KBIS Uncovered

What’s trending in the kitchen and bath? According to three New Jersey designers — Nancy Mikulich, Joan Ravasy and Sharon Sherman — it’s all about the emergence of color, customization, wellness and more. Read on for more of their insights and discoveries from the 2023 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

Ballerina Kitchens Booth

Nancy Mikulich, ASID, CAPS
Principal Designer & Owner of Oasis Home Designs, Asbury Park
732-775-5151 | OasisHomeDesigns.com | @oasishomedesigns_official

Key Takeaways: Wellness, Biophilia, (bringing the outdoors in) and Color.

These trends are all a response to what society has learned from the pandemic experience. We are much more focused on the home as sanctuary, a multifunctional environment wherein we work from home and utilize outdoor living spaces more as an extension of the inside.

The return of color and the use of color in new and innovative applications was everywhere as a response to post-Covid, which was a dull gray time period worldwide. Evident was an optimism in design and more cheerful and personalized environments. All these trends were featured through design and innovation of new products.

Kohler brings us color and wellness with its freestanding tubs, toilets and pedestal sinks available in pale colors such as pink, lavender, yellow and blue. The booth was scented with fresh lavender and other flowers and was truly a breath of fresh air.

One of an array of colorful pedestal sinks were in bloom at the Kohler exhibit.

LG’s MoodUP refrigerator comes with color-changing LED doors that can also be programmed to music via a built-in Bluetooth speaker. “It’s meant for a party room and also makes craft ice cubes,” Mikulich says.

With health and wellness on the forefront, Kohler’s “Stillness Bathtub” is modeled after a Japanese soaking tub, bringing home a true spa experience in a size scaled for a midsized bathroom.

Stillness tubs from Kohler create a Zen-like experience with customizable presets that take inspiration from the senses invoked by the beauty of natural surroundings.

The movement to induction cooktops is a response to a more carbon neutral footprint and to the reduction of residual gases released inside the home. There was even a professional-grade outdoor grill and kitchen from Fire Magic.

Mikulich admires the state-of-the-art features and sleek design of Fire Magic outdoor grills.

Pitt Cooking Systems is the leader in induction gas burners that integrate into an island. Based in the Netherlands, Pitt has taken the idea of a fully integrated cooktop to a new aesthetic dimension with its clean, seamless design. When using these induction burners, there is virtually no residual heat — this is so safe and clean. Clean cooking and clean design.

A unique undercounter design ensures that Pitt burners are easier to clean and maintain than a traditional cooktop and that the surrounding area stays cool to the touch.

LG and Beko both featured refrigeration systems that enhance the longevity of vegetables by integrating a circadian light cycle. Rather than vegetables remaining in the dark when the door is closed, an internal lighting cycle helps to keep the vegetables fresh longer and even helps retain the vitamins and minerals longer. The Beko refrigerator starts around $1,600; when calculating a rough estimate of what a year’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables cost, it was presented with value that essentially pays for itself in one year.

EverFresh+ technology on Beko’s 30-inch Carbon Fiber Refrigerator enables fruits and vegetables to stay fresh for up to 30 days

Kohler Exhibit

Joan Ravasy, ASID, NKBA, NCIDQ
Baldwin Design Authority + SKS Design Council
Principal | Ravasy Design LLC, New Jersey, New York & Palm Beach
908-347-0880 | joanravasydesign.com | @joanravasydesign

Key Takeaways: Defining Luxury with Customizable Elements of Color, Texture and Mixed Metals

Hardware: The use of mixed metals, textured detailed enrichments and color all featured in the larger, more prominent aspects of hardware, appliances and plumbing fixtures. Dark graphite nickel also appeared as a softer approach to matte black, a welcome and distinctive addition to Baldwin’s hardware line up.




Baldwin presented well the desire to mix metals, finishes and textures — all with customizable options — within the same handle set, cabinet hardware or doorknob. Matte brass and brushed gold are new again at Baldwin.

Appliances: The same interpretation of mixed metals was seen on numerous appliances, particularly the range, which is always front and center in a kitchen. The use of colored enamel, from bronze to green to matte graphite gray, was enriched with mixed metals: polished brass, brushed nickel and brilliant copper handles, pulls, controls and knobs. All choices are customized by the designer with the range now becoming a functional standalone element of jewelry in the kitchen.

