Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2019

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

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ecient while doing meal prep. That includes a catering kitchen, large pantry area, sinks that function for multi-tasking and serious chefs. Appliances have always been a hot ticket for our Hispanic buyers – ranges that have six burners and a griddle, built-in refrigerators and the abil- ity to customize the nish and handles is very important." He adds, "We are seeing a range of lighter materials when it comes to cabinet nish, stone ooring, tile in the bathroom and kitchen and countertop materials." David Acosta, NAHREP's president and owner of David Acosta Real Estate Group in Southern California and Texas adds: "A kitchen island is a feature that they often look for in a house. Kitchen islands mean that they have a bigger space, which is more conducive to entertaining, and in some instances, islands communicate a bit more status." John Burns Real Estate Consulting's senior v.p. of research, Todd Tomalak, says kitchens are a denite focus for Hispanic clients. They are "more likely than average U.S. households to upgrade kitchen design features." They're more likely to choose premium cooktop fea- tures and pay more for a farmhouse sink – even more than the U.S. norm, the Irvine, CA-based research executive notes. "Free-standing tubs are a very big trend, and they bring a 'wow' factor to any bathroom," ob- serves Acosta about his rm's clientele. He notes that having an accessible downstairs bathroom for older relatives is also important to this com- munity, which is far more likely than the average American household to be multi-generational. OUTREACH Recognizing the growing importance of this demographic, how do you reach this clientele, if they haven't reached out to you yet? You don't have to advertise in Spanish language media, though it will make this community feel that you recognize their cultural background if you can and choose to do so. Hispanics as a group are active Internet users, with one-third going online almost constantly, NAHREP says. They're also more likely to access the web through a phone than a computer, so your messages need to be mo- bile-optimized. According to the group's study, "Latinx are the highest demographic user group of Instagram, Snapchat, Pandora and Spotify and tie with Asians for their use of Facebook. Hispanics earning ,-plus also out-index their non-Hispanic White counterparts in social engagement." How engaging are your social media campaigns on these platforms? Taylor Morrison is one company that has seen the power of Hispanic homeownership spending. "Sales to this demographic range be- tween to percent of our community totals on an annual basis," reports Crowder. Acosta notes, "Hispanic customers make up about to percent of our clients." They're young, as well: "More and more we see rst- time home buyers being in their mid-s to ear- ly s." Serving the two states with the largest Hispanic populations, including their border regions, Acosta notes, "Our clients come from every culture and nationality. Having started my career in Texas along the border, a lot of my clients came from Mexico, or were of Mexican descent. Nowadays in California, particularly in Los Angeles, we meet people from everywhere in the world." Being bilingual is essential to his team, he says. "The client is always right, so if their pri- mary language is Spanish, they will feel more comfortable with an agent that speaks their own language. Millennials, although they speak both languages, prefer to conduct business in English, and they will switch to Spanish for cul- tural references and connecting with the other party. It's important that you have someone in your team who can serve your clientele the way they need and want to be served." "About percent of our clientele are Latino," shares Sandra Diaz-Velasco, Miami-based designer and owner of Eolo A&I Design, adding, "We serve clients from Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia, Paraguay and El Salvador." The NKBA Best Overall Bath award-winning designer has an upscale clientele located in Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. "We speak predominantly in English with our clients, whose demographic is typically well-educated, well-traveled and discerning enough to express their needs and wishes," Diaz-Velasco adds. "That said, we also celebrate and acknowledge our clients' cultural back- ground, and may respond to a client's cultural roots – be it through design or through com- munication and collaboration – in a way that is meaningful to the client on an individual basis." Not all of her projects are domestic, she says. "When working with a Latino or Hispanic client in their community outside of the U.S., it is import- ant to perform due diligence, investigating the culture and how the client's needs and tastes trans- late and play into the space and design goals." LAST WORDS "Design is a universal language," observes Diaz-Velasco. "If a designer is talented enough, educated and eager to keep learning, is licensed and knowledgeable about their trade, there are no cultural barriers. Every design project is unique, and while culture and location can play an inuential role, being Hispanic or having any particular cultural background does not make a dierence when it comes to executing a vision." Success is multi-lingual. ▪ Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is an independent design consultant in San Diego, the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work and the New Bathroom Idea Book (Taunton Press), a design journalist, and NKBA Chapter Presenter. Her website is jamiegold.net. She was named one of Kitchen & Bath Design News' 50 top innovators in its inaugural list. Kitchen islands convey status and are more conducive to entertaining. Many of Sandra Diaz-Velasco's Latino clients desire sophisticated spaces like this bath. Photo: Taylor Morrison Eolo A&I Design/Photos by Juan Pablo Estupinan & Eugenio Wilman 30 Kitchen & Bath Design News • July 2019 TREND SPOTTING

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