My Trip to KBIS With Design Hounds

Hi Folks!

It’s currently a super snowy day here in PA, so I figured it’s the perfect time to cozy up and write this long-awaited blog post. As you may know, I went to KBIS for the first time last month. It was a jam-packed few days where I was given great exposure to many wonderful kitchen and bath companies. This massive trade show happens just once per year – and usually in Las Vegas. I’ll be honest, Vegas isn’t really my scene – but soft blue kitchen cabinets, emerald green butlers pantries and smart appliances are right up my alley! More on that later…

I flew out on a Monday afternoon and landed in LV later that night. I spent a wonderful 2 days being toured around by Modenus – which for anyone who is experiencing such a large convention for the first time is a blessing. The tour I was a part of was called Design Hounds, which comprised of the most lovely group of ladies. There were about 20 of us in total, all designers, who were flown in from all different parts of the world. While the majority of us live in the US, there were designers from Canada and Scotland too.

Throughout the tour, we attended private meetings and events with some of the major brands showing at KBIS. I even got the opportunity to speak on a panel about sourcing internationally (for me, that usually means brands from The UK or artisan and vintage finds from my travels abroad).

For me, a designer who does more decorating than renovating, it was a nice introduction to brands that I may have heard of but not yet specified in projects. When the offer of the trip presented itself, I set a few intentions. I was pretty keen on just letting the more experienced guides (the women in charge have been many times before) lead me around, but I did want to make the most of my west coast experience by finding a few new key vendors. I was on the hunt for a great countertop and cabinet company (check and check). Additionally, I wanted to learn a little bit more about the new smart appliances coming to market – and not just rely on the same old brands I’ve used before. For that, I can say that KBIS did not disappoint. There was almost too much to see!

One of the events we attended was with Caesarstone at The New American Home. The party was absolutely PACKED so instead of spending time trying to get photos of the interior (or exterior…that view…), I enjoyed the drinks and cozied up to the live material models they had strategically spread out throughout the space – and Sophie Dow, former editor of House Beautiful, who is a down to earth human with a kickass sense of humor.

As a designer, it’s always great to be able to touch and see items in person before recommending them to a client. Even better, I like to take it a step further and use the product in my own home sometimes. If you’ve been following along with the blog for a while, you know that we’re in our second home currently and it’s quite the fixer upper. Through the process of renovating my own home, I’m try to try out new brands before specifying them for future design projects. It’s almost like our house can be the test subject, which is really just a second test after seeing something in a showroom.

As I’m typing all of this out, I’m realizing that this giant post would be better as two. With this in mind, I’m going to break it up into an introduction to the show here – then tie what I saw into how it applies to my own home renovation in a second post. That post will feature some of the yummy colors I saw – so stay tuned!

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