Kitchen & Baths – the latest trends in 2018

This year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Orlando was teeming with spectators, vendors, and exciting new products.

Between faucets, tubs, sinks, vanities and more, everyone was in awe of the dazzling array of products.

The category of free-standing tubs continues to expand and more design elements have been added. I saw a few tubs that had interesting swirls reminiscent of waves of water. See photo below.  One tub was perched on two columns of dark wood which added a traditional element. Another claw footed tub in red lacquer stood out in the main aisle. Yet another had a cascade of water on a headrest flowing into the tub.  It looked like it would be heavenly.

Faucets had their own intriguing look.  Best of show was a system that was fabricated in a 3-D fashion with water running through metal in an open faucet.  Everyone was in awe of this new futuristic design.  See my photo.

The latest finishes that are trending include rose gold, titanium, brushed gold and matte black. They were beautiful and were seen on faucets, knobs, and light fixtures.

Lighted mirrors were the rage in many booths, and there was one by Kohler that could be connected to an intelligent personal assistant like Alexa. You can ask her to give you the traffic update while you’re getting ready for work!  Who knows – you may decide to stay home when she gives you the report!

Vanity top bowls in various designs are still in vogue. One particular bowl was a bold floral in black, green and purple.  The bowl in the photo below is reminiscent of a bohemian look.

White and light wood were still popular vanity finishes as well as a few seen in a reclaimed wood finish, continuing with the farmhouse theme.

Cobalt blue was hot and trending.  A farmhouse sink was sporting a shiny cobalt lacquer apron.  There was a wine fridge with a similar façade, and a beautiful stove by ILVE.  The glass and mosaic tile display was particularly striking.  See below.

In the countertop category, quartzite continues to surge in interest. In fact, the top countertop finishes are granite, marble and quartz.

Copper has a look of its own and I find most people either love it or hate it.  I loved it on this elegant range hood.

Shower doors have come a long way from the frameless looks.  See some of the photos of this awesome custom color-block shower door.

I was fortunate to have been chosen to join an insider tour of the show with Connecticut Cottages and Gardens on one of the days.  We were treated to private showings of their products along with generous meals and snacks.  The chef at Gaggeneau prepared a delicious lunch showing us the properties of their product line.  We also visited the Miele booth, and I am familiar with them because I have been to their Princeton showroom many times.  One of the reps demonstrated their ironing system which is so strong that you can iron through several layers at a time, saving a lot of time.  We all watched in awe.  It was fun also to network with other designers from the area.

I will definitely be attending another Kitchen and Bath show in the future.

Which paint finish should I use?

Picking a paint color is one challenge, but picking the right finish for your room is just as important. Let’s review a few of the more popular finishes and where their uses are appropriate.  I will use Benjamin Moore finishes as that is the paint requested most of the time.


Regal matte – Matte is a flat finish that can be washed. Matte is generally considered a formal look appropriate for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.  Colors in matte finishes will not intensify as there is low light reflectivity.


Flat – Flat is generally used on ceilings, except perhaps in bathrooms and sometimes kitchens.


Eggshell – This finish has a low luster and I usually recommend this in kitchens, hallways and children’s rooms that take some abuse. It is a slightly harder finish and is easily washable.


Pearl/Satin – This is a higher sheen level that can be used in kitchens and bathrooms and can be scrubbed. Colors will appear brighter because the sheen will reflect more light.  This can also be used in formal rooms with a lot of shiny finishes.


Semi-Gloss – This finish is used for all trim (woodwork) including baseboards, crown moldings, doors and window trim. This is a very durable finish.


Aura Bath & Spa – This paint was formulated specifically for high-humidity and high-moisture areas and stains wash off easily.


Select your finishes carefully so that, when your room is finished, you have the look you love to live with!