Home Building & Design

Trend Watch: The Rise of Outdoor Living Spaces

Popularized during the financial crisis of 2008, the term “staycation” was added to our lifestyle vocabulary when people began enjoying vacation time in their own places of residence, in order to save money.

Walpole_Pavilion

Pavilions like this one from Walpole Outdoors
are just one example of luxury outdoor living spaces.

Today, that trend continues to grow for reasons beyond mere economics, including lifestyle choices, avoiding the hassles of travel, and finding innovative ways to increase existing home value.

A key indicator of this trend is  the burgeoning popularity of outdoor living spaces and the upscale features that dress them up.

Need proof? The American Institute of Architects (AIA) noted in a 2014 survey that outdoor living spaces have emerged as the most popular special function room among homeowners. The AIA survey also noted that 69-percent of homeowners increased outdoor living options along with landscaping—an increase of six-percent since 2013. A Better Homes and Gardens study found homeowners view outdoor living spaces as an expansion of the home and a vital family-time venue.

Pinterest—the fastest-growing social media site—ranks “Home” as its top category and “For the Home” as its most popular Pinterest board name. Within these, outdoor kitchens, landscaping ideas, and porch and deck projects receive plenty of pins and repins from the Pinterest audience (87/17-percent women/men in the U.S.; 56/44-percent men/women in the U.K.).

Outdoor Spaces Enhance Home Value

While spending time in personalized outdoor living areas is a source of great enjoyment for many, homeowners are often motivated to focus resources on outdoor living in order to enhance overall atmosphere of the home and increase resale value, as Kleber & Associates found in a recent survey. Other motivations are spending more time at home with friends and family, enjoying outdoor spaces even in inclement weather and connecting with nature.

This outdoor space features built-in appliances from Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens.

This outdoor space features built-in appliances
from Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens

Outfitting these outdoor spaces can be as simple as placing a portable charcoal grill on the patio or as elaborate as equipping the space with an extensive outdoor living room, complete with a kitchen, fireplace, high-definition television and surround sound audio system. This phenomenon is fueling multiple industries that manufacture products for the outdoors: appliances, furniture, lighting, landscaping, insect repellent systems, water features, electronics, garden products, fire pits, sunrooms, screened porches, hot tubs, heat lamps, pools, decks, ponds, gazebos, pizza ovens and more.

 

Demographics Driving the Trend

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) and Baby Boomers heading into their retirement years, are fueling the popularity of outdoor living spaces. Studies show that Millennials are optimistic about the future and place a high value on owning their own homes. According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 90-percent of Millennials prefer to live in rural or suburban areas rather than in an urban atmosphere. As a result, most Millennials have either purchased a house in the last three years, or plan to buy a house within the next three years.

Feeney_Rail_Lights

Feeney DesignRail® systems and
LED Rail Light Kits add sleek design
and ambience

What This Means to Marketers

At Kleber and Associates, we’re always looking for trends that affect the marketing of home and building products. With the advent of spring and rising outside temperatures, we expect homeowner interest in outdoor living spaces to continue to increase—potentially driving sales across multiple product categories.

All indicators point to the fact that outdoor living upgrades and renovations are not just a limited-time trend or movement, but a well-loved staple of the American home, and here to stay. And, personalized outdoor living spaces make a “staycation” more competitive with expensive, exotic resorts.

Want to know more? Click here to download our latest Outdoor Living white paper. Or better yet, let’s discuss how we might leverage these trends in your current marketing efforts. Contact us today at info@kleberandassociates.com.

Two Roads Merge in Design and Your Company Should, Too!

It has long been thought that residential and commercial design were two separate entities not meant to overlap. Over the last decade, however, we have seen a shift in that mindset. Designers are incorporating more luxurious, and sometimes industrial, elements into residences, while also creating more relaxed leisure spaces in commercial offices, healthcare facilities and the like.

