“People First Innovation” is the guiding principle behind Toto, the world’s largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and fittings. TOTO is an un paralleled luxury brand creating beautiful and functional fixtures for the bath. What really impresses me is that at the same time the are heavily focused on water conservation, a leading global concern that needs more attention here in the US.
There’s nothing more luxurious than a TOTO toilet. There, I said it. Even the “design civilians” know about the TOTO toilet with tush cleaning features but since learning about this amazing company, in depth, I have begun to notice that TOTO toilets are literally everywhere! When you visit restaurants, airports, hotels and any number of commercial locations, check the toilet. It’s probably TOTO. There’s a good reason for that. Their products start with really listening to people and discovering what they need. They call it “People First Innovation”. Read more
The last two days of my exciting visit to New Orleans with the Modenus Blog Tour centered around the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). This annual trade show is produced by the National Kitchen & Bath Association which is celebrating 50 years as the industry leader (more on that later). I love to attend the show as it allows me to see the trends emerging in the American market and keeps me up to date with products and technology. This year I had an additional behind-the-scenes perspective as a member of the Tour. We were there for opening day, Friday April 19th and enjoyed a whirlwind tour of products followed by time for solo exploration and networking on Saturday. Every year has a theme and this year I thought it was particularly appropriate. The show as all about the concept of “evolution”. This is really a common theme across the board as it applies to everything from design and products and how we are evolving the way we do business in 2013. Here are some of my discoveries:
Let there be light
Lighting always plays a crucial role in kitchen and bath design but this year it was all about the light within. Why didn’t we think of this before? LED lights inside cabinetry, particularly closets is a great idea!
The look of leather
Leathery textures made a big appearance. Silestone by Cosentino debuted their new Suede line of quartz counter tops. Gator Mills ( a very local Louisiana company) showed leather (and leather look ) vanities and Richelieu is offering recycled, reconstituted leather veneer.
Cabinet doors no longer have to swing out due to new hinging technologies that allow doors to slide. Hafele calls theirs Frontino
Glaminates take the stage
It’s not your grandma’s laminate anymore! Taking a cue from our friends across the pond, American laminate manufacturer Wilsonart has upped their game introducing two new seamless edge details and increased durability and sustainability.
Blingy to sculptural
When it comes to handles you can go for the bling or the sculptural. Cabinet hardware manufacturer Duverre is all about very artful sculptural shapes and while I saw a lot of matte finishes, very shiny made an appearance too.
Look, no hands!
Hands free faucet technology has quickly become the norm across the industry and was shown by not only the original, Brizo but also Rohl, Kohler and Moen and Delta Faucets.
This year’s best in show award went to Toto for their awesome Neorest 550H toilet. Believe me when I tell you it can just about do anything but drive you to work! Stay tuned for an entire post about Toto and the Neorest 550
In a nutshell KBIS2013 was largely about technology and texture. Cabinet manufacturers are touting what’s inside more than ever as they maximize the ease of living in the kitchen. White cabinets, cleaner lines and pops of natural and engineered wood veneers are strong trends.
Next up: Poggenpohl, the cutting edge in kitchen cabinet design, inside and out