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Design Life: Kitchens & baths -- hot for 2013

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If a reno is in the plans this year, hopefully you made it out to the Kitchen, Bath & Renovation Show in Winnipeg this past weekend and saw some of the latest trends and material must-haves. But if you didn't catch it, don't worry — we trekked into the city last Sunday for a zip through the show and have compiled a few of the best ideas, products, and companies for you.

HIGH TECH

I have to say I noticed a ton of high tech products this year: toilets, medicine cabinets, shower systems, etc. Basic fixtures have been transformed into smart little machines all with the touch of a button. Like singing in the shower or while you're doing your makeup in the morning? Fully enclosed showers with built-in radios and CD players are becoming the norm. There was even a fully electric toilet on display that automatically knew when to raise or lower the lid based on motion detection. Smart. See maax.com and kohler.ca.

EMBOSSED CABINETRY

An embossed cabinet door panel caught my eye as we turned one corner. It was decked out in a sandy Python print. Don't think you're stuck with oak, maple, or plain white options for cabinetry — cabinetry is taking a detour into a more texturized and unconventional realm. Perhaps best in smaller applications (think powder rooms, ensuites, or custom dining cabinetry), these embossed finishes look chic and amazing. See harmskitchen.ca.

OPEN ISLANDS

The term 'think outside the box' has never been more true! Kitchen islands aren't afraid of opening up: having some display shelving built right into the end or on part of the front face will change the dynamic of your island, and give it a more personal touch. See urbaneffects.ca.

SNAZZY HARDWARE

Although many varied in style and finish, most of the kitchen displays had one thing in common — super jazzy hardware. Overused stainless tubular pulls are biting the dust — handles and knobs today are geometric, linear, cubist, and nearly invisible in some cases. I was drawn immediately to all of the funky hardware throughout the displays. Something to definitely keep in mind when you're looking for that last little bit of wow factor. See richelieu.com.

CONCRETE

You might be thinking of driveways and buildings when you think of concrete. Instead you should consider custom poured countertops. A solid design trend that's been around for years. Concrete tops are pouring into Manitoba as an alternate choice to granite or Quartz. Durable, rich in appearance, and completely customizable, concrete tops offer a warm, minimalist, and sleek design aesthetic. See fragua.ca.

SUPER SHAPES

Bathe in an egg? Soak in an ellipse? Rectangular tubs have some stiff competition in the form of out-there shapes and sizes. If you're looking for a stand-alone stunner and have squirreled away a bit of coin for that statement piece, the Blu Stone One Piece bathtub is a gem. See blubathworks.com.

For more inspiration and information, visit kitchenandbathshow.com — OR you can hang on until Brandon hosts its 47th annual (and in my opinion, one of the best shows to attend) Home & Leisure Show, April 5-7.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 19, 2013

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If a reno is in the plans this year, hopefully you made it out to the Kitchen, Bath & Renovation Show in Winnipeg this past weekend and saw some of the latest trends and material must-haves. But if you didn't catch it, don't worry — we trekked into the city last Sunday for a zip through the show and have compiled a few of the best ideas, products, and companies for you.

HIGH TECH

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If a reno is in the plans this year, hopefully you made it out to the Kitchen, Bath & Renovation Show in Winnipeg this past weekend and saw some of the latest trends and material must-haves. But if you didn't catch it, don't worry — we trekked into the city last Sunday for a zip through the show and have compiled a few of the best ideas, products, and companies for you.

HIGH TECH

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