray. And lots and lots of metallic.”

Continuing Education

“I always get a client who doesn’t want what everyone else has,” Sutton says. “So that’s another reason I love going to KBIS, because I can add what I’m seeing to my areas of expertise and show clients new products.” Robertson agrees. “Every discussion with clients is sprinkled with tidbits and information gathered in the field,” she says. An insider tip? “Go to presentations and larger events the first two days, then see exhibitors on Thursday,” since the crowd inevitably thins on the third day, Williford says.

It’s All in the Bag

Since you’ll be logging 15,000-plus steps at the show, comfortable shoes are a must. “Dr. Scholl’s are your new BFFs,” Sutton says. Robertson adds, “Also bring a water bottle you can refill — there are plenty of water fountains — and a portable phone charger or two. Your phone will die otherwise.” Instead of taking collateral, Robertson snaps photos of things she likes, then follows up with vendors postshow to learn more. “I try to do that right away, so I am ready to specify new products,” she says. Williford also tucks a candy bar into her bag, “because you need a little jolt of sugar every once in a while to keep you going,” she says.