When walking the show floor at KBIS 2023, I was struck by all the color I was seeing.

For so many years, neutral color schemes were the popular choice with most exhibitors.

Sometimes though, details can be missed when viewed through all that color.

In this VESTA post I want to look at some of the great kitchen design details found at KBIS 2023 behind all that color.

Trendy Tropical

This kitchen drew me in with it’s tropical vibe.

While a coral and green kitchen may not be the color scheme for my next design, there are some great ideas in this space that could make it into a design.

And when you look closely at it, a lot of the details are very cost effective.

In the dining area of the space a beverage bar was installed in a niche that was tiled rather than placed in traditional cabinetry and solid countertop.

An installation like this would be perfect in an outdoor entertaining space.

I love the tile trim detail around each of the appliances. I like to use this detail on the open end of a tile backsplash for a custom look.

The tile would be more durable than wood cabinetry outside, and depending on the tile chosen, you could get a lot of different looks.

The overhead pendant lights also set the mood for the tropical decor style, letting designers know there is a lot of choice available in lighting to get a specific look.

The kick plate lighting is a nice touch and would be perfect outside, to add a bit of a glow.

Moving into the kitchen proper there is a lot to take in, but one thing I wanted to point out is the appliance finish.

They are white!

But what makes these white appliances trendy is the bronze/gold hardware.

Not every client wants stainless steel appliances, and white appliances like this could be the answer.

The hood design is simple but impactful.

A vertical tile installation works well on the angled hood to add height to the space.

This installation shows how basic tile can be installed to add big impact for not a big price tag.

On either side of the range hood were a set of standard open shelf cabinets with galley rail added to the front of each shelf.

Galley rail in wood was a popular detail in the 80’s but this brass installation is a great updated look.

It also takes a basic open shelf cabinet and takes it up a notch.

Above the open shelves, on the soffit, the designer placed retro looking wall scones.

This illuminates the shelves and countertop surface, but also would be a good cost saving solution.

Often an additional set of cabinets are placed in this area which can be very costly.

I could see incorporating a look like this in a kitchen with built in “drops” or “bulkheads” to give a refresh without taking on the mess of removing them.

One of my favorite things in this kitchen display was the backsplash detail.

The backsplash was a basic 6″ high quartz matching the counter with a radius detail behind the range and the sink.

This would be another cost savings detail compared to installing a full slab backsplash everywhere.

The radius detail also adds a lot of style.

There are a few more details in this display worth pointing out.

One is that the bronze/gold tone from the appliance hardware was repeated in the faucet, cabinet hardware, galley rail and the hanging rails on the sink wall adding rhythm to the design.

The material for the cabinets was a very cost effective choice.

It was standard plywood stained green. Maybe not for everyone but could be a choice to stretch a budget.

The last detail is the showstopping wallpaper above the 6″ backsplash.

Because the quartz backsplash will provide protection just above the counter you can have fun by adding wallpaper above it.

Wallpaper is also less permanent than a tiled backsplash and could be easily updated in the future.

Fantastic Fuchsia

There was one colorful kitchen display at KBIS 2023 that you could not just walk by.

It featured fuchsia and orange cabinets, anthracite grey appliances, strongly grained counters and chevron floors.

Again, this is not a color scheme I would see incorporating into one of my client’s kitchens, but there were some great details within this display to steal for a project.

First, the back wall offered an interesting way to tackle a wall of tall cabinets.

Rather than specifying closed door cabinets all in one finish, the designer mixed things up.

On each end, appliances are surrounded by tall narrow pantries and the center featured contrasting black cabinets with glass doors.

Matching the interior of the glass door cabinets to the door frames is a feature that produces a custom look in any kitchen.

Specifying the decorative hardware in a matching black provides rhythm in the design.

Looking more closely at the cabinetry surrounding the refrigerator and ovens, you will see that an interesting panel moulding treatment was applied to the doors.

On the tall narrow pantries the panel moulding runs vertically between the two doors and on the double doors above the appliances it runs horizontally across the doors.

This detail provides a very custom look and with the right manufacturer an achievable door style.

With many cabinet door styles being slab style, this detail would be a way to elevate the look of the kitchen.

The choice and placement of the decorative hardware provides an interesting detail.

Sourcing decorative hardware like this is a sure way to add unique style to your designs.

As with the “Trendy Tropical” display, the appliances were not your standard stainless steel.

In this case the appliances are in an anthracite grey finish. This would definitely be a finish I would look into for a client of mine wanting something different.

The island countertop was a bold choice with a strong veining pattern with a matching waterfall on each end.

Including a matte black sink and faucet were the perfect choice for a counter like this.

A detail I found pleasing was the use of the same material in the backsplash between the range and the hood and even above the hood.

When you stood at the far end of the island and looked down the length of the island, it was a great way to narrow in on the range wall as a focal point.

Looking closely at the range area you will notice two columns on each end providing a niche for the range.

This detail provides a cooking hearth feel.

The custom hood stands out with its copper cladding, which is in a similar tone as the back of the island.

Using a detail like this in a kitchen can be an interesting way to introduce more than one finish in the space, which is becoming a trending look for kitchens.

Also, the placement of the custom hood proud of these columns is a unique detail to really make this focal point shine.

While the strong color of these displays would draw people into the booth, the details found there made it all worth it.

The Kitchen & Bath Industry show is always a great place for inspiration. You sometimes just need to look a bit deeper to see the details.

If you have any comments on this VESTA post or others, please let me know in the comments below.

Founder Vestabul School of Design, Jan Rutgers

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.

2 Comments on “Colorful Details from KBIS 2023

  1. Hi Jan Rutgers.

    I would have easily walked pass these stands; too themed and too colourful! But you still took the time to look at them. Your observations are spot on and insightful. Thank you for your experienced insight and wisdom.

    • Thanks Mo!
      Yes, color like this can be a bit off-putting since everything has been so neutral in the past several years. It takes a lot for us to adjust to it. I hope it encourages designers to look at displays like this for special details they can incorporate in their kitchen designs.

Leave a Reply