04 May 2009

KBIS 2009 - Kitchen Spotlight

Every year, the National Kitchen & Bath Association hosts the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show. At this trade-only event, manufacturers show off their new wares to kitchen designers, kitchen dealers, builders, architects, reporters and remodelers.

This year, the show was smaller because of the economy, but there were still plenty of great things to see. When asked by colleagues and reporters what I thought of KBIS this year, I invariably replied, "More evolutionary than revolutionary." What I meant is that while there were few "game-changers" that brought something new to the industry, there were some very nice additions and improvements.

There were also two distinct "green" trends: One, more products touting their eco-friendly virtues. Two, more products geared toward the recession -- i.e., costing fewer greenbacks.

Here are my favorite KBIS products for the kitchen. Check back next week for a KBIS 2009 - Bath Spotlight.


Kohler has created a combination sink/accessories/serveware/storage system called Stages that puts a range of kitchen essentials in one convenient location. It looks great, works hard and could be an ideal island or in-law kitchen option.


The very clever DrawerVac, (by a company of the same name), is designed to tie into -- and expand -- a home's central vacuum system. (Think of it as a DustBuster on steroids!). The unit installs in a base cabinet just below the countertop and pulls out when needed. This makes meal clean-up quicker, easier and more convenient. And anything that makes clean-up easier gets high marks from me!


Tile and wood have long been popular kitchen flooring options, but both can be very unforgiving underfoot. This contributes to muscle aches and fatigue when spending hours prepping, serving and cleaning up. GelPro produces cushioned mats that are ideal for a more comfortable kitchen session. There are great new designer colors, patterns and sizes to go with just about any decor. Now, instead of having one small mat in front of your stove, you can have an entire work aisle - up to 12 feet! - softened by this amazing material. (If only the whole convention floor could have been covered by GelPros, my feet would have been much happier trampers!)


Bosch has made it easier for users unfamiliar with induction cooking to use this eco-friendly technology. Its AutoChef Induction Cooktop provides pre-programmed options for cooking a wide variety of foods-from pork chops to pancakes. I like induction cooking because of its inherent safety features, energy savings and easy cleanability. The Autochef makes easy learning a product feature, too, and even includes an induction compatible skillet. It's pretty darn sleek, too!


One of my biggest surprises at the show was Corian's new collection. If Corian conjures up images of tacky '80s tract home kitchens, you haven't seen its new lines! I always respected Corian for its simple virtues: (1) It's extremely easy maintenance; (2) It's warm and soft to the touch; (3) it's repairable; (4) It appears to be seamless, and (5) You can attach an integral sink. What I never liked was its attempts to imitate its richer rival, natural stone. This new collection has a beauty all its own, and deserves to be reconsidered. For another interesting Corian innovation, check out this posting, which includes its translucent Illuminations series. I spotted it last summer at the Southeast Builders' Conference.


Affluence solved one of those gunky kitchen problems we didn't know could be solved. And they won a Best of KBIS product award for it, too! You know that ring around your kitchen sink drain that catches everything that goes into the sink and is a pain to clean? Some clever designer at this Ohio manufacturer figured out a solution for the problem... A seamless sink with no drain ring at all! Smart -- and stylish, too. (Sorry, flowers not included!)


If you've always wanted an outdoor kitchen, look no further than your closest Atlantis dealer. I first spotted this line in 2007 at the International Builders' Show. It's still the best outdoor cabinetry line in the industry, in my opinion. It's also the judges' opinion: Atlantis won a silver Best of KBIS 2009 kitchen award. Not surprising, since its parent company is top-notch custom cabinet maker, CWP. This year, Atlantis showed off its new bamboo series for those seeking a contemporary, eco-friendly option. (Call me old-fashioned, but my favorite Atlantis doors are still the teak series.)

1 comment:

  1. It's really a beautiful kitchen. The stage of the kitchen is so nice. The color combination is beautiful. Thanks .....


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