Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2017

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Are you counting steps every day? Logging your calories into a smart phone app? Running, do- ing yoga or cross-fitting – maybe all three? Like many busy professionals, you know that staying healthy is a key to managing stress, improving stamina, living better, looking better and, yes, potentially living longer. Your clients know this, too. Some are mov- ing into their retirement years, while others are starting families. "We're seeing an equal level of interest in health and wellness products from both boomers and millennials," observes Kate Bailey, director of showrooms for Ferguson Enterprises. This is an opportunity for designers, con- tractors, retailers and other industry pros to meet increasing concerns with additional prod- ucts and services. Those, in turn, can create a healthier bottom line for your business. EVOLVING TREND "Products that aid in healthy living [have] significantly risen in popularity over the past 10 years," Bailey recalls. "Manufacturers recognize these trends and are developing more options that are affordable, healthier and customizable to various needs," she adds. That last point is definitely key, especially among millennials. "The request for health- and wellness-focused products and designs centers around the growing consumer trend of personalization," points out Alexa Noel. A millennial herself, she is also senior manager for research and innovation at Masco Cabinetry. "For consumers who are interested in health and wellness, this means design elements that will support their lifestyle." Noel is quick to note that these are her first-hand observations, not corporate research, but Masco is looking closely at how different groups use their spaces (especially kitchens) so they can shape products to meet those needs. "We have started to hear requests related to kitchen health and wellness – for instance, composting containers integrated into a waste basket cabinet or sink base and cabinets that easily accommodate small appliances like juic- ers and blenders," she shares. A study conducted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and the Farnsworth Group reveals the top health-relat- ed concerns homeowners have. These include mold, residual smoking odors, dampness and toxic materials. According to the same report, the three most popular healthy home projects and products installed by remodeling contractors were nontoxic paints/finishes/ adhesives (by far the largest at 67 percent); non-toxic building materials, including cabinets and flooring (26 percent), and water filtration systems (21 percent). Lighting enhancements and whole-house air filtration systems also showed up on the list. One contractor quoted in the study shared that healthy home projects and products "can be a tough sell initially, when we are higher priced than 'standard' builders. However, almost universally, when we explain the advantages, we get the job because our concern sets us apart." "These jobs are also on the rise as con- sumers realize that the materials used in remodeling can have a tremendous impact on your day-to-day health," another study contractor noted. Beyond residential remodeling, there is also a growing niche in the building/develop- ment segment for wellness-focused design. While new industry standards are showing up more on the commercial side, there are firms like The Wellness Habitat Co. in Miami that are taking the same approach on residential projects. "The WHC started three years ago when I purchased a home and noticed that [it] was making my husband and me sick," shares the company's co-founder Perla Machaen. She started researching possible causes and came up with the idea for a health-focused design and technology company. "Wellness is the new normal," she observes. The realtor-turned-entrepreneur is seeing demand being driven by developers who appre- ciate the value in wellness branding for their A Look Inside the Wellness Trend BY JAMIE GOLD, CKD, CAPS From steam cooking to air filtration, hands-free faucets to steam showers, the wellness trend is increasingly impacting kitchen and bath design. Well-lit, well-ventilated kitchens benefit aging in place and millennials alike. Stylish new grab bars easily coordinate with fixtures for a safer space. Work station-style sinks make meals at home easier to prepare. Water filtration and aromatherapy create a relax- ing spa bath experience. Design by Anne Kellett, ASID, CAPS, A Kinder Space; Photo: Patricia Bean Image: Courtesy of Kohler; available at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of The Wellness Habitat Company Design by Anne Kellett, ASID, CAPS, A Kinder Space; Photo: Patricia Bean 38 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2017 TREND SPOTTING

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