Building Trends From 2019 IBS

CPT recently visited the 2019 International Builders Show/Kitchen & Bath Show to sniff out any new building and design trends. Here’s what we found.

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Communication is key

Last year’s International Builders/Kitchen & Bath Show showcased thousands of smart home products, and there were even more at the 2019 shows. The notable difference between this year and last is compatibility. It seems as if more and more products are communicating with one another. Until recently, the anxiety that cursed most smart home product consumers was palpable. If you wanted to get in bed with a virtual assistant (figuratively speaking), you had to worry about whether that assistant would run your dishwasher, open your garage door, or play nice with your new thermostat. In some cases, people were forced into buying inferior products because they were the only ones compatible with the “system” they had bought into. These days, more and more products are working together. This truly is a welcomed trend. Hurray for compatibility!

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LED inspired lighting

LED lighting is not new, but lighting manufacturers are getting more and more adventurous in how they are employing the technology. Now, the design options with LED fixtures are almost endless. This crazy swirl creation was created made by Lamps Plus.

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All things farmhouse

The "modern farmhouse" trend in homebuilding started many years ago and is still going strong. Both the IBS and KBIS were full of farmhouse-friendly products. A couple good example include these cool Fired sinks by Bocchi (above) and these exterior doors from Therma-Tru (below).


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Waterfall countertops

Just like the modern farmhouse, the waterfall countertop trend is still going strong. Here is a pretty dramatic example by Cambria.

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Skinny counters

Apparently skinny countertops are popular in Europe. The folks at Wilsonart told us that the trend has migrated to us from across the pond.


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Back lighting

Mirrors, countertops, bathtubs, and even toilets are all being backlit these days. These are examples of Kohler’s Veil Lighted Collection.


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Sputnik chandeliers

Sputnik chandeliers are all the rage. Every lighting booth at the Builders Show was featuring at least one of these unique lighting options. This one is made by Hammerton who specializes in custom, high-end, blown glass, lighting masterpieces. Even if you can’t afford their products, you should really check out the Hammerton website. The planning, time and craftsmanship that go into their products is inspirational. And if they're making one, it will probably be a trend sooner than later.


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Skirted toilets

Skirted toilets are popular not only because they have a distinctive look, but homeowners love how much easier it is to clean around the base. There are no nooks and crannies to collect gunk. The problem has been that plumbers absolutely hate installing them and charge a fortune for to do it. That’s because on most skirted toilets the flange bolts are hidden inside the skirt itself. The only way to access the bolts with a wrench are through a hard-to-reach access opening at the back or tiny access holes on the sides. Kohler has addressed that issue with its ReadyLock system (below). It allows the installer to bolt the ReadyLock trapway device to the floor first. Once the trapway is installed, two cams, that are easily adjusted with a screwdriver, hold the toilet in place.

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Bet on brass

Matt black was the color de jour last year. The trendy color for hardware and fixtures in 2019 is brass, not super-shiny brass, and not dark antique brass, but a tone somewhere in between. There are a bunch of different names for this finish, among which are brushed brass, natural brass and brushed gold.


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Sherwin-William's color of the year

Every year Sherwin-Williams, the largest paint company in the known universe, picks a color of the year. This year, that color is "Cavern Clay". It’s sort of a warm, earthy-toned terracotta. CPT approves!

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Large windows

Huge folding and sliding doors that open up into outdoor living areas has been trending for many years. Now, huge folding window assemblies are becoming a thing. The windows show here are made by Kolbe. They’re perfect for three or four-season porches.

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Smooth siding

Modern and transitional styles are still where it’s at, and smooth surfaces lend themselves to that look. That’s why we expect to see a lot more smooth siding and trim options in the future. This is LP’s new SmartSide Smooth Siding.

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Curved decking

Composite decking has a lot of advantages over wood, and one of them is the fact that it can be heated and shaped to fit radius deck designs. More and more deck builders are taking advantage of this feature, and we expect to see a whole lot more creative deck designs. The decking shown here is made by Timbertech.