KBIS Returns to Form – Kitchen & Bath Design News

ORLANDO, FL — Amid an atmosphere mixed with anticipation and trepidation, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show soldiered on this past February, delivering three jam-packed days that incorporated products, networking opportunities and educational conferences. After last year’s virtual event, exhibitors and attendees alike were anxious to return to a live format, and did just that amid safety protocols. 

KBIS, owned by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, once again joined forces with the International Builders Show, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, as part of Design and Construction Week. Together, the connected shows featured 1,200 exhibitors, occupying 750,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Some 70,000 attendees participated in this year’s show, which was held February 8-10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

“There is no question our industry is alive and well,” said Suzie Williford, exec. v.p., industry relations and chief strategy officer, NKBA. “The numbers tell the story. We were so pleased to welcome 70,000 attendees, including guests from Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and more. After two long years, it was pure joy to meet people in person and get down to business with a little fun thrown in. Design and Construction Week is a leading indicator of industry strength and clearly confirms the value of in-person events.”

KBIS, produced by Emerald Expositions, is the largest North American trade show for the kitchen and bath industry. It featured 375 exhibitors – 85 of whom were first-timers. The ratio of attendees to exhibitors was up 9% over 2020, the last in-person KBIS events pre-pandemic. Of the KBIS attendees, 48% were brand new to the show. 

“There is no question DCW surpassed all of our expectations,” said Jason McGraw, group v.p. and show director for KBIS. “We knew we had put everything in place to create a safe event. We knew the exhibitors committed to the show would bring their ‘A’ game. We expected a strong showing of attendees. But when we beat our attendance plan, we knew we had a winner. And we are poised for a super 2023 event with 83% of exhibit space already sold.” 


The KBISNeXT Stage featured more than 25 panels, presentations and awards programs during the three-day event. Among the highlights was the DesignBites program, which showcased nine innovative presentations culminating in the “Biggest Bite Award.” Companies participating in DesignBites included: Moen, LG Electronics, Emtek, Beko, Signature Kitchen Suite, Cooksy Corporation, Fotile America, Brondell and Belwith-Keeler Décor Solutions. The top honor went to the 48″ French Door Refrigerator with Convertible Drawer from Signature Kitchen Suite. The People’s Pick honored Brondell.

The popular KBIS NeXT Stage hosted more than 25 panels, presentations and award programs, including DesignBites, Best of KBIS and the Women’s Networking group. — 2022 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

The KBISNeXT Stage also played host to the Best of KBIS Awards, which recognizes the top new product innovations from the show. Sponsored by Luxe Interiors & Design and hosted by Editor in Chief Pam Jaccarino, seven brands received awards with the top honor – Best in Show – being award to the Miele Generation 7000 Artline 30″ Combi-Steam Oven. Winners included: 

  • Bath Gold: Kohler – Avoir Toilet
  • Bath Silver: Airmada Drying Solutions – Airmada Drying System 
  • Kitchen Gold: Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS) – 48″ French-Door Refrigerator with Convertible Drawer 
  • Kitchen Silver: John Michael Kitchens – CORE: Luxury Metal Cabinetry 
  • Connected Home Technology: LG Electronics – PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan
  • Impact Award (Judge’s Choice): RainStick Shower – RainStick Shower
  • Best in Show: Miele – Miele Generation 7000 Artline 30″ Combi-Steam Oven 

New to this year’s show was the KickStarter Zone, which hosted new-to-market brands that have been in the residential design and construction business less than three years and have never exhibited at KBIS. All Kickstarter participants were visited by industry leaders to understand and evaluate their products. The KickStarter brands who most inspired the judges were: 

  • First Place: RainStick Shower
  • Runner Up: Caregiver Smart Solutions, Inc.
  • People’s Choice: Angel Guard Cookware 

During the show, Williford also announced the new NKBA Women’s Networking initiative. The KBISNeXT Stage panel featured a group of female leaders in the industry, including: Cheri Phyfer, president, GPG/Fortune Brands; Sherry Qualls, CEO/owner, White Good MARCOM Agency; Casandra Matej, CEO, Visit Orlando; Marcia Speer, president, Poggenpohl North America; Mary Putnam, v.p. marketing & brand, GE Appliances, and Williford. The panel discussed the upcoming initiative of mentoring for women in the kitchen and bath industry. 

More information about this initiative will be released in the upcoming months. 


The NKBA opened the 2022 live event with “An Evening of Elegance,” a gala that included the announcement of the winners of the Design + Industry Awards. Held on February 7 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, nearly 800 industry leaders, design professionals, VIPs and media attended the sold-out awards ceremony, which recognizes the design professionals and projects that are setting the standard for the way consumers live in their homes. The program was sponsored by Beko, 2020 and Home Depot.

The NKBA’s CEO Bill Darcy and Williford hosted the ceremonies, handing out 28 design awards, as well as awards to the NKBA Student Design Competition winners and the NKBA Showroom Awards Competition winners.

