Home Design Focus: Tech Trends for the Kitchen, Bath & Beyond from Design & Construction Week 2023
St. Louis-based Integration Controls owner Jamie Briesemeister (far left) was a panelist on the “Designing for Short-Term Rentals” session at KBIS 2023. Also pictured: Joy Williams, Jessica Duce, and Jane Dagmi
Trend #1: Seamless Is Timeless -
This category is all about those hidden or well-integrated products that make you wonder, what’s behind door number one? These products are built to blend function with form for the ultimate intersection of technology and design.
One standout in this category is Wall Smart which is one of the leading manufacturers of custom flush wall mounts for control devices in the smart home. Wall-Smart offers beautifully integrated mounts for practically any device, keeping your walls unscathed by the cluttered and unrefined look of most wall-mounted smart-home devices from touch panels to lighting controls to wireless access points…even soundbars can be hidden! Shown above, Lutron’s Palladiom keypad and an electrical outlet are mounted elegantly and easily. The right side shows the mount infrastructure and the left side shows the finished product. Also pictured below.
Aquabella also impressed us with its covert shower trays, the ultimate example of design meets function that offer a sleek integration of what used to be purely functional drainage systems. The shower footing is meant to blend right into the drain, the drain disappears and becomes, essentially, a part of the shower floor! This kind of design withstands the test of time and retains its value long after it’s installed.
Trend #2: Interesting Integrations -
As we traversed the show floor, we noticed several products that defied categorization and presented very interesting collisions of design and technology. These “Interesting Integrations” include Kohler’s Purist Suspend ceiling-mount faucet, which extends from the ceiling, leaving your countertop completely clutter-free. You can control the flow and heat of the water from a wireless Bluetooth control puck. This high-end integration has a Bluetooth device built into the plumbing and a hose that’s long enough so that you can move it around the kitchen with ease. Fill a pot on the stove or do dishes in the sink. We’ve never seen a remote-controlled faucet and are duly impressed!
Invisacook is another interesting integration from KBIS 2023, a very cool application of cooking through your countertop using induction heating. In this case, the demo used the ever-popular Caesarstone. Eliminating the traditional range allows you to reclaim your counter space and makes for an uber-stylish kitchen - especially if you entertain often. Invisacook heats and cooks very quickly, and when you remove the pot from the surface, it’s nearly cool to the touch. Imagine having a group of friends over to enjoy fondue or hot pot, without the need for chafing dishes or electrical cords!
Trend #3: Illuminating Technologies -
In the bathroom, the future is bright - AND - dimmable. Lighting is a key focus in this sanctuary space, helping with tasks like illuminating a walkway to prevent falls or lighting your face correctly for applying makeup. Roburn—a Kohler brand—showed built-in lighting in medicine cabinets and vanities that give users the ability to adjust the color temperature and intensity. We’ve seen many iterations of the lighted mirror, most with unattractive, nonadjustable light. Robern presented a more refined solution in all ways!
Manufacturers are gravitating toward built-in lighting—especially dimmable linear lighting—that can be embedded into more places in the home. Kohler also showed a bathtub that featured gorgeous linear lighting that gave the bathroom a sophisticated and serene ambiance. We are loving these lighting trends in the bathroom!
Trend #4: Light Is Love & Color Is King -
Finally DCW proved that colors of all kind matter in home design. Lighting goes beyond task illumination to be part of the design, as shown here by backlight translucent quartz surfaces from Cambria, displayed here with a translucent vein.
Lighting technology is changing as the wellness movement at home heats up and homeowners realize the importance of adjusting color temperature at various times of the day. Ketra highlights full-spectrum lighting, as shown recently in a tiny home at Lightapalooza, a lighting tradeshow on the heels of DCW. See the video below for a demonstration. Color was queen at KBIS 2023 as well, with everything from cabinets to countertops presented in bold hues. Kohler even featured a fun contest to bring back vintage colors for toilets and sinks. The winners? Peach Blow and Spring Green!"
Color was everywhere at KBIS 2023, from jewel tones to pastels.
From appliances to surfaces like this, bold colors reigned supreme at KBIS 2023.
We had a great time at DCW and Lightapalooza! So much so that we shared our findings and an extension of this blog, in person, at our Design + Technology = Timeless Trends event held March 9, 2023, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM CST in St. Louis, MO, at Next Project Studio. There, attendees had the chance to meet others in the St. Louis design community and were inspired to consider how interior design and technology trends impact current decisions to ensure their interior spaces will remain timeless for years to come.