I just returned from Las Vegas, where for the first year ever, the International Builders Show joined forces with the National Kitchen and Bath Show to create the largest home builders show in the world. This year’s show has differed from shows of the past 5 years in that the overall mood was positive towards the growth in the building industry, something that is a sign of the upswing in new construction in our country compared to just a few years ago. This was also evident in the number of new or returning vendors that participated in this year’s show. It gave me an opportunity to see new product and new additions to current lines. Here is just a sample of some of the exciting things found at this year’s show:
This year Woodmode and Brookhaven cabinets (Echelon is the authorized dealer for these in southern Delaware) has rolled out over a dozen new opaque painted colors for their cabinets ranging in colors from Plum to Caribbean Mist with many colors looking like they were designed with the beach in mind. Many of these colors also come in a vintage technique allowing the buyer to see the glazing and brush strokes in the painted finish. Two of these new finishes were sold to the first two clients I met with on my return, a real indication of just how popular these colors will be.
Dal Tile also had its largest roll out of new tiles that I have seen in years. It is truly amazing what they can do with porcelain tiles these days. Many are made to mimic natural stones but offer the durability of a porcelain tile. New additions like their beveled subway tile will be a sure hit for those looking for a timeless backsplash with a clean and simple look. Hardwood look-a-likes have been especially popular lately with the look getting so close to the real thing most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference!
Kohler has added some new sinks and faucets to their lines including a new spray that mimics the shape of a broom and allows for better sweeping of debris on dishes. Between that and the offset drain offered in a few of their sinks, Kohler continues to push the boundaries in reinventing everyday plumbing fixtures. Their Moxie shower head, introduced at last year’s show, continues to be a feature in their show displays, providing buyers with music in the shower that connects wirelessly with any blue tooth device. It brings singing in the shower to a whole new level.
Quartz has emerged as the hottest thing in countertops today. Many manufacturers were present to show off this product including Caesar Stone, Zodiaq and Silestone but my favorite is still Cambria. With all its products made here in the US they seem to be leading the pack in new and innovative designs. Its newest addition, called Galloway, has a white base with swirls of taupe and a bronze-like detail similar to that of their Minera quartz. This also looks as though it was designed with the beach house buyer in mind. I see this being a hot seller in 2014.
Native Trails were showing their new sinks made from concrete with a Jute blend. While being a more contemporary look, the addition of jute to the concrete mix creates a sink much lighter than its all-concrete counterparts while offering a stain resistance not found in most concrete sinks. While priced for the higher end market, I am sure the price will come down on these over time as their popularity grows. I hope to have the chance to use these in a future product as they will become the focal point in any bath.
The biggest change in the appliance world at this year’s show was with Viking Appliances. Having recently been sold to a larger company they are working to reinvent their brand with three different levels of Viking to appeal to a wider variety of price points. Their new induction cooktops (one of the hottest things in cooktops today) allow you to cook on almost any part of the cooktop. They also had a prototype of a possible future venture to be built in Italy. It is a La Cornue look-a-like and if they go to production with this range it will be show stopper in any kitchen. Its price tag doesn’t make this an option for most, but at the top of the line, those who can afford it will have a range that is as much art as it is range.
One of my favorite things about the show is the chance to find unique, one a kind products that help set our homes apart from the rest. As the strength of the building industry grows so will the future shows, something that really excites me as a designer. I look forward to next year and the chance to find even more new products to share with all of our homeowners.