Each year, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS 2018) showcases the latest industry products, trends, and technologies. It's an exciting time for the thousands of architects, designers, builders and other trade professionals that attend.

Sharp's expert team of PR and social media professionals were onsite, too, and walked the aisles and interviewed designers to identify what's new, innovative, and sure to stand out this year. Here's a look at trends to watch in 2018:

1.White is white-hot! But so is dark and brooding.

Bertazzoni launched its new Master Series of ranges, now available in Matte White

"This year at KBIS, the color stories that jumped out to me were split in two. First, you have the stunning matte white, as see in the Bertazzoni booth and its beautiful white appliances. You also have the brooding, dark environments that love anthracite finishes with organic wood elements playing a role. Anthracite played a larger role this year than in previous years." - Jennifer Bertrand, winner of HGTV "Design Star" and 2017 NKBA K+B Insider

"Color is playing a stronger role--white appliances are replacing brushed stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. I'm also seeing darker, moodier kitchens, which is also lending itself to more layers of lighting throughout the space. There is more backlighting, ambient, and task lights used--for example, to illuminate cabinetry. It's stunning." -- Jeanne Chung, Cozy•Stylish•Chic, Pasadena, CA.

2. Gray's anatomy: it's getting warmer.

"I saw the return of color to the kitchen, but in a new way.  Plumbing fixtures in vibrant colors were everywhere. This new injection of color was quieted by warm neutral countertops and brassy golds in tile and hardware. The grey undertones we have seen for several years now lost the cooler blue tones and were richened by browns and warm taupes.  Dare I say that brown is back and the perfect backdrop for moments of bright and fun ways to use color in the kitchen!" - Denise McGaha, Denise McGaha Interiors, Dallas, TX

Designer Gil Walsh shares her favorite warm grays, which include Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170, Revere Pewter HC-172, and Amherst HC-167.

"Gray continues to be a popular go to paint color because of its ability to be subtle and complex and the same time. Gray can bring serenity to a room or add a dramatic punch – which is why I adore it.  Benjamin Moore has an outstanding collection of grays; the Historical Collection is my go to palette including Stonington Gray HC-170, the warm Revere Pewter HC-172 and the rich hue, Amherst HC-167." - Gil Walsh, Gil Walsh Interiors; Palm Beach Florida.

Stikwood "peel and stick" wood walls are transforming kitchens and beyond with rustic looks, accent walls, farmhouse ceilings--and gray is proving to be one of its most on-trend looks for 2018.

Our friends at Stikwood, the innovative brand of peel & stick reclaimed wood planking, also noted that gray is still red hot. From the kitchen to the bedroom and corporate offices, Stikwood adds texture and color to any space. In fact, Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, of HGTV's Home with the Cousins, featured Stikwood when they designed Rachel Ray's on-air kitchen. See that transformation here!

3.From food to floral, organic inspirations are a ...growing trend.

KOHLER Artist Edition Dutchmaster in Midnight Floral illustrates how organic inspirations are popping up in kitchen & bath design.

"I love how the dark, moody florals we've seen play out in fashion have crossed over to interiors. Kohler brought this to life with its new Artist Edition Dutchmaster sink designed in collaboration with Ashley Woodson Bailey. I'm obsessed with her wallpaper and love the sink. It's like an instant flower bomb in your bath!" - Tina Ramchandani, Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York, NY

"I attended EuroCucina in 2016 and fell in love with all of the growing stations where homeowners can grow produce in their very own kitchens, tucked behind a sleek wall of cabinets. I was so excited to finally see this at Design + Construction Week. It's about time this trend came to the States! It shows how lifestyle influences and drives design, and that Americans are paying more attention to the organic food movement. I anticipate we'll see more of this at KBIS in the coming years."  - Alberto Villalobos, Villalobos Desio, New York, NY

4. Texture, texture, texture! Do you feel me?

Silestone's Eternal Marquina features a Suede finish with unparalleled durability.

"KBIS was a tactile show this year. Cabico launched cabinetry in the most velvety finish I've ever experienced. This matte finish is like no other and begs to be touched. Finishes on stone and slab were pushing boundaries too. I really enjoyed Silestone's Eternal Marquina, with its incredibly smooth finish appropriately called Suede. -- Laurie March, Host of HGTV's "The House Counselor," Los Angeles, CA

5. Are you there, Alexa? It's me, Margaret.

"A major trend is connected living--everything from the refrigerator, oven, washer, air conditioner, and even vacuum having digital connectivity. You're seeing remote control and voice-enabled everything, and incorporate technology into meaningful and helpful conveniences for today's homeowners." -- Jeanne Chung,Cozy•Stylish•Chic, Pasadena, CA.

Leading LED lighting manufacturer Ketra has introduced integration with Amazon Alexa and announced plans with Google Home, offering homeowners the highest quality, most accurate Natural Light—now optimized for today's smart homes.

Ketra, the leading LED lighting manufacturer with the highest quality, most accurate circadian lighting, has announced its capability to integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google home, Lutron and Crestron control systems. The achievement makes Ketra the first architectural-grade lighting system complete with lamps, controls, and software to enter the smart home market.

6. You're beautiful, inside and out.

"More and more, people want the outside of their homes to be an extension of the inside. Homeowners request outdoor rooms, elaborate outdoor kitchens and pool cabanas and ask for everything from outdoor pizza ovens to movie screens. One brand we recommend is Kalamazoo;we often specify their grills when working on outdoor kitchens." - Fernando Wong, Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, Miami and Palm Beach, Florida.

Kalamazoo is praised by architects, designers, and homeowners for creating beautiful outdoor kitchens with stunning grills. Seen here are its new line of powder coated stainless steel finishes, the Arcadia Series.

As the lines blur between indoor and outdoor design, the Sharp team spotted brands really innovating their product to meet the ever-changing needs of outdoor design. At Kalamazoo, the brand revered by Grill Masters around the country, a new line of powder coated stainless steel cabinetry called the Arcadia Series adds warm or a pop of color to an outdoor kitchen.

7. Sacrifice isn't in my vocabulary. Products can be high on both function and form.

With so many innovative brands emerging in the kitchen and bath space, there is no longer a need to sacrifice style over functionality or performance for beauty. The Sharp team saw a number of brands that can do it all, and do it well. Take Franke, the world's largest stainless steel sink manufacturer. It's new Chef Center sink is not only beautiful, but it comes with a plethora of accessories to make the sink a composter, ice bucket, chopping station and washing station -- not to mention it will fit every pot and pan you could possibly own.

The adorne and radiant Collections, pictured here, offer stylish options for homeowners.

What's more, for most homeowners, builder-grade wall plates, switches, dimmers, and outlets are standard, yet many may wish for sleeker (and more memorable) designs. The adorne and radiant collections by Legrand are comprised of lighting and power solutions that present discerning homeowners with many ways to enhance and personalize lighting and power controls with a unique selection of wall plates, dimmers and switches, scene controllers, plug-in modules and outlets. The Collections by Legrand offer endless choices for diverse functionality and stylish designs to fit every homeowner's style and budget.

Have any questions? Contact us for more information on these companies, products, and talented designers.