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3 Ways to Tour KBIS

Whether you're going to KBIS for the new kitchen and bath trends, to learn more about sustainability in design or to see the latest in luxury, you'll find it all here in our handy guide.

Alison Martin
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Two-light chrome bath vanity like with seeded glass from Hinkley Lighting
Hinkley Lighting (fixture shown here) is just one new catch at KBIS this year, debuting in the Lightovation Lounge.

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) kicks off tomorrow at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas and runs through Thursday. In just three days, residential interior designers will have the chance to see new products, network with others in the industry and sit in on educational seminars — all centered on kitchen and bathroom design. New this year is the Salon by KBIS section and the Lightovation Lounge.

You can tour KBIS on your own, but if you have a certain design style in mind — luxury, sustainable or trend-forward — then you'll want to create a more tailored approach. Here's how to tour KBIS from all three design styles.

Luxury looks in kitchen and bath

Luxury clients want to go beyond nice-looking spaces. They want kitchen appliances with all the latest bells and whistles, and they want only the very best in materials and products. If you're looking to give your luxury clients that X-factor, here's where to go.

First off, you're not going to want to miss the Salon by KBIS exhibition. Located just outside South Hall, this new exhibit has an exclusive hall called KBIS Edit, which features design-forward, luxury brands that will be showcasing their latest products. All of the manufacturers here are either artisan, small-batch or international, and they cater to a luxury clientele. If you're looking to see what will really make your next kitchen pop, this should be your first stop.

On Wednesday, you're going to want to head over to the KBISNeXT Stage for The New Modern Luxury – Exploring the Evolution of the Term Luxury in Design. In this discussion, panelists will discuss the changing definition of luxury and how clients are interpreting the term today. Don't miss this panel happening at 2 p.m. on the KBISNeXT Stage.

Pro tip from a pro: Dallas Market Center's Laura Van Zeyl says the Salon by KBIS opens an hour before the rest of the show. "Maximise your time," she adds.

Sustainable design updates

As sustainable design becomes more accessible and affordable, clients will be looking to their designers to help them navigate the vast — and sometimes greenwashed — industry. But sustainable design involves more than just sustainable products, and that's what you can expect to learn more about at KBIS.

For anyone looking to learn more about sustainable design, a tour of the Align Project is a must. Located next to Salon by KBIS near the South Hall, the Align Project is a demonstration project designed to challenge how Americans live and how lifestyles can adapt to changing socioeconomic and environmental realities. At the center of this exhibit is accessory dwelling manufacturer Kasita's smart tiny home model. This net-zero, connected independent dwelling unit will show viewers how good design and technology can work together to create homes that use every inch of space without compromising comfort. 

Over the last year or so, smart home has become a component of sustainable design as more products have been introduced to help with energy and water conservation in the home. On Wednesday at 3:30 a.m., Green Builder Media CEO Sara Gutterman will give a talk in the space about the evolving ecosystem of smart home technologies and Smart Home 2.0. Inside the Kasita house, viewers will see the new Flo by Moen water conservation system in action.

Trendspotting in kitchen and bath

If you're interested in what designs of future kitchens and bathrooms will be, KBIS is the best place to trendspot.

KBIS itself is divided into several halls: North, Central and South. Each one houses a number of booths and exhibitors. Before you arrive, take a look at these maps and put a plan together so you don't waste any time. When walking the floors of KBIS and stopping by booths, remember to bring, of course, a notebook and pen to take notes. As you're walking, remember to jot down:

- Finishes, materials and colors

- Patterns and styles

When you leave KBIS, look back at your notes and look for patterns in what manufacturers are putting out. thiswill help you better understand what is trending.

For a little extra help, don't miss the What's Happening In Design talk in the Design Milk X Modenus Talks Lounge on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Design Milk’s Jaime Derringer and her guests will talk about how to incorporate current trends into designs and what's ahead for 2019.

Pro tip from a pro: Designer Kerrie Kelly swears by the KBIS app. "It allows designers to not only see the list of exhibitors," she says, "but also to “star” their favorite companies and include the educational sessions they would like to attend so creating a schedule is effortless."


Designers, share with us: What are you most excited for at KBIS this year? Tell us in the comments!

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