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Homeowners want to rest in the comfort of hotel-like bedrooms with crystal chandeliers, plush bedding, additional sitting rooms and French doors as the entryway. They desire spa-inspired bathrooms that include deep, multi-jetted whirlpool tubs where they can soak and oversized showers with multiple showerheads or the ability to be transformed into a steam room. They are seeking restaurant-style kitchens equipped with eight-burner gas ranges, double ovens, wine refrigerators and dispensers, plus industrial refrigerators with front paneling that blends seamlessly with the custom cabinetry. And they want their home offices to mirror those in the corporate world, replete with the necessary built-in shelving and storage, windows that allot for plenty of natural light for the daytime and appropriate lighting options for late night work. On top of all of this, homes are being made to be as energy-efficient and technologically integrated as the latest, cutting-edge commercial buildings.

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On the other side, health care buildings, corporate offices and educational facilities are adding “homey” amenities such as community-style lounge areas and additional, informal seating beyond the desk in offices and large cubicles. In addition, companies with a robust amount of space are even bringing fitness facilities to their buildings. Outdoor spaces are even being designed for employees and visitors to meet or work in these spaces. This is all happening in an effort to create welcoming spaces where the occupants can relax, stay longer and be more productive.

So what does all of this mean for the home and building products industries? It means your consumer base could be expanding exponentially (or already has), and you could be missing out on new business opportunities. Expanding your company’s client base and marketing to include both residential and commercial audiences can increase the awareness of your company within your new and existing markets. New clientele can lead to a surge in your company’s profitability overall growth, which is precisely what we all work diligently to achieve.

To learn more about branding and brand expansion, feel free to contact us at http://kleberandassociates.com/contact/. This blog was inspired by the article “At the Intersection of Commercial and Residential Design” in the February 2015 issue of Interiors & Sources.

2015 Home Remodeling Trends: Coffered-look Ceilings Set the Style

Many home remodeling trends change from season to season, however, there are a few classic looks that never seem to go out of style. One of those is the coffered-look ceiling.

The ceiling is an often overlooked space where personal style and overall home décor meet to create a dramatic effect in residential remodeling projects. Are you a homeowner, builder or remodeler planning to remodel a family room or basement woodtrac_ceilings_man_cavearea? If you are, give serious consideration to the ceiling as the oft neglected fifth wall.

As you think through options for ceiling design and material, evaluate the overall atmosphere and character of the room. The project designer can often solve other interior design issues with the right selection of ceiling height, material, or style. If the space is large with a high ceiling, select a dark colored ceiling to add depth and make the space more inviting. Make a small space feel larger by adding a light colored ceiling, raising the ceiling height, or by installing ceiling panels, planks or beams in a small and repetitive pattern.

Read more…

Showcase Custom Closet System Photos in the 2015 Top Shelf Design Awards Contest

WoodTrac closet system by WoodTrac, in cherry finish.

WoodTrac Closet System in cherry finish.

Are you a designer, custom home builder or remodeler who has completed a custom designed closet or home organization system in the past year? Enter your closet system and home organization photos in the Top Shelf Design Awards Contest honoring designers for their creative closet and home organizational designs.

Each entry must feature a single custom home organization project completed on or after January 1, 2014. Entries are due on March 13, 2015, and the required entry fee is $45.00.

wood_logo_mainThe awards presentation will take place on the show floor Wednesday, April 15 at the end of the opening day of the Expo, enabling more show attendees to see the great work of top designers from across the country. Award winners will be featured in Woodworking Network magazine and celebrated during the 2015 Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo, running April 14-16, in Chicago.

Attractive master bedroom Closet System by WoodTrac by Sauder

Master Bedroom Closet System by WoodTrac

The Project must have been built for an outside customer (someone other than the entrant his/her/itself or one of the entrant’s employees); and may not have been previously submitted for the Closets Top Shelf Design Awards.

Each Entry must be accompanied by at least three professional quality, color images (equivalent to 266 DPI or higher). Photos will be submitted under the following categories:

  • Garage: under 600 sq ft
  • Garage: over 600 sq ft
  • Home Office: under 150 sq ft
  • Home Office: over 150 sq ft
  • Closet: Laminate under 18 l.f.
  • Laminate over 18 l.f
  • Closet: Wood under 18 l.f.
  • Closet: Wood more than 18 l.f.
  • Closet: Reach in closets
  • Specialty: Craft, pantry, wine, laundry and mudroom

The submission deadline for the contest is March 13, 2015. Full contest rules are available at the Contest Rule link. Contact Michaelle Bradford at mbradford@vancepublishing.com with any questions.

