The Cure For Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) At KBIS 2019

The one word I kept hearing this year at KBIS 2019 (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show), this year is FOMO.

Fear Of Missing Out.

  • First there are the folks who can’t attend the show at all.
  • And then there are the people who can’t attend all of the talks– AND see the show.

It’s pretty much impossible to see all of the products, in any case.

And then, one has to try to retain what we’re being told and remember to take photos— the right photos.


In my case, on a couple of occasions, I forgot to bring my freaking phone!


I suppose that it’s human nature. We don’t want to miss out on the fun. Alas, while loads of fun, there is also a fair amount of pain involved. Like my feet. It’s actually a big problem for me. Remember this? And, well… Nobody can do everything and be everywhere.


Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re all missing out on something or other.

But, to be sure it all gets covered, every year Veronika Eagleson, president of Modenus and Design Hounds gathers together 24 interior designers with blogs and/or social media influence to cover the show. I guess the idea is that between all 24 of us, there will be adequate coverage.

This is my third year in a row that I am privileged to be in this select group of designers that make up the Design Hounds.


Veronika Eagleson who puts these trips together, usually doesn’t have any of us go two years in a row and I am positive that I am the first who’s gone three years in a row. It’s not because I’m special; it’s because of you guys who voted for me.

I won the trip. However, I changed my flight and came two nights early, so it wasn’t completely free.


I arrived Saturday evening– exhausted. Already.


But, you have to know that I was sitting next to two giant football players that were so big they HAD to take up the armrest between them. But the spillage came well over into MY tiny space, on the aisle. And, since I had to type and there’s only so close I can hold my arms and still do so. Thus, my shoulder and right arm had no place to go but out into the narrow aisle.

Get the picture?


Now, as it happens there were also two HUUUUUGE flight attendants. And, I spent 5.5 hours getting thwonked as they galloped past me with that unyielding metal cart.


So, arriving a bit beaten up, I kind of crawled to my room which was quite a bit more deluxe than I was expecting. I finished up my blog post and sent it off.

The next day, Sunday, I got up, took a shower and put on make-up for one of 12 times. lol and then had an okay eggs benedict and coffee. And then, I went back to my room to work on Tuesday’s blog post.

How are you doing? Fascinating stuff, isn’t it? ;]


Why didn’t you have Tuesday’s blog post ready before you left, Laurel?


That is a very reasonable, lucid and intelligent question.

And, here’s the answer.

Basically, I’m phenomenally lazy. Yes, I know. 600+ blog posts, four books and thousands of comments. Believe me when I tell you that I AM exceedingly l—a—z—y. In order to get anything done, I usually need to have a little fire chasing me.

One of those fires is Tuesday/Friday/Sunday/Tuesday/Friday/Sunday…

But, I finished writing the majority of my post that morning and then in the early afternoon, darling Claire Jefford and Liza Jones arrived.


Claire - me - Liza at Releaf Las Vegas

Claire, me and Liza toasting our trip and reunion. Claire organized and Liza and I were both on the Bahamas cruise that was just a year ago.

And then, in the early evening, another terrific designer, Wendy Woloshchuk who it feels like I had met, but didn’t until then.

These ladies are so much fun. I love them all. Then, we had dinner and then I went back to my room. And yes, I worked on my post some more.

The next day, in preparation for the KBIS 2019 show was spent eating and getting my hair and nails done, down the road at the Westgate hotel.


Then, I was ready for a nap. hahahahaha.


But, coming out of the salon, making my way out of the Enormous hotel, I was attacked by a woman with a come-on about some cosmetics.

I am sure that I must’ve had on my SUCKER t-shirt that day.

However, I dutifully listened to her shtick and let her partner in crime rub this expensive French shit around my eyes that’s supposed to lift everything up to where it was 40 years ago.

OH, that reminds me. It was 40 years ago, TODAY that a quite GREEN Laurel with taught skin, arrived in New York City to seek her fortune ? as a dancer. If you’d like to see some cheesy pics of me dancing circa 1979/1980 click here.


