KBIS where everything is bigger

As first impressions go, KBIS made a BIG impact. In fact, I’d go so far as to say everything is bigger in the Land of Opportunity. Fresh from my incredible experience at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando, Florida with BlogTourKBIS I have SO much to share. And most of it is big. Where square footage isn’t a huge problem for many consumers in the United States, it’s inevitable that appliances and designs are just larger. Much larger than we are used to here in Europe, particularly in our predominately Victorian urban housing stock in the UK. While large kitchens are hugely desirable in the UK, a UK large is about the equivalent of a US small – just like with our clothing sizes! As I toured the halls of KBIS, I obviously noted sizes, but equally, I noticed that design wise there are some differences. One of the most striking discovery though was that the key players in the kitchen and bathroom industry in the US are very often different to the ones that take up floor space at KBB in Birmingham or EuroCucina in Milan. KBIS where everything is bigger, including the brands you’ve never heard of.hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador

hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, miele, big fridgeWith two vast halls of over 600 leading brands in the kitchen and bath industry, there was plenty to see. Thermador is a brand you may not be familiar with, yet they have been in business for over 100 years, creating innovative kitchen products including the first built-in oven in the 1930’s. You will, however, be familiar though with some of the other brands that parent company BSH own such as Gaggenau and Bosch. KBIS was Thermadors big launch platform as they unveiled 300 new products to market. The heart of the roll-out being the sleek new Masterpiece and Professional Collections and the introduction of Home Connect, the Thermador Connected Experience, which includes web-enabled smart tools. My favourite part of the app was the expert advice function to provide culinary advice and tips at the touch of a button – something I need plenty of in the kitchen.   I was also slightly incredulous that my oven could talk to my car – I kid you not, well not my actual car, as my car is a 1972 Fiat. In this ‘Internet of Things’ era, you can turn on your oven from your Tesla on the drive home from the office. I feel like the future might be awfully close.

It might not be the most exciting product in the kitchen, but the one that stood out for me on the Thermador stand was their Star-Sapphire dishwasher. My dishwasher is a hard worker in my household, and I couldn’t live without it, but, I find the hot water cycle slow and sometimes it doesn’t dry the reusable containers well. The Star-Sapphire has addressed both of these with a 20 min hot water programme and the all-new StarDry with Zeolite which helps the powerful drying cycle access those hard to reach crevices and corners. Plus it’s got a large wine glass capacity – needed for this wine lover. However if you are a serial party thrower, you might be more interested in the Entertainers Dishwasher specifically for glass, which allows 26 long stemmed glasses or even more if using smaller ones. It has a rubber lower rack and adjustable stands to protect the stems – if I’m gushing its because I’ve broken more glasses in my dishwasher than I’ve had hot breakfasts.hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador, dishwasher, star sapphire

hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador, dishwasher, star sapphire hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador, dishwasher, star sapphire Fridges are about to get seriously sexy. Honestly, they are. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my post about the statement “monolith inception” kitchen designed by Richard Anuszkiewicz for Liebherr. I’ve never seen a fridge like it, and when I win the lottery and have a much bigger house, I’d like to make it mine. Not only is it very pretty to look at, the refrigerator has state of the art food preservation technology. You might recall I wrote about Liebherr previously when I attended the Italian kitchen show EuroCucina here and here. Refrigerators are vast in size in the US market but also packed with innovation. The connected home was a strong theme throughout the show with connected features everywhere, from appliances that ‘talk’ to each other to voice-activated taps. Where I felt this was strongest was in the refrigeration section where I saw camera’s to spy on your food (so you can tell if you’ve run out of milk for example), to integrated calendars and touchscreen recipe finders, integrated shopping lists that automatically updated and many more attributes. Wine refrigeration with multi-zone temperature is still a big requirement, seen at Perlick and Liebherr among others, but I didn’t see much connected home technology related to it yet. Maybe they haven’t figured out how to create a virtual sommelier, how cool would that be? Maybe virtual sommelier could even place your order at the fine wine broker/vineyard/winery. Customising your fridge was also a trend, from choosing the internal configurations to customising the artwork on the front or sometimes even inside, seen at Dacor, Liebherr and Thermador.

hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador, tesla, connected home

hello peagreen, KBIS, blogtour KBIS, Kitchen and bathroom design, thermador, connected homeSo if you promised you’d cook at home more in your 2018 resolutions, there are appliances to take your culinary skills to the professional level. Homemade meals that practically cook themselves in professional grade kitchens seem to be a goal of many brands. We’ll never need to eat out again. From cooking sous vide, built-in rotisseries, professional grade steam ovens, vacuum sealing drawers to integrated meat thermometers. There is a lot of kit and tools on offer for the wannabe chef’s in your home and also plenty of integrated advice options through connected appliances. Signature Kitchen Suite showed off appliances for the Technicurean™. Zach Elkin, the general manager of Signature Kitchen Suite, described it to me as the epicurean utilising technology to create the highest culinary experience in the domestic kitchen. These appliances included the first integrated sous vide bath and Two Ultra-Low™ Burners that can maintain temperatures as low as 100°. At Thermador, the side opening Professional Series collection has been created with the adventurous cook in mind incorporating steam technology and built-in meat thermometers for more accurate cooking. Miele showcased vacuum sealing drawers perfectly sized to sit neatly below your built-in oven. Great for portioning, marinating and preparing for storage in your fridge or freezer.

