I had been talking quite a bit about going to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2012 in Chicago. I have now been and am here to express my thoughts.
I am not a kitchen/bath designer per se....but as a decorator/designer,  I certainly have a huge interest in kitchen and bath design. Visiting Chicago for the first time and attending KBIS last week was a kill several birds with one stone kinda trip. Let me just say, that visiting The Windy City.... that toddlin' town....Chi-Town was a wonderful adventure. I could, and may still, write a post on my time in this fabulous city...so stay tuned.

The show was presented at McCormick Place.....MONSTROUS....with 2.6 million ( yes, I just wrote million ) sq ft in total, of exhibition halls.  KBIS did not utilize nearly that much space...300,000+ net sq ft. was more befitting ...but still, if you were not wearing comfortable shoes, guaranteed you would have been blistered and limping by the end of the day. I spent the better part of Wednesday at the show, but could have gone back Thursday, if flying home had not been a priority.

Because I have never attended a trade show specifically geared toward only kitchen and bath design, I may appear somewhat excited and a little over the top emotionally at times ..... but this is my take.

1. There was an inordinate number of booths featuring vessel sinks. In terms of function, I am not a huge fan of the vessel sink myself. I have heard this expressed by other designers, but according to the variety of booths featuring vessel sinks at KBIS, we might be in the minority. However, there was one booth LENOVA which I visited twice. I quite enjoyed some of these unique, low-to-the-counter vessel sinks, shown below. And although not a vessel sink, the bottom right sink is worthy of a second peek, if only due to the anticipation of the cascading rhythm of water as it fills this sink.

2. Copper was everywhere, I mean everywhere. The booth that caught my eye was Premier Copper Products ....I loved their booth display and took some photos...sorry they're kind of wonky...but you get the idea. This company boasts products that are hand crafted by artisans, manufactured using recycled and reclaimed copper wire, and as a bonus, copper is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. Take a look at the hammered copper range hood, paired with a hammered copper sink below. Gorgeous.
An observation: warm metals are making a comeback, which is curious to me when the decor colour trend is moving away from beige to grey. Thoughts?

3. This next booth was a "be still my heart" booth. It got quite the traffic flow and no wonder. The bamboo vanities showcased at Native Trails were beautifully designed and executed. The lines, the curves the details are AWE worthy indeed. Their website is equally lovely. 

photos Native Trails

4. Special Products Division LLC was for me another 'stop in my tracks and take another look at' booth. 
This kitchen cabinet counter vignette features uppers and lowers made from exotic pomelle sapelle wood and the counter is constructed from paperstone. This company excels at constructing modern cabinets and furniture while maintaining, functionality, elegance and craftsmanship.

5.  Poggenpohl.....what can I say. WOWEEE!!!. Modern, integrated, space saving, luxuriousness... and take a look inside this drawer. I could live in this drawer it is so organized...a place for everything and at my house everything would be in its place. What a dream. 

6. Hafele...two words FUNCTION ADORATION! Talk about integration and specifically designed hardware that will make even the smallest space that much more functional. I cannot do this booth justice with mere photos...instead, watch their KBIS video on their Hafele Blog. You will have functional, sensory overload, guaranteed.

Honestly, there was so much to see at KBIS that one post cannot do the show justice. Keep your eyes open for other KBIS posts from your favourite bloggers who were at the show. I heard KBIS will be in New Orleans next year. I am saving my pennies now. 

Would love to hear your thoughts......