The Kitchen Products That Stopped Me In My Tracks At KBIS
Hello friends! I know I teased you about sharing some of the inspiring new kitchen products I discovered on my trip to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show several weeks ago - but then failed to deliver on that. The thing was, I was knee-deep in writing that post on Kitchen Design Mistakes…and, well, it turned out that I had a lot to say on that subject! So one post turned into a 3-part series.
Then, I absolutely had to tell you about Azerocare marble, which was another KBIS related revelation. That was a pretty awesome bit of information, and I couldn’t keep that from you for another week. You’d never forgive me.
So here we are, and I’m back on track to tell you about some of the other cool things I discovered at KBIS. I only had one day (albeit a very long day) to walk the massive Las Vegas convention center. To make the most of my time, I had to proceed at a determined pace. I couldn’t afford to dawdle too long looking at things that I could just as easily research online. No! I was on a mission to discover new things as well as get hands-on with the luxury brands that I love.
While I saw more amazing things than I can include in my list, the items I want to share with you today are a few things that really stopped me in my tracks.
If you’re building or remodeling a kitchen this year, you may just find a couple of nuggets in here that will make your project that much better. This is a bit of a mish-mash, but my list includes a variety of price points and product categories.
So, in no particular order…
9 Amazing New Kitchen Products from KBIS
1. MONOGRAM’S HEARTH OVEN
I can’t even begin to tell you how many clients have started out telling me that they may like to have a pizza oven in their new kitchen. After investigating the specifics as it relates to their particular property, the client usually determines that it’s more headache and expense than it’s worth. Traditional pizza ovens require chimney ventilation, as well as large stone surrounds to house them. This often leads to a weight issue, which may even mean reinforcing the floor!
Image courtesy of Monogram
However, Monogram’s new Hearth Oven has changed all of that. A catalytic converter within the unit allows it to be self-ventilating. There is no need for ductwork or a chimney breast. It can be housed in a standard 30” wide cabinet (similar to a standard wall oven) without any concerns about the surrounding surfaces being damaged.
At the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, they displayed it in a gold finish, which is not yet available (they were gauging interest). So for now, it’s only available in stainless steel.
It takes about 25 minutes to heat up (depending on the temperature setting), but can cook a pizza in 3 minutes!
Monogram encourages you to not confine your imagination to simply baking pizzas. When they first launched the product, they were going to call it a “pizza oven,” however, their culinary team quickly found many fun uses for it that go way beyond pizza.
It can either be mounted flush with your cabinetry (as shown below), or it can be installed proud of the cabinetry, (as shown in the image above). Personally, I prefer the cleaner look of the proud installation, but I would only do that within a feature tile or stone wall. If you need to house it within a cabinet, go with the flush option.
It retails for $12,200, so it’s definitely an investment item. Still, if you are a creative cook and/or you have kids - this could be a fantastic appliance to include in a luxury kitchen.
Image via Monogram
2. WOODWORKS BY TED TODD
This is a vendor that I didn’t know about at all, and I’m pleased as punch to have encountered their booth at KBIS recently! They seem to have a solid reputation in the U.K., but have recently set up sales operations here in the U.S. Woodworks claims to have the most extensive inventory of reclaimed wood floors in the world! While reclaimed floors are the backbone of the company, they also offer some lovely new floors as well.
The Woodworks website is incredible, and if their floors don’t inspire you, you need to check yourself for a pulse! I can’t wait to incorporate one of their floors into a project.
I just love how they laid out the floor in the image below. Such a beautiful way to define the entryway, while still maintaining cohesiveness with the rest of the room.
Image via Woodworks by Ted Todd.
Lauzes - Aged European Oak
Image via Woodworks by Ted Todd.
Franklin Parquet de Versailles - Antique Oak
3. DACOR’S COLOR MATCHING SERVICE
Color was definitely a prominent theme throughout the KBIS show this year. The luxury sector - and even the middle market vendors - are all clamoring to offer up individualization for your kitchen design. While it used to be that only a few European lines (such as La Cornue, AGA, Lacanche, etc.) as well as Viking were set up to offer colored ranges, there are now abundant options across all different price points.
Dacor has jumped on board as well with DacorMatch, but they are one-upping the competition. Dacor’s Color Match program allows you to custom order a range in any color imaginable by simply submitting a sample. So for instance, you might want to color match your range to your cabinetry…or choose a particular color in your soft furnishings, etc.
While I would not yet classify them as a luxury brand, they are definitely “upwardly mobile.” They offer a solid product at a decent price point, and now, you can get your color fix as well.
They had at least six of these ranges displayed in a variety of colors…I don’t know why I chose to take a picture of a white one!
