Trends from Design & Construction Week

If you were in Las Vegas for Design & Construction Week in February, you saw a tremendous surge of crowds and energy. Attendee registrations for the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show alone were up about 30 percent compared to previous years, with combined attendance of more than 100,000 participants and more than 1 million net square feet of exhibit space between KBIS and the International Builders’ Show combined (see related KBIS coverage).

You could tell as you walked the show; it was difficult to take it all in with just three days. There was a definite buzz of excitement about the new products and trends on display. Were these the ones you noticed, as well?

Vent hoods and induction tops communicate with each other for safety and performance.


Induction continues its expansion in the cooking sector, with some interesting releases this year. Thermador, Miele and Signature Kitchen Suite are all offering induction cooktops and hoods that communicate with each other for optimum ventilation. Both Fisher & Paykel and Signature Kitchen Suite provide induction and gas combination cooktops on their 48″ pro ranges, with the latter providing sous vide cooking on top, as well.

Another intriguing induction trend, seen in Europe at its major shows and now here at last, is induction capability built directly into the countertop. This ultimate sleekness was shown at the Tau Ceramica, SapienStone and Geoluxe booths. Unlike the first two, Geoluxe is not a porcelain material, but a natural mineral surface introduced to accolades several shows ago.

Speaking of sleek: Handle-free appliances continued to reveal their style with new push-to-open refrigerators, ovens and wine captains from brands including Miele, Dacor, Liebherr, Gaggenau and Monogram. The wine category also impressed with several three-zone models, upping the two-zone standard a level. Signature Kitchen Suite, Liebherr, Dacor and Gaggenau give you plenty of choices for your wine-loving clientele.

Bidet-style seats and toilets continue to showcase the wellness trend.

Wellness design

Wellness features spanned several categories at the show, including appliances with air fryers built into wall ovens from GE Appliances and Electrolux, as well as fixtures, with new bidet-style seats and toilets from DXV, Kohler and American Standard. American Standard’s Advanced Clean SpaLet bidet seats bring this increasingly popular wellness feature to an affordable price point, which will be welcome for clients with more modest budgets.

For a major splurge, Toto released its Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension, prototyped last year. This is for the client who wants more than a spa-inspired bathroom; he or she wants the kind of spa feature generally found only by leaving one’s home (or signing up for astronaut training).

Smaller splurges could be built into a project with new bubbly water on Zip Water’s HydroTap, Perlick’s 15″ double drawer refrigerator for a bar, master suite or granny flat, Ponte Giulio bringing Italian style to accessibility with frankly sexy grab bars, or Franke’s new Culinary Center pro style sink (yes, chef sinks are still trending).

Smart home technology

Too much home tech has been underwhelming these past few years, but a few new releases provide hope for real benefit: Grohe’s Sense Guard and Flo by Moen can save your home from flooding with water detection and shut-off capabilities. Both will alert your phone if there’s a faucet left on or a leak somewhere in the home. This can be ideal for clients with multiple properties, busy travel schedules, small children and/or household members with memory issues.

Trends from Design & Construction Week

If your client is seeking tech for the fun of it, Kohler is expanding its voice control into a tub filler and adding Alexa capability to its Numi toilet to access your bathroom playlist (not necessarily delivering more toilet paper to your master suite).

Color customization in cabinetry, appliances and fixtures is extremely popular.


Manufacturers continue to cater to buyers’ interest in personalizing their spaces with new offerings in multiple categories. Axor’s MyEdition offers a choice of handsome decorative top plates for its lav faucets; if you get bored with matte black, you can opt for a stone or wood look, for example.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet and Dacor let you choose from the RAL color palette for their outdoor cabinets and appliances, respectively. Other brands were also offering color customization for sinks, tubs and other features. BlueStar’s Nova Series pro gas range goes even further by letting you choose whatever image you wish to have on its face. The prototype on display boasted a playful floral stripe from Madcap Cottage.

Customization also extended into greater accessibility with height-adjustable hand-shower systems from Moen and Brizo, and more kitchen flexibility with Frigidaire Gallery’s new flex drawer refrigerator. While it looks like any other standard freestanding dual drawer French door model, its upper drawer goes from fridge to wine to freezer, providing a premium feature for a more moderately budgeted project.

Style trends

Color surged on the show floor this year, with emerald green especially dominant. Ann Sacks showed it off in its lustrous recycled tile series; True Residential added it as a focus color for its refrigerator line, and Dekton will be offering it in a glossy polished surface displayed in Cosentino’s booth. All of that deep, rich green appeared to be a verdant tribute to nature.

Art deco inspirations trended gently at KBISthis year.

You weren’t limited to green, though. Kohler showcased a plum tub and Victoria + Albert showed off a vivid blue model. Metals trended in unpolished gold tones and matte black tones again. It looked as if white and grey might be boring some folks – well, except for Brizo’s notable new, limited edition grey Vettis Concrete faucet; there was nothing boring about this innovative TJ Eads design, sculpted by Christopher Shannon, and it is already appearing on favorites lists.

Art deco inspirations abounded at the show this year, too. Brizo’s Invari and Pfister’s Briarfield faucets leap to mind, but it showed up in old world elegance throughout the show floor, perhaps as a gentle counterpoint to the cold modernity of recent styles.

Here’s a trend to put on your watchlist: thin cabinet doors. While the big cabinet brands exhibiting around the show were displaying standard doors, hardware brands like Grass and Blum are making hinges designed for thinner versions made of stone, ceramics, high-pressure laminates (HPL) and new materials to be introduced. Given the market strength of these two players, keep an eye out for this new style, especially from European cabinet brands.

Last words

If you didn’t make it to Las Vegas for DCW this year, and if the show continues to flourish as it has recently, it would be well worth your while to go in 2020. KBIS will once again be co-locating with IBS in Las Vegas for a powerhouse experience. The dates for next year are January 21-23, close to a month earlier. See you there! ▪