So, Laurel, did the French shit lift your eyes up?


I guess so. But, none the less, I was still tired, so I went back to my room to rest (and work which is actually restful) and then I felt better.

Then, at the appointed time, I got dressed up to go to the opening NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Assoc.) Awards and party.

Claire-Laurel-Chandra Design Hounds NKBA Awards party
My hair is not that red, but doesn’t it look nice? I cannot make it look that good. Not even close. Above is also the delightful Chanda Seymour.


NKBA 2019 awards - trapeze artists

After the awards ceremony, they opened up the back of the hall and there, “Las Vegas style,” were two contortionists cavorting around on their individual trapeze. This is not my image. I apologize about the angle but it’s the best I could do. Believe me, I spent a couple of hours trying to find even one image. I took it from a short video on the NKBA Twitter feed.

(it’s there. you have to scroll down to 2.18)

This was the night I forgot my phone. That’s because I decided to present like a lady haha and bring an evening bag instead of the big orange one. Oh well.


The next day was the first day of the show, for real and we had to get up EARLY. Supposedly, I should’ve still been on east coast time, but nope. Early is early.

You non-morning peeps will understand. Morning people will not understand. So be it.


Most of the morning was spent either in meetings or talks.


Then, we started our Design Hounds tour of KBIS 2019.

Our First Stop was Wellborn Cabinetry.


Wellborn is one of our six brand sponsors for Modenus Design Hounds. And you may recall that Wellborn was a sponsor two years ago. You can read about them here.


Wellborn Cabinetry booth - KBIS Las Vegas 2019The show this year in Las Vegas seemed especially crowded. In previous years, I would wait sometimes several minutes to get a shot, but this year decided to include the people because I think it helps to give a more accurate feeling of what it’s like to be there.

More about that later.

Wellborn Cabinetry KBIS 2019This kitchen at the Wellborn booth was one of my favorites.

Wellborn Cabinetry - KBIS kitchen vignette

I adore that brass tubing. Plus, this kitchen features two new door styles, both of which I like a lot. Plus, they work very well together as you can see.

They are the Galena Square which is a shaker style door that’s on the dark cabinet above.

The other door style is the Lexington which you can see on the other doors.

Below is some literature if you’re interested in learning more.

Wellborn Door styles new KBIS 2019
Wellborn Cabinetry - pull-out bin KBIS 2019
I also loved this pull-out decorative stile piece. That’s perfect for holding small things in the bathroom. I was standing with another Design Hound and we both concurred that we’d leave off the knob. It opens very easily without it.

Wellborn is known for having lots of clever storage solutions.


Below is more literature about a tiny sampling of the dozens of options.

Wellborn Cabinetry - organizational drawers


After lunch we visited Thermador another sponsor of our Design Hounds tour KBIS 2019.


Blue cocktail - Thermador - KBIS 2019

They greeted us with these yummy blue cocktails. I only had a few sips because I’m loopy enough without alcohol. But I did appreciate the thought behind it.

You might recall that Thermador put on an AMAZING party for us last year. It’s one I’ll never forget. The food, entertainment and ambience were extraordinary!

And two years ago, we also visited Thermador’s always beautiful booth.


Thermador-masterpiece-collection-explore-professional-collection_KBIS 2019
This year, Thermador has introduced some exceedingly elegant designs with their newly redesigned Masterpiece Collection. Above is their professional image and the rest are images I took from the show.

Thermador - sleek built in ovens - coffee maker - microwave KBIS Las Vegas 2019 - Masterpiece Collection

Coffee Station, Ovens and microwave from Thermador’s Masterpiece Collection


Thermador beautiful induction cooktop

Award-winning induction cook-top from Thermador.

Thermador 48" range - new - KBIS Las Vegas 2019Our guide told us that her favorite appliance in the line is this customizable 48″ range. I could live with that. haha.