Enriched with mixed metals on black, Bertazzoni’s classic range makes a bold yet elegant understatement.

Plumbing fixtures: Classic white is always a safe and timeless choice in bathroom fixtures. This year Kohler resurrected its Heritage Colors in a bright lineup for select fixtures. There is no doubt there is room for color in the plumbing fixture world. Functionality and efficiency of toilets continue to escalate with features that are endless in all matters of the personal water closet experience.

Also noticeable were many well-done designs of standalone and wall-mounted vanities presenting as fine furniture with elegant legs, embellished edges, caned doors and quartz and granite tops, moving away from built-in, full-overlay cabinetry.

Freestanding vanities from Ambella Home feature furniture-like details and stylish embellishments.

Other emerging trends:

Induction Cooking & Downdraft Ventilation. “Cooking with fire” as some of my chef friends say, is the preference. With rumblings that gas ranges might be eliminated, induction cooking and induction appliances came to the forefront at KBIS 2023, presented by manufactures that used to make gas cooking the be-all and end-all in the kitchen. Bertazzoni, again, takes this to a new level, with both downdraft, my absolute favorite, and induction cooking all in one cooktop with smart features and intuitive controls. This method was also designed into the company’s classic ranges that they are known for. Induction, once a side thought, is now a strong presence in the appliance marketplace.

Shown is Bertazzoni’s flat tempered glass induction downdraft cooktop. “I am a fan of built-in downdraft ventilation,” Ravasy says. “This is trending as a built-in feature of the range or cooktop. The clean approach of venting downward, with no overhead ventilation hood and mechanics to design around, makes for a clean, modern, efficient way to ventilate and design the cooking area of the kitchen.”

Customized Color. Color is found on everything from outdoor cooking elements to plumbing fixtures to kitchen appliances. It’s available everywhere to create truly personal living environments.

Customizable range colors available from Bertazzoni with enrichment details.

Sharon L. Sherman, CKD, ASID, CID, NCIDQ
Founder & Principal, Thyme & Place Design, Wyckoff
201-847-1400 | thymeandplacedesign | @thymeandplacedesign

Key Takeaways: Most products were versatile, sustainable and wellness designed, full of technology and color. Everyone seemed to gravitate to the usual products and booths, but I tried to follow the road less traveled and find other interesting and design-influencing products.


Black is a hot finish for fittings, as is warm honey bronze and gold. Interesting combinations of matte and shiny finishes using beautiful handles to accentuate the design feature were notable. I also spotted a lot of fireclay sinks and tubs. Induction cooking built into countertops with invisible burners was innovative. Steam is also a big feature this year — from steam ovens to steam showers.

Brizo’s Allaria™ Bath Collection pairs a trending Luxe Gold finish with Lucite handles. Belwith Keeler’s bespoke hardware can be customized with a variety of finish options and textures.

Spectacular decorative hardware featured color accents and different finishes. Color was also abundant. Navy, yes, but also more shades of green and blush. Kohler displayed several toilets in vivid colors and then allowed voting to select which two winning hues would be added temporarily to their line. “Spring Green” and “Peachblow,” (a shade with blush undertones) won.

Marmite displayed a multicolor tub reminiscent of an abstract painting. In honor of the company’s special 150th anniversary, Kohler showcased a colorful array of toilets from the company’s Heritage Collection.

Other stand-out offerings:

Bocchi fireclay sinks were amazing, well designed and made of a high-quality clay that had a built-in ledge for handling accessories. The company also makes a stainless-steel version, perfect for smaller spaces, with cutting boards that can be placed on top for additional workspace. The faucet retracts down into the sink cabinet, which allows the cutting boards to fit on the sink providing additional counter space which is so important in smaller areas.

Fireclay sinks from Bocchi offer extreme resistance to chip, discoloration, scratching and cracking.

Toto USA not only has great toilets, but it makes bath and shower fittings as well as tubs. The Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension® for instance, is underlit with an LED light and has an adjustable headrest with a water filler that cascades water across the shoulders and into the tub, providing a hydro massage for the body.

Toto’s Flotation Tub is shaped to simulate a “gravity-less” floating position for ultimate relaxation.