May 5, 2013
I just got back from a wonderful tour of three US cities as a guest of Kohler Co. They flew me in to New Orleans, Chicago and Kohler, Wisconsin from Toronto to attend the celebration of their 140th year. In New Orleans, our focus was on the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show or KBIS.
Yes, I am still on “vacation” “at home” with my family. It was a treat to be in new cities for the first time while getting a firsthand look at the latest designs in kitchen and bathrooms. I have a gazillion stories to share from these trips.
At Kohler’s 8,800-square-foot booth at the KBIS at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
David Kohler, President and COO of Kohler Co., one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 30,000 associates.With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; premier furniture, cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin and St Andrews, Scotland. David’s great-grandfather is the founder of Kohler Co.
At the press room with David Kohler and Adam Queck, GM & Commercial Director for South East Asia Pacific. David talked us through the innovations and new products offered by Kohler Co. this year.
The Moxie™ showerhead + wireless speaker, a new innovation, simultaneously soaks the bather with music and water. A magnetic Bluetooth®-enabled speaker streams audio directly into the shower and pops out for enjoyment in the bath.
This could be you. Or me, haha. Photo from Kohler Co.
The Sensate™ touchless kitchen faucet demonsrated by TV personality, DR Mixologist Darryl Robinson, a popular bartenders on the New York mixology scene and host to “Drink Up” on The Cooking Channel. With Sensate, Water flow starts just 20 milliseconds after activation with a wave of a hand, kitchen utensil or pot, so it’s easy to flow through tasks and reduce the spread of germs.
I enjoyed seeing the different Kohler products together because I actually use Kohler in my bathroom and kitchen. This is my Kohler Whitehaven enameled cast iron sink at home after the renovation. My faucet is the HiRise bridge also by Kohler. These are not readily available in the Philippines (or in South East Asia). Kohler Co. made special arrangements for me; they shipped it to Manila. Grateful! And very lucky. The Whitehaven is made in the USA – I saw the entire process in their factory in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Coloured enameled cast iron sinks from the Jonathan Adler collection.
Kohler has been making enameled cast iron for over 130 years. During our factory tour in Kohler, Wisconsin I saw how cast iron sinks and bathtubs were made from the moment iron were poured into molds until they are enameled. I was amazed to see how, despite all the automation available, most cast iron products were still done by hand. It made me even love my own Whitehaven sink more. So much soul – the artisanal craft and heritage!
This is the new Whitehaven with Smart Divide. The classic apron-front sink design typically features a large single basin like mine, but many homeowners like the functionality of a double basin. Photo from Kohler Co.
In an effort to provide consumers with options that fit their design preference and lifestyle, Kohler Co. adds a double-basin sink to this farmhouse style. The Kohler-exclusive Smart Divide® saddle perfectly complements the smooth design lines of the Whitehaven® apron-front sink, one of the company’s most popular apron-front models. Photo from Kohler Co.
I was in heaven here. After renovating my kitchen, I’m about to start renovating our guest bathroom at home. Trust me, it may be epic again. The Kohler stuff I want isn’t sold in Asia. Yikes.
The VibrAcoustic bathtub. With this technology, you can play your favorite music, news, podcasts and more through your bath. Just plug in your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player. The water responds with sound waves moving through your body. This tub deserves its own story. I got to try it at The American Club in Wisconsin and I tell you… it’s so amazing. I may just have to share my video blog review.
Numi® Comfort Height® toilet: This iconic Kohler toilet receives several user-friendly enhancements, such as a Bluetooth® receiver, SD card for personalized playlists and additional ambient lighting options. This unit made the news. Check out Mashable. Photo from Kohler Co.
Fully automatic toilets aren’t new to us (in Asia). But the Numi is making waves because of its streamlined design. Kohler’s most advanced toilet includes a sleek, interactive LCD touch-screen interface, built-in personalized bidet functionality and deodorizer, innovative dual-flush technology with 0.6 and 1.28 gallons per flush, intuitive auto-open and -close lid, and a heated seat and foot warmer.
Veil™ dual-flush wall-hung toilet: The first residential wall-hung toilet from Kohler Co. in the North American market. This type of toilet saves space with a modern design and offers powerful water savings. I imagine a lot of new homeowners in the Philippines would want this. Think of the fun uplighting effects you can do from the floor. It’s also more hygienic. You can easily clean the entire bathroom floor with minimal grooves and cuts.
More kitchen and bath stories coming up…
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