Trend Report: The Best New Products Found at KBIS and IBS 2020

Whether you’re designing for indoors or out, these new products from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers will definitely add an edge to any residential project.
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The annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and International Builders’ Show (IBS) wrapped up last week in Las Vegas, bringing a bevy of high-tech, high-design products before designers’ eyes. Even if you attended all three days, it’s possible that you missed a good number of these new contenders. After all, there were more than 2,000 exhibitors spread across four buildings and an outdoor area. Read on to see what standouts we’re spotlighting for your next residential new build or renovation. 

Voice-Activated Kitchen Faucets

It seems only a year or two ago, the idea of a "smart kitchen" meant mobile app–controlled ovens; Wi-Fi-connected, touch-screen refrigerators; and sensor-integrated sink faucets. While all these are still convenient, they’re not considered so cutting-edge today. Some of the kitchen faucets introduced at KBIS, however, could be game-changers.

U by Moen

Not only does the U by Moen respond to voice commands for running water at a desired temperature, it also disperses precise amounts down to the teaspoon. Another convenient feature is that it allows voice commands to override the handle position. For example, the handle might be in the "off" position and turned toward the cold end, but one can refill a pot by simply saying "one gallon, 100-degree water" and get just that. A variety of models are available, ensuring a good fit for any kitchen style. 

Kohler Crue Collection

Kohler introduced the Crue collection of sleek, gooseneck faucets that integrate motion sensors for hands-free operation. But the real story here is that the pull-down model is available with Kohler Konnect, the company's voice-activation app. No need to grab the measuring cup—like U by Moen, Crue can dispense precise amounts of water at desired temperature.

Taking it Outside

Designing spaces for outdoor entertainment gets easier each year as manufacturers push their R&D teams to develop products that perform just as well outside as they do inside. Two great examples of this technological progress came from the surfacing material market.

Caesarstone Outdoor

Quartz has a fabulous reputation in kitchens and baths due to its low-maintenance, high-durability properties, but it's typically discouraged for outdoor applications as prolonged UV exposure can discolor the material. Caesarstone's new Outdoor line combats this issue, rendering the material suitable for exposed outdoor kitchens as well as patio and rooftop elements. There are three colors available now: Midday 405, a white concrete look; Palm Shade 515, white with subtle veining; and Clearskies 406, a pale gray concrete. 

Dekton Chromica

Less than a decade ago, Spanish company Cosentino developed an innovative, non-porous, ultra-compact material called Dekton. In addition to countertops, backsplashes, and floors, Dekton can be implemented outside, even as exterior cladding, thanks to its high resistance to UV rays, stains, and thermal shock. The most recent Dekton line, Chromica, is a super-matte, deeply saturated collection of two colors: Baltic, a dark shade of blue and Feroe, a dark shade of green. Don't fret—more hues are in development.

New Window and Door Offerings

For some homeowners, it’s all about the view and visually connecting to the outdoors. Fortunately, window and door manufacturers are always pushing the envelope—in some ways quite literally—to sate such clients.

Kolbe VistaLuxe AL

Architects helped develop the very popular Kolbe VistaLuxe window and door line, which boasts large glass expanses and slim profiles in a wide range of finishes. Now it comes in an all-aluminum version that affords more design flexibility and supports even larger glass panels. If you're worried about solar heat gain, keep in mind that these new frames implement thermal breaks and there are plenty of low-e glass options today.

Marvin Skycove

Extend a home's footprint by 16 to 20 feet of usable space while also creating a nifty perch with this intriguing glass-box product. Marvin Skycove features a steel structure designed to hold a a heavier load than the average outdoor deck, and an integrated bench for one or more persons. Glass on all sides, including the top, enhances the user experience and makes the alcove a perfect spot to star gaze.

Brooklyn-based design journalist Sheila Kim reports on architecture, interiors, and decor, as well as design-centric products that run the gamut from table lamps and home accessories to commercial flooring and acoustic ceilings. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Architectural Record, and numerous other publications. 



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