Top Trends In Kitchen & Bath Design | Highlights from KBIS 2016

I’m still fresh off my recent trip to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show with Modenus a couple of weeks ago and excited to talk with you today about some of my favourite trends.



One of the strongest trends I saw at the show was texture. Clockwise from top left, we are talking about:

1/ Stunning Ann Sacks tiles inspired by Kelly Wearstler’s iconic string art
2/ Top Knobs‘ newly released faceted Serene Collection, which I’m dying to use on a project. The pulls feel so good in the hand.
3/ Thompson Traders‘ gorgeous hammered brass pedestal sink that simply has to make its way into one of my designs very soon. I thought I’d died and went to hammered heaven when I found this booth!
4/ The new Litze Collection from Brizo which is on my personal Lust List for my Designer Dream House. The perfect brass finish with articulated details and a touch of industrial texture on the valve makes me swoon.

Textural elements were everywhere to be seen, offering designers the opportunity to awaken the senses in fresh ways. While texture is nothing new, we’re seeing unexpected applications in 2016, as with these carved panels on the face of Thermador‘s culinary preservation centre (below).


More than the texture, it’s the technical details that get me excited with Thermador‘s integrated refrigeration. Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that counts, like the hidden hinges (see below) that make it possible for the panels to be perfectly flush and fully integrated with surrounding cabinetry. Finally. No more working around unsightly hinges in cabinetry design.

(Cue: Designers everywhere rejoicing!)



Not surprisingly, brass and gold finishes and fixtures were stronger than ever at KBIS this year. Rest assured that brass is still boss. If you’re looking to integrate a metallic finish on custom cabinetry and want it to be as pretty as it is practical, you’ll need to know about Wilsonart‘s new metallic aluminum laminates. Available in sheets as large as 4’x10’ and in several colours and textures, the applications for this line are truly endless. I’m thinking a previously budget-busting custom modern brushed brass range hood becomes a designer’s best kept secret when created using this innovative surface.

From Top To Bottom: Polished Gold Aluminum, Satin Brushed Gold Aluminum, Ribboned Satin Brushed Aged Gold

Also in the pretty and oh-so practical category is Blanco‘s latest introduction. The Ikon sink is made of SilGranit, the hardest composite material available on the market in sinks today. You can literally take a fork to this surface – with elbow grease and evil intentions – and still not leave a mark. My favourite colours in the Ikon are the Anthracite (below) and classic White.


Another innovative feature of the Ikon sink is the floating grid accessory, which can be used in a number of other sinks in Blanco‘s line up as well. From resting a colander on it (to keep food from sitting in liquids at the bottom of the sink while straining) to using it as a discrete perch for dishes to dry, the floating grid is a genius little accessory.

Last but not least in the pretty gets practical category, I’d say this is more of a practical gets pretty turnaround story. As a designer, I’ve always specified wool broadloom for both its hypoallergenic properties and its naturally stain-resistant nature. Until recently, most reasonably priced wool broadloom has only been available in very staid colour palettes and patterns, but Karastan‘s selection of wool broadloom makes the thought of creating a custom bound area rug or stair runner a much more enticing prospect. I mean, how gorgeous is the Cosmopolitan dove grey flame stitch pattern below?


Taking in the latest trends can prove daunting for some, leaving you overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Stay tuned for my upcoming posts on where to begin when designing a new kitchen or bathroom.


By |February 9th, 2016|0 Comments


Raise your hand if the last 5 weeks have flown by in a sawdusted swirl of activity! My, how one little project – when added on top of two full-time jobs and two full-time kids for two full-time grown ups – can make the time simply evaporate! But here we are at Week 5 of the One Room Challenge and things are starting to get good.

If you’re only just joining in on the fun and aren’t familiar with what this madcap adventure is all about, check out my intro post on the One Room Challenge as well as my updates for Weeks Two, Three and Four.

I love this crazy stage of a design project, when the details descend upon the space and the “after” starts to take shape out of the dust and chaos. We still have SO much to do, but here’s where things are at right this minute:

Our amazing French Curves baseboard from Metrie has been primed and cut and is ready to be installed and painted. I love the dimension and elegance of this profile, and it connects so well with all of the paneling we have throughout the rest of the house. Très élégant.

The matching casing from Metrie is just as lovely and ready to be filled and painted. Getting there!!!

