Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 K/BIS Showcased Hottest Product and Design Trends

Don, Jeff and I attended 2009 K/BIS at the Georgia World Congress Center. This show is truly one of the biggest and most influential shows in the home, kitchen and bath industry and is always well attended by people looking to see what the next trends are in kitchen and bath products / design.



Since we specialize in providing integrated marketing communications services for companies in the field – and because we contribute articles and product narratives for the Home, Garden and Design-based media – we collected a lot of information about the latest and greatest design trends for today’s homes, kitchens and baths.



Once we started walking the floor and absorbing it all, we met many great people, but we also observed today’s exciting product and design innovations. These include some of the richest and most luxurious cabinet and drawer systems I have ever seen, with plenty of them featuring soft-closing mechanisms. Home storage solutions focused on maximizing any and all available space. One common theme was the blending of functionality with style. However, the trends didn’t stop there. We were shown incredible outdoor and indoor kitchen cabinetry, state-of-the-art appliances, and even a high-tech bidet that captured our attention and the eyes of show-goers.



Over the coming weeks, we will be adding more blog posts about our findings at the show. For now, the following include some of our top picks. If you are a member of the media and would like additional information about these products, shoot me an email or post your comments.



Rev-A-Shelf

This company really revs up home organization! They are the world’s largest manufacturer of functional storage organizing products, and Rev-A-Shelf offers homeowners ultimate storage solutions for every room in the house.



That being said, we were truly amazed about all the particular ways Rev-A-Shelf can help people maximize their available spaces. With many people moving into cities and out of larger suburban homes, available space can be at a premium. This is where Rev-A-Shelf can help, as all of their products seem to simplify getting organized.



Among the most impressive home organization products that Rev-A-Shelf Marketing Manager Shari McPeek showed us, is the company’s two-tiered wood cutlery drawer. The unique design provides two tiers for double storage capacity, and the preassembled drawer box allows for easy installation with only the addition of an existing drawer front.



We were also impressed by their Lazy Shoe-Zen shoe closet organization system. It features room for all of Imelda’s shoes, and takes up very little space. This is one of Shari’s favorites.



Rev-A-Shelf’s groundbreaking Soft-Open / Soft-Close Rev-A-Motion sliders are incorporated into garbage and recycling containers with an innovative top-mount application. They help keep kitchen waste containers separated and neatly organized. Rev-A-Motion allows for a soft-closing drawer mechanism, which means no more slammed doors. Seeing these products, all of us started thinking that maximizing space in our own kitchens and baths was truly possible. The options are endless. Thanks, Shari, for an informative tour of your show booth and display.



Coway USA

Coway USA’s Assistant Planning and Marketing Manager Hannah Hwang showed us how the premium BA13 Digital Bidet can help ensure optimal personal hygiene. Maintaining proper cleanliness is an often overlooked but critically important part of any health-conscious person’s life, and this product delivers! The BA13’s sleek and stylish appearance hides a powerful unit that can keep users clean and fresh. It features a four-way valve system, as well as a three-step flow control for personalized cleansing. All of its functionality can be controlled with the unit’s multi-function remote control, which can also regulate water pressure, seat and water temperature, and more. Once a luxury only for those traveling out of the states, bidets are growing in trend popularity at home. This product drew crowds of onlookers at the show, indicating high interest among designers, builders, architects, hoteliers, homeowners, and others.



Coway USA also offers a great new AP1008 DH air purifying system. Talk about a breath of fresh air! This model is just one of the company’s new elegant and slender air purifiers that will improve the air quality in any room – and look great doing it! My favorite feature is the color-coded pollution indicator, which changes color to indicate the degree of pollution in the air. A soft blue glow means air quality is great. But, as the air quality decreases, the light will transition through lighter to darker shades of purple, then to red. I also liked the simple and easy-to-understand controls, that include “Auto,” “Speed,” “Silent,” and “Mood” features to affect fan speed, sound levels and even lamp illumination. Hannah is a product expert on these and other products offered by the company. She said she is always happy to answer questions about the ways in which her products bring positive changes to those who use them.



Vetrazzo

People interested in reminiscing about fun nights at their favorite watering holes with friends and vodka; their memories can continue forever, thanks to Vetrazzo. This company showcased an innovative line of recycled glass surfacing materials. Bright blue bottles, green glass, and a variety of other colorful glass materials can be reincarnated as a part of a new countertop or bar.



Marketing Coordinator Craig Murphy told us that all of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, which comprises about 85 percent of the final material by weight. The largest proportion of glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass sources range from windows and dinnerware to stained glass and even decommissioned traffic lights. Since the company generally uses up to 1,000 bottles to make a single countertop, every panel is distinctive and unique. The best part about their surfacing materials is that homeowners choosing to purchase a Vetrazzo countertop can know they are doing their part to help Mother Earth in the process.



Their 2009 Palette is available in 19 patterns, including four new ones, like Champagne Flint, Margarita Flint, Martini Flint and Porter Flint. With every purchase made, the company provides a Certificate of Transformation that indicates exactly where the materials derived. With such a cool background and creative product line, Vetrazzo truly is a story in every surface.



Hardwick Home Décor

Homeowners are always looking for great ways to add a little extra fashion and flair to their kitchens. A great way to accomplish this is to add a bronze art relief from Hardwick Home Decor. Company owner Renee Egan commissioned Ronnie Wells, a full-time professional artist with more than 20 years experience, to design these reliefs. After seeing her exhibit space, we could see that his experience shows.



Since it is said that money spent in kitchen upgrades is essentially received as an equal payback in the form of increased home value, Hardwick Home Décor’s bronze art reliefs seem to offer a solution homeowners need. This entails adding décor details and elements that cause a home to stand out from the rest on the block, especially when showing a home. Each relief features an intricate design with amazing richness and texture that would grace any fireplace mantel, kitchen backsplash, or simply any wall.



Furthermore, builders can use Hardwick Home Décor art reliefs to differentiate their homes from the sea of cookie-cutter homes out there. Seeing one of these reliefs in a home certainly would speak to the overall quality of a home, and little touches like this can make all the difference in the sale of the home.



Danver

We were truly impressed by the full line of stainless steel indoor and outdoor cabinetry from Danver. Among these, are an assortment of island inserts, grills, accessories, bartenders, refrigeration products, and appliances.



No matter the offering, one thing they all have in common is premium style. Their stainless doors, drawer fronts and drawers come with a No. 4 brushed vertical grain, which provides a rich, contemporary look. Their modular cabinets also provide designers, landscape architects and homeowners with infinite flexibility in design configurations. Other design options for doors and drawer fronts include wood, and numerous other stainless steel choices and finishes.

The company even has a great design tool that can be used to help create an outdoor dream kitchen. By downloading the company’s product library, homeowners and design / build professionals have countless options available at their fingertips – all to help create that dream kitchen. Danver even offers its own blog, a great place to learn more about their products, post comments and ask questions. Get in on their online conversation, too, by going to http://danverstainless.wordpress.com.



These are just a few of the many impressive product and design trends we uncovered at K/BIS 2009. As always, feel free to let me know if any of these products / companies are of interest. Between our clients and other great companies we know, we will be blogging a lot in the coming weeks and months about some of this year’s newest and most coveted products in the Home, Garden, Design, and Agribusiness Industries. And, if there is a specific product or trend you do not see but want to blog about with us, let us know. We can most likely share applicable experiences as we observe them and hear from you about your interests.



~ Doug (dougborkman@eberlypr.com)

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