KBB - January 2014 - (Page 22)
By Chelsie Butler
Find out from the experts what's ahead
for the kitchen and bath industry
Consumers have been reeling from a recession that supposedly ended
at least three years ago, and it looks like 2014 may be the year their conﬁdence takes a steadier uptick. Two of the major sectors in which they are
expected to spend are construction and remodeling. As kitchens and
baths are two of the most popular interior design projects among homeowners, the K&B industry is expected to gradually improve in the year(s)
Kitchens are taking center stage as the heart and hearth of the home,
while the bathroom is looked at as a personal oasis for homeowners, rather than just a place to quickly get ready for work. People are taking more
pride in their spaces and taking a stand on what kind of design works
best for their lifestyles.
As heavy contemporary and traditional styles take a backseat, transitional design is moving to the forefront. Younger generations are breaking the rule of buying products that last because of a need for change
sooner. Technology and green design are also highly important to those
generations, while aging-in-place or universal design is a trend all across
the board that will soon become the norm.
While there will always be the copse of do-it-yourselfers that crops
up, as consumer conﬁdence grows homeowners are again trusting their
projects with professionals and not just viewing their services as a luxury.
Kitchen and bath designers are not only creating beautiful spaces for
their clients, they are also designing functional projects that match their
lifestyles and needs.
What's New in K&B Design for 2014
Everyone should be recycling where they can, period. This year will be
the year we pick up the stragglers, as zero concern for the environment
is passé and, really, unacceptable. Kitchen cabinetry has been and will
continue to incorporate storage for trash and recyclables. Water conservation is a growing concern, and more homeowners are specifying
water-ﬁltration systems in their kitchens - be it in the sink or refrigerator.
In bathroom design, as long as a home has at least one tub, the
other(s) can make way for an upgraded shower system - with watersaving ﬁxtures, of course. If a tub is a necessity, more homeowners are
choosing stand-alone versions that take up less space.
LED lighting is showing up everywhere - from refrigerators and dishwashers to sinks and vanities. White kitchens and stainless steel appliances
have been popular for a while, but some manufacturers are taking a risk
by introducing splashes of color to the industry - even if they are predominantly in shades of gray.
As the older generations grow in number, universal design is no longer
an afterthought. It is a must that designers do their research and incorporate the necessary elements in their kitchen and bath projects, dependent
on the needs of their clients. Universal design is easily adaptable to these
spaces through zero-threshold doorways; larger, open showers equipped
with hand-held devices; pull-down shelves and cabinetry; microwave and
refrigerator drawers; and wider passageways.
As more consumers almost blindly rely on technology, this will have to
be incorporated into everything they do. In the kitchen and bath industry,
smart appliances can control themselves, and soft-close hinge hardware
will be the norm this year and moving forward. Refrigeration is becoming
ﬁnely tuned to the homeowner's desire for freshness, and bathroom mirrors
include televisions so you can watch the news while getting ready for work.
That's a brief recap of what I have seen and heard about the construction and remodeling business, as it pertains to kitchen and bath projects.
K+BB left the bulk to the experts on the following pages to give more insight
into their thoughts and predictions for 2014.
January 2014 / www.kbbonline.com / The Ofﬁcial Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - January 2014
KBB - January 2014
Show Director’s Note
Celebrity Design with...Taniya Nayak
KBIS Countdown to Design & Construction Week
Cover story: Historic kitchen revisits its roots in major update
KBB - January 2014