Whitegoods at K/BIS: Green, Clean and Flatscreened
It’s 90 degrees in Las Vegas this week, but the convention center is being chilled by a new crop of refrigerators with features ranging from “french doors” to removable wireless TV’s. Over 40,000 retailers, designers, builders and buyers have gathered to see the high-end coolers, some selling upwards of $4000, and the many other appliances on display at the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) running through Thursday. 900 vendors are showing in the North and Central halls, including all the major CE brands.
First day press conferences revealed a new generation of “green” home appliances, expensive washers that promise to pay for themselves eventually by using less hot water (Samsung) or barely agitating your clothes (Haier). LG and Samsung are once again showing refrigerators with interactive LCD touch-panel screens on the door. Sharp is spotlighting a new generation of “microwave drawers” designed to live under the counter, dishwasher-style.
Stainless steel is still the most popular and the premium-priced design color on kitchen appliances, but bright, primary-colored washers and dryers dot the showfloor in “tango red” and “midnight blue.” Lines on all appliances, save some Italian custom retro-ovens, are clean and simple.