Smart Design With Suzette: Insights From Kitchen & Bath Show 2017

Thompson Traders copper sinks. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Design trends, professional growth, product launches, networking, industry speakers, innovation, inspiration, learning opportunities, kitchens and baths…that’s what I experienced last week in Orlando at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) International Builders Show and Design and Construction week.

Held at the Orange County Convention Center, I went everywhere – from the West Hall to the South Hall (and back and forth more than I want to remember) to the Outdoor Pavilion and “the Backyard.” On the average, I walked 10 miles a day.  I’m happy to report that I confirmed quite a few trends happening in the industry and will share some of my favorites. Here are just a few:

Black. It’s everywhere, from Delta’s faucets to luxury refrigerator appliances (LG’s Black Stainless Steel is gorgeous!) The darkness offers a relief from all of the stainless in the past decade.

Rose Gold and Copper. These metals I saw quite a lot of mostly in hardware and faucets, but also in sinks and appliances. It adds so much warmth to a room. It’s absolutely stunning! For more on rose gold and copper, see my blog “My 5 Favorite Design Trends” from September 2016.

Anti-Microbial. A few products, like a doorknob from Kwikset and a sink from Thompson Traders, are catching onto consumers’ desire for cleaner, healthier spaces. Kwikset Door Hardware with Microban protection works to continuously fight off microbes. This hardware is 99.9% cleaner than knobs and levers without Microban. The antimicrobial coating lasts for the lifetime of the hardware finish, so you can worry less and feel healthier in your home.

Thompson Traders featured copper sinks. Copper is naturally earth friendly. Its beauty improves with every year, making it outstandingly durable. Copper products are not only beautiful and antibacterial, they’re made to last — resulting in less waste. You can feel good choosing copper sinks knowing that they are designed to last the lifetime of your home.

Eco-Friendly. Brands are going to more lengths to make the kitchen and bath save water and energy but not skimp on quality. Clients are demanding more and more green options. Yay! When renovating, or building new, factor in purchasing eco-friendly products and living towards net zero.

Fireplaces. What can I say – fireplaces are not just romantic. They are functional, contemporary and beautiful. Sleek lines are definitely the favored style. And, they are easier to install than ever. Can’t you just image cozying up to this fireplace with hot cocoa, or a bottle of wine and a soft blanket? It’s a sure-fire winner! I can’t help myself.

Wine Storage. Vinotemp®, a recognized leader in the wine storage, technology and goods industry for 30 years, has earned an Awards for Design Excellence (ADEX) – the largest and most prestigious award for a product and project design in the architecture and design industry.

Honored with a Platinum award is their 7-bottle wine cooler. Just 5.8” wide and front vented for built-in installation, the award winning cooler features a patented mirror trim design making it a unique, space-saving wine storage solution for your finest bottles of wine. It’s just the coolest wine fridge ever – pun intended!

Bathroom Mirrors. Everywhere I turned, the bathroom mirrors had built-in lights either on the peripheral edge, from behind, or both, and some had televisions in them. Why? With the lights on the mirror’s surface, the face is well lit at the proper angle and height. Seriously, there must have been twenty difference companies profiling these products. This trend is definitely on the rise.

Best of KBIS Awards. And finally, this annual competition showcases the best products of the kitchen and bath industry for the coming year. It’s really fascinating to see the jump in technology in a year’s time. Here are the winners for KBIS 2017:

Best in Show is GEOLUXE. GEOLUXE is the next generation in hard surface technology – a superior surface-covering product. GEOLUXE is inspired by the same metamorphic processes that produce marble. It’s best described as a “Pyrolithic Stone” and is made from 100% mineral based materials. GEOLUXE offers all the classical elegance of natural marble but with easy maintenance and heat, acid, and scratch resistance.

Best of Bath: NEOREST AC Dual Flush Toilet with Actilight. TOTO’s intelligent wall-hung toilet offers auto open/close & auto flush; an integrated personal cleansing system; and in-bowl catalytic deodorizer. It’s Actilight Cleansing Technology with Pre-Mist and eWater+ offers a unique titanium dioxide and zirconium glaze on the bowl’s surface activated by the UV light in its lid. Its high-efficiency Tornado dual-flush system consumes 1.28-gpf for the full flush and 0.9 for the light. Its in-wall tank system saves up to 9” of space.

Best of Kitchen: The Galley Dresser. The award-winning, innovative Galley Workstation® is a super-functional, smart and stylish workstation where one can prep, cook, serve, entertain and clean up in one convenient place. It is ideal for any indoor or outdoor kitchen and works perfectly in both large and small kitchens. It is available in six lengths, and in both Single and Double Bowl configurations. Each Workstation includes a Culinary Kit consisting of cutting boards, drying racks and stainless steel colanders and bowls with custom platforms that slide above and below each other on the tiers inside of the Workstation. An impressive selection of optional accessories is also available. For a closer look visit

Throughout KBIS 2017 I enjoyed many seminars and workshops, and became star struck with several HGTV, Public television and other celebrity hosts. The little girl in me wanted to run up and take a photo with them squealing with excitement, but then the adult in me took over. I hate when that happens…but I figured they get that all the time and I end up feeling empathic…or pathetic…whatever you feel applies! Regardless, I hope you enjoyed a little insight of what happened at the Kitchen & Bath Show. Cheers!

For help with your home, contact Suzette through her website or on Facebook at