Top Kitchen and Bath Trends from KBIS 2017: Fixtures, Fittings and Cabinetry

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

Architizer is back from Orlando where we saw the latest developments and soon-to-be-available products in residential kitchen and bath during the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). There is a lot to talk about so we’re breaking down our recap into three separate reports starting with a look at what’s trending in fixtures, fittings, furniture and cabinetry.

You’re going to see more color options for faucets and handles in both the kitchen and the bath. We’ve already seen gold, rose-gold and bronze tones make a comeback in recent years, but more manufacturers are hopping on this train, and some are going in a direction that’s a little warmer or less shiny. In addition to these hues, there’s a rise in gunmetal and matte-black finishes. The black in particular we saw recently in some of the mid- to high-end European markets, so it’s no surprise that the U.S. is catching onto this.

Color trends in fixtures and fittings: Moen’s matte-black and Kallista’s Blush Bronze fixtures

Another growing trend that seemed to traverse from overseas is the kitchen sink in quartz and composite materials. A number of the companies developed their own proprietary material, each touting excellent scratch, impact and heat resistance as well as a much easier to clean surface.

Quartz and composite sinks in the kitchen: Elkay’s quartz sinks

Not a new trend, but certainly on the rise, LED-integrated mirrors are being offered by most everyone as they allow for a cleaner look in bathrooms. Wall sconces, bath light bars and ceiling fixtures aren’t necessarily going away, but people are beginning to consider how impractical overhead, too-high-up or too-far-on-the-sides light placement is for grooming purposes (due to shadows cast on the face).

Mirrors with integrated lighting are more common: Robern’s lighted mirror cabinets

While “smart toilets” and bidet seats continue to be a talking point in the American bath market, another trend that popped up on our radar is toilets that practically clean themselves. You’ll read below about a self-cleaning toilet from American Standard, but other manufacturers are focusing on reducing frequency of toilet cleaning by enhancing the ceramic bowls with special coatings to break down and repel waste and rethinking the flush jets.

Making toilets easier to clean: Illustration of TOTO’s tornado flush technology


American Standard: ActiClean Self-Cleaning Toilet
There’s no better way to promote a self-cleaning toilet than to bring in a self-proclaimed germophobic spokesperson. So the company called on comedian and television personality Howie Mandel to talk about his love of the ActiClean toilet model at this year’s show. But celebrity spokesperson aside, the product, which really launched in late 2016, is worth a look, especially for those who are particular about hygiene and cleaning.

American Standard ActiClean and Howie Mandel

Here’s a brief recap on ActiClean: A flip-up door in the tank’s lid reveals a control panel with touch buttons for a quick (one-minute) or deep (10-minute) clean. After the selection is made, the cleaning solution travels through its own channel within the tank, is diluted with some water and then released into the bowl using VorMax jets, which help scour the bowl from top to bottom. The one- and 10-minute options pertain to soaking period of the cleaner, after which the toilet siphons the cleaner and rinses the bowl with clean water once more. The ActiClean solution cartridge, which fits a compartment in the tank, lasts for up to nine weeks before needing a change.

Brizo: Litze Kitchen
Building on the success of the Litze bath faucet line, Brizo expanded the family to kitchen applications. The arts and crafts movement along with industrial design inspired the fittings, which include a pot filler, a gooseneck arc faucet, square spout and angled spout, each of which can be further customized with knurled handles or knurled grips on the pull-down sprays. Another intriguing addition within the kitchen collection is an articulating spout that allows one to lower and raise the head and keep it in place, much like an articulating task lamp. This special model is also available with the currently trendy combination of gold and black.

Brizo Litze Kitchen

Brizo: Vettis Bath
On the bath side, Brizo showed the Vettis Bath collection of fittings. The line sports a combination of strong symmetry with angular details, and one of the most unique designs within the series includes a four-sided spout with a window in the top revealing the water flow. Vettis, of course, is offered in standard finishes but also the on-trend matte black.

Brizo Vettis Bath

Elkay: Quartz Luxe
Made of a durable quartz-based material with organic fibers, these sinks boast a silky smooth surface that’s ultra easy to clean. Not only does it repel dirt, stains and food, but it also resists impact, extreme heat and scratches and absorbs sink-work noise, to boot. The Quartz Luxe series consists of 16 models in top-mount, undermount or dual-mount installation with single or double bowls in six colors.

Elkay Quartz Luxe

Grohe: Concetto and Essence Semi-Pro With Color Hoses
These popular semi-pro kitchen faucets have hoses wrapped in a trio of neutral colors that fit most kitchen styles and palettes: velvet matte black, matte sheer marble (which resembles a stone-white color) or matte dark gray. Both Concetto and Essence models feature a fully rotating spray arm and powerful magnet for easy and secure docking.

Grohe Concetto and Essence Semi-Pro

Grohe: ADA-Compliant Concetto
Grohe’s bath division also released updates to Concetto to ensure that wheelchair-seated users can comfortably operate the faucets. These ADA-compliant fittings — Concetto XS Single Hole Faucet and Wideset Three-Hole Faucet — sport levers no more than 6 inches high.

© Osma, Stephany

© Osma, Stephany

Grohe ADA-Compliant Concetto

Kallista: Script
The American gilded age inspired this sophisticated bathroom suite that’s well-suited to traditional and transitional spaces. The series includes crystal and enamel decorative cross-handles and levers, a variety of spouts for sink and bathtub, showerheads and controls, bath accessories, a console table with new custom leg options and, finally, a new Blush Bronze finish.

