My first visit to the Aspire Design Showroom Gallery in Plymouth was to attend a recent Women In New Construction (WINC) meeting. It was also my first time attending a WINC group meeting and it was so inspiring. There were women from the interior design side to manufacturing to media in attendance.
The Aspire showroom is so beautiful and informative. For instance, the shower display is something I’ve thought about for years. Wouldn’t you want to try a shower-head before you buy it? Sure you would and they are all lined up so consumer’s can feel the spray on their hands before choosing the shower system for their dream home.
This particular event featured Kohler’s Jennifer Nye, Marketing Manager, and she presented trends in the Kitchen and Bath industry. Here are some of the trends Kohler has identified as influencing the kitchen and bath industry:
“Travel is a spending priority for most consumers,” said Nye and it competes with disposable income that could be invested for home improvements.
As one of my biggest sources of design inspiration, I find travel a must-do on my priority list. One of my favorite ways to see more is to work in other cities across the country. It forces me to see what else is out there for resources and design.
Nye explained, “… consumers seek …peace of mind, serenity and freedom from chaos.”
The idea of what is ever is included in design has a purpose is a wonderful tenant. Clear focus on what the purpose is of everything in an environment can be very satisfying. It is in the nature of humans to arrange and rearrange. One of the principles of our firm is to “edit” oneself but first to have the freedom to try whatever one feels may be a possibility because design is full of surprises.
“Technology has become a modern addiction, invading all aspects of life… Consumers are finding that they have to mediate and at times, experience the joy of missing out,” Nye presented.
With just about every appliance in the industry linked in someway to a smart phone we are seeing the creep of technology in more places in the home than ever. Window lock and patio doors are now configured to open via apps on your smart phone. So where are we headed with this? Will we need to simplify? We say yes.
Second to last, Nye said this, “Our New Sophisticates are willing to spend more on things that matter, and more likely to indulge in everyday things that bring them joy. Those things are not considered a waste of money because they center around happiness and not necessity.”
This is the idea of experiences vs. owning things just to own them. Will you use that extra space or will it become a burden? Will you need to store and organize inventory or delight in the presence of its existence? Sometimes this is hard to say because human nature is extremely adaptable. The question is what truly brings you happiness?
Lastly, Nye said this, “Nearly all consumers want a ‘modern’ space, but by that they mean up-to-date, not necessarily a certain aesthetic….online environments create real-time exposure to the latest and greatest, accelerating consumers’ tolerance for what is ‘in style.’”
We used to be design influenced by our parents, neighbors, friends and local environments. Publications broadened our sphere but now we have video and Airbnb to expand our horizons even further. Just about any style can be found within vertical categories. Overall, the modern mash includes a touch of transitional contemporary everywhere.
All in all it was a wonderful peek into how Kohler looks toward trend for their product inspiration and offerings. In fact, I was there to specify bath and kitchen products for our upcoming project @Dohmicile. Absolutely everything we could ever want and more is displayed at Aspire. Now it’s going to be hard making decisions. To watch our progress follow us on Instagram @Dohmicile or @studiobstyle.