This year is definitely the year for your kitchen! Over the past years the trend of modernizing your kitchen to fit you lifestyle has been apparent with technology driven appliances and innovative surfaces and materials. This February I traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry show (KBIS). Here are 10 wonderful highlights of the show and how your kitchen still rules the home.

Image via: Thermador Kitchens

1. Modern kitchen innovation that gives a hint of the past:

There has been a re-emergence in kitchen design to bring back the old world style of finishes and blend them with modern innovation. Modern countertops in granite, marble and solid surfacing can take on a vintage appeal with beveled edges and details that went away with handcrafted cabinetry years ago. Kitchen faucets that resemble ‘hand-forged sentiments of early 20th century metalworkers, Artesso™ kitchen faucets blend traditional design with industrial chic inspiration’  was gorgeous to see from Brizo faucets. It was also nice to see kitchen manufacturers haven’t forgotten that historic details in the kitchen still have a place in our everyday homes.

2. Commercial-quality kitchen amenities in your humble abode:

While we all love our quaint homes isn’t their times you want the entire industrial feel of a commercial kitchen? This year at KBIS you could see a definite trend for kitchen manufacturers to appeal to both sides of the fence. Blanco sinks features their Quatrus R15 stainless steel sink that offers a revolutionary sleek appeal while still enabling homeowners to wash it easily. Turn your kitchen into that commercial kitchen that you always wanted with amenities that show off your culinary chef inside.

3. Accessories of the kitchen aren’t just for show anymore:

Years ago we would see kitchen accessories that played a minor role in function and instead were meant to compliment the sink, faucet or cabinetry of the kitchen. Today kitchen brands are realizing that homeowners want form, function, and beauty all wrapped up into one. Accessories such as colanders and cutting boards that fit seamlessly in the sink to help you drain or cut your favorite vegetables and discard the rest to strainers that blend seamlessly with the sink. There is no longer a reason to wonder, “What does that do?” in your modern kitchen.

4. Organize your kitchen drawers like never before:

While you may love your spices to be separated from your utensils, how about storing your bread in your drawers with its own customized bread box to keep it fresh? There was a big representation of brands such as Poggenpohl’s drawer accessories that include: cutlery trays, spice racks, knife blocks, bread drawers and aluminum foil holders to just get you started. Instead of organizing just a few items in your kitchen, organize your kitchen drawers around the way you and your family use the kitchen.

5. Lighting your kitchen in eco-friendly ways:

Just like the evolution of your home, lighting plays an integral role in ensuring your kitchen experience is safe, enjoyable, and helpful for all your kitchen activities. While traditional lighting fixtures such as pendants and under cabinet lights aren’t new – the use of eco-friendly LED lighting inside of cabinets, drawers, and below the base cabinets is proving to be more helpful to the culinary enthusiast. Whether you have your hands full and don’t have time to reach a light, or you’re looking to add more illumination to your kitchen’s darkest nooks, LED lit cabinetry and drawers maybe exactly what you’re looking for.

6.  Decorative tile becomes the showstopper over the appliances:

There used to be a time when you walked into a kitchen and all eyes went to the appliances. While appliances are still a major opportunity to wow guests, decorative tile is the perfect crowning glory to a dynamic kitchen. This year tile manufacturers are holding nothing back and Walker Zanger has always been known for their innovative and iconic tile design styles. This Chelsea Art Glass backsplash is the “Epitome of glass craftsmanship, offering a collection of stunning Tiffany-inspired mosaics created from sheets of colorful, marbleized glass. The glass sheets are hand-cut and blended to create 12 unique shades”. If you’re looking for a way to add pizazz to your kitchen, look to decorative tile and all of its glamorous personality it can bring to the heart of your home.

7.  Saving money in the kitchen is easier than ever

While we all enjoy splurging on our home improvements there are many times that saving money on your kitchen renovation is essential. While there was an enormous representation of high-end remodeling ideas at KBIS, there was also a nice contrast of kitchen brands that understand that homeowners like to save money too. I interviewed fixture manufacturer Danze and they feature many high quality and beautiful kitchen faucets that are designed to cater to saving you money. They think, “…Your kitchen faucet should do more than just wash vegetables. It should nourish your eye for great design, too. We offer an appetizing array of unique kitchen faucets, bar and convenience faucets and pot fillers. With plenty of smart styles to reflect your personal taste.”

8. Filtered water for your family, delivered in a gorgeous way

Water filtration over the years has become more important as water becomes more of a precious resource and the quest for clean drinking and cleaning water is essential. Kitchen plumbing manufacturers are finding a way to eliminate the clunky add-on water filter on the outside of your faucet, or under your sink. Brands like ROHL’s Perrin & Rowe are using,  “… Filtration featuring Triflow® Technology. This innovative faucet series provides beauty and functionality in one space-saving design. Filtration happens right in the faucet and eliminates the need for an under- the-counter system. Enjoy hot, cold and filtered water while saving money and protecting the environment’”.

9. Affordable countertop surfaces that give the look of luxury

After your kitchen cabinetry and appliances the countertops can be a very expensive portion of your kitchen entourage. Lucky for you there are several kitchen countertop manufacturers that understand homeowners want the look of granite, stone, and marble without the hefty price tag.  Formica Corporation has created the 180fx® laminate countertop surface.  “A revolution in surfacing with true-to-scale granite patterns that offer visual drama unmatched by any other laminate. New sophisticated patterns focus on a neutral palette – versatile enough to pair with any interior design concept.”  So instead of thinking you can’t do that kitchen remodel you always dreamed of, now it may be possible!

10.  Creating Connections: Between your lifestyle and cooking

We live in a wonderful design age where kitchen manufacturers are realizing the importance of connecting how we all live in our homes, the way we interact with our appliances, the way we prepare food, and the way appliances, fixtures, and finishes should interplay with our senses. KBIS is a wonderful example of how the best minds come together to show you what is available today but what they are working on for your future. It’s still true, the kitchen rules our homes and rightfully so, it’s the soul of our families and the way we come together with family and friends!

Freshome readers, let us know what kitchen innovations are you seeing in your part of the world?