The DacorMatch program extends to wall ovens as well as ranges, but is only available on the Heritage Collection, which can be seen here. Once you submit a color, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks to receive a painted sample back for approval. Once approved, the custom painting of the appliance will add about 6-8 weeks to the overall lead time. The upcharge for the custom painting is around $800, plus the cost of the painted sample, which is $300-$400.
4. FRANKE FLUTED APRON FRONT SINK
If you’ve ever seen some of the older advertisements of Clive Christian kitchens, you’ll recall that they used to feature a Shaws (distributed by Rohl) fireclay sink with a fluted front. This was a very popular sink until Rohl elected not to distribute that particular Shaws model here in the U.S. anymore. So I was quite surprised when I turned the corner and ran into this little beauty. I imagine that not very many of you will have a use for it in the matte black, but it comes in white and bisque as well!
In addition to being offered in three colors, it’s also being offered in three sizes: 30”, 33”, and 36”. All single bowl. Franke’s fluted apron sinks are made from fireclay as well, but the side walls are not as thick as on the Shaws apron front sinks. While I do prefer the beefier appearance of the Shaws, the one upside to the Franke version is that it’s not as heavy.
Franke actually advertises this on their site as being a reversible apron-front sink. So one of the long sides is plain, and the other is fluted. I don’t know why someone would need this to be reversible…wouldn’t you know what you want by the time you order it? Unless you really suffer from “analysis paralysis,” the only other point to this that I can see is that it would give you an option to flip it around if it became damaged on the front.
I could see using this sink anywhere where you’re wanting something a little dressier than just a plain farmhouse sink. The smaller size would be perfect for an elegant butler’s pantry. Here it is in the white:
Image via Franke
5. KALLISTA SINK
I’ve never been a fan of large utilitarian sinks because they look, well…utilitarian. That is until I saw how Kallista showcased their 45” Multiere sink and Quincy faucet together. This sink is not new. In fact, it’s just the standard stainless sink version they’ve been selling for a few years, except that they integrated it with a custom band of brass around the rim to tie it together with the unlacquered brass faucet. Everyone was checking this sink out because we all thought it was a new product. But no, it was just some clever, outside-of-the-box kind of thinking. I loved the way they made a special feature out of mixing these metals, and of course, if you enjoy large multi-task sinks with all of the bells and whistles, then you should definitely consider this one. Even though this was just a one-off for the KBIS display, I loved the idea so much that I wanted to show it to you. Since you read this blog regularly, I have faith that you’re going to hire a talented kitchen designer, who will know how to have this fabricated for you!
6. MONOGRAM’S INTEGRATED REFRIGERATION
I have to preface this next bit by saying that Monogram is not one of the brands I usually find myself specifying. Typically, my clients are gravitating towards Sub Zero & Miele. However, I was very impressed with Monogram’s display this year - from the hearth oven to this stunning refrigerator display.
There were a couple of things that really caught my eye about this…
First of all, you almost couldn’t tell it was a line-up of their integrated glass refrigerators because it was so well done. The way they did the glass doors with the mullions was quite beautiful. Most people opt out of glass door refrigeration because they feel a little too exposed with it. However, having the mullions breaks up the view a little so you don’t feel like everything needs to look just so. Seriously…this is doable and livable.
Just be aware that if you go the glass door route, you do lose the storage on the back side of the door. But we all know that those just get mucked up with expired condiments anyways! If you can’t handle this in the kitchen, you should definitely consider it as an additional refrigerator/freezer unit for a butler’s pantry.
Secondly, I love the drawer configuration on this model. I’m smitten with the ice maker being in the top, shallower drawer. Not only does it prevent you from bending over for ice, but the shallower top drawer, followed by the deeper freezer drawer, also makes the whole thing appear more elegant. Again…less like a refrigerator.
Thirdly, that deeper drawer at the bottom is an individually climate-controlled flex drawer so you can adjust the temperature as needed - for storing fresh or frozen foods, as well as wine and beverages. So if you were having a party (let’s assume you’ve got two of these side by side), you could stash all of your frozen stuff into your other drawer and then load this one up with wine or beverages. Love that!
(In case you’re curious, they used mirrored panels on the bottom drawers.)
I just want to officially apologize to Monogram for overlooking you in year’s past. You’re definitely on my radar now!
