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Fresh off the show floor at McCormick Place in Chi-town, where designers from all over walked the halls to pass judgement and learn what’s new for 2012 in the Kitchen and Bath universe, I’m here to offer you the scoop.  Though I certainly have my own likes and dislikes, I’m writing this based on numerous conversations I had with other designers, the groups that participated in the Twitter Chats at this three day event.

Glass and Tile Mixed BackSplash at KBIS

Glass tile or stone tile or generic tile, tile is here to stay when it comes to the backsplash.  This one item got a resounding “yes” from the crowd when it was mentioned and even made the round of Twitterworld.  NO more painted backsplashes.  

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Glass and Stone Fused Tile in a Floral Pattern from Artistic Tile

Whether in a typical linear pattern or something more robust like this glass and stone creation from Artistic Tile, tile belongs in a kitchen or bath just like a sink does.  Without it the room is missing something.

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Black Faucet Pair :: Samuel Heath Shower Pipe Assembly & Brizo Cocoa Bronze

Black is appearing more and more as faucet and hardware options in both kitchens and bathrooms.  Samuel Heath produced the knock-your-socks-off Moderne Collection, which made all of us swoon.  This Brizo faucet is just one in their vast suite of offerings, including the new Jason Wu Collection (below) which was unveiled with a big cocktail party with Jason in attendance.

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The Jason Wu Collection from Brizo :: image by theDecorGirl

I was barely back in the hood before I had to let JB know he was “on trend” with the black faucet from his latest bathroom project he posted on Facebook.  Always feels good when one’s brilliance slips in unexpectedly, doesn’t it. (Editor’s note >> :~))  Shucks Lisa!)

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Toto's Black Cast Iron Lavatory Sink

Toto displayed black cast iron lavatory sinks.  Black is the new black when it comes to kitchen and bath.

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True Flush Refrigerator from Sub-Zero Wolf

Haven’t you always wondered why a fridge needs to protrude from the wall or the rest of the cabinetry?  Well, it doesn’t anymore.  “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” was definitely the mindset of Subzero as their flush mount refrigerators where featured in their booth as well as in the Poggenpohl cabinetry booth.

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The competition was fierce between Wilsonart and Formica to produce a high quality edge detail which makes laminate a believable stone or granite substitute.

Wilsonart and Formica Edge Details image via the Decor Girl

I apologize for the poor picture quality on the Wilsonart; it was the lighting.  From afar one really could not tell the countertop was not stone.  Impressive.

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There were plenty of booths to visit at the Kitchen and Bath Show however it was a bit smaller than last year.  While this was a great venue for the event, I will take issue with the local food laws.  Here we are at a show where vendors are showing off their amazing kitchen products (ovens and cooking appliances), the smell of chef-created food is swirling amongst the attendees.  BUT they could not serve us any of the succulent treats.  For two days, I was smelling bacon and BBQ.  This was torture.

To read my personal recap, click >> The Good, Bad and the What Were They Thinking.

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