What’s Next

Your first look at new products for the kitchen and bath.

Just back from the annual trade show for kitchen and bath professionals, industry expert Clinton Ross Smith offers up his take on 20 new products and trends that might just change your life, or at least make it a bit easier. Look for products to arrive in Seattle-area showrooms during the next few months.

As of press time, not all products had been priced. If available, suggested retail prices are shown.


Note: All of the top 10 bathroom products in this section are available in Seattle, or will be in showrooms in the near future. Unless otherwise noted, all bath products can be purchased at Best Plumbing, (206) 633-1700.

1. The most beautiful toilet in the world? The Hatbox toilet from Kohler may be just that. Available in six colors, its tankless design (achieved by an electric pump enclosed within the toilet bowl that makes it work) is breathtaking and makes one rethink what a toilet is supposed to look like. The Hatbox features chair-height seating, making it easier to sit down and stand up. Plus, it’s easy to clean—and you can’t ask for much more than that.

2. Kohler’s WaterTile shower sprays may revolutionize the shower experience. In addition to its streamlined design, the direction of each spray is adjustable. As for the number of configurations you can install? It’s almost unlimited—as many as you and your plumber can dream up.

3. If you like singing in the rain or in the shower, you’ll love Dornbracht’s RainSky M, which, according to the company, simulates nature’s own shower from the sky. We found it mesmerizing to watch and fell under its spell. For those who may not be remodeling or building from scratch, Dornbracht offers the Big Rain and Just Rain, which are recommended for retrofit and can be easily installed to upgrade nearly any existing shower.

4. Barbara Barry’s new Tuxedo collection of faucets looks so good you could eat them. In fact, Barry was inspired by sterling flatware when she was designing the collection. Available in three finishes: chrome, nickel silver and brushed nickel.

5. The Moxie lavatory from Kohler is a showstopper. With its cast iron design and shimmering decorative curtain trim, the Moxie would be great in a powder bath in either the orange (shown) or indigo colors.

6. Whirlpool’s new portable Fabric Freshener does the work of a steamer and traditional clothesline without the manual labor. Simply place up to two clothing items inside the garment bag, fill the reservoir with water, zip the bag and press the button. The Fabric Freshener uses no chemicals or detergents—just steam and heat to remove wrinkles and odors. Available exclusively at Best Buy, $249.

7. Ann Sacks’ new line of custom mosaics was inspired by 20th-century graphics, vintage textiles and bold prints. Ann Sacks, (206) 441-8917.

8. Designer Laura Kirar’s Vir Stil Collection for Kallista is neither traditional nor modern, yet could work in either setting. Trying to put a label on the collection to define its style, including this vanity, is fruitless—Kirar finds inspiration from Danish Modern, the Bauhaus and Japanese design, and somehow all of it shows up in her work and makes sense.

9. Jacuzzi’s Morphosis Sigma whirlpool tub was designed by a leading design house, Pininfarina. The soft and organic shape is not only sensuous but also ergonomically smart. (Pictured to the left).

10. Grohe’s new F1 line of luxury bath faucets and accessories was developed in a unique partnership with the F.A. Porsche Design Studio. The levers of the faucet glide in a horizontal plane and may be operated either separately or with a single movement of the hand to set the desired water temperature.


Note: All of the top 10 kitchen products in this section are available in Seattle, or will be in showrooms in the near future. Unless otherwise noted, all kitchen products can be purchased at Albert Lee, (206) 282-2110.

11. Zephyr’s Om ventilation hood looks more like a piece of art than an appliance. On the hood’s glass surface is a silk-screen painting by Piet Mondrian that represents the era of “Neoplasticism”—a belief that art should not be the reproduction of real objects, but the expression of the absolutes of life.

12. They’re minimal, but not quite modern. We’ve been seeing this simple style of cabinet hardware in kitchens and baths—and now we know who makes them: Atlas Homewares. A Better Bath & Kitchen, (425) 881-1133.

13. Steam-assisted cooking, the professional chef’s secret weapon for creating everything from crusty French breads and succulent roasts to perfectly cooked fish, hit the market for home cooks in August in the newest model of KitchenAid’s dual-fuel range. From $4,099.

14. Fisher & Paykel has added refrigeration to its lineup of appliances in the U.S. Features include tempered glass shelves that are tested to hold up to 220 pounds.

15. In a tight space? Thermador debuts a line of appliances, including this range, with a 24-inch depth.

16. You could call it the Hummer of refrigerators—it’s big, brawny, and it’s made by Sub-Zero. The PRO 48 offers advanced food preservation through the company’s exclusive dual refrigeration system.

17. Get your pots and pans ready! Viking’s new 36-inch induction cooktop changes everything—even how you boil water. It’s super fast and super safe, always cool to the touch.

18. A thousand bucks (or more) for a cup of coffee? You bet! I’ve always thought built-in coffee systems were a little indulgent, but having never before tasted an actual cup of coffee from one, I now see that my bias was unfounded. They offer up the closest thing to a European-style cup of coffee this side of Paris.

19. Dacor’s new coffee system features customizable settings to set grounds, milk, water and beverage temperature. It also offers the tallest dispensing area available in built-in systems, making it ideal for travel mugs.

20. Cambria’s new Yorkshire color captures the warmth and natural look of limestone. The quartz counter top is also available in a “honed” version, which features the same color with a subtle matte finish. Best Plumbing, (206) 633-1700.