Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2014

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

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10 | Kitchen & Bath Design News August 2014 Industry Update { Noteworthy developments impacting the kitchen and bath market } NKBA Launches Industry Blog Hackettstown, NJ — The National Kitchen & Bath Association has introduced its brand-new blog, "NKBA Connect," provid- ing kitchen and bath professionals with a platform to stay more connected with the industry. The blog, now live at NKBAConnect, is poised to serve as a resource for industry infor- mation and inspiration. "The blog is a great way for the NKBA to communicate with members through a diferent means," says NKBA President John Petrie, CMKBD. "NKBA Connect is a great complement to our existing social media channels, rounding out our oferings, and providing an opportunity to publish solid, current content for the beneft of our members." In launching the platform, the NKBA hopes to inspire collective learning, experiences and conversations in the kitchen and bath industry. NKBA CEO Bill Darcy says, "The NKBA is deep in dialogue. We're talking, and we're listening. We hope that everyone takes the opportunity to use NKBA Connect as a resource to keep the conversation going!" NKBA Connect is the central location for industry news, design and inspiration, chapter highlights, mem- ber achievements and much more. The blog features six themed sections including NKBA Up Close, Member Vista, NKBA U, K&B Buzz, Chapter Focus and New & Now. The NKBA Up Close section features Executive Committee members and other NKBA volunteers providing readers with the opportunity to get a glimpse into their niche areas of expertise. The Member Vista section invites NKBA members to guest blog on a wide variety of industry-relevant topics. To learn more about how to submit a guest blog post, visit How to Submit. The NKBA U section will highlight NKBA University, an associa- tion initiative that opens its doors to kitchen and bath professionals for continued professional development. Articles will highlight learning opportunities and share stories of members' personal journeys on the road to professional development and certifcation. K&B Buzz will be a roundup of some of the most popular de- sign blogs the Web has to ofer, featuring images, ideas, trends and tech that will inspire. With many events and networking opportunities being ofered by the various NKBA Chapters, the Chapter Focus section will serve as a forum to share chapter suc- cesses and inspire fellow members. The New & Now section is a venue for exploring the latest news, events and innovations in the industry. Conestoga Victorious in 'Hobby Lobby' Case East Earl, PA — Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., the East Earl, PA sup- plier of custom cabinet doors, drawer fronts and related wood cabinet components, last month won a landmark legal battle against the Obama Administration when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the company's right to refuse to cover the cost of emergency contraceptives as part of its em- ployee health plan. In its highly publicized, politically charged 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Obama Administration – through its Afordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare" – violated the religious rights of company founder Norman Hahn and his family when the government threatened to fne the conservative Mennonite owners for not covering the cost of emergency contraceptives for the company's 1,000+ employees. The case was more closely associated with Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, although the Supreme Court consolidated Hobby Lobby's case with that of Conestoga, which would have been subject to fnes of more than $38 million a year. The Hahns, like the pro-life owners of Hobby Lobby, believe that emergency birth control – including drugs such as the morning-after pill and copper in- trauterine devices – is akin to abortion. Medical experts have contended that is not the case. Under the terms of the Supreme Court ruling, Conestoga is exempted from the government's contraception mandate. The company's workers will have to pay themselves for emergency contraception until the government provides another way to ofer coverage. The Hahns have declined media requests for interviews, although Conestoga President and CEO Anthony Hahn issued the following statement: "We wholeheartedly afrm what the Supreme Court made clear – that Americans don't have to surrender their freedom when they open a family business. All Americans, including family business owners, must be free to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of government punishment." Editor's Note: Kitchen & Bath Design News relied on several online and print news sources in compiling this report. Eldorado Stone Opens Showroom San Diego, CA — Eldorado Stone has launched an experiential outdoor showroom at its Southern California headquarters. Here, customers can ex- perience frst-hand how the company's products work in designed spaces. Encompassing 3,000 square feet, the new showroom combines the essence of a retreat, country club and restaurant. The entire venue, from its stone entrance columns to its water wall, fre bowls, bell tower, fountain accents and seat- ing benches, are all on-site examples of the looks that can be achieved with the company's products. The San Diego showroom features more than two dozen Eldorado Stone product installations, including: Marbella and Infnite Fire Bowls, Stacked Stone, LedgeCut33 profles and the Metropolitan Signature Kitchen. "We wanted to create a dynamic space in which our dealers and distributors can experience our products in a fun, outdoor setting," explains Eldo- rado Stone V.P. of Sales and Marketing Brent Spann. "It's also a multi-use space where we host educational meetings for dealers and informal gatherings for customers and employees." Eldorado Stone's new outdoor showroom at the company's Southern California headquarters functions as both an educational and entertainment venue. Houzz & AIA Form Strategic Partnership Chicago, IL — The American Institute of Architects and Houzz have entered into a strate- gic partnership to develop innovative technology initiatives to engage architects, deepen members' use of the Houzz platform and increase public awareness and appreciation of how good design can enhance lives. According to the AIA, the strategic partnership will provide more tools to assist homeown- ers with hiring and working with an architect. AIA members also beneft from technology, consumer insights and direct interaction with Houzz's global community of more than 20 million monthly unique users who are actively building and remodeling. The AIA and Houzz will work closely on a number of joint eforts from education to technology and marketing on both a national and local level. "This new relationship allows architects to show their versatility and talent across a range of residential projects," said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. "Our members are eager to work even more closely with the Houzz community to show the value that good design can bring." "Houzz is the place where homeowners who are building and remodeling fnd the best professionals for their projects," said Adi Tatarko, Houzz co-founder and CEO. "This is why we are excited to strategically partner with the AIA to continue building the best technology for this industry and make millions of new connections between architects and homeowners."

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