That book found on so many women’s bedside tables this past year probably didn’t spawn the trend to introduce gray cabinet colors at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), but its title does a good job summarizing what could be found on the show floor in New Orleans last month. A slew of cabinet companies all come out with or emphasized shades of gray as the popular new color in K+B.
Those new gray options make sense given results from a National Kitchen & Bath Association survey released earlier this year finding a dramatic increase in gray color schemes since 2010. White and off-white still lead gray in popularity, however.
Cabinet makers also sported more units that feature low-voltage LED lighting, either as a decorative element on the outside or to show off what’s inside—as well as assist aging Baby Boomers whose declining eyesight could benefit from some extra lumens.
In addition, there were more examples of painted surfaces, distressed woods, and glass backed by colors or special designs.
Style trends were muddled. One cabinet maker said designers were moving away from Shaker looks, while another said he was hearing more requests for it. Several designers seemed to straddle the middle by describing their style as transitional.
Regardless of the color or style, cabinet makers at KBIS appear set on offering more custom products and doing them quicker. They have to; as one rep put it, “trends that used to last five years only last one today.” That’s a gray outlook for manufacturers, indeed, but bright prospects for you to get fresh new products.
Schluter aims to cut the time required to installed a sealed, tiled shower niche by offering four types of niches made from its Kerdi-Board system. All feature a ½x2-inch bonding flange to sit flush with the surrounding wall. An optional shelf can be installed at any height. They’re available in 12x6, 12x12, 12x20, and 12x28-inch sizes. Schluter Systems, 800.472.4588. schluter.com.
Britain’s Warmup is getting more attention on these shores with its radiant heating product. Approved for a range of applications from under laminate flooring to inside the shower, such as in this shower seat, the elements are designed to heat the whole room, and not just the floor area. The sleek thermostat it works with has multiple settings to help users monitor energy use. WarmUp, 888.927.6333. warmup.com.
In Your Veins
Caesarstone’s newest collection, Classico, draws from the earthy tones and veining of natural marble. The five designs—frosty Carrina, dreamy Marfil, London grey, Piatra gray, ad Emeradoro—offer all the stain, scratch, and water resistance of quartz, making the material ideal for countertops, backsplashes, vanities, and more. Caesarstone, 877.978.2789. caesarstone.com.
Lux for the Masses
With starting prices of $34 for showerheads and $45 for handshowers, Kohler bills its new Awaken collection as richly styled yet budget-friendly. Series B claims natural forms as its inspiration; Series G cites classic modern design. They come in polished chrome and brushed nickel and have three spray settings. Their 2.0 gpm flow rate meets WaterSense and LEED regs. Kohler, 800.456.4537. us.kohler.com.
Panasonic contributes to the LED lighting trend by expanding its WhisperGreen line to include LED lighting. WhisperGreen requires just 7.5 watts of electricity to move 80 cubic feet of air per minute, and includes a 12-watt LED light for illumination, plus a 1-watt LED nightlight. The package meets Energy Star standards. Other features include a motion sensor and dual adapter for 4- or 6-inch ducts. Panasonic, 866.292.7292. panasonic.com/ventfans.
Sagehill Designs unveiled the Toby collection of bath furniture, including counters, cabinets, mirrors, and etageres. Steven Wilcox, who designed the line, says the collection reflects today’s use of rougher, more rustic wood species—but in a more modern, less-than-rustic furniture style. Sagehill Designs, sagehilldesigns.com.
LED-ing the Way
Light up your K+B spaces with Light Integrated Trim, a modular strip lighting system that combines metal grille work with LED lighting to give rooms a special look at night. The foot-long pieces cover the LED light strip and snap together for easy installation, even around corners. The trim comes in a variety of designs and finishes. It’s powered by regular 120-volt electricity is controlled by dimmers--including a remote option. Keeler brand. Belwith products, 800.235.9484. belwith.com.
Gather Round the Grill
Danver’s unique Evo grill gets everyone involved in the fun of outdoor entertainment. Install the grill at the end of a peninsula or island and let friends and family gather ‘round. The surface is suitable for direct cooking, or for use with pots and pans. A domed cover protects Evo from the elements. Danver, 888.441.0537. danver.com.