Kitchen & Bath Design News

FEB 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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TRENDS THAT RESONATE While every market is different and not all global trends will resonate with consumers in the U.S and Canada, some trends seem more likely to bridge the international divide, designers agree. Davis Brown notes, "Warm tones are running rampant in global design trends and I think they will continue to do so. I am seeing golds and bronze in lighting fixtures and furni- ture. All the luxury appliance brands are showing graphite stainless appliances, which are a huge indicator [of where things are going]." Gold also notes, "The international market is ahead of us on wellness." Gold, who at press time was headed off to IMM Cologne, said, "I expect to see quite a bit of that at the show, as I have at past European shows. I also expect to see new storage innovations, which are always hot there. And I expect to see some innovative new uses of LEDs, too, which will especially appeal to my fellow Californians." Rigby Fisher cited smaller appliances as one global trend that she expects to resonate with designers and con- sumers here, along with more energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Other global trends she sees as having univer- sal appeal include "using precious materials as a place of honor, i.e. a small amount of stone in a prominent location (an island and quartz around the perimeter) or clear grain wood as an accent." She adds, "One of my favorite things I saw at EuroCucina was the use of hardware (knobs, pulls and towel storage) as jewelry! It [was] so incredibly pretty! I also liked how open shelves were used sparingly and not like they are still being used here – again, used as an accent to showcase our clients' precious items." She also noted "art in the kitchen and bath" as a favorite trend that's gaining traction here, along with greenery/live plants used in the kitchen or bath. ▪ NKBA Asserts the Value Of Global Connections Everyone in the kitchen and bath industry understands that Europe and North America share more than the ocean between them; for many years now, manufacturers, brands, specifiers and design professionals have been trying to make the best use of shared information. Trade commissions like Tile of Spain have been bringing design professionals to its country for a number of years, providing insights on the history and manufacturing processes with the goal that these visiting professionals will take that knowledge back to North America. While still nascent, other coun- tries are recognizing the value in forming partnerships and collabora- tions, and to that end, the National Kitchen & Bath Association has created NKBA Global Con- nect – an ongoing international initiative to connect kitchen and bath design industry professionals around the world. According to NKBA, understanding that facilitating part- nerships and collaborations between various constituents in the building and design trades is critical is what inspired them to take steps to provide a platform for all involved. "North America should be seen as a leader globally in design and technology, just as we also need to be informed about trends and innovations around the world," says Suzie Williford, chief strategy officer and exec. v.p. of Industry Relations, NKBA. "Now with NKBA Global Connect, we are fa- cilitating global information and exchanges in both directions." On its most recent trip abroad to Cologne, Germany, the NKBA worked with the German kitchen association, AMK, to connect with a number of high-profile German brands, including Dornbracht, SieMatic, Nolte, Nobilia and others. During a Global Connect meet up, the NKBA presented North American market information and industry trends that it said opened up a dialogue between German brands and members of the media and the NKBA team. Members of the NKBA have been visiting various Euro- pean trade shows and fairs for years, including EuroCucina in Milan, the London Design Festival and Maison Objet in Paris in the hopes of bringing their new-found global influ- ence and design ideas home to their clients, the association notes. One such designer, Heather Jenkinson from the U.K., came to KBIS in 2018 via a tour to source products for a project she was working on in Russia. She says, "My trip to KBIS helped me to source a wider selection of products. I had prepared a selection of product boards and noticed that so much [of them] came from KBIS. Images stored on my phone saved the day. Products made here in the U.K would have been prohibitively expensive for my client, who is in Russia. My time at KBIS was invaluable; I now have amazing sources that I will continue to use for projects." Here in the U.S., the NKBA says it's facilitating initiatives at KBIS by connecting the international KBIS visitors and exhibitors with support services, educational opportunities and consulting firms in the areas of marketing, regulations, distribution and sales in North America. The association notes that NKBA members will benefit from exposure, inspiration and relationships made worldwide. Additionally, the association explains that a network of carefully selected editorial liaisons (editors at large) will scout their markets, reporting on the best and newest products and projects. "The NKBA is the Global Connector for the kitchen and bath industry – forging relationships and sharing insights and innovative ideas to inform, inspire and empower the kitchen and bath community around the world," concludes NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. "We are operating in a global market- place. Our all-industry association is uniquely positioned to facilitate important connections internationally." ▪ Her passion for incorporating shapes and textures into her designs is one of the things that drives Patrica Davis Brown's interest in glob- al travel, where she finds new inspirations that light up her designs. Photo: Rob Downey Photography; 52 Kitchen & Bath Design News • February 2019 GLOBAL TRENDS

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