Trends At KBIS 2017


And Three Women Who Make It Happen
by Barbara Schmidt

Every year for about the last 15 years I’ve attended the National Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS). It’s been held in Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando and Atlanta. I’ve been an exhibitor, a spokesperson, an author, a researcher and a photographer. I’ve also rested my heels on the back of hotel headboards to drain the swelling in my feet and legs to be able to walk miles again the next day.

This year I was sent by the Star Tribune to cover some of the Minnesota exhibitors as well as many others that have new products to share. I met new people along the way and reconnected with lots of friends and vendor partners over the three-day event. Here are some of #bts stories about a few women that make my long days and hard work so worthwhile:

Susan from Caesarstone
She is from Minnesota so there’s already a tatertot casserole connection. She’s salt of the earth – kindhearted and a wonderful businesswoman. She’s partnered with me on so many design projects that I’m hard pressed to choose just one visual.

I had a chance to steal away a few minutes of her time while Nigel Barker and Sabrina Soto were speaking at the Caesarstone booth at KBIS. We chatted about the overall trend in countertops. It’s white – it’s been white and it’s going to be white for a while. Nothing else is even close so there’s that trend said and done.

Nigel Barker and Sabrina Soto // KBIS 2017 Caesarstone Booth

Nigel Barker and Sabrina Soto // KBIS 2017 Caesarstone Booth

Spaces Magazine Feature Editorial "Northwest Orient." Photographer: Tim Nehotte. Creative Director and Stylist: Barbara Schmidt. Countertop: Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo. Patterned handmade bowl by Northern Clay Center.

Spaces Magazine Feature Editorial "Northwest Orient." Photographer: Tim Nehotte. Creative Director and Stylist: Barbara Schmidt. Countertop: Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo. Patterned handmade bowl by Northern Clay Center.

Debbie from American Standard
Who gives the best hugs? It’s Debbie. She’s the sparkle in the room and genius behind DXV designer branding. I admire her for all the publicity she’s given to designers at @DXV.

American Standard's ActiClean Toilet in self-cleaning mode.

American Standard's ActiClean Toilet in self-cleaning mode.

I had a quick chance to chat at the Lixil booth (American Standard, DXV, Grohe brands all together). The big news is the ActiClean toilet from American Standard. @HowieMandel was there to talk about beating bacteria and winning the germaphobe battle.  This toilet cleans itself and who wouldn’t want to cross that chore off your to do list?

Howie Mandel // American Standard's ActiClean Toilet

Howie Mandel // American Standard's ActiClean Toilet

Missy from Northern Contours
For years I’ve flown with Missy to and from KBIS, talked her ear off about pending projects and asked for the moon. She’s always been the best listener and helped me create the most stunning spaces. Missy is part of the marketing team that built @NContours into the leading contemporary cabinet door company in the country. She’s a quiet force and really I can’t thank her enough for all her creative input.

Northern Contours FENIX NTM Nanotech Matte Custom Cabinetry. Caesarstone Countertops. Sub-Zero Appliances. Kohler Faucet. Interceramic Tile.

Northern Contours FENIX NTM Nanotech Matte Custom Cabinetry. Caesarstone Countertops. Sub-Zero Appliances. Kohler Faucet. Interceramic Tile.

This year I stopped by to see our latest joint creation on the wall of the booth. The new matte black FENIX Nanotech doors are just winning both editors and Instagram around the world. Black kitchens are very much on trend and so popular on Pinterest. Order a sample and feel this product…it’s so cool I’m designing my own remodeled kitchen with this in mind.

So much more to come from @studiobstyle! Watch for an online video blog next week on Midwest Home, a print piece in the next issue and an article in the Star Tribune in April.

Northern Contours FENIX NTM Nanotech Matte Custom Cabinetry. For more info, see your local dealer.

Northern Contours FENIX NTM Nanotech Matte Custom Cabinetry. For more info, see your local dealer.

Barbara Schmidt