Kallista Script

Kohler: Real Rain
Possibly Kohler’s main attraction this year, Real Rain is geared toward luxury spa-style baths, providing a sensory experience like no other. One need only observe the running shower to see the difference in water flow compared with other rainshower systems: Real Rain’s 775 concave nozzles slowly start and build the “rainstorm,” perfectly mimicking the different-sized and almost random droplets encountered in nature. For those wanting a downpour, the touch of a button easily switches the shower to a “deluge” function, which releases streams of water from the reservoir with more pressure.

Kohler Real Rain

Kohler: Ceric
One of several new freestanding bathtubs Kohler showcased at KBIS, Ceric is a minimalist vessel with some subtle lines and details that give it a modern crafts look. Though, we think its silhouette has the potential to become a timeless design, much like the egg tub.

Kohler Ceric

Kohler: Kennon Sink in Neoroc
In the kitchen, Kohler introduced Kennon sinks made with the proprietary material Neoroc. The composite material boasts through-body Matte Black or Matte Brown color enhanced by metal flecks and can withstand impact, heat up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, scratches and stains. Available in single- and double-bowl versions, the sink comes with a rack for additional protection.

Kohler Kennon Sink

Moen: Align in Matte Black
Moen’s handsome Align kitchen and bathroom suites, which are defined by minimalist cylindrical forms and a timeless aesthetic, originally came in Spot Resist stainless steel and brushed nickel. But now select models from the families are available in on-trend matte black, including the Pulldown, single-handle kitchen faucet; Single-handle lavatory faucet; Two-handle widespread lavatory faucet; Tub, shower and valve-only trims; and various matching accessories.

Moen Align in Matte Black

TOTO: MH Connect+ Wall-Mount Toilet and Washlet
This wall-mounted model features the modern full-skirt design of previous MH toilets, a space-saving DuoFit In-Wall Tank System, high efficiency and the Connect+ D-shaped washlet bidet seat. A wireless remote controls the washlet’s water temperature and pressure, heated seat, warm air dryer and deodorizing system. For an even cleaner appearance, a pre-drilled hole at the back of the toilet bowl provides a pass-through for the washlet’s power cord and water hose.

TOTO MH Connect+ Wall-Mount

The bowl is coated with CeFiONtect, a proprietary nano-technology glaze that seals the porcelain with an ionized layer to repel waste and therefore assist cleaning. Meanwhile, this model’s Dual-Max 3D Tornado flush reduces the streaking of common flush jets.


Belwith-Keeler: New Decorative Hardware
The latest in fashion and architectural trends influenced the eight new collections unveiled by this decorative hardware brand. Among them is the sleek Avenue, which, from afar, looks like a standard right-angle minimalist pull, but closer up, one can spot the central crease and corresponding tapered back. Then there’s the shabby-chic Trellis, which consists of pulls and knobs that take their silhouettes from the classic quatrefoil pattern.

Belwith-Keeler Avenue

Belwith-Keeler Trellis

Kohler: Verdera
These bathroom cabinets and mirrors feature integrated LED lighting that’s strategically placed and combined with light guides to provide even task lighting ideal for grooming. The lights are compatible with most LED dimmers and can even be paired with Amazon Alexa. The 30-inch-tall cabinet comes in a range of widths from 15 to 40 inches. One nifty feature is a repositionable magnified lighted mirror that nests inside the cabinets.

Kohler Verdera

Robern: Custom Lighted Wall Mirrors
Synonymous with luxury bath storage and mirrors, Robern announced at KBIS that it’s now offering custom lighted mirrors particularly for commercial markets such as hospitality and multi-unit properties. Customization options range from sizes and shapes to bevel detailing and decorative etching while add-ons include nightlight, color tuning, defogging, USB charging ports and motion sensors.

Robern Custom Lighted Wall Mirrors

Robern: Silestone Vanity Top Program
The company also launched a vanity top program to make it a one-stop shop for bath storage. The curated collection includes Silestone engineered quartz in precut formats that precisely fit Robern’s popular vanity models. A wide range of colors are available.

Robern Vanity Tops in Silestone

Ronbow: Amora
Visually engaging, Amora vanities sport a puzzle-like front formed of four storage compartments that ensure there’s a place for everything — from toothbrush to extra toilet paper. Available in 30-, 36- and 48-inch widths, the piece can be specified in white, oak Toscana or deep navy blue, all with metal inlay detailing and marble tops.

Ronbow Amora

Ronbow: Forma
While Amora strikes a more transitional note, Forma is on the far end of the contemporary spectrum, with a sleek, sexy silhouette designed by Pininfarina (of auto design fame). This second collaboration between Ronbow and Pininfarina takes cues from the layered-rock formations of canyons, resulting in undulating lines of solid wood finished in carbon black or bleached oak.

Ronbow Forma

Ronbow: Aravo Petite
And finally, Aravo Petite vanity cabinets are perfectly sized for tighter bath spaces and powder rooms. Yet despite the 18-by-14-inch footprint, they feature clever storage options such as an integrated hairdryer loop situated in what could otherwise be considered dead or unusable space inside the cabinet. The clean-lined sink is white ceramic, while the cabinet comes in glossy white with a sandy oak reveal detail or glossy empire gray with a smoked walnut reveal detail. Coordinating accessories such as wall cabinets and lighted mirrors are also available.

Ronbow Aravo Petite

Check back tomorrow for part two of this series, where we’ll talk about some of the beautiful finishes and surfaces of KBIS 2017.

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