Now onto one of my favourite solutions in this space. As you’ll remember from our hideous “before” photos, we have a water heater and furnace in our laundry room that could not be moved. I wasn’t willing to settle for those elephants in the room, so I worked with the amazing Don + Ed at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware to come up with an elegant solution. We built a bulkhead to accommodate the header track and installed a matching floor track in order to allow us to install their beautifully functional and totally fluid Crowder sliding door system in front of the water heater and furnace. Using these gorgeous raw white oak slab doors from Metrie, we have now almost finished installing what will be a most elegant solution to a most unattractive problem.

It was the solution to that problem that led me to the design choice of the raw white oak floating shelf {above} instead of uppers on the cabinetry wall. I love the clean lined openness of it, and I love that it speaks to the humble poetry of the natural and unstained wood of the Metrie doors on the opposite wall of the room. We called an audible on this one and had my amazing furniture maker Matthew make it for us. We were just getting to the point where it was clear that we were not going to get everything done on our own, and it was the best decision we could have made, as it looks gorgeous! Our incredible contractor Pete came over last night to help Graham install it as it was truly a two-man job, and I have to tell you, I L-O-V-E love it!

Our CREE Canada pot lights are finally installed and they have transformed our dark little dungeon into a light, bright and airy space. I am extra happy about them because CREE pot lights are no ordinary pot lights. They are LED pot lights, meaning that they are so energy efficient we may not have to change a bulb for the next 20 years! Unlike LED’s of the past, these babies have come a long way and offer a warm, natural-looking light that is not at all harsh or hard to look at. My Eco-Chic conscience is very happy about this design choice, and my next house will have CREE Canada LED pot lights from stem to stern!

Our amazing Blanco sink from The Home Depot is in place and ready to be hooked up to the plumbing which is all kinds of exciting! This sink is so generous and will be perfect for soaking soccer cleats and stained shirts and cleaning out paintbrushes and garden tools and taking care of just about any other messy job we can throw at it. Just what every mom of boys needs!

On the organizational front, these incredible Tyvek bins from TooFifteen are being assembled as we speak and will grace the top of our beautiful floating white oak shelf with effortless style. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen another photo I posted of a TooFifteen bin earlier this week. I am still swooning over their elegant simplicity. To me they embody a kind of Scandinadian {Scandinavian + Canadian} aesthetic that I’m crazy about. They are perfectly imperfect in their rumpled, casual sophistication, and they are remarkably sturdy and functional despite their paper-like appearance. They are equally as strong wet as they are dry which means you can even plant a tree in one if you’re so inclined {I already have plans to do this with my Christmas tree this year!} and they wipe clean really easily, resisting oil, grease and stains like a champ. They are the perfect mix of feminine and tough all at the same time. Totally my jam.

Again with the Instagram reference {go follow me there if you don’t already!}, but I posted a concept I had for the labels for the TooFifteen bins earlier this week. While I loved the concept, the black ink blots were too harsh for the stark and simple beauty of the TooFifteen bins, so I collaborated with my friend Aileen from Plume Calligraphy who gave me a calligraphy lesson earlier this week and helped me find my calligraphy-nib-soul-mate. At Aileen’s suggestion, I also played with some gouache instead of ink and landed on what you see above for the bin labels.

What do you think?

I still have lots to learn from Aileen in the calligraphy department, but I was pretty happy with the result. {You should follow her on Instagram too – her work is amazing!}

Speaking of following along, go check out what all the other beauties are up to as a part of the Spring 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

Coco + Kelley * Jana Bek * Autumn Clemons * The English Room * Vanessa Francis * Greige Design * Hi SugarplumI Heart Organizing * Jenna Sue Design * Stephanie Kraus * The Pursuit of Style * Julia Ryan * Savvy Home Simple Details * Simply Grove * 6th Street Design * Jill Sorensen * Swoon Worthy * Waiting On Martha * Kimberly Shlegel Whitman * and my friends and linking participants Lisa Canning and Abby M. Interiors. Go to Calling It Home to check out all of the 150+ Linking Participants for the April 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge!

And now I’m off to hit the to-do list with Graham, including:
* Hook up the plumbing to the sink and install the faucet
* Finish installing baseboard
* Fill holes and paint trimwork
* Finish installing sliding doors
* Install backsplash
* Style, shoot and REVEAL!

One more week! Can’t wait to show you the final “ta-da” and see everyone else’s transformations as well. Soon, my loves!


P.S. Couldn’t resist including a little teaser of the extra “bonus” room I decided to tack onto this design dare deadline. Marine blue + dove grey crosses = total eclipse of the heart. Swoon! More soon…

By |April 30th, 2015|4 Comments