As homeowners’ design styles and tastes continue to evolve, their interest in learning about the latest products that deliver not only beauty but functionality grows exponentially. They are increasingly aware of products that will make their lives easier, healthier and more sanitary, pieces that will reduce clutter, provide ease of use and deliver a more peaceful, beautiful environment.
For designers, staying on top of the latest products can be a daunting task, with technological and aesthetic changes in product design happening at an almost unsustainable speed. That’s why delivering product news is a primary focus for Kitchen & Bath Design News. Keeping readers informed about the latest engineering feats and design styles is a priority for KBDN and KitchenBathDesign.com, and the extensive selection of products presented during the year proves that point.
As the year closes, KBDN once again presents the top 20 products of the past year as determined by the feedback from our readers.
For 2022, beauty and function received overwhelming attention, with stylish appliances, countertops and cabinets claiming the majority of spots. Accessibility, storage and convenience are top of mind as displayed in appliance, fixture and cabinet offerings, and personalized style is reflected in everything from range colors to countertop designs.
On this and the next four pages, KBDN looks back at the most-asked-about-products of 2022. ▪
1.Pull-Down Spice Rack
Focused on designing and manufacturing “functional cabinet hardware that performs,” Dropout Cabinet Fixtures leads this year’s products with the EZ Install Wide Body Spice Rack. Requiring only 6″ of upper cabinet space to organize spices, the rack drops out and down to near countertop level when needed, and fits seamlessly back up into the cabinet space when closed. The system is now available in four versions, providing organization for the upper cabinet area, which is generally considered a difficult area to reach and an underutilized space.
“By implementing our patent-protected vertical movement into our storage systems, convenient and accessible kitchen space can be greatly increased,” notes the company. “Our Spice Rack/Storage System is a filler cabinet and therefore can be integrated into nearly any style of cabinetry. All that is needed is a matching door and handle to coordinate with the rest of the kitchen.”
Dropout Cabinet Fixtures has since upgraded the adjustability of the trays, expanding the options on tray placements. Spacing adjustments can now include 4-3/4″, 6″ and 7-1/4″ in the six-tray configuration. By removing one tray, available space of 10-3/4″, 12″ or 13-1/4″ is achieved, adding storage versatility to the unit.
2. 48″ French Door Refrigerator
Signature Kitchen Suite has launched the 48″ French door refrigerator. Its design allows for true flush or proud installation without exposed grille and drawers that line up with standard countertop height. A convertible drawer offers five preset temperatures ranging from 41° F to -7° F, which allows for precise food preservation across five temperature settings: chilled wine, fridge/deli, meats and seafood, beverage and freezer. The lower freezer section has three additional independent drawers, including one with a dual ice maker that makes both trapezoidal-shaped ice and slow-melting, spherical Craft Ice.
“What makes this product stand out is that it is the first-of-its-kind 48″ built-in French Door refrigerator on the market, allowing the design community to offer clients never-before-seen capacity in the French Door configuration,” states Mike O’Keefe, director of sales, Signature Kitchen Suite.
This model features Lift and Go drawers, fully adjustable door bins and LED lighting that is hidden away and focused on the food rather than shining in the user’s eyes. The WiFi connected unit, which allows users to easily manage and monitor preservation needs remotely via smart devices, also offers ThinQ Care, which proactively contacts owners about potential service issues before they occur, as well as maintenance tips.
3. Larder Cabinet
Wellborn Cabinet has launched a truly classic Larder Cabinet as part of its Premier Series. The standalone unit, which is a cross between a kitchen cupboard and a storage space, is offered in 48″, 51″, 54″, 57″, 60″, 66″, 69″ and 72″ heights with 30″, 33″, 36″ and 42″ widths.
The development of the cabinet came after an upswing in larder-style cabinetry in the company’s You-Draw-It program. Functionality has always been one of its most popular characteristics, notes Angela O’Neill, director of marketing and advertising. “This cabinet is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a coffee bar, baking center and anything else a client desires,” O’Neill adds.