Benjamin Moore Color Trends KBIS 2019

We also had a lot of free-time to wander around. And, of course, I had to stop by the Benjamin Moore Booth.  The background color here is Kendall Charcoal, one of the Laurel Home Collection colors. In fact, a number of these colors are part of the collection.

Second from the left in the top row is the Benjamin Moore Color of the Year, 2019 which I wrote about here.

Benjamin Moore booth KBIS 2019
The Benjamin Moore booth is one of the most attractive booths in the show. And one reason why I think that is so, is that their booth consists of walls and a partial ceiling. While the lighting they used distorted the colors, the over-all feeling is quite pleasant. The color on the right is Hale Navy.


Speaking to one of the reps, I learned something regarding “chalking” that I’d like to share with y’all.


Chalking is actually a scuff on the wall that shows up more with a matte paint finish and usually only on the darkest colors. What is actually happening is that the wall is taking on something, such as skin or fiber from a fabric, etc. The paint is not coming off.

The rep said that it’s very easy to remove the scuff simply by wiping with a damp cloth. She said that the paint would not streak and the scuff or chalking would come completely off.


So, if you would like to do the more velvety matte finish with a darker color, it’s quite possible.


Mid-afternoon, I decided that I had to have a rest as the afternoon meeting was optional. We did have a mandatory event that evening at the New American Home sponsored by Caesarstone. So, it was back to my room where I finished my post and sent it off.

Then, I freshened up and got on a bus with the rest of my trip-mates where we were taken to the house located about 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas.


New American Home-Caesarstone - infinity pool - Las Vegas lights

As one enters the home we are drawn to the back by this jaw-dropping view. This image doesn’t begin to capture the magic of the panoramic view of Las Vegas in the distance. But, I did my best. Just know that this is at most one-third of what one can see from left to right.

In the foreground is the infinity pool.

KBIS 2019-New American Home - CaesarstoneA view of the house looking towards the kitchen. Some interesting people obviously oblivious to me taking pics. I love that.

KBIS 2019-Caesarstone-New American Home-kitchen

Another view of the kitchen. Of course, I believe that every surface is made from Caesarstone.


This is another blog post where we discussed quartz products.


 Home - Caesarstone-model food

They had some yummy appetizers for us. I called this one the “model food” haha table because while, pretty and tasty, this particular table wasn’t very substantial and after walking around all day, we were hungry! They did have other things to eat, however.


But, the hi-light of this showhouse were the living statues painted to look like Caesarstone.


Oh man, some of them had to stand outside and it was FREEZING! What troopers!


Caesarstone living statue- KBIS 2019 The New American Home

However, the first “sculpture” we came across, we did not yet realize what was going on. I said to a friend, “Is that a sculpture or is it a real person?” As we walked closer, suddenly she took a very large breath and we all let out a huge laugh. Someone actually screamed. We were certain that it was a real sculpture!

I wonder how long it took to paint her. At least she got a space heater. This is inside, but the door was open near by to go outside.

Caesar Stone - Aging in Place? New American Home
A little later on, I couldn’t resist taking this shot as a gentleman sat down for a rest unaware how interesting was the juxtaposition. What is even more amazing and TOTALLY coincidental is that the lovely woman behind the glass is Mitzi Beach, the author of Boomer Smarts, a book about aging in place.

Caesar Stone Statues - Florence Von Pelet - Sara Harman - KBIS 2019-New American Home

haha! Enjoy! Three of the statues did a little dance to thaw out, I presume. haha. Pictured with them are our Design Hounds tour leaders Florence Von Pelet and Sara Harman.

Well, that’s all for now. There’s much more to come from KBIS 2019!





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And there’s a new promo code waiting for you by clicking the above link for 20% off everything except their original art pieces. Plus, all of the upholstery is already on sale right now with a different promo code also available by clicking the above link.

