K/BIS 2007 Focuses on Sustainability, Accessibility, Wellness & Technology

Las Vegas The new color of design was clearly green at the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS), here. Manufacturers and designers in the kitchen and bath industry at the show were clearly recognizing that there's a growing movement among consumers who want to help the environment, but don't want to sacrifice great design.

This recognition and awareness could be seen in the wide range of products introduced in response to the green movement, including appliances such as induction cooktops and energy-efficient dishwashers; low-VOC cabinetry in warm woods; flooring offered in sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork; countertops and surfacing made from recycled and sustainable materials; 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.

The emphasis was clearly on protecting the environment through great product design. (To read more about green design, click here. Also read Taking Steps Toward ‘Greener’ Kitchen Design.)

In addition, health and wellness were also prominent at the show. (To read more about Healthy Kitchens, click here.)

As many companies introduced new indoor air filters, tweaked their existing ventilation systems and unveiled a slate of products that promoted healthy living, such as 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.(For more products, visit the Product Gallery.)

Many products are also making design more accessible than ever before as the industry notices that Baby Boomers are getting older and demanding products that don't remind them of that fact. (For more information about Universal Design or accessible design, click here. Also read All Access, Ten Design Trends to Follow for Aging in Place and Adaptive Marketing.)

There was also a slew of high-tech appliances that turned the kitchen into the digital control center of the home, such as those found in the Digital Entertainment Kitchen presented in the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Industry Trends Marketplace. (To read more about this and other K/BIS 2007 news, click here, and try logging onto the Kitchen & Bath Confidential blog.)

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 coffeemakers and wine/beverage centers.
  • The increase in the sophistication level of and attention to outdoor living.
  • The demand for more transitional product designs than ever before that skew toward the contemporary and the Asian-inspired.
  • The increasing amount of nature-inspired colors in both saturated and muted tones that are creeping into everything from faucet finishes to glass-paneled appliances. (To see projects that reflect these trends, visit the Project Spotlight section.)

Look for more news, products, designs and trends from K/BIS 2007 this in the upcoming 6/07 and 7/07 issues of Kitchen & Bath Design News.

(Be sure to log onto KitchenBathDesign.com for Kitchen & Bath Design News’ coverage of the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) in Las Vegas. Log onto the home page to visit the Live Events, Top Headlines, Project Spotlight and Consumer Resources sections, and Product Gallery and the Kitchen & Bath Confidential blog. And don’t forget to sign up for our eNewsletters that will cover other upcoming industry shows.)

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