miliar colleagues and soak in the energy and enthusiasm of the next generation of designers. According to show attendees, the overall trend in kitchen design seems to be a definite move away from the traditional or classical and towards a universal embrace of the contemporary. The white kitchen, always a staple, was not prominently displayed at KBIS; noteworthy instead was a greater use of color and mixing of materials and metals, including some beautiful new sinks in hammered nickel, copper and bronze. But even though more color intro’s were on display, especially in the laminate groups, the appeal of color tends to be regional. In the Northeast, white kitchens are still in demand, partly because a house with a white kitchen is easier to sell. This dichotomy is exemplified by the interior color trendsetter Benjamin Moore, which selected “Simply White” as the company ’s 2016 color of the year. One trend in interior design that is making its way to the kitchen and bath industry is the teaming up of luxury brands with nationally recognized designers to add “designer panache” to their products. For example, La Cornue developed the “Couleur Collection,” a complete pastel-colored palette with textured gray overtones from award-winning interior designer Suzanne Kasler, representing high-end luxury with a custom color finish. Also on display were equally beautiful “Griege,” beige, and black and white. Stainless-steel fixtures and appliances, which are difficult to take care of, are being replaced by stainless steel with a
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carbon-look finish: matte black or smudge-proof gray. Another trend that seems to be taking hold is the return of brass fixtures: not the traditional polished brass, but brass with a brushed and satin finish. Manufacturers continue to make giant strides in the development of durable, man-made products that replicate the look of natural stone. Although granite countertops are still popular, they are declining. Quartz, however, is currently number one in market share, and laminate is experiencing a bit of a rebirth. The interesting twist to this storyline is that many of the currently popular quartz and laminate surfaces closely mimic the look of natural stone, such as granite and marble. The luxurious look of marble without the maintenance is exemplified by Cosentino’s product “Dekton,” which is composed of porcelain, glass and quartz. This product, which was first put on the market in 2013, came in five striking new colors at KBIS, each looking just like natural stone. The color offering that stood out the most was “Aura,” an imaging of a rare Italian Calacatta marble. It looks dramatic, featuring large-scale gray veining on a pale white background. Each Aura slab has an endless symmetrical pattern, so that the veining continues seamlessly from one installed section to the next. Another name in the collection is “Kairos,” which features a soft milky-white with subtle stripes of pale gray veining in an interpretation of Italian Carrera.
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