This year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS 2023) celebrated its 60th anniversary and broke attendance records.
Held in Las Vegas, Design & Construction Week attracted over 200,000 industry professionals to the city that never sleeps.
Once I made my way through the crowds to get to the design show venue, there were over 1600 exhibitors at the Las Vegas convention center between the KBIS and IBS halls.
While I was unable to visit every booth, I did get to most of the KBIS exhibitor’s displays.
This week’s VESTA Blog post is what I saw as trends in kitchen design at KBIS 2023.
I define trends as design solutions and/or products that I would see in a variety of exhibitor’s displays on the show floor.
This repetition is what signals to me that this could be a trend in the making.
In a future post, I will relate products that caught my eye while walking the show floor that were unique and more innovative than trendy.
But, let’s look at what I saw as kitchen trends this year at KBIS.
Top 6 Kitchen Trends from KBIS 2023
1. Fluted Cabinet Doors
We first started seeing fluted accents in kitchen design a few years ago.
This detail was popular on vent hoods, on the back of islands and as accents.
This year I saw fluting showing up on kitchen cabinet doors.
Stained wood and painted MDF were both featured.
The texture it produces provides all the embellishment this type of door needs so they look best with no visible hardware.
Typically, the doors are made by carving grooves into solid material to produce vertical strips but they can also be achieved by adhering a flexible tambor type material to a solid substrate.
The Canadian company Art For Everyday provides a variety of designs for this tambor and showed options at the show.
The fluted strips produced on the doors can be straight or bulbous and run from top to bottom with no traditional stile and rail frame.
2. Base Cabinet Light Strip
Light strips at the top of drawers and base doors were a feature that really caught my eye.
As a kitchen designer that focuses on function and Universal Design, I loved seeing this trend.
This look is achieved by specifying frameless cabinetry with a channel above the doors and drawers.
Light strips are then installed to the static portion of the cabinet.
When the door or drawer is opened, the light shines down and illuminates the cabinet contents.
It also provides a nice glow to the kitchen, complimenting under cabinet and kick lighting.
3. Black Metal Storage
I first saw black metal storage at EuroCucina at the Salone Del Mobile show in Milan, Italy in 2018.
I love this look and was thrilled to see it trending at KBIS 2023.
What I like about black metal storage is how it simultaneously feels “light” in a space but still substantial because of the color.
It is ideal as an alternative to wall cabinets as open shelving, but I also saw manufacturers producing full cabinets from matt black metal.
Metal allows for much smaller frames on cabinet doors than traditional wood and gives a modern vibe to the kitchen.
I saw a variety of manufacturers experimenting with metal to produce unique cabinet door designs that even integrated the door hardware.
In one display matt black metal was used to frame tall display cabinets along with high wall display cabinets.
They were set off with strip lighting producing a great focal point.
This is a trend I will be integrating with my private design clients.
4. Curvy Islands
We have been living with rectangular hard-edged islands for the past several years and it was very refreshing to see islands with curves as an emerging trend at KBIS 2023.
Multiple exhibitors were curving their islands.
In some cases, the curve was produced as part of an extended dining bar with radius edges, but there were many examples of the base cabinetry being curved.
The fluted trend showed up as the end of curved islands in a few displays.
In another, the manufactured combined veneer and metal for a show stopping curved island design.
I hope this trend takes hold since this type of soft geometry is very user friendly in a busy kitchen.
5. Matt Black Appliances
Matt black appliances were popping up in many booths, with the best example I saw at the Fulgor Milano display.
This finish introduces a look that pairs well with contemporary kitchen design as designers are looking for less glossy materials in their spaces.
It is also very durable, since it is the same material used for the drip pans of traditional gas cooktops.
I could see flush mounting the ovens with a matt black slab door for a modern look.
Matt black looks great with brushed gold accents and is definitely a good alternative to stainless steel.
6. The Water Appliance
This last trend was everywhere.
I refer to these sinks as water appliances because they really do produce a complete prep zone within the sink.
What makes these sinks so functional is all the accessories.
Most come with cutting board and drainboard accessories, but many of these water appliances included storage bins, mixing bowls, and strainers that fit seamlessly into the single bowl design.
Another trend with these sinks was dual work zones within the same long unit.
Watch for sinks like this to become the center of kitchen design in the future.
This year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show showed that the kitchen is still a big focus of the home and that there are multiple new products and design solutions available for this room.
I will be watching to see if the 6 trends I identified from the show take hold over the next few years.
As I mentioned, there were also some great innovated products and solutions on the show floor and I will present them in upcoming VESTA blog posts.
If there was something you saw at the show that you feel will be trending, let me know about it in the comments.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing for over 25 years. Developing functional layouts for every area of the home is her passion. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens in her career, learning valuable skills with each one!
Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
Thank you for the Blog and keeping us up to date. I’m a kitchen installer; turned designer from South Africa and appreciate all your hard work. I would love to come for the kbis 2024 but the cost of living is affecting us all.
Thanks for the comment!
Yes, the cost of attending KBIS can be high. Another show I like to attend is EuroCucina in Italy. That might be another alternative for you, but still far away. I also attend any local home shows or tradeshow, big or small and always get something out of it.