Winners of the Design Awards are:

  • Best Overall Kitchen: Jonas Carnemark, CKD, CLIPP, CR, owner and founder, Konst Kitchen Interior Design
  • Best Overall Bath: Gina D’Amore Bauerle, partner and interior designer at D’Amore Interiors

Contemporary Kitchen, Large (250 square feet and over):

  • First Place: Jonas Carnemark, CKD, CLIPP, CR, owner and founder, Konst Kitchen Interior Design 
  • Second Place: Kristin Petro, owner, Kristin Petro Interiors
  • Third Place: Amir Ilin, president, Küche+Cucina

Contemporary Kitchen, Small (under 250 square feet):

  • First Place: Shai Arviv, CEO and chief designer, Decori Kitchens
  • Second Place: Andrew Mikhael, owner, Andrew Mikhael Architect
  • Third Place: Doug Walter, CMKBD, owner, Doug Walter Architects/co-designer Katy Skye Booream, Katy Skye Interiors

Traditional Kitchen, Large (250 square feet and over):

  • First Place: Shea Pumarejo, CMKBD, owner and principal designer, Younique Designs
  • Second Place: Reisa Pollard, lead designer and owner, Beyond Beige Interior Design/co-designer Megan Bouchard, senior designer, Beyond Beige Interior Design
  • Third Place: Shai Arviv, CEO and chief designer, Decori Kitchens/co-designer Elizabeth Gray, Elizabeth Ann Décor

Traditional Kitchen, Small (under 250 square feet):

  • First Place: Courtney Zanelli, CMKBD, Courtney Zanelli, LLC
  • Second Place: Ami McKay, founder and creative designer of PURE Design Inc.
  • Third Place: Kimberly Platt, designer, Mannino Cabinetry/co-designer Rosario Mannino, AIA, LEED AP, RS Mannino Architecture

Contemporary Bath, Large (250 square feet and over):

  • First Place: Sandra Diaz-Velasco, AIA, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, principal architect, EOLO A&I Design
  • Second Place: Patricia Calasich, designer-in-chief, KasaMia Interiors
  • Third Place: Gina D’Amore Bauerle, partner and interior designer, D’Amore Interiors

Contemporary Bath, Small (under 250 square feet):

  • First Place: Gina D’Amore Bauerle, partner and interior designer, D’Amore Interiors
  • Second Place: Sandra Diaz-Velasco
  • Third Place: Candace Nordquist, CMKBD, CLIPP, owner, Candace Nordquist Interiors

Traditional Bath, Large (250 square feet and over):

  • First Place: Shea Pumarejo, CMKBD, owner and principal designer, Younique Designs
  • Second Place: Catherine Jake Galang, founder, Ilustracion By Jake
  • Third Place: Gina D’Amore Bauerle, partner and interior designer, D’Amore Interiors

Traditional Bath, Small (under 250 square feet):

  • First Place: Gina D’Amore Bauerle, partner and interior designer, D’Amore Interiors
  • Second Place: Michelle Youell, principal, Natural Domain Interiors
  • Third Place: Wanda Weston, CKBD, principal designer, WW Design Studio

Clay Lyon Builder-Remodeler:

  • First Place: Megan Jean Tennant, Forte Design Studio

Outdoor Kitchen:

  • First Place: Candace Norquist, CMKBD, CLIPP, Candace Norquist Interiors

Judges for the two-round competition included Katie Brockman, principal, Katie Brockman & Co.; Anne-Marie Brunet, CMKBD, Sheridan Interiors Inc.; Nar Bustamante, NAR Design Group; Lori Carroll, Lori Carroll & Associates; Young Huh, Young Huh, Interior Design; Peggy McGowen, CMBKD, Kitchen & Bath Concepts; John Petrie, CMKBD, Mother Hubbard’s Cabinetry; Natasha Selhi, publisher, KBB; and Carisha Swanson, special projects director, House Beautiful.

Also recognized were the winners of the 2022 Student Design Competition, sponsored by Fisher & Paykel. Approximately 200 kitchen submissions and 200 bath submissions were submitted for the contest.

Bath Winner:

  • First Place: Fatimah Satya, Mt. San Antonio College
  • Second Place: Holli Jacobsen, Weber State University
  • Third Place: Shannon Larsen, Arapahoe Community College

Kitchen Winners:

  • First Place: Rania Bouza, Mt. San Antonio College
  • Second Place: Elma Kim, Cañada College 
  • Third Place: Darya Oswald, AKBD, Century College

The NKBA also presented its Innovative Showroom Awards during the evening event. The awards recognize the most creative, innovative and experiential kitchen and bath showrooms in North America. Honors for showrooms went to: 

  • Best Traditional Independent – Medium: Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio, Nashville, TN
  • Best Brand specific – non-selling: Middleby Residential Dallas Showroom, Dallas, TX
  • Best Multi-Location Showroom – Medium: Fiandre
  • Best Multi-Location Showroom – Large: The Stone Collection
Zach Elkin

Honorees at this year’s KBIS also included the newest member of the NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Hall of Fame, Zach Elkin. The sole member of the 2022 Hall of Fame class, Elkin was celebrated for his prestigious 44-year career in the industry, which includes his current role as president of Beko, as well as years spent at Sears Holdings Corporation, Bosch Siemens Home Appliances Corporation and Signature Kitchen Suite.

“To say I am humbled and thankful does not give the gravity of this honor the justice it deserves,” said Elkin. “For four decades, I have dedicated my life to the kitchen and bath industry, following in the footsteps and standing on the shoulders of the titans who came before me. My journey is a culmination of all that I have learned and applied to the incredible brands I’ve worked with and had the honor of leading. My deepest gratitude to the Hall of Fame committee, my family, former and current colleagues.”

During the evening, the NKBA Chairman’s Award – which recognizes industry leaders for their positive impact on the NKBA and the industry – was presented to Kohler and accepted by Kohler Kitchen and Bath North American President Shawn Oldenhoff.

Positive results are expected to continue next year, when the National Hardware Show joins forces with KBIS and IBS for Design and Construction Week 2023. The event is slated to take place from January 31 through February 2, 2023 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. ▪

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