This year at KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, more than 600 manufacturers flocked to Las Vegas to show off their latest and greatest products for kitchen spaces and bathrooms. Here are some of the hardware trends we noticed from the show.
1.) Black and Brass Finishes
Brass is back, baby! From hardware to appliances black and brass were everywhere. Brass was mostly phased out through the ’90s but now is back with a vengeance. We saw satin brass become the top-selling cabinet hardware finish of 2019 and it looks like it could outdo itself in 2020. It comes as a shock to some (or a scare), but today’s satin brass is more understated and subtle than it was in the ’80s and ’90s. These days hardware manufacturers have honed in on a new brass finish with more of a brushed, matte look rather than a polished, glossy one. The new, more subtle brass conveys warmth, sophistication, and luxury. Satin brass is now at the forefront of modern contemporary design.
Black is hanging right there with brass in popularity (and they pair great together, I might add). Black finishes have seen a steady increase in the last three years and it’s popularity continues to grow. Black’s great because just like in fashion, it goes with anything. Black can be both bold and make a statement as easily as it can be subtle and fade into the background. It all depends on the cabinet color it’s paired with. Black was a favorite finish for new product launches at KBIS from faucets to tubs to hardware.
2.) Soft-Close Everything
Nowadays it seems crazy to not use soft close when building new. Why would you not? Every display at KBIS had soft-close technology, and yet it still never failed to get a response (“ahh, that’s nice” – everyone). The silent, slow close is one of those features that once you have it, you can’t go back. From drawer slides to hinges to sliding door systems, almost every new product coming out at KBIS had soft-close integration.
Along with soft-close, push-to-open hardware seemed to be having a moment at KBIS. Push-to-open has been around for at least 20 years but hasn’t has made a big splash in the cabinet industry yet. This year it seemed to be attempting another push towards popularity. Push-to-open allows you to go handleless which is great for obtaining a minimalist, modern design. Many new products were introduced with push-to-open drawer slides and push-to-open hinges. Same as soft-close, it never failed to get a reaction.
Pro Tip: Push-to-open drawers and doors are most suitable for upper cabinets. We tend to lean on our lower cabinets when doing dishes or just posting up in the kitchen to scroll through our phones. With push-to-open, the doors will want to open when you lean against them and might bump you in the back of the legs unexpectedly.
Knurling was everywhere at KBIS. It seems like this trend is right around the corner. We saw it on cabinet pulls as well as door handles. The grip the knurling provides easily communicates to the mind that this is a handle and its function is to be in your hand. Knurling just makes you want to grab it. It can help add to any design style because it’s different, sleek and fun but still conveys an obvious purpose. The knurling also adds a new texture that plays well with today’s contemporary kitchens and bathrooms which mix materials, textures, and finishes. Many of the collections seen at KBIS are yet to be released but are coming to the hardware hut soon!
5.) Cubed Floating Shelves
Floating shelves have been popular for a few years but the style is changing. What we saw everywhere at KBIS were floating cubes. Element Designs had its finger on the pulse with this one and has a brand new collection, eCubed, to introduce to the world. The cubed look adds depth and creates an illusion of more open space while also providing convenient functional storage. The simplistic, modern design is ideal for kitchen cabinetry, home or office workspaces as well as commercial spaces like high-end retail stores, hotels, bars or restaurants. They can also be stacked and arranged in all kinds of creative, fun patterns to make it stand out as a premier design feature of any room.
6.) LED Lighting
LED Lighting was another feature we saw incorporated into everything at KBIS. It’s used both as a functional add-on as well as a decorative one. We saw LED lighting inside of drawers and cabinet doors set to motion detectors, so when you open the drawer/door the inside of the cabinet lights up to see the contents within. It just makes so much sense and on top of that, it’s beautiful. We also saw lighting on the bottom of upper cabinets, under islands and overhangs, and on the top trim of cabinets and furniture.
Rumor has it that the Europeans are moving away from ceiling lights altogether and moving towards LEDs only, so expect to see that trend break into US markets shortly. The LED lights coming out today are sophisticated enough that they can be changed from being cool and bright in the morning to warm and mood-setting to calm down at night. As LED lighting has become more sophisticated and easy to install, they’ve grown in popularity which is why there were so prevalent at KBIS.
7.) Customization Shown at KBIS
Customization is becoming an important aspect of hardware design and it was obvious at KBIS. Designers and homeowners want something that feels like it’s just there’s. They want something that’s personal and created just for their specific taste. Emtek is really paving the way in this category. In their booth at KBIS, they had a “hardware bar” where you could write on a piece of paper what color and style rosette, post, lever and screws you want and they would custom make the piece in front of you in about 10 minutes. Everything at Emtek is built at the time of order so the combinations and possibilities are endless. (And they’re still able to ship in 2-3 days!)
There you have it! Those are the hardware trends to keep an eye on for 2020. If you have any questions about the products described above, please don’t hesitate to reach out or connect with us on Facebook.