So what were the prevailing trends at Design and Construction Week? With four team members on the floor, K&A was fully immersed in the experience. We asked our associates to compile their observations on what seemed prevalent and what resonated with them.
Joey Peters – Account Director
“The continued integration of technology amazes me. It seemed like every manufacturer had some sort of mobile application you could download for a variety of functions. From selecting color/textures to opening your front door from thousands of miles away, technology is king. And it’s no longer a frivolous extra for consumers – retailers I spoke with said these products are being expected now – particularly from younger buyers. The digital native’s influence is omnipresent – manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with their needs. The mobile application is a powerful connection and opportunity for these brands, however. Downloading an app puts a brand into the user’s digital dashboard where they essentially live their life from communications to banking and beyond. It wasn’t just applications either. Places to charge mobile devices in genius locations also caught my eye. Where you can put a USB port, companies were taking advantage. I spoke with one countertop manufacturer experimenting with a powered surface – making the entire countertop a charging station. You adhere a sticker to the phone’s back and place it on the surface wherever you like. Meeting the demands of a modern consumer isn’t just for electronics – it’s here to stay with our industry as well.”
Dominique LesCallet – Account Executive
“Bright colors were everywhere. I saw several manufacturers display brightly colored products, e.g. Feeney, Masonite, Electrolux (KBIS), Kohler (KBIS), Dacor (KBIS), True (KBIS). Kitchens and bathswith bold, bright colors allow homeowners to customize their spaces based on personality. “It wasn’t just colors – fashion-inspired patterns were a popular attraction as well. Manufacturers are incorporating fashion design into interiors decorating more than ever before, e.g. tiles and flooring, kitchen and bath backsplashes, etc. With advances in technology, manufacturers can replicate natural textures with amazing accuracy. One of the cooler trends on the KBIS side were Espresso and Coffee Makers Integrated into Kitchens – Several manufacturers, including GE and Gaggenau, are now offering in-home coffee and espresso makers for convenience. This was a pretty powerful validation the single serve coffee phenomenon is here to stay.”
Integrated lighting remains a big trend – particularly with the deck and railing category. With LED technology, manufacturers have the ability to integrate lighting versus a stand-alone accesorry. Within rails or sunken into deck panels, these lighting surfaces minimize space but offer a bold design element.
Bold Colors: Individual style was a big theme in the booths. From doors to interior roof panels, color was huge. And not just primary colors, either. Bright blues, deep reds and vibrant yellow could be found on all sorts of surfaces. It was an interesting premise – using an object not normally considered a style surface and making it a focal point. Consumers want to express themselves and these colors reflect that. Stock whites and browns are blank canvases – adding these colors starts the portrait.
Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.