KBIS and IBS Appliance Report: 10 Showstoppers You Need to See

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

We conclude our coverage of the 2016 Design and Construction Week (aka Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and International Builders’ Show) by looking at some of the appliances that got us excited, from the innovation, buzz and design standpoints. They run the gamut from cooking and cleaning equipment to outdoor living products.

Bertazzoni: Full Kitchen Suites

The Italian manufacturer has been making cooking appliances for more than a century but only now is introducing refrigeration and dishwashing products to offer complete suites. The units are offered in three distinct styles: Heritage offers the most traditional look with ornamental-rod pull bars with spherical finials; the Master series presents clean cylindrical rods with slightly angled and curved end brackets; and the Professional line sports a slim-profile rectangular pull with squared corners. The refrigerators are French-door style and measure 36 inches wide, while the dishwashers are 24 inches wide and Energy Star-compliant.

Bosch: Benchmark and 24 Inch

Both of these popular lines (Benchmark shown above and at top) were expanded with new cooking and refrigeration units that, like most Bosch products, boast a marriage of form and function. The company unveiled a 36-inch induction cooktop for the Benchmark series, for instance, that offers innovations such as an extra-wide (16-inch) control panel that simplifies operation and a new PowerMove feature that allows for seamless cooking adjustment by moving the pot or pan through preset heating zones. Meanwhile, the space-saving 24 Inch kitchen suite has a new 24-inch custom panel refrigerator model affording compact kitchens a more cohesive, streamlined look.

Eldorado Stone: Artisan Fire Bowls

This stone cladding and veneer company also produces some beautiful, impressive fire bowls for the outdoor-living market, some of which echo sculptural forms seen indoors, such as freestanding bathtubs. At IBS, the company debuted six new designs for its Artisan Fire Bowls collection that range in style from linear to round, all of which sport texture that closely resembles natural limestone in a choice of honed or travertine finish. Each bowl is available in four colors — Black Sand, Oak Barrel, Aged Teak or Oyster Shell — and comes with black lava rock media. The flames can be operated using natural gas or liquid propane.

Electrolux: Perfect Steam Washer With LuxCare Wash and SmartBoost

This appliance snagged the coveted Best in Show distinction from the NAHB’s Best of IBS awards for its revolutionary approach to more evenly and effectively washing clothes and for offering several convenient options. First, it achieves a deeper clean with SmartBoost, which simply premixes the detergent with water in a special chamber prior to the cycle start. The additional bells and whistles include a sanitize option to kill and remove 99 percent of bacteria and 95 percent of allergens; a StainSoak option, which tailors the wash program to a specific type of stain; a 15-minute fast-wash cycle; and Perfect Steam, which vents steam from the bottom to effectively remove stains. The washer also balances loads for smoother, quieter operation.

Frigidaire: Gallery Cool Connect

Possibly one of the sleekest air conditioners you’ll ever see, Cool Connect borrows its aesthetic from the audio speaker industry with an easy-to-clean mesh grill in place of fins and LED lighting that displays temperature right in the face of the unit. Users can easily remove and clean the antibacterial filter as the grill is magnetically attached and stay connected via the Frigidaire Smart Appliance App on mobile devices to remotely control the unit, set schedules and receive maintenance alerts.

Gaggenau: Gaggenau 400 series Combi-Steam Oven With Cleaning System

Everyone who has ever used a “self-cleaning” oven knows that that is somewhat a misnomer. But this new combi-steam (which offers convection and steam cooking) product is the real deal. Its automatic cleaning system utilizes the unit’s fixed inlet and outlet water connections and a cleaning cartridge for a four-hour wash that almost looks like a cycle of a front-load laundry machine or a drive through a car wash. In addition to this hygiene feature, the latest 400 combi-steam offers a new sous-vide cooking function, which regulates temperatures from 120 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to gently prepare foods, retaining nutritional value for healthier dining.

GE Monogram: Graphite

A slow but steadily growing trend in kitchen appliances is the introduction of new finishes that are different from the popular stainless steel but still manage to exude luxury and complement any style of cabinetry. We’ve seen the glass-fronted options in the last few years, but this seems to be the year of black metallic. Case in point, a number of GE’s Monogram professional appliances can now be ordered in sexy yet warm Graphite. More than a pretty face, the dark finish boasts exceptional scratch resistance thanks to Physical Vapor Deposition, a manufacturing process employed by aerospace and automotive industries. (Titanium is vaporized into atomic particles and then layered atop stainless steel.)

Lynx Grills: Napoli Oven

Some home chefs are all about being masters of the grill, investing in the best grilling equipment available, whether for indoor or outdoor entertaining. But now, we’re noticing a rise in pizza chefs and, logically, pizza ovens. (Which is the chicken and which is the egg is beyond us.) Lynx’s Napoli is a pizza oven that comes in a freestanding cart version or built-in model for outdoor kitchens. The 30-inch freestanding unit offers a 400-square-inch cooking surface, a specially formulated, concrete refractory interior dome and cooking surface, variable infrared heating system, reversible top chimney, mirrored edges, interior illumination, removable front door and ample prep space. In short, this luxury appliance ups the ante on the traditional pizza party.

Signature Kitchen Suite

This new kitchen appliance brand launched at KBIS to lots of fanfare. In fact, there were some major food and dining industry players present to help promote the debut including celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, who graciously hosted some cooking demonstrations and tastings at the booth. Currently, Signature offers an Energy Star-certified, large-capacity three-door French-door refrigerator; a built-in side-by-side refrigerator; double wall oven; slide-in electric or gas ranges or cooktops; dishwasher; and over-the-range microwave oven with convection.

Smeg: Built-In Coffee Machine

This built-in coffee machine sports a slightly retro aesthetic while keeping things high-tech. It features a user-friendly multi-language LCD display, fingerprint-proof stainless steel, a grinding function, milk frother, one- or two-cup brewing, hot-water function and adjustability of coffee strength (five levels). Three finish colors are available to suit a range of backdrops. The unit measures approximately 24 inches wide by 18 inches high.