7. MIELE’S COUNTERTOP COFFEE MAKERS
This year, Miele’s big product introduction was a range of countertop coffee makers that offer most of the same functionality and performance as their well-regarded built-in models. I found this amusing because a few years ago, Miele and Dacor were the only two big brands who offered a built-in coffee maker. In contrast, at this year’s show, it seemed like everyone and their uncle has come out with one. However, Miele, who was leading the pack on this front, has now created new buzz by making their high-performance machines available in countertop models…and I think I know why…
One of the biggest concerns I hear from clients regarding integrating a built-in coffee maker is that when they eventually break-down and need to be replaced, that the latest model will not fit in the particular opening created with their custom cabinetry. So unless you’re ready to do a total remodel, you could get stuck with a hole in your cabinetry that you can’t fill. It is worth noting that Miele is one of the most reliable brands in the luxury appliance market. They have a very low service call ratio. However, I understand the concerns related to this, and I think Miele does as well.
Image via Miele USA
There are three new models launching this year. The two smaller models are already available, and the highest-end unit is coming out this summer. The features vary by model as does the price. They offer a range of flexibility and customization, as well as the ability to set up user profiles to store your settings. The higher end unit can even store up to 3 types of coffee beans and can make over 20 types of drinks, including dispensing hot water for tea. Also, this model has the ability to brew a small pot of coffee (8 cups at a time) if you have guests.
The most basic model starts at $1,500. The price of the higher-end model has not yet been established, but will likely be on par with the pricing of the built-in units, at around $4,000.
If you decide to go with a countertop model, be sure to check out my post on Creating Storage for Coffee Makers and Small Appliances. Luxury kitchens should never have cluttered countertops!
8. MIELE’S VACUUM SEALING DRAWER
This is also not a new product launch for this year, but I believe it’s only been out for a little over a year. To be fully transparent, I didn’t even get to see this in person, but I wanted to include it because I think it could be a nice feature to have in a luxury kitchen.
Image via Miele USA
If you’re not familiar, a vacuum sealing drawer allows you to remove air from certain containers and specialty bags so that food can be stored for 3-5 times longer than average. This works on masonry jars, as well as certain other vessels. You can even remove the air from your opened bottle of wine to preserve the remaining amount. Mostly, however, you’ll use special bags to do the job. You can buy these anywhere - Miele does not manufacture their own branded bags for this purpose.
Beyond using a vacuum sealing device to extend the life of items you wish to preserve in the refrigerator or freezer, you may also want to use it to reduce the bulkiness of stored pantry items or to create individualized portions. You can even re-seal bags of opened potato chips, snacks, and cereals in their original packaging to maintain their freshness.
One of the biggest reasons that Miele’s vacuum sealing drawer is catching on as a luxury appliance is because of sous-vide cooking (a French term for vacuum packed foods cooked at low temperatures over an extended period of time). Therefore, this is a popular combination with Miele’s steam oven. It also creates more intense flavors from marinading.
What’s fundamentally different about this unit, which retails for approximately $2,800 versus a $100 countertop version you can purchase on Amazon? The quality of the seal and the vacuum process is undoubtedly better, but beyond that, you are mostly paying for the fact that it’s more convenient.
Personally, I have never purchased a countertop version because I think the frequency at which I would bother to drag one of these out of a base cabinet to use it would be minimal. It would also just be another countertop appliance to store. However, if I had one integrated into the kitchen, I could see it becoming something I used all of the time. I use (and wash) a lot of Tupperware as well as Ziploc bags for left-overs and extra produce…then I end up throwing it out anyway because it went bad before I could make use of it.
Consider how nice it would be to make a weekly jaunt to the Farmer’s Market and then be able to store the food all week while maintaining better flavor and peek nutrition!
While this may not be for everyone, if you have the space and the budget, I think this has the potential to be an appliance that you use on a daily basis.
9. HAFELE’S MOTION ACTIVATED TRASH PULL-OUT
The Hafele booth is always a popular one at KBIS and this year didn’t disappoint. However, one of the most practical things they introduced this year is a motion activated pull-out trash bin. Consider how many times you’re working with raw meat/poultry and you need to throw the packaging away. You have to wash your hands first just so you can open the trash can, then wash them again afterward. With this handy little module, you can just wave your foot under the toe kick of your cabinetry, and the trash will automatically slide out. Check out my short demonstration video below.
I can also testify that the first spots in a painted kitchen to show signs of the finish rubbing off will be around the handles of your pull-out trash and the paneled dishwasher. Even when you try to be extra careful, it’s very hard not to get the painted surface wet or dirty in these two places - which causes the painted finish to wear down.
It is worth noting that you have to close it manually, but it does have soft-close glides. Also, you will need to order two parts for this set-up. Here’s the pull-out trash mechanism shown in the video and here’s the toe-kick motion sensor.
I hope you were able to find something in here you can use in your next kitchen! I’d love to hear which one was your favorite. Leave me a comment below!
Also, don’t forget to sign-up for access to my Luxury Resource Library. You’ll get notified of my future blog posts as well. Have a great week!