DESIGN INSIDER: Inside KBIS & LightFair International

DESIGN INSIDER: San Diego Designer Brandon Smith takes us behind the scenes of the Hottest design shows in the country, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and LightFair Int’l.



San Diego designer extraordinaire and KBIS blogger panelist, Brandon Smith, principal D.Coop A Spatial Design Company, takes PREMIER inside some of the hottest design shows in the nation to bring you the inside sCoop and best in show. Tweet him @ dcoopsd  



What do you get when you put me on an airplane destined for two of the biggest shows in the Kitchen & Bath and Lighting industries?

Aside from blisters, a very long in-room dining bill, and photos of me with random strangers I met online… there is also the thrill of the hunt. Scoping out the best of the best (and avoiding the not so great) I’ve put together a few of my favorites from this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and LightFair International. With my own special breed of commentary of course.

+Artesio, Poggenpohl

Does your kitchen embrace you? The +Artesio cabinetry collection transforms the humdrum kitchen of yore into an architectural hug. An architectural hug with downright sexy drawers. Poggenpohl knows how to make even table salt feel special.


The AGA has been the star of British kitchens for longer than any owner cares to admit. What’s new you ask? Bringing the mainstay into the 21st century, AGA has introduced digital controls to their famous appliances. And no, you do not need a ten-year old to program it.

Style Moderne, Samuel Heath

As they say, what’s old is now new again. And not many other people can bring Deco into the 21st Century like Samuel Heath. Combining the elegance and grace of the 40’s with a matte black finish that is so en vogue, the Style Moderne collection would be equally at home in a vintage or modern environment.

Ogassian, Ann Sacks

Yes, you can have nice things. Especially when they’re Ann Sacks’ tiles. Combining sharp contrasting patterns with old world finishes, the Ogassian series is an interplay of optical illusion and a dramatic backdrop. And did I mention gold is back?

Soho Boutique Fireplace, Eldorado Stone

Sometimes you have to give into temptation and fall in love with something with great legs. With it’s hand-crafted limestone components, Eldorado Stone’s Soho Boutique fireplace surround gives you something to adore without landing you in the confessional.

Steam Oven, Sub-Zero Wolf

One part oven. One part steam. A Siamese twin of epic cooking proportion. Wolf ’s convection steam oven puts “oo” back in cooking. Something about hard boiling eggs in their carton and the ability to roast a 15 pound turkey had me sold.


Jason Wu, Brizo

Fashion’s wonder child Jason Wu (Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown ring a bell?) is expanding. I don’t mean the waistlines of his super fitted women’s trousers. Collaborating with Brizo, Wu is putting his touch on bathroom fittings with a Baroque meets New York Modern inspired series. Wastebasket included.



Beverage Center, True

Every refrigeration manufacturer has an under counter refer. But no one has decades of commercial service to back them up. Bringing restaurant quality home, True’s line of under counter beverage centers are sure to bring out the inner barkeep in all of us.


Hardware, R. Christensen

Hardware designer R. Christensen blends the best of both worlds – the organic, natural shapes loved by all and the smart blast of color that is all the rage – in one very well polished piece. Simply the quickest way to update a staid kitchen.

Portrait, Artistic Tile

Once upon a time there was a boring bathroom. Along came Artistic Tile to put an end to the sad bedtime story. The Portrait Collection is nothing less than a well told tale of handcrafted stone and textural beauty.


Once upon a time a toilet had a tank. And then Geberit concealed it. Gone away is the ugly tank of bathrooms past. Replaced with a single dual function flush and compatible with any number of basins. It’s ok to feel this way about a toilet.


Mali, Tech Lighting

Good lighting can be hazardous to your health. But Tech Lighting makes the pain of looking up well worth every moment with the introduction of their Mali glass pendant. Available with an optional Plumen compact fluorescent lamp, your chiropractor is sure to fall in love.

Madison, 3G

What happens when a lighting designer stares at the tailpipes of a Ferrari longer than recommended by the Surgeon General? You get 3G’s Madison collection of recessed LED fixtures. A simple yet highly detailed aluminum extrusion is the defining feature that makes this more than just a source of light.



Candle Lamp, USHIO

Ok, it isn’t pretty. It isn’t sexy. And it doesn’t have wings. But USHIO’s ground breaking LED Candle Lamp does something no other LED does – the look of a filament, the base of a chandelier lamp and an energy usage of just under one watt per lamp. Did I mention you’ll probably sell your home before you need to change a lamp?

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