From Space Age to New Age and Everything in Between

Better user experience and aesthetics are trending

Every year for nearly twenty years, I have traveled to the National Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS). This year, it was held in conjunction with the International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. These two shows are premier events in the housing industry with new products, new technology, and new services.

Each year I come back with all sorts of inspiration and new trends for our interior projects. This year was even more exciting with a lot of true innovation in many categories.

Space Age: 3D Printing

Using 3D-printed technology is not a first this year, but it is becoming more refined to the user experience. The focus of 3D printing is all about simplicity and sophistication, thereby taking the design aesthetic to a new level.

The user experience of the water flow is driving this particular design and manufacturing model. Combining earth-defying physics and a remote on-and-off sensor is how the water is controlled through to the thin ring of the faucet. The result is a perfect vortex of water flow.

Winning Best of Show for KBIS 2019 means that 3D printing is here to allow futuristic design for the years to come. No matter how small or large the product, 3D printing allows refined modeling for great innovation strides.

Window Operation: Old School is New School

There is a certain romance in opening a window – fresh air, sunlight, and birds singing. I have wondered why we did not see a European “push-out” window in the U.S. market, but perhaps because the climes are more extreme.

Today’s windows and doors have much higher energy ratings and must meet more stringent codes for building requirements. It is quite a feat to be able to smoothly open both sides of the window at the same time without a stationary mullion in the middle.

This style of window is deceivingly simple and energy-efficient, and that is the next step in window product development. This oldworld style has all the modern amenities such as minimal sash and sills with a contemporary feel.

Wine Storage: High-Tech

Think all wine storage is created equally? Think again. Ask yourself where is the best wine storage on the planet? The answer is in a wine cave underground. So how to mimic Mother Earth with wine storage? Consider the entire environment underground; that is how.

All the elements that create a great wine storage cavity are humidity, temperature, light exposure, and vibration. In a cave, these are constant with low levels of light exposure and vibration.

What can throw off the balance of these levels are inconsistencies in storage and exposure to the elements. A lot of wine columns are focused on temperature and humidity constants, but not the light exposure and vibration elements. Low-tech wine technology is now above ground for high-tech storage.

Hidden Space Age Storage

The perfect compliment to other cabinet styles and storage, the matte glass look has an almost hidden aesthetic. With push to open and close, this cabinet door style can be mounted flush to walls and door jams for that completely contemporary look and feel.

Matte glass is a wonderful alternative to flatpanel, thermofoil doors and drawers that can look low-end at times. The matte texture is so on trend right now – matte finishes are the rage in multiple product lines and will continue to be popular in many product categories.

Barbara Schmidt is a nationally recognized Interior Designer and Marketing Expert creating authentic storytelling about spaces, places and trends. For more information, please visit