The company is also offering an Appliance Pullout option for ease of access for microwaves, coffee makers, mixers or any other small appliances. “The pull-out appliance shelf is a great feature that affords you counterspace without losing counterspace,” O’Neill states.
Wellborn’s larder cabinet is shown here in one of the company’s most recent paint colors, Celtic.
4. Colorful Calacatta Quartz
Calacatta Marina and Calacatta Verde have been added to the Viatera Calacatta Collection from LX Hausys. The quartz surfaces with a Calacatta design are available in a jumbo slab size of 63″x130″ to accommodate continuous application with fewer seams across backsplashes and large counters or islands. Each color is available in 2 cm and 3 cm thicknesses.
Embracing the beauty and peacefulness of a verdant forest, Calacatta Verde is reminiscent of tree branches, with thin and delicate veins as well as full-bodied wide veins in deep green and softer grayish-green hues on a bright white base. Calacatta Marina draws inspiration from the ocean, with delicate curvy and jagged pencil veins in two different navy tones ascending across a white surface revealing a natural flowing look, along with full-bodied wide veins delivering pattern variations.
“Many of today’s homeowners want to demonstrate their personal design tastes in bolder or more expressive ways,” notes the firm, and these patterns deliver on that concept.
The surfaces are comprised of up to 93 percent quartz, making them non-porous and preventing bacteria and mold from penetrating into the surface. “Because of its quartz characteristic, Calacatta Marina and Calacatta Verde offer a high resistance to common household stains, scratches and chemicals,” the company adds.
5. Contemporary Walk-in Tub
Meeting the needs for aging-in-place and accessible design with style, Aquatica Plumbing Group offers the Baby Boomer 2, a modern freestanding walk-in bathtub. The tub is made from Aquatex, the company’s proprietary solid surface material that maintains heat for a longer period of time.
“Baby Boomer 2 is unique in that it is the only contemporary solid surface walk-in bathtub on the market,” notes Samuel Burnstein, founder & CEO, Aquatica Plumbing Group. “Outside of its tangible use, it draws in the attention of the room it nestles in with look and style.”
“A world-class tub is luxurious, beautiful, functional and has the highest standard in features. The Baby Boomer 2 does this, all the while being accessible,” Burnstein stresses.
The tub features an ergonomic, deep-soaking seating design as well as a water-tight, easy-to-use door and low-entry step, catering to people with mobility issues. A variety of systems can be fitted into this model, such as air jets, hydromassage jets, heater and LED lights.
6. Carbon Neutral Surfacing
Designed by interior designer Nina Magon, the Dekton ONIRIKA collection combines the look of stone with Dekton technology. Inspired by marble patterns and immersive living with daring colors, the collection is fully carbon neutral.
“Dekton Onirika offers homeowners a unique, long-term and beautiful surfacing with patterns that capture the depth, drama and movement of marble – without the hassle that comes with maintaining natural stone,” offers Massimo Ballucchi, v.p. of Kitchen & Bath, Cosentino North America. “It adds functionality and style to any space, without the worry of red wine or nail polish spills wreaking havoc on their surfaces.”
The collection includes Neural, Lucid, Trance and Awake (shown), which is a re-interpretation of the precious Paonazzo stone. It features thick veins of light grays, and oxide terracotta and a hint of subtle, inky blues.
“Dekton Onirika offers designers endless possibilities thanks to its ultra-durable, high-performance features including resistance to impact, scratches, stains or water,” Ballucchi adds. The surfacing can be used on anything from kitchen countertops to floors, walls, ceilings, cladded vanities or cabinets, and more, he notes.
7. Trending Paints & Stains
Decorá Cabinetry released two multi-dimensional stains along with three paint colors in neutrals of whites and grays along with blue and green tones. The two stains, Iron Slate and Swift, are semi-transparent, allowing the underlying natural wood tones to subtly influence the warm gray or latte colored stains when applied to species like alder, cherry, oak and walnut.
“The paint colors – Grays Harbor, Fleeting Green and Brightest White – can all be confidently infused with current home décor trends,” states Stephanie Piece, director of design and trends, MasterBrand Cabinets.
