A crew from Hoffman York traveled down from the bitter chills of Milwaukee to the sunny skies of Orlando, Fla., the second week of January. Though the weather was hot, we chose to hang out somewhere a bit cooler—The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Builders’ Show (IBS). These events displayed inspiration and innovation in the home and building industries for more than 60,000 attendees from around the world.
So, we laced up our walking shoes for 405,000 square feet of show floor to peruse. With products including appliances, cabinets, hardware, flooring, light fixtures, bath fixtures, materials, accessories and everything in between, here’s what we took away from the shows.
1. Cool Features
Home design has moved away from separation and (literally) torn down walls into the era of the open-concept kitchen. According to the National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index, around 80%
of all remodeling projects are done in the kitchen. After seeing the many innovations in kitchen appliances and design at this year’s show, it’s easy to see why.
Highlights from the latest in kitchen décor and design included mixed metals and textures, especially in faucet and hardware design. This year’s popular pallet colors: black, white, gold and rose gold.
Beyond décor, those looking to make a statement in their kitchen are opting for chef-grade appliances. While the latest in refrigerator design offers X-ray vision, others such as Perlick’s new column refrigerator are more functionally innovative, introducing the concept of four-zone preservation—different temperatures and humidity control to keep fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products fresh and preserved.
2. Outdoor Spaces
Now more than ever, homeowners are migrating to their backyard to host and entertain family, friends and neighbors. Case in point, our research on outdoor living trends found that approximately 30% of those with outdoor kitchens considered them their favorite room in (or in this case out of) the house. And this year’s lineup of featured products for outdoor spaces suggests this trend is here to stay.
The show featured a large and diverse number of outdoor living options. Some of the more prominent features included custom canopies, outdoor fireplaces, unique water features, built-in kitchens with top-of-the-line grills, outdoor furniture and signature lighting. This combination of style, function and comfort makes outdoor entertaining fun and easy. With a greater focus on backyard entertainment, expect to see larger patio and deck footprints that allow for spacious living and dining, and not just in suburban places, but smaller, more urban spaces, as well.
3. Home Automation 2.0
Smart home advancements continue to grow—in number and demand—and automation was once again on display this year. Kohler,
for example, created Kohler Konnect, which makes everything from your toilet, to lights, to shower connected. Adjust the lights to make-up mode by just asking Alexa or your Google Home. Per Houzz, 1 in 7 homeowners adds technology during a kitchen renovation. Among this, 22% will add a home voice assistant.
Automation in the ovens of 2018 can make even the worst of cooks culinary experts. Integrated with a mobile app, scan the barcode of a frozen pizza and the oven can preheat itself to temperature. Do you like your pizza crispy or chewy? Your response will trigger this future-esque oven to automatically trigger the broiler for a medium-well pizza. This allows the oven to change temperatures several times during one cooking session leading to less overall cooking time. Cooking time and temperature can be determined by information like weight, protein type and preference.
4. Virtual Reality Shopping
Some vendors chose to bring their showroom experience to the show while others the show to their showrooms! No, not by truck but through a virtual reality headset. Attendees were transported to showrooms across the country to visualize everything from acrylic countertops to custom shower doors. This trend is being used by retailers like IKEA and The Home Depot by allowing visitors to experience furnishings and renovations in virtual homes. Several building and remodeling contractors are also helping would-be buyers experience their new room or home virtually before buying. Forget the heavy lifting of staging a home. With VR, walls can move and décor can change, just like The Sims.
With 20+ years of home and building industry experience, Hoffman York has a solid track record of helping clients such as Perlick, Kohler, Napoleon, Broan and Kolbe build brands, launch products, generate awareness, drive traffic and see a return on ideas, something we call RO!. Want to learn more? Contact us at [email protected].