Stylish & Sustainable

LAS VEGAS, NV — The newest color of design was clearly green at the 26th annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS), held recently in Las Vegas. Seminars and products on display made it clear that manufacturers and designers are recognizing the growing movement toward sustainable design that is healthy for the environment and beautiful to look at.

Indeed, many of the 1,100-plus exhibitors unveiled products that were specifically designed with sustainability in mind, including appliances such as induction cooktops and energy-efficient dishwashers; low-VOC cabinetry in warm woods; countertops and surfacing made from recycled and sustainable materials; flooring offered in sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork; plumbing fixtures such as low-flow toilets and water-saving showerheads; lighting products that use LED technology as well as color-corrected and longer-lasting fluorescent bulbs; related eco-friendly building products, and much more.

Personal health and well being were also on the minds of both manufacturers and designers, as evidenced by the host of wellness-oriented products on display at this year’s show.

Along those lines, many companies introduced new indoor air filters, tweaked their existing ventilation systems and unveiled a slate of products that promoted healthy living. Some of these included air purification systems; water filtration and purification systems; steam ovens that are meant to inspire better eating habits; hands-free faucets that create a cleaner environment; built-in refrigerators that feature pure water and air; hygienic stainless steel appliances, sinks and faucets; countertops with eco-friendly and sterile sealants, as well as Microban technology; showerheads and systems that feature aromatherapy and chromatherapy, and walk-in whirlpool baths that feature therapeutic hydrotherapy.

Serenity and technology also combined in many of the displays to showcase kitchens and baths that act as high-tech havens. This was particularly evident in such exhibits as the Digital Entertainment Kitchen and the NextGen Demonstration Home, presented in the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Industry Trends Marketplace, as well as those found in the NKBA/Meredith Corp. Design Idea Center and the Woman’s Day SIPs’ Design Showcase.

Design is also keeping up with the times – or the demographics, as the case may be. To that end, many products on display focused on making design more accessible to people of all ages and abilities, making them perfect for aging Baby Boomers, families with young children, the physically challenged and multi-generational households.

In addition, K/BIS 2007 saw 44,154 kitchen and bath dealers and designers and other allied professionals visiting the New Product Pavilion, the Industry Trends Marketplace and the NKBA Center Stage and attending a full slate of educational seminars, special events and roundtable discussions.

Many of these focused on environmentally friendly, Universally Designed and high-tech products, designs and trends. Hot seminar topics for this year’s show included Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time, and Kitchens and Baths for All Ages.

“As a platform for launching cutting-edge appliances, K/BIS was the source for the latest trends and newest products in the kitchen and bath industry,” proclaimed Cory Smith, v.p./the kitchen and bath group of the Nielsen Co., the producer of K/BIS. The event was held here in May at the Las Vegas Convention Center across three halls and more than 610,000 sq. ft. of designated exhibit space.

“The incredible energy, enthusiasm and dedication that surround this show are true indicators of the vitality of the industry,” added Michael Kelly, CEO of the NKBA.

Some of the other noteworthy product trends include:

  • The continuing expansion of the appliance suite that now includes many more specialty products such as built-in coffee makers and wine/beverage centers.
  • The increase in the sophistication level of, and attention to, outdoor living environments.
  • The demand for more transitional product designs than ever before that skew toward the contemporary and the Asian-inspired.
  • The increasing number of nature-inspired colors in both saturated and muted tones that are creeping into everything from faucet finishes to glass-paneled appliances.

On this and the following 15 pages, Kitchen & Bath Design News offers a small sampling of some of the most exciting and innovative products presented for the kitchen and bath marketplace at this
year’s K/BIS.

For additional information about products, designs, trends and news from this year’s K/BIS, log onto

The 2008 K/BIS is scheduled for April 11 to 13 in Chicago, IL at McCormick Place.

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