2009 KBIS Product Showcase

Guest post from Jamie Goldberg

These are some of the products I spotted at the 2009 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show that I thought fellow KitchAnn Style readers would enjoy. As I always check this blog for the latest and greatest, it was an honor and a challenge looking for new things that would interest KAS readers.

TOTO-LY EXCELLENT

Toto can always be counted on for great product introductions, and this year was no exception. My favorite releases were the Luminist series of resin lavs that could be lit from below with LEDs or even fluorescents. Your lav could be illuminated with colored – even changing lights – for a dramatic powder room or master bath. (Night lights never looked this good!)LUMINIST SilhouetteAnother Toto favorite of mine was the Waza Noir. Not only is it sculpturally beautiful, its finish is as smooth and touchable as velvet.

Waza Noir Lav

KOHLER ME WHITE AND GOLD

Kohler has redefined the white fixture. And the results are soft, matte and elegant. Its new Honed White lavs and toilets feature a gentler-toned finish that lends itself beautifully to spa style baths. Rather than the traditional, glossy paper look, Honed White looks like Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream. KitchAnn Style readers may particularly enjoy the new Reve contemporary bath suites in this luscious new finish.

Kohler Reve Vessel Lav

Kohler also reintroduced gold to the designer’s palette with its Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold. It’s got a polished companion, too, but I think the softer brushed works best in these hard-edged times.

Koher Purist Faucet

I was also taken by Kohler’s new Parity bath, which features a richly-stained transfer seat. While this wooden perch makes it easier for someone to get in and out of the tub, it also makes it easier to keep bath goodies at hand, or even add candlelight to your bath.

Kohler Parity Bath

TECH NOTES

Many of the top appliance manufacturers stayed home this year. Two, however, brought their A Game. LG introduced a new double drawer French door fridge with automation. If you’ve ever wished for a third hand, this may be the appliance for you. A control panel on the front of the fridge makes it easy to open the freezer drawers without bending or tugging.
LG French Door Fridge

Bosch is also making it easier to work in the kitchen. Its new AutoChef Induction Cooktop includes pre-sets for frequently-made foods. I’ve been a big proponent of induction, and I know Ann is a fan of this energy-saving technology, too. One hesitation clients have had is that they’re very comfortable cooking with electric or gas and aren’t sure how to adjust their recipes for induction. This is a good solution, and a pretty sleek cooktop, too.

Bosch AutoChef Induction

Robern has brought a touch of technology to the medicine cabinet. Its new Uplift series can hold a flat-screen TV, along with your standard bath fare. Its sleek design incorporates a door that slides upwards, creating a range of new design options.

Robert Uplift Medicine Cabinet

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Design enthusiasts know that great hardware can update your home in a heartbeat. If they’re fans of the world-renowned Clodagh, they might be interested to know that Du Verre has released two new lines of cabinet hardware the famed interior designer created just for them. One is called Primitive. The other is Stacked. Both are fun, quirky and unique, and will definitely update any room they show up in.

Du Verre Clodagh Primitive

Coolest Product at HD Boutique – Symmons Signature Design Series

SDS2Symmons Industries, the Braintree, MA-based manufacturer of commercial and residential plumbing products, demonstrated its “Design Studio Live,” a process that allows  designers to quickly and easily craft unique bath fittings for any project.

Design Studio Live gives Symmons the capabilities to come to a designer’s office and create a unique, custom-designed bath fittings that create an individual style and an ideal bath experience for the customer with the Signature Design Series (SDS) Software.

SDS has the uncommon ability to create unique designs at reasonable costs thanks to several factors. To begin with, Symmons’ design process is quick and efficient. Specialized software allows Symmons

designers to turn an initial concept into a 3-D prototype in as little as four days. Since the program is based on open source coding, designers can take any faucet off the Symmons website and ask to see it with modifications, giving SDS a starting point that will reduce the overall design time and lower the associated design costs.

SDSThis program has had great success with Hotel and Multi-Family clients where unique design builds equity. For example, it enhances the showering experience in hotels which is a top priority for guests and it makes condominiums more memorable which is key to sales.

I watched as they made a 3-D prototype right there on the show floor and being able to feel how a faucet will feel in my hands removes all doubt of how a CAD drawing will translate into the actual item.

Since Symmons does not charge for the design services or the prototype, a designer can “wow” his or her client by presenting the prototype model at the Concept Presentation.