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The Best in Kitchen & Bath

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas may have ended, but it has left consumers and builders with a big craving for new, innovative and GREEN kitchen and bath products.

KBIS is the equivalent to Fashion Week for kitchens and bathrooms where companies present their newest and most innovative products to impress architects, designers and consumers. This year the theme was heavy on functionality — products that aim to make life easier by using the latest in technology and design.

Here are some highlights from the show, which brought together the very best the industry has to offer in products, design, innovation and trends:

The first outdoor dishwasher by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet® will be available for purchase this summer through a network of dealers that carry the high-end brand, certified design professionals and directly at Kalamazoo®. It will retail for $4,990.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet® has introduced the first dishwasher designed to perform outdoors. How great to have a cookout and not have to worry about carrying in dirty plates, pots and pans. It is designed to work outside and withstand the elements and features a unique wash system that can clean dishes that have been sitting outside, as well as pots and pans that have been exposed to the high heat of a grill fire. It uses as little as 3.8 gallons in a wash program that features highly targeted spray zones to ensure clean dishes and optimum water efficiency.

The Hybrid Fire Grill by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet® comes in four different sizes and 12 models, which are available as a built-in or freestanding unit. Prices start at $9,990.

They also unveiled their new line of Hybrid Fire Grills, which allows you to cook with gas, charcoal or wood and it has designated areas for fish, beef, chicken and pork. It uses a drawer system located above the gas burners and below the cooking surface so you can utilize multiple fuels at the same time to create the perfect outdoor feast.

New options and features for 2011 include popular favorites like an integrated rotisserie and ambient lighting along with redesigned gas burners, which allow for the entire grill surface to be used as a sear zone. Reaching temperatures up to 800 degrees this is one of the most powerful grills on the market.

The LG® Studio Series 30" Gas Cooktop is powerful and versatile featuring a dual stacked center burner, continuous grates and three additional heat-varying burners. For safety and style they've added a blue LED indicator around each knob so you know exactly what's cookin'. It retails for $1259

LG Electronics® introduced the new LG Studio Series™ suite of premium appliances, which include ranges, wall ovens, warming drawers, cooktops, hoods, microwave ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers, as well as home laundry innovations. It's an impressive new design that combines sophistication, cutting-edge technology and energy efficiency to create the ultimate cooking experience.

Dacor® returned to KBIS after a one year hiatus with a brand new addition to its line of high-end kitchen appliances. The Distinctive™ Series is aimed at the serious cook who's looking for high performance functionality combined with affordable luxury. The line features a lean but effective collection of appliances that include a 30" single and 30" double wall oven, 30" dual fuel range, 30" and 36" gas range top and 36" gas cooktop, 24" microwave and 24" dishwasher.

In addition to the new Distinctive™ Series, Dacor® exhibited products from its Discovery™ and Renaissance™ product lines, including the new Renaissance™ Wall Oven, a classically beautiful appliance that offers impeccable performance. Sells for just under $5k.

Indulge yourself with this luxurious soaking tub from TOTO's® Aimes™ Bath Collection where traditional and modern styling come together to give your master suite an elegant look and feel.

There were plenty of new products on display at TOTO's® booth including the transitional styling from the Aimes™ Bath Collection. A spa shower was set up featuring a 2.5 gpm showerhead that resembled a 19th century lampshade featuring clean lines and a durable translucent white plastic hood. For a luxurious showering experience, its 10" spray face has 65 rubber nozzles and a shower arm that extends over 15 inches from the wall. Also on display was the newly redesigned Aimes™ toilet featuring their top-of-line double cyclone flush engine for optimum performance and styling.

American Standard® introduced a unique alternative to a shower or bathtub with its new seated shower, which features a quick drain system that clears the water in under five minutes so you can safely exit.

The new American Standard® acrylic seated shower fits in the space of a standard bathtub and features a built-in, chair height seat perfect for anyone having difficulty standing in the shower. Fully open on one side, the seat allows easy transfer in and out of the shower. It retails for $2,625.

The American-made natural quartz countertop is stain-resistant, non-porous and maintenance free. Shown is Brownhill™ from Cambria's® Quarry Collection. Prices range from $70-$90 per square foot.

Cambria® returned to KBIS after a 5 year hiatus to showcase 38 new colors. According to Stacia Smith, Cambria's director of public relations and market development, "The look of onyx, marble, and granite with the performance benefits of quartz as the strongest and only maintenance-free stone surface is a brand message we want to make known."

Design Tip
With incandescent bulbs being close to extinction, now is the time to think about replacing your fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs and CFLS. When it comes areas in your home that use 40-watts like hallways and bedrooms, you'll want to try the new GE Energy Smart LED bulb, which exceeds ENERGY STAR's rating for output and lasts over 22 years. Now that's efficient.