Lean times are inspiring some striking -- and surprising -- looks in the bathroom. The Home section asked Katherine E. Nelson, senior market editor for Metropolitan Home magazine, to assess the new products at the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show last weekend in Atlanta. The top five bath trends that Nelson noted:
Fashion's favorite shade presented stylish new options for tubs and sinks."Ninety percent of our bath offerings will stay in white, but for the premium segment, black has become an important color," said Martin Koch, chief communication officer of Kaldewei, which introduced a stunning, free-standing black-enameled steel bathtub called the Luxxo Duo with a black-paneled mount ($14,500). Measuring about 6-foot-3 in length and 3-foot-4 in width, the tub offers a luxurious soak as well as a strong design statement.
This rendering shows the Brizo Virage faucet, one of several bath fixtures presented at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show to push sculptural effects.
Improved technology has long been at the core of most new bath offerings, but this year bells and whistles gave way to smart solutions that make for easy and affordable upgrades.
"Now more than ever the trick is to do new technology not for its own sake, but in a way that truly matters to the consumer. It's a value proposition," said Brian Barnett, product manager at Kohler, which introduced the Flipside hand shower.
The shower head ($107) has four sides, each devoted to a different spray. Rather than twist the shower face awkwardly, simply flip the head.
"A hand shower easily adds functionality to an existing shower," Barnett said. "Plus, it's great for kids, pets and cleaning."
The economy may be down, but glamour was still a huge presence at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show - a sign, perhaps, that consumers are looking to their bathrooms as mini retreats from the realities of daily living. Kallista premiered a new collection by classic designer Bill Sofield that included this macassar ebony vanity with a black nickel-finish basin.
At the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Atlanta, Toto showed off its Aimes lighted shower. The ambient LED illumination is hydro-powered, harnessing the flow of water through the shower head--no hard wiring or batteries needed.
A tour of the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show reveals 5 new trends - Black: Kaldewei (2) - Los Angeles Times