A Look at the Inspiration Behind the CAFÉ Kitchen Design 

CAFE Midnight Luxe Kitchen KBIS 2021
CAFÉ KBIS 2021 Kitchen: Midnight Luxe

Q: What inspired you as you approached these kitchens this year? 

We draw inspiration from fashion, art, culture and design to create spaces that have strong identities. The CAFÉ tagline is “Distinct by Design,” so we carry that mantra through the entire process. Our goal is to create showstopper kitchens that inspire attendees, introduce them to trend-forward looks and give them a glimpseinto new product innovations.

Q: You designed four vastly different kitchens for CAFÉ appliances at KBIS this year. How did CAFÉ appliances inspire you?

Each of the kitchens has aunique presence and evokes a different feeling. Desert Daydream is a play onbiophilic design with sunbaked earthen tones and natural materials and textures,and we infused it with hints of glam through the CAFÉ stainless steel finish with mixed metal hardware. Midnight Luxe is a rich tone-on-tone look that has a sophisticated and dramatic aesthetic with appliances in the CAFÉ matte black finish, while Endless Optimist is bold, playful and energetic with appliances in the CAFÉ matte white finish. Our Mindful Escapism kitchen has an ethereal glow to it, and every surface and material was carefully chosen to play with reflectivity and light to really drive the narrative around the Modern Glass Collection and its stunning finish.

Designer T.K. Wismer
Designer T.K. Wismer

I think the 2021 CAFÉ kitchens show the true versatility of these customizable appliances and will inspire our audience to express their own personal style and creativity.

Q: What do you hope people take away from these kitchens?

My hope was to recreate the awe and wonder that you feel in a physical show in the digital space. Designers and attendees come to KBIS to see what’s next in products, color, materials and finish, and we wanted to give them the inspiration that they crave. My favorite part of the show is meeting designers in the booth and having discussions about trends, sourcing, problem-solving and project management. This year, we created the live sessions as a virtual way to keep those conversations going.

Q: What design trends do you think will emerge from KBIS this year? 

We were headed into a season of calming nature-inspired looks early in 2020, but the pandemic really shifted the point of view and accelerated some different themes.There has been a range of emotional responses to the collective challenge of the past year, and you’ll see that play out in design. Here are some things I’m looking for:

CAFÉ KBIS 2021 Kitchen: Desert Daydream
CAFÉ KBIS 2021 Kitchen: Desert Daydream
  • Bold, expressive colors:We captured this in our CAFÉ Endless Optimist kitchen with a play on color and pattern. People are looking for a boost, and color can infuse so much fun and energy into a space.
  • Unique finishes that respond to light: Mindful Escapism tapped into our desire for a space in our homes that would be almost therapeutic in its soft glow and chameleon-like finishes. The glass finish of the Modern Glass appliances is also perfect for growing themes around sanitization and cleaning, as we are all thinking more about keeping our homes healthy.
  • Fresh takes on mixed metals: Desert Daydream focuses on natural earthen finishes and has a truly warming glow. The story of mixed metals is not a new one, but it is still exciting to see how brands are fine- tuning their offerings.There are some really fresh takes on metallics coming to market. We were drawn to morphed metallic looks a lot this year, and I expect to see more gradients and finish options ranging from high polished to matte to give designs depth and allow designers to layer on textures for touch-worthy appeal.
CAFÉ KBIS 2021 Kitchen: Mindful Escapism
CAFÉ KBIS 2021 Kitchen: Mindful Escapism

Q: Was it challenging to tap into your creativity during a global pandemic?

We had to approach how we access inspiration in a totally new way. Instead of being surrounded by materials and physically scouting trends, we headed home with our laptops. It was different, but I was so impressed by many brands and companies that continued to pump out content to keep us all inspired. It was challenging, but it’s also been one of the most inspiring seasons I’ve had. The pandemic pushed us years into the future in the way we collaborate, and it gave us a whole new appreciation for our partners. I truly think the best is yet to come.