32 Responses

  1. I am loving all the blue and gray and green cabinets. I’m actually thinking a lavender gray for my cabinets. A pale apricot for the walls would pair well. I can pull in accents of the BRIGHT greens I’m planning for the dining room without overwhelming the space.

    I have an accessible galley wide enough to open the oven and the dishwasher facing it and still scooch through. It would take to an unkitchen really well. The colors should be refreshing and pull in the light from the window at the end. I intend to add a window over the sink and raise the ceiling a bit. The roof is vaulted (central dining room is double-height) so there’s –no reason– for the kitchen ceiling to be low and flat.

  2. You’re right, I misquoted you. “Never” apparently came from my own head – now I feel better about ignoring it, haha. 😊 Can’t wait to see the post! Thanks, Laurel!

  3. What a great event to attend. Hopefully you had comfortable shoes.
    Your information regarding chalking on dark walls was interesting. Many years ago I had that problem in my mud room which was painted black. After a while I got tired of wiping down the walls to remove the marks & found a black wallpaper I loved. That solved the problem.

    1. I hear you on the getting tired of maintaining something. I have comfortable shoes, alas, after an hour or so on my feet, nothing is comfortable and once it gets inflamed, it’s all over. It’s one of the reasons, I’m loathe to go to High Point.

  4. Laurel, Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us who are living vicariously through you!! I read your blog every Sunday, and go through your sales pages too. I just wanted to tell you how very lovely you look in the picture where you say your hair looks a little redder than usual. Your dress and necklace are gorgeous with your coloring. How you can pull off looking that pretty while traveling is a true testament to your inner beauty. Thank you for sharing the KBIS with us.

  5. Love your blog. Have been reading it for 4 years. Regarding your feet – have you ever tried FitFlops? Two years ago I had plantar fasciitis and could barely walk. Someone suggested FitFlops. They aren’t very attractive, but I am able to walk in them for extended periods of time.

    1. Hi Dodie,

      Thank you for the suggestion.

      Right now, my right foot got so aggravated, it’s hurting all of the time. I think it’s time to get more aggressive about this. I think that it’s likely a neuroma.

  6. Re: “that French shit that lifts your eyes up where they were 40 years ago”: d’you think they make something similar for boobs?

    Sounds like a fun time was had by all! Thanks for the great recap.

  7. Hi Laurel, I finally just got to read this post and the dysfunctional kitchen post – I am still laughing about the dinosaur island. So I am redoing my kitchen and my northern/lodgy, open concept Wisconsin house, and I so wish you could see it.

    I think I’ve made a lot of good decisions based on your excellent teaching, although I am intrepidly choosing to ignore your advice to never match wood cabinets.

    Mine are an irregular-looking maple color, and I just can’t paint them in this particular house. We are going to remove a wall of them, take the rest of them to the ceiling, and add open shelving on the open wall.

    We just need a tiny cabinet here and there to fill in some spaces (due to newly configured counters) as well as the open shelves, to coordinate in maple. Due to the natural irregularity, It might actually work. But my question is something else.

    I had selected LG Hausys Viatera Cirrus warm white quartz for the countertop. (And a marble tile backsplash along one wall only, all the way up.) However, I am hearing rumblings of white quartz issues. A sales rep swears that it yellows in sunlight, which we have lots of.

    I’m also concerned about scorching from hot pans, as I am raising three young cooks in this kitchen and I myself have been known to be forgetful. Finally, I tested samples with a black sharpie, and noticed that the finish gets destroyed by scrubbing with barkeepers friend.

    You would think I could just ban sharpies from my house, but the three young cooks tend to be unknown variables, not to mention the husband. Maybe I’m overthinking the white quartz, but I have actually begun to consider porcelain tile. I found some 29 x 29 in.² slabs at a higher end tile shop that have a lovely matte marble look.

    Due to the huge size, the grout lines would be minimal. I tested samples with everything, and it all washed off with soap and water – one swipe. Furthermore, they will never get burn marks, and I am told that if installed correctly, chances of breakage are minimal. They may have a real marble edge installed for a thick look.

