Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Trade shows are often a good indicator of where design and product trends are headed, as they offer firsthand looks at what manufacturers are offering and new products. HomeAdvisor's team was present at Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas in February and reported several of the top trends they spotted during the event.

High-Tech Kitchens and Baths
Smart home technology has largely focused on other parts of the home, with devices such as video doorbells and smart thermostats. But most of the coolest connectivity at this year’s show was aimed squarely at the kitchen and bath. Kohler and Delta both launched Alexa-enabled kitchen faucets that let you fill specific volumes of water by voice command.

In the bathroom, designers are betting big on high-tech solutions such as connected leak detectors and smart toilets with built-in bidets. Then there’s smart cooking, a hugely popular theme with appliance manufacturers. GE, LG and Whirlpool all touted versions of “guided cooking technology,” whereby the range or cooktop automatically adjusts temperatures and cooking times depending on the recipe.

Luxury Laundry Rooms
The laundry room has come out of the basement shadows. In fact, an upstairs laundry room topped the list of specialty rooms that a home must have to sell, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 edition of its What Home Buyers Really Want report. Manufacturers are responding with sleek, stylish laundry appliances that demand to be seen. One of the biggest head-turners at this year’s show was a washer/dryer set from Samsung in an alluring champagne finish.

Black Is Back
You couldn’t walk 20 feet at this year’s show without running into another black-hued product or fixture—an indication of the growing interest in contemporary design. Black bathrooms are particularly hot, as evidenced by the bounty of faucets with an ebony finish. In the kitchen, black stainless steel continues to come on strong as a fingerprint-resistant alternative to traditional stainless. Finally, black was the favorite window cladding color, with brands such as Andersen, Marvin and Ply Gem all decking out their booths in the hue.

Smart Ways to Conserve Water
Rising water costs and water shortages in many municipalities are making water conservation every bit as important as energy efficiency. Water-saving toilets and showerheads were all over the show floor. One of the most innovative examples was the Nebia Spa Shower 2.0, which atomizes water to reduce usage by 65% without sacrificing pressure.

Several manufacturers, including GE, Moen and Phyn, showcased water-monitoring technologies that give homeowners real-time consumption data for every fixture in the home. That transparency helps households reduce their water use by 15%, according to a company spokesperson with Phyn. In addition to improved water efficiency, the systems can identify leaks big and small throughout the home. In the event of a major incident, like a burst pipe, they will even turn off the water at the main line, eliminating the risk of catastrophic water damage.

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