KBB - January 2015 - (Page 50)
By Chelsie Butler
Experts share their insights into what's ahead
for the kitchen & bath industry
usiness is booming! Well, at least it is in the kitchen and bath remodeling market. People are feeling ﬁnancially secure these days,
and this is strongly based on improved job security and the fact
that existing home values continue to rise. Homeowners are ready to do
more major renovations in lieu of pieces and parts, and this includes the
younger generations as well.
The National Association of Home Builders' reported that its Remodeling Market Index (RMI) reclaimed the high-water mark of 57 in the third
quarter of 2014, which is the sixth-consecutive quarter for an RMI reading
above 50. An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market
activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower.
K&B Design Trends
Not surprisingly, some things have remained the same since last
year's Industry Outlook, and some things have become higher up on
homeowners' wish lists. In terms of both spaces, people are looking for
appliances, plumbing ﬁxtures, countertops and cabinets and vanities
that require less maintenance and cleaning. Safety and health concerns
are also important, and manufacturers are responding with such innovations as touchless toilet technology, anti-microbial surfaces and more
variety in induction cooktops.
Technology is always innovating and blowing our minds, and kitchens
and baths are now catching up to the level of technology seen in other
rooms in the house. Not only can many appliances, tubs and showers be
accessed and programmed via smartphones and tablets, voice-recognition technology has also joined the mix.
Homeowners still like the idea of a spa-like bathroom - a room in which
to retreat and relax. Luxury shower systems that are easier to use are growing in popularity, as are more contemporary ﬂoating vanities.
Kitchens these days are being designed with the whole family in mind;
being open to other rooms in the house reinforces interaction, and smart
storage options can be customized to various users. Homeowners want
something that reﬂects their lifestyle and are using the kitchen as a space
in which to do everything - not just prepare food. Clean, simple lines with-
out all of the extra ornamentation are in, as well as painted ﬁnishes for
cabinets and neutral colors. In terms of outdoor kitchens, the luxury market is installing whole spaces rather than including a few select pieces.
Aging in Place and Sustainable Design
These are two areas that seem to touch all the generations. Aging in
place has become a necessity for not only the mature and Baby Boomer
generations, but also for Gen X and Y, who may be sharing the same
house with older relatives. Curbless and even barrier-free showers are
popular accessible options in bathrooms, and easy-to-reach drawers are
replacing cabinets for microwaves and storage.
Although some say being "green" resonates more with the younger
generations, this is still something on many homeowners' minds today.
This is being seen in water-saving ﬁxture and energy-saving appliance
choices, as well as environmentally friendly LEDs replacing many other
types of lighting in baths and kitchens.
Those are some of the trends I have been learning about and researching, and experts from major industry associations also share their
expertise on the following pages.
National Kitchen & Bath Association
What's your outlook for the K&B
remodeling market in 2015?
My local market, northern central New Jersey, is seeing a lot of really good activity and
people willing to spend. Ninety percent of my
market is remodeling, and they are all saying business is hot with good,
proﬁtable work. This could change tomorrow though, as the stock market
has been volatile, but as of right now I am hearing lots of great things. My
business is bustling with both high- and low-end orders.
January 2015 / www.kbbonline.com / The Ofﬁcial Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - January 2015
Show Director’s Note
People & Places
Before and After
KBIS 2015 and Design & Construction Week
The Glamorous Life
New Lines, New Look
KBB - January 2015