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The Top 5 Kitchen Design Takeaways From The 2018 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show


Last month I attended the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando to evaluate first-hand the latest news and trends from the industry. KBIS is a large trade show dedicated to all aspects of kitchen and bath design, and it was combined with the builders show IBS, so there was a lot to take in but certain trends are definitely surging in popularity. Let’s take a look at what’s trending for kitchen designs—some of them might inspire you.


smart fridge.jpgHands down, technology leads the list of innovations in kitchen design for 2018. And why not? It was only a matter of time before Siri, Alexa, and other smart assistants or apps influenced how we cook, dine, and entertain in the kitchen.

Innovations in how our devices can talk to our appliances will now make it possible for us to do tasks like turning on appliances remotely. This can be handy if you’ve already left the house and suddenly remember you forgot to start the dishwasher, or if you need to have the oven already preheated so you can quickly start dinner when you get home from work. And innovations in refrigerator manufacturing will also make your life easier by allowing you to view the contents of your fridge while at the grocery store, for example, or by alerting you when a product like cheese or meat is about to go bad.

For sure, technology is coming on strong in kitchen design. Today, many newly built kitchens have smart technology incorporated. But many homeowners who are renovating older kitchens are also excited to update their space with smart sensors and appliances. Opting for smart kitchens is popular with Baby Boomers who want the luxuries they didn’t have when raising a family. Meanwhile, Millennials who are buying their first homes are often updating older homes and are opting for the conveniences of smart kitchen technology.

fancy fridge.jpg

Bold & Bright, or Black & White

Bold patterns and bright colors are nudging out the traditional gray tones that have dominated kitchen designs for so long. Interestingly, this trend tends to mimic the economy. When the economy is doing well, people feel more optimistic and are willing to take more risks with bold patterns or bright colors. Even bright pops of color on one wall or appliance—like the fancy fridge on the right—are becoming popular.

At the same time, combinations of black, white, and wood are trending strongly. Black and white creates a modern look, especially when paired with wood-grain cabinetry rather than painted cabinets.

Flush or hidden appliances

Appliances today are being installed to be flush into a built-in space, which creates a very
clean look. Phandleless fridge.jpganeling that “hides” appliances—such as on the handleless refrigerator on the right—can be matched to the cabinetry to create one cohesive style throughout the kitchen. 

Smarter Storage & Workstations

Clever storage solution designs will continue to be popular and useful, particularly when it comes to maximizing vertical space. For example, a vertical shelving unit that pulls out from underneath the sink saves horizontal space while providing more efficient access to cleaning products. Tiered rollout shelves in cabinets can be used to better organize spices and other dry goods.

Internal cabath pullout crop.jpgcabinet or drawer charging stations for our smart devices are staples for any new kitchen design. The growing use ofof the newer storage solutions compliments the trend of decluttering—by making better use of small spaces the amount of appliances or accessories on our countertops can be minimized.

Likewise, workstations improve the usability of the kitchen sink area. Sliding or removable kitchen sink accessories continue to evolve, allowing for more customized ways to wash, prep, and serve food. Some workstations even include a sink cover to create additional counter space when necessary.

Quartz Everywhere

quartz2.jpgI’ve talked about the emergence of quartz as today’s top countertop choice before, so this trend was no surprise at KBIS—I actually didn’t see any granite on display at the show. What was exciting about the many quartz displays were the muted natural tones that resembled marble. With so many color and pattern varieties, today’s quartz countertops work beautifully with any style of kitchen, from rustic to traditional to modern. Plus, quartz doesn’t require the sealing that granite does, which makes maintenance easier.

It’s always inspiring to see new products and design ideas when attending shows like KBIS, especially when I see how they might delight my clients. If you’re dreaming of updating your old kitchen or designing a new one, come talk to us!


kitchen planning guide

kitchen planning guide

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