As everyone expected, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show saw lower attendance at its annual three-day confab last week in Chicago, but it wasn’t all bad news. Manufacturers still continue to sell steak and sizzle.

The atmosphere was decidedly subdued, especially compared to the go-go aughties when booth after booth was filled with bling from Jacuzzi, Kohler, TOTO, and any number of other manufacturers. These days the buzz words are “value,” “sustainability,” and “energy efficiency.”

Kohler has amped up its focus on water-saving toilets and showerheads, and its Sterling line continues to offer some of the best value in the business, but the company’s luxury brands—Kallista and Robern—still offer wares for the customer who wants to spend $4,000 on a vanity.

Luxury brands from Europe continue to flock to the U.S. market, and the latest is Webert, an Italian company that has partnered with Elkay to deliver contemporary-style faucets for the bath.

Danze, which focuses on providing affordable luxury to consumers, unveiled several new products, one of which is the Corsair kitchen faucet that offers three functions. And for those with greeny inclinations, Blanco has introduced a composting system that allows homeowners to store organic waste below the counter.

Nigel F. Maynard is a Senior Editor for Builder magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.