My key takeaways from the kitchen element of KBIS 2018 were built around the following themes:

  • The Connected Home
  • Food waste reduction through better storage and preparation
  • The Pro Kitchen

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are a big investment and there is so much to consider, so stay tuned for part two from KBIS coming next week.

Coming in KBIS part two:

  • Health is the new Wealth
  • Monochrome
  • Mixed Metals
  • The Hex tale

Photography: all photographs by Mary Middleton for hellopeagreen; except top photo by Thermador, image of Mary Middleton in fridge by Phoebe Oldrey and top image of dishwasher by Thermador.

This is not a sponsored post, thank you to Modenus and KBIS for inviting on this free trip.  While I did not get paid for my time at KBIS, my hotel, airfare and some meals were covered.  All words, opinions and images my own.







  1. January 17, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    Great blogpost about all that’s BIG and new from KBIS – love your photos! I so enjoyed meeting you and getting to talk with you on the blogger tour. Glad you made it back across the pond safely – hope to meet again in the future
    xo Kristie

    • mary
      January 29, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      Kristie, sitting next to you on the bus between the venues that day, you asked me one question that has had my mind totally in overdrive. I’ll be forever grateful and hopefully, we’ll get to meet again!

  2. January 20, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    Hey Mary! Great post. ! I loved the photo of you in the fridge! It was so nice to meet you and I look forward to following you on SM. When I’m back across the pond, I’ll let you know. (sadly, no plans for a while).

    • mary
      January 29, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Well Claire, in that case, I’m going to have to wangle a way to come and see you! Definitely hooking in to your excellent facebook group!

  3. February 6, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Whenever I visit the states I’m envious of their large kitchen appliances especially the fridges. The fridge you’re standing in looks massive, I wish I had the space for that. With 3 young men and a hungry hubby, I really need a fridge that size.

    • mary
      February 6, 2018 / 11:12 am

      UK Kitchens are just so small in comparison, aren’t they? I can’t imagine the food bill of filling a fridge that size though! There were some really great features though, for “prolonging” shelf life especially around fruit, veg and deli items. I’m all for that.

  4. February 11, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    I can’t get over the size of that fridge. It’s a whole different level. I welcome the improvements in dishwasher technology. Time can be an issue sometimes. And I’ve also broken quite a few glasses!

  5. February 11, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    You could move into that fridge itโ€™s so big! Iโ€™m also a huge fan of my dishwasher, couldnโ€™t be without it x

  6. February 11, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    This sounds like a fun show. Can’t believe how the new technology changed the way we live in the past few years and it’s only gonna get better ๐Ÿ˜ I love how you compared the room sizes to their clothing sizes. As much as I wish it wasn’t true in terms of my home, I would quite happily ask for a small size dress in the shop ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  7. February 12, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    Oh my that looks like one amaizng show ! Love the photos

  8. February 12, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    An oven communicating with a Tesla car?! this is some serious technology going on and sounds like my dream, makes me so excited for the future. Thank you for sharing Mary x

    • mary
      February 13, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Thanks Anna. It’s remarkable how much technology there was at KBIS. Our kitchens won’t only be the heart of our homes, they’ll be running our lives soon!

  9. February 13, 2018 / 8:11 am

    Haha love the photo of you in the fridge!! It’s huge!!! Literally double the size of mine. I can only dream of one day having a kitchen big enough for that…! *fingers crossed*

    • mary
      February 13, 2018 / 11:44 am

      Can you imagine how much it costs to fill a fridge that big? There were some seriously big fridges but also enormous hobs too. I went to view a show home that had two washing machines and two tumble dryers, yet the house only had 4 bedrooms! Everything was bigger.

  10. February 13, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    Wow, the size of that fridge. I’m quite looking forward to some of this technology becoming mainstream. It would be so handy to be able to pre- heat your oven before you get home or check the contents of your fridge when out shopping. Great post.

  11. February 14, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    Great pictures, loved seeing all about the products and what you took away from the trip. I’m all about reducing food waste too!

  12. February 15, 2018 / 11:49 am

    That photo of you in the fridge shows perfectly well how bigger these fridges are! Very interesting to hear of these brands that do so well in the States but as you said are unknown over here. Also, is that Phoebe taking a pic of you ? ๐Ÿ™‚

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