“When it comes to curating a color palette within a home, complementary finishes are key,” stresses Piece. The stains and paint colors were “intentionally designed to build a complementary and neutral palette of whites or greiges with the added excitement of color pops in blue and green finishes, providing kitchen and bath designers a way to promote color confidence in homeowner’s cabinetry palettes beyond the basic white kitchen and infuse the space with depth and inspiration.”
8. Drop-in Apron Front Sink
BOCCHI has added an easy-retrofit, Drop-In Apron Front fireclay sink collection to its offering with the Nuova collection. The line includes single- and double-basin options that don’t require a special base cabinet for installation, offering a shorter 8″ front before slanting back to the extra-deep 10″ basin.
Both size options are available in black and white, in both matte and glossy finishes. Other color options include glossy biscuit and sapphire blue, as well as matte gray, dark gray and brown. The sinks are made with Super Smooth and Clean Plus+ technology for a smoother, easy-to-clean finish that is antibacterial, notes the firm.
“The stand-out features of the Nuova is that they fit any base cabinet type and counter type while offering the timeless appeal and large basin of a farmhouse sink,” offers the company. “Homeowners can easily get an apron-front look and the functionality of an extra deep basin without needing to install new cabinets or countertops.
BOCCHI has recently introduced a line of accessories to fit these sinks to make them into a complete workstation option with cutting boards, colanders and roller mats.
9. Nature-Inspired Quartz Surfacing
Vadara Quartz Surfaces added six new colors to its artisan handcrafted quartz surfaces line that are a reflection of the beauty and inspiration found in the natural world. The surfaces mimic the look of natural stone but are non-porous and easily sanitized, and are stain- and chip-resistant, states the firm.
“As a manufactured product, every slab is the same, so book matching slabs is easy and doesn’t require a lot of back and forth with the fabricator,” stresses the company. In addition, the veins in the quartz aren’t just sitting on the surface of the material but extend down into material itself. “This catches light and gives a Vadara surface a real depth that’s not an illusion,” the firm continues. It can also be used in wet areas without staining and in prep areas without scratching, Vadara adds.
The latest color options include: Cygnet Drift, Nimbus, Oasis Winds, Ostara Dawn, Phoenix Sky and Sterling Light (shown), which features a white background with light gray veining.
10. Veined Quartz Surfacing
Cambria has added three new designs to its existing palette that are full of contrasts in texture and color – Inverness Frost, Oakleigh and Delamere.
“Inverness Frost, Oakleigh and Delamere all have a lively intensity inspired by the beauty found in nature,” states Summer Kath, exec. v.p. of Design. “They add depth and dimension to any kitchen and bath design, creating an ultra-unique environment – whether it is for a calm, pristine setting or one that is more dark, moody and bold.”
Inverness Frost is an off-white on white design featuring subtle debossing for a textured, organic feel. Oakleigh (shown) features deep-black and gold veins juxtaposed on a white canvas for a high-contrast look. Delamere showcases a neutral design with white veining floating on a chocolate brown background.
“The designs complement many different types of materials and tones and finishes used in homes today,” continues Kath.
The new designs are available in Cambria Matte and high-gloss finishes, with up to 19 different edge profile treatments, in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses in jumbo size slabs of 132″x65.5″.
11. Quarter-Sawn Oak Cabinets
Dura Supreme Cabinetry has added Quarter-Sawn White Oak to its wood species offering. Quarter sawn refers to the manner in which the wood is cut from the log that creates a distinctive straight grain pattern with a fleck across the grain. The wood is available for the company’s Crestwood and Bria cabinetry in most door styles and a wide palette of stained finishes. It is offered in 11 stain options. Shown is the company’s Avery door style in Quarter-Sawn White Oak with Coriander stain.
12. Minimal Traditional Vanity Design
Kohler Co. has added nine vanity collections to its offering, designed with storage and personalization in mind, notes the firm. Each collection captures the look of freestanding furniture in various configurations to fit an array of footprints. Harken, shown, embraces Minimal Traditional design, a simplistic take on past style movements that pares back on embellishments, the company states. Available as a 36″ single or 60″ double vanity in Linen White or Slate Grey finishes, the pieces showcase stained wood and brass hardware. Walnut hardware, sold separately, is offered in Modern Brass, Brushed Nickel, Polished Chrome and Matte Black.
