FRESH FROM KBIS - THIN IS IN
I’ve just returned from KBIS 2019 (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show), where there was plenty of eye candy and a plethora of beautiful products for the home. Kohler and Brizo were style standouts in bath fixtures. Integrated sink accessories that make prep and clean up a wiz is a mainstreaming trend for the kitchen. Internal cabinet accessories, special acting hinges & hardware along with matte door finishes round out what’s hot in kitchen design. Smart homes with voice activated technology continue to advance on every platform; like science fiction morphing into reality. Alexa and counterparts are connecting to appliances and fixtures by command to roast my dinner, 6pm for 30 min., at 375° please or draw my personalized bath or shower spray setting, lest we have to feel by trial the perfect water temperature with our own bare hand. Even your toilet can flush itself and Alexa, close the lid please.
In another observation from the show: a design aesthetic that has been trying to capture interest for several years has finally not only succeeded; but has busted through in a big way. That is the concept of “thin” surface materials. Completely absent are the 3” high countertops that screamed modern in yesteryear. THIN is IN; thin slabs that is. Whether in porcelain, glass or composite, these thin sheets of material for walls, countertops, or anywhere else you can insert them or laminate them are all the rage.
Neolith, an early entrant supplier of porcelain slabs, have perfected their calacatta marble look with opulent book matched slabs. Slabs are available in as thin as 3mm (1/8”) up to the 12mm (1/2”) recommended for counters. Sicis, the maker of awe-inspiring tile mosaics have accomplished the same stunning results with their glass slab product, Vetrite. There is a massive selection; Electric Mable in hot pinks to greys and teals, Gem Glass and abstracts works of art that will leave you gob-smacked. The Gem Glass series looks like you split open a geode, all are simply amazing. Even Wilson Art has jumped in with ThinScape; a composite that can be fabricated with typical wood working tools, will make it a budget friendlier option. Theirs are not the knock your socks works of art but a very good version of stone looks, distressed metal, or wood that stand up to any of the leading quartz engineered stone in the market place.
I hope some of my clients will want to use these products. I certainly do!