KBIS/IBS 2014: Function Meets Beauty

Sometimes the simplest idea transforms an industry. And so these products will when they are released this year. InSinkErator’s new 3N1 Kitchen faucet, Northern Contours’ wire brushed wood veneers and Wilson Art’s RE-COVER laminate.

InSinkErator is known for their disposals and I have one in my kitchen. It is one appliance in the kitchen that perhaps isn’t sexy but when it doesn’t work you realize how much you depended on it every single day. Especially with a chef in the house, we work our InSinkErator disposal hard.

When the publisher of Greenspring Media forwarded an email requesting that we stop by the InSinkErator booth we thought, “sure we know what they manufacture.” Were we ever surprised to find that InSinkErator has reinvented the kitchen faucet!

Their new faucet is a single stem with the hot and cold on/off toggle on the right side and the hot water tap built in on the left. They have eliminated the need for that extra spigot on the countertop for super hot water. It’s a designer’s dream and a hot tea drinker’s dream-come true. It’s sexy and hot.

To be released later this year, the European-designed InSinkErator 3N1 plans on releasing a transitional and traditional style in the future.

At last year’s KBIS we found a Minnesota company we hadn’t worked with before—Northern Contours. They are a veneer and thermafoil company manufacturing cabinet doors for many large and small cabinet dealers and manufacturers.

Photo by Barbara Schmidt


This past year, we have built several kitchens with Northern Contours products. Missy Sjvern, Marketing Manager for Northern Contours, helps us navigate all the options for door styles and finishes.

We stopped by to see her and were surprised to see an entirely new finish. Their brushed wood finish is exactly that—wood that is scraped with wire brushes. It is brilliant and beautiful! We are in love with this wood tone and the wash over the wood after it is scrapped makes the texture look timeless.

How do you source Northern Contours? They are a wholesaler and sell to several dealers in Minnesota and around the country. Currently, we have a project with Scherer Brothers for an Edina kitchen.

We stopped by WilsonArt to see their new colors, of course, and to thank Alison DeMartino and Tammy Weadlock from Marketing for all their help with our recent Marvin Windows shoot. They graciously shared countertop material for our project and one was already featured in a local publication as well. 

Photo by Barbara Schmidt


This year, Deric Pitts gave us a booth tour and he showed us one amazing new WilsonArt product called RE-COVER. Essentially an installer can simply lay the product down over existing melamine surface or traditional substrates in about half the time it takes to install regular laminate. Super smart!

WilsonArt also has a new wood laminate pattern that is going to be a big seller – mid-tone walnut butcher block. We can hardly wait to use it in one of our next kitchen designs!

Barbara Schmidt is principal and lead designer of bstyle inc, a nationally recognized design firm creating and building spaces for homeowners, retailers and manufacturers for over twenty years.