13. Gentle Spray Kitchen Faucet
Hansgrohe’s Aquno Select kitchen faucet features three spray modes – laminar spray, needle spray and the new SatinFlow wide spray that minimizes splashing while gently washing fruits and vegetables. Users can easily switch between spray modes at the touch of a button, according to the company. The pulldown faucet features MagFit magnetic sprayhead docking for a tight fit. Aquno Select is available in Matte Black, Steel Optic and Chrome finishes.
14. Retro Range
Big Chill has added the 48″ Retro Range to its Retro Collection, showcasing an all-American vintage style with chrome trim and 1950s-inspired turn knobs. The counter-depth appliance includes a double oven that can fit commercial-size baking sheets, with full-extension oven rack. Eight professional- level burners offer up to 21,000 BTUs and full-motion grates. The range is available in seven standard colors – Beach Blue, Classic White, Cherry Red, Jadeite Green, Buttercup Yellow, Turquoise and Pink Lemonade – as well as two premium colors, Black and Orange. Big Chill’s custom color library of over 200 colors can also be paired with the range.
15. Solid Surface Stone Looks
Wilsonart has added to its Solid Surface Collection with The Crafted Collection, which includes a range of designs that capture the look of marble in an acrylic solid surface. Shown is Ice Statuario, a large-scale white design that features medium-sized particulates in white and gray with thin, high-contrast veining in cool and dark grays that actively extend throughout the slab. Also featured is Monte Amiata, a large-scale bright white design inspired by Calacatta marble, with a design traversed by long, active, cool gray veins that vary in thickness, and Carrara Emporio, a large-scale and bright white, translucent design inspired by Carrara marble, with thin, feathered veins in cool gray.
16. Veri Peri Retro Appliances
Both the Northstar retro/mid-century modern-inspired appliances and the 18050s-inspired appliances from Elmira Stove Works are available in Veri Peri – Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year – as a custom color option. The blue/purple tone was created by Pantone for the honor, delivering a twist on the popular blues of the past few years. Elmira Stove Works offers a range of standard colors for its different lines, including nine “not-so-standard” vintage-inspired colors for Northstar and unlimited custom colors.
17. Smart Refrigeration
Dacor’s 36″ Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator with Dual Reveal Door fits seamlessly with kitchen cabinets. The luxury, freestanding refrigerator features a counter-depth design that fits seamlessly with all kitchen cabinets for a smooth, integrated look, notes the firm.
The Dual Reveal door and Triple Cooling System creates conditions to keep food fresh, while FlexZone allows temperature customization of the lower-right storage space, allowing it to be a refrigerator or freezer. The IQ Control with SmartThings integration allows for remote monitoring from a smart device, everything from temperature and water filter status to care diagnostics.
18. Marbled Quartz
MSI added four new hues to its Q Premium Quartz line, all based on the look of natural marble. The selection features wispy, delicate grays to liquid-like gold veining, all featured on a pale background. Calacatta Laza Gold, shown, showcases a bright white background with a mix of bold and soft brown veining with gold tones around the perimeter. The durable surface never needs sealing, and resists scratches, stains and chips, notes the firm.
19. Stainless Compost Bin Inserts
The stainless compost bin inserts from Bradco Stainless Products feature a removable hinged lid to contain odors, as well as an internal removable bag retainer for quickly changing composting bags. Options include a rear storage bin for the storage of bags. Custom engraving is available for the lid, and the inserts can be custom built to fit any required drawer or cut-out dimension.
20. Tambour Wood Panels
Designs of Distinction by Brown Wood now offers 12 American Made Tambour profiles. Each wood panel features ¾” to 1-1/2″ wide slats in varying styles that are adhered to a flexible backer, making them work for both straight and radiused applications within a design. The profiles are available in walnut, white oak, red oak, paint-grade poplar and maple. Stock sizes include 12″x48″ and 12″x96″ panels, with custom sizes and species available upon request.