Kitchen & Bath Design News

NOV 2018

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

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Successful designers already have their favorite contractors, plumbers, carpenters, cabinet and tile installers on speed dial. But what about a favorite home technology consultant? If the answer is 'what' or 'who,' you might want to start re-thinking your team. In a just-published Kitchen Technology Report put out by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, more than half of surveyed consumers rated kitchen technology "important because it makes my life easier." UNMET NEEDS Consumers want to use their mobile devices and voice control to research recipes in the kitchen and simplify meal preparation, but are con- cerned about cyber security, cost, obsolescence and making their space look "techy," the report concludes. Designers are doing their best to stay ahead of the learning curve. They want to know more about smart appliances, centralized light- ing controls, device charging and storage, voice activation, whole-house controls and entertain- ment offerings, according to the research. The idea for the report "came from the NKBA 2018 Design Trends data, specifically the tech section, which asked: 'What do you have in your kitchen?' and 'What do you have in your bathroom?' When you compare what is out there in the market today and what our industry professionals – mostly our designers – say their clients have in their kitchen, it was apparent the gap was huge," declares Tricia Zach, market research analyst for the National Kitchen & Bath Association. "We knew that manufacturers are really into the kitchen tech, producing all these gadgets and putting lots of resource dollars into developing these products, but why aren't people putting it in their homes?" she questioned. "We wanted to understand what the barriers were." NKBA went to its Thirty Under 30 class of millennial industry leaders and asked what topic interested them the most. "Overwhelmingly, it came back technology. You can't sell what you don't under- stand," Zach points out. TECH TOURS CEDIA, an association for the home tech- nology industry, and NKBA want to make understanding easier for non-technology professionals. At CEDIA's annual expo this past September, two groups of architects, interior designers and kitchen and bath designers toured the San Diego Convention Center show floor with home technology consultants. The goal was to "forge a strong bond between the two industries," reports Brian Pagel, senior v.p. with Emerald Expositions. "These design professionals and integrators are early adopters of this important conversation." (Integrator is another term for home technology consultant.) "The show brought the designers and the integrators together. The Design Connection tours – where an experienced integrator led designers around the show floor – provided the perfect opportunity for designers to under- stand the nuances of kitchen tech. There were lots of questions asked and answered. The show was a great opportunity for integrators to connect with designers and vice versa," Zach observes. This was the first year CEDIA organized these tours, though they've been deepening their relationship with the design and construction in- dustry through their CEDIA pavilions at Design & Construction Week. There will be one (on the International Builder Show side) in 2019, as well. Those CEDIA design tour conversations were in depth. Joe Whitaker, CEDIA board member and president of The Thoughtful Home in Clayton, MO was one of the technol- ogy professionals leading a tour. "I was really impressed by the technical questions from the attendees. I was fielding questions on network security, centralized equipment and even speak- er placement," Whitaker recalls. "This group really wanted to know about technology and how it affects the home in more than just de- sign and architecture," he adds. Cyber security CEDIA Spotlights Home Technology Trends BY JAMIE GOLD, CKD, CAPS The recent CEDIA Expo boast- ed offerings to help designers looking to balance their clients' desire for smart appliances and new home technology against concerns related to security, cost, obsolescence and style. Technology is increasingly a part of kitchen planning and design. Voice control for advanced home automation is a major technology trend. Smart mirrors are a strong and growing bathroom trend. Photo: Courtesy of the National Kitchen & Bath Association; Photo by: Steven Steinhauser Photog- raphy; Kitchen design by Leslie Norton, LEED AP; Lighting: Leviton. Photo: Courtesy of Josh.AI Photo: Courtesy of Séura. 30 Kitchen & Bath Design News • November 2018 TREND SPOTTING

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