Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAR 2015

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

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Page 7 of 70

March 2015 | | 5 Editorial { Janice Costa, editor } @KitchenBathDesignNews I t's snowing again for what feels like the 38th time this winter, and my Mom is not happy: Dad is going stir crazy and, despite the treach- erous roads, has decided to head out to his ofce at the college where he teaches to get some work done. Mom suggested it might not be a good idea to drive in this, and he responded, "I'm fne. I'll stop driving in bad weather when I get old." At 78, it would be hard to argue that he's young, but with his full schedule of teaching, running an 18-piece big band, bowling several nights a week and working on a new endocri- nology textbook, he hardly falls into the traditional ste- reotype of "old" – even if he has had a knee replacement and several stents put in. Indeed, with the growing number of older adults who do everything from working well past retirement years to starting new businesses, pursuing hobbies, going to the gym and even running marathons, that stereotype seems less and less relevant. For kitchen and bath de- sign professionals, this can present some interesting challenges. This year's KBIS was rife with aging-in-place products (see related KBIS coverage, Page 52) , and the growth of the aging baby boomer and mature demo- graphics certainly warrant these products. But how do you sell products for "aging" to people who are convinced that "old" is always 10 years older than they are? Just as today's boomers and seniors are shattering the stereotypes of what it means to grow older, the design community may need to toss out the current approach to selling "aging-in-place" prod- ucts and rethink how to meet these clients' changing needs, recognizing that today's "old" is a far cry from what it meant just a few decades back. The good news is that, in the "2015 Kitchen and Bath Style Report," the National Kitchen & Bath Association re- ported that more than half of NKBA designers surveyed said they incorporated accessible products or Universal Design features in at least some of the kitchen and bathroom projects they did last year. Yet there is still a tremen- dous resistance on the part of homeowners to plan for – or, in many cases, even talk about – the dreaded "A" word. In this month's Trend Spotting (see story, Page 26) , Jamie Gold looks at ways ag- ing-in-place products and the concept of Universal Design can be rebranded to appeal to a growing demographic of older homeowners, many of whom are still active enough to be interested not just in grab bars and ramps, but in ftness rooms, steam showers, healthy cooking ap- pliances and more. While a walk-in safety tub may be the best option for an older client who is mobil- ity challenged, a more active senior may be excited by the wealth of jetted tub options with hydrotherapy benefts ideal for loosening up after a gym workout. As Gold states, "By chang- ing the conversation from aging to accessibility or ath- leticism, you empower your clients to feel comfortable with the best features avail- able for their lives and homes." Marketing these features by reminding boomer cli- ents of the need to be able to accommodate parents or in-laws can also help to make these features more appeal- ing – and less "threatening" for those who are uncomfort- able with the idea of aging. Likewise, "safety features" such as induction cooking and faucets that ofer color cues to warn of hot water can be marketed as ways to protect current or future grandchildren. The nation's population continues to age, and savvy design professionals know they must remain up to date on the best products to fa- cilitate creating relaxing, inviting, accessible and beau- tiful homes that will work for clients as they grow older. However, it's equally impor- tant to remember that while your clients' bodies may be aging, many still believe in the adage that "old" is just a state of mind. Like my Dad, they will buy "aging" prod- ucts when they're "old." For now, they just want products that make their homes com- fortable, their lives easier and their spaces beautiful. Take the 'Aging' out Of Aging in Place Today's aging baby boomers and mature consumers are shattering the stereotypes of old age – and when selling products to meet their changing needs, designers need to shape their marketing eforts accordingly. "This year's KBIS was rife with aging-in-place products… but how do you sell products for 'aging' to people who are convinced that 'old' is always 10 years older than they are?" Publisher Paul DeGrandis Publisher Emeritus Eliot Sefrin Editor Janice Anne Costa Managing Editor Anita Shaw Senior Editor Andrea Girolamo Group Editorial Director Patrick O'Toole Contributing Writers Kim Berndtson Joe Dowd Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS Elizabeth Richards Denise Vermeulen Columnists Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS Hank Darlington Leslie Hart Bruce Kelleran, CKD, CPA Stephen Nicholls Ken Peterson, CKD Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, CAPS Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, CMG, CAPS, IIDA Bryan Reiss, CMKBD Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD Creative Director & Production Manager Tracy Hegg Editor, Andrea Girolamo Circulation Manager Mike Serino Reader Service Manager Jeff Heine Operations Manager Marie Snow Copyright © 2015 by SOLA Group Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form, including electronically, without written permission from the publisher of Kitchen & Bath Design News . ®

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