    So – have you seen any nice tile countertops? Or does it say “cheap and dated”? Is faux marble a dated trend? And if I go with it, can I still do a marble tile backsplash? I thought remodeling a kitchen would be fun … self doubt and agony is more like it!!!! I appreciate any time/thoughts you have. Love and have much benefited from your blog!

    1. Hi Tess,

      First of all, I’m not sure what you mean by ignoring my advice to not match wooden cabinets. That’s out of context, but it doesn’t have a familiar ring. I use the word “never” quite sparingly and when I use it, it’s because I feel it’s warranted.

      As for the countertop material, I will be going over some of that soon.

  8. Hi Laurel, it looks like so much fun! I’m wondering if you have any idea what the lovely chartreuse wall color is in the picture of the interesting oblivious people and the one after it. Thanks!

    1. Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t know the color. However, even if I did, the photos are taken in artificial light and then I color-corrected to my screen. I can assure you that the color will look quite different in your home. This is what I always say. If you see a color you like in a photo either real or virtual, go and find a color that looks like what you are seeing.

      First put up a few chips and then narrow those down and get some test pots to paint on your boards…

  9. Looks like a fun time! I just wanted to chime in and say that I really like my Wellborn cabinets. I have a similar Shaker type door (and those pull out spice cabinets which I love). I told my builder I didn’t want cabinets painted on site (which he does with all his homes), and insisted on a factory finish. He suggested Wellborn, and I’m really happy with them.

  10. I have to say, your photo of the fireplace lady and senior gentleman sitting nearby is the best! Plus the lady in the background who writes about aging. A wonderful composition.

    1. Hi Kathleen,

      I love that one too. A couple friends were sitting or standing nearby and were egging me on to take the photo. Of course, we were giggling because of how cool it was. Like, “sir, do you not notice that just around the corner is a gorgeous scantily clad woman pretending to be a sculpture?” Maybe we’re all sculptures? Some just get paid for it. haha

      I snapped a few of the man and fireplace lady and then I noticed that Mitzi was in one of them and that she was actually looking in. That was an act of God if there ever was one.

  11. I have to comment about the Cotton Club cameo- that is so cool! You have such an interesting life, I’m jealous. Thank you for all of the entertainment and great design advice!!

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Well… Some of it that I never talk about is a little too interesting, if you catch my drift. But, they say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I find that platitude a little simplistic. It makes you stronger if you work at it, otherwise, the shit can surely make one bitter, angry and hard. Hard is not the same as strong.

      Strong = love. Hard = pain. I prefer the former. There is too much good to embrace and be immensely grateful for.

      Now, if I could find a way to stand on my feet for more than one hour without having excruciating pain, that would be a wonderful thing.

  12. Hi Laurel

    I’m going nuts trying to pick the right blue for my kitchen island. Thinking BM Van Courtland blue — I love the blue on the Wellborn cabinetry. Would you happen to know what it is? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marg,

      I feel for you. One thing I want to say about kitchen islands and it is definitely a function of the way kitchens are lit, I’m sure. But also, how objects are perceived against the wall as opposed to floating. But one thing I’ve noticed is that islands always appear lighter than we think they are going to. And that goes true for paint colors in general. That’s why I always say that wall colors need to be placed FLAT against the wall.

      So, when you’re looking at island colors, be sure to look at a nice large sample floating in the middle of your space. Maybe prop it up so that it’s perfectly vertical.

      And sorry, I don’t know what the colors are from the show.

  13. I loved seeing you again Laurel! It sounds like you had a great time at KBIS. I loved seeing color, especially at the Wellborn Cabinet booth. There seemed to be a lot of color this year.

    1. Hi Sheri,

      So happy to see you again too! It was like a mini reunion with our cruise buddies, Jana, Liza and Claire. I will be getting to the color, probably next post. Well, I don’t want to give it away. haha. You know, I always have my laurel-way of looking at the world.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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