Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The World's Biggest Home Show - Trends, Products & Ideas!!

What did I want for Christmas?  A trip to the International Builders Show.  That's right, I wanted to join 60,000 builders to see the latest and greatest products from 1500 suppliers. And - it's coupled with the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, which adds another 500 suppliers. (Okay, and it's in Florida which is pretty darned attractive after the brutal cold, snowy weather we've been having!)

And it didn't disappoint!!!  Light fixtures.  Bath fixtures.  Flooring and more.  Lots of what was on display was a bit over-the-top, but that's part of the fun!!!

What were the highlights that I saw?

Well let's start with bathrooms.
Can you say console sink?  Because they were everywhere!!  And with the traditional homes we renovate, they're a fantastic look.  I saw them from almost every supplier - ranging from totally traditional to sleek and modern.  But they carry a steep price tag, all those metal legs add a lot of cost and depending which finish & top you choose, they can be thousands and thousands of dollars.

For faucets, they have some of everything.  I was particularly amused by this $7000 one - made entirely by hand, it is so delicate!  But with that price tag, it's certainly not something you'll see in any of our projects!

I've read a lot of trend reports for 2018 and many are predicting brass finishes will be passé soon.  But judging from the brass tones (ranging from satin to rose to gold), it looks like they're going to be around for awhile.

Every major supplier is carrying them and many are rolling out whole new lines in brass-gold tones.
Moen's new brushed gold fixtures - to be launched later this year
But the other hot finish is matte black.  And I really liked it.  It's a bit contemporary (and perhaps masculine?) but against a white sink (think about all those porcelain console sinks), it's a great look.  And here on a dark counter it looks nice as well.

Not surprisingly, stand alone bathtubs are still the rage.
Of course they require a lot of space, but they're beautiful.  What do you think of this handmade teak example?
Or this one from Toto that has an amazing waterfall that comes from behind your neck (on a height adjustable pillow, of course!).  That's the ultimate for a spa bathroom!

And toilets?  Well it was all about the skirted toilets.  I love this, both from an aesthetic standpoint, but also from a cleaning perspective.  Who wants to clean all those curves and ledges that can hold dirt and whatever.....these are so sleek!

Every toilet needs a remote control, right???
And a big trend was cleanliness.  Whether it cleaned itself after each flush, or cleaned you after using, with this fancy remote control - notice you can choose front or rear J

Check out this one from Toto (and yes, it did seem like The Jetsons have taken over toilets!!)

For kitchens, you could find any style you want - whether it's still traditional or starkly modern.  I wouldn't say I saw anything really unusual, but lots of beautiful finishes.  And the predictions that white kitchens are dead???  Maybe not, still lots of them on display!

And farmhouse sinks were in almost every booth (again, I heard their popularity was starting to fade, but it was hard to tell that at the show!).

I particularly liked this stand alone version from Kohler - not very practical.  But oh so lovely with its vintage styling!

Where I started to see some changes were in appliances.  The black stainless look is gaining traction (although I've heard that if it scratches, it can't be repaired - something to think about!).  But there were other dark metal finishes as well.  And enamel colors for high end ranges remain very popular.

And for countertops, the quartz-marble look was still obvious everywhere I looked.  But I saw some really nice new quartz options creeping in that are darker, with almost a concrete, textural look that were pretty fabulous.

On the homebuilders side of the show, I saw some great products.  The 'Tiny Home' rage was pretty evident.  It was fun to see a couple in person, although for the life of me, I can't imagine living in one!
Tiny House = Divorce Court???
This pull down scissor staircase was fantastic.  I'm not a fan of the big clunky pull down stairs (just more challenges to seal them tight against heat & moisture leakage into the attic).  We see a fair number of them in houses and they are always loose and awkward.  But this compact model only takes half the space.  Designed in Europe, they've got great weather stripping and its only half the size of what you usually see.

In lighting, I was hearing the oil rubbed bronze is out - but brass is in.  There was certainly a lot to look at in all the booths.  And mid-century influences continue to be strong.

I'm such a fan of skylights and I had a great time checking out all the latest offerings from Velux.  This roof window, that doubles as a balcony and egress exit was really amazing!!  That's got some real potential for some of the New England rooflines we do!
Photo:  Velux

Therma Tru Concept Door
I'm in love with this concept door from Therma True.  Sadly, it's not available yet, but isn't it gorgeous?  The nice folks at Hammond Lumber are going to help me figure out a way to try and create one.

And these new 'Extreme' Post-It notes from 3M were really great.  They're supposed to hold up in any weather (see the guy squirting them with water) and windy conditions.  Now I can leave little 'love notes' for the guys all over the place J

There were lots of product demos - this one of a new adhesive from Advantech guarantees floors won't squeak for 10 years!

And can you believe how beautiful some of these tile options are?  I was swooning over some of the intricate marble patterns.

Finally, there was a dizzying array of home automation systems - from big names like Google and much smaller players.  Frankly, this is an area that's changing so fast, I can't say I'm ready to jump in - but as it gets more streamlined, it's pretty intriguing.  

So now I have to figure out how some of these great ideas might get integrated into our projects.  I don't like to follow 'trends' too closely, since they can change so much.  But where it's good, solid design that fits well in a traditional home - then I'm always interested.    And since many of the products I saw are in the process of getting launched, it might take awhile for them to be available.  But I was pretty inspired by everything I saw.

So what do you think?  Do you have any predictions for 2018 trends?

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  1. After building five homes, number six will have my first white kitchen. I know! Changed from soapstone countertops to Cygnus granite. Nickel/stainless everywhere. I’ve been lucky in my choices in the past and seem to run ahead of the crowd which helps in resale. We shall see! The sign goes up on March 1and groundbreaking as soon as the weather breaks!

    1. Sounds like you've got it figured out!!! Congratulations and good luck!

  2. Like I mentioned last night the stand-alone bathroom sink is the only challenge for me. But everything you've shown is stunning!!!

  3. All those beautiful things. All so shiny and new. The console sinks are pretty, but where is a person supposed to store a hairdryer, some extra rolls of toilet paper, a bottle of lotion, etc., etc.?

    1. You would certainly need a medicine cabinet and a couple of baskets on the shelf!!!

  4. I really like the look of that quartz, like concrete. It would look nice in a kitchen that is something like the one from the film Somethings Gotta Give.


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