Launch Slideshow

10 Luxury Products Launching at KBIS 2009

10 Luxury Products Launching at KBIS 2009

  • Jenn-Air by Whirlpool Corp.

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    The manufacturer’s new premium appliance collection includes high-performance wall ovens, ductless traditional ventilation products, and integrated refrigeration products. The oven has a 7-inch color “touch anywhere” LCD screen and a dual-fan convection element offering 6,800 watts of cooking power. www.insideadvantage.com.

  • Villeroy & Boch

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    Designed by Conran & Partners of London, Villeroy & Boch’s Aveo tub is the height of luxury. With fluid lines and a clean distinctive egg shape, the tub is made from Quaryl, a homogeneous mixture of quartz powder and acrylic, so it’s durable and easy to clean. It measures 74 3/4 inches long and 37 3/8 inches wide, with a list price of $9,700. www.villeroy-boch.com/en.

  • Blanco America

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    The Flow sink is the latest high-end addition to the company’s STEELART brand. Equal parts architectural element and sink, it has seamless side drainers and is designed with MicroEdge technology, which creates the illusion of sitting flush into the countertop. The 46-inch-long-by-20-inch-wide basin retails for $4,195. www.blancoamerica.com.

  • Staron Surfaces by Samsung

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    With the addition of six new colors, the Radianz brand of quartz surfacing now includes 20 high-gloss color options, among them Everest White and Amazon Twilight. The product is made from 93 percent quartz crystals and polymers. Durable and waterproof, it doesn’t need sealing like natural stone products and resists scratches and chipping. www.staron.com.

  • Brizo

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    The Sensori Custom Shower offers fully customizable options that coordinate with the company’s other bath products. Features include a 12-gallons-per-minute flow rate; a thermostatic valve for anti-scald protection; and a full range of showerhead options, including body sprays, body jets, and hand showers. A variety of finishes are available. www.brizo.com.

  • TOTO USA

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    The Eco Soirée high-efficiency toilet looks like a traditional two-piece product but actually has a one-piece design. The glazed ceramic unit flushes with 1.28 gallons of water, making it eligible for the EPA’s WaterSense certification. It features a Double Cyclone flush engine, 12-inch rough-in, elongated bowl with SoftClose seat, and chrome lever handle. www.totousa.com.

  • Grohe America

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    Simple forms meet function in the manufacturer’s new Veris collection of faucets, which includes floor-mount tub fillers and lavatory units in a StarLight finish. Instead of the regular minimalist aesthetic, the pieces feature fluid lines and flat spouts that blend into a cylindrical body. Solid metal handles and levers, as well as ceramic-alloy discs covered in a Teflon lubricant, are standard. www.groheamerica.com.

  • Cosentino North America

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    Add another recycled-content surfacing product to your list. This one, ECO by Cosentino, is made from 75 percent recycled post-industrial or post-consumer materials, including porcelain, mirrors, glass, stone scraps, corn, and crystallized ash. Everything is then bound by an environmentally friendly corn oil-based resin. Two collections—Revive and Green—come in a variety of colors. www.cosentinona.com.

  • Kaldewei USA

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    Measuring 78.8 inches long and 39.4 inches wide, Bassino has an unusual form and size that allows bathers to stretch out and float freely in the water. Plus, the shallow 14-inch depth allows them to climb in and out easily. The product can be customized with a Styrofoam cushion, self-supporting paneling, and a matching bath shelf that also can be used as seating. www.kaldewei.com.

  • MTI Whirlpools

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    The new luxury collection of solid surface bath products by designer Matthew Quinn is highlighted by the Intarcia tub, which has an antique brass inlay. Available in white, biscuit, raven, and osprey, the tub can be specified with or without either of two pedestal bases. It also can be configured to accept an inlay of the client’s choosing: metal, glass, wood, stone, or any other material. www.mtiwhirlpools.com.

Late last month, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, D.C., released its quarterly "Home Design Trends Survey", and the news wasn't very good for luxury kitchen and bath products.

The report said the popularity of high-end features—such as wine refrigerators, drinking water filtration systems, and renewable flooring materials—had declined, but that interest in eco-friendly features and building materials had remained strong.

"Because of concerns over affordability and resale value, it's not surprising that there has been a sharp decline in demand for high-end kitchen and bath products," AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, said in a statement announcing the survey findings.

Not so fast, says the Hackettstown, N.J.-based National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). On the eve of the annual (and very popular) Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) being held in Atlanta April 30 - May 3, NKBA president Suzie Williford says luxury goods are still an important part of the business.

"Luxury products are playing the predominant role in our business today," she recently told BUILDER magazine. "In this economic climate, higher-end remodels and custom homes are the strongest part of the market, and they require luxury products."

Williford says one of the biggest trends is the freedom of personal choice available to designers and clients right now.

"Moderately priced brands are creating and unveiling luxury products in their particular price range to deliver a higher-end product to their loyal users to circumvent losing clients to a luxury line, all the while keeping budget in mind," Williford explains. "All projects have a budget—regardless of the size or scope—and luxury is a multitiered concept. I say 'luxury' is a relative term."

High-end buyers may not have money to burn, but they still have it to spend—at least, that's what manufacturers are hoping. This explains why many companies are still unveiling big-tickets items at next week's show. Here are 10 luxury products to check out if you're heading to Atlanta or 'watching events unfold from afar.