Innovation for the Kitchen and Bath at NeoCon 2014

By Erinn Waldo
June 16, 2014

Evolving trends for the kitchen and bath industry came to light at this year’s NeoCon, taking place in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart on June 9-11. Many of these ideas were introduced at KBIS and HD Expo and now take more prominent positions in the design field.

Modernity’s slant toward simplicity shows in today’s bath. Traditional whirlpools have been vanishing and replaced by larger showers or freestanding tubs. Showers in turn have brought in more technology for comfort and luxury. Kohler’s popular Moxie showerhead now comes in a rainhead form and still streams audio through Bluetooth-enabled devices. The rainhead also uses air-induction spray technology for best water coverage.

Tiles, for either the floors or walls, have grown larger in size and now often cover the entire bathroom. Sustainable, more economic choices like porcelain can imitate other materials, such as Hastings’ Tile and Bath marble-look porcelain tile.

Even with these simple touches, the bathroom still has its jewelry in the appliances. Subtle hints of Art Deco style reappear here, like in the Graceline series from Rohl. Graceline draws inspiration from 1930s ocean liners with the long arch of the faucet and the dial-shaped handles reminiscent of ship cleats. Geometric etchings also add a hint of glamor.

Sometimes the glamor is behind the details, which is shown by Carnegie’s Alpha, Beta, Gamma collection of sheers. Perfect for preserving transparency, these sheers keep the bathroom feeling private with sound reduction technology. Woven with polyester, all three patterns boasted 40 percent sound reduction when hung flat and 50 to 65 percent sound reduction when draped.

These minimalistic hints of luxury reappear in the kitchen, which is more often showing less wall cabinetry and more technology integration. Stainless steel appliances now are sitting flush with cabinetry and either stand out or disappear into a kitchen’s décor. Islands have grown larger and often include drawer refrigeration, such as SubZero and Wolf’s New Generation refrigeration. Each unit contains separate, sealed cooling systems for refrigerators and freezers and has an air purification system that scrubs the air of food spoiling-elements, like bacteria and mold.

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