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

Our Picks for the Best New Products at this year’s IBS Show

So we’ve talked about the amount of walking we did, the trends we saw and the sentiment among the attendees. What about new products? You can’t have a trade show issue without discussing the star attraction. Our team compiled their favorites and we left it to a vote. With over 1,300 vendors, there were ample choices this year. Unlike year’s past, we didn’t have any parameters to fill – just pick what you felt was a truly innovative and cool product.

Without further adieu, here’s the Kleber & Associates top products from Building and Construction Week 2015.

 

Yes - this is a manufactured flame!

Yes – this is a manufactured flame!

Dimplex OPTI-V

Gas log fireplaces aren’t a new phenomenon – the new line-up from OPTI-V takes it to a whole new level, however. With integrated steam ports and infrared light sources, these new fireplace products not only mimic real fire but the signature elements as well. Synthetic smoke, optical flame patterns and unique designs make for a dramatic replacement to the traditional fireplace or as a focal point in a home’s interior design.Gas log fireplaces aren’t a new phenomenon – the new line-up from OPTI-V takes it to a whole new level, however. With integrated steam ports and infrared light sources, these new fireplace products not only mimic real fire but the signature elements as well. Synthetic smoke, optical flame patterns and unique designs make for a dramatic replacement to the traditional fireplace or as a focal point in a home’s interior design.

Bosch Power ReadyWC18CF-102_500x330 r122216v33
You pull up to a job and are greeted with the dreaded battery drain – the small wane of the drill then dead silence. If you don’t have another battery or an outlet to connect the charger, that $200 drill was out of action for the day. Enter Bosch and their new Power Ready charging solution. Compatible with all Bosch 18V battery packs, Power Ready is a technology using contact-less energy transfer, also known as inductive charging. 

Per Bosch: “when the charger is plugged in and the compatible battery is placed on it, the charger begins wirelessly transmitting an alternating magnetic field. The battery, featuring an internal copper coil, acts as a receiver. As the alternating magnetic field penetrates the coil, voltage is induced and a charging current flows to the cells until full. Similar to conventional charging, the battery and charger are in constant communication during the charge process to ensure proper charge and a long battery life.” No plug or replacing the battery? Power Ready is truly a game changer in the power tool space.

Creative Mines: Synthetic Surfaces Continue to Amazecreative_mines

Nature’s canvas, with its unique qualities that give each installation a personalized look, has long been sought for homeowners seeking a high-end finish in harmony with nature. It’s natural properties- the texture, sheen and patterns- that offer one-of-a-kind options for the homeowner. With natural-sourced materials being a premium price point, two companies in particular are emerging as leaders in this new synthetic space. We first met the team at Creative Mines at the 2014 Pacific Coast Builders Show in San Francisco. Over those past six months, Creative Mines has developed a portfolio of stunning veneer stone surfaces, both naturally sourced and crafted options. Unlike other manufacturers, Creative Mines keeps sustainable sourcing core to their operations. Rather than using fly-ash by=product, for example, the company uses a high-purity, natural pumice pozzolan that “enhances compressive strength, minimizes efflorescence, resists sulfate attack, reduces permeability and improves durability.” The end result is a near flawless application rivaling stones pulled from the mine.  Eco-Top, an Asian based manufacturer, took the nature’s look one step further and was showcasing its new wall-hung synthetic panels. When our team first walked by, we honestly thought it was natural wood and wondered how they cut is so thin. The realism and texture was as close to natural as we’ve seen at a show. Company reps said the veneer is made for wall-mount but additional products were in development. Synthetics have come a long way since the wood paneling we had in our parent’s basement.

Arch KitCameraZOOM-20150122121936046[1]

The Romans first pioneered the use of arches in their designs – noting their rigidty and structural strength. The design was so revered in fact, Roman engineers designed the city’s aquaduct system using the principle for bringing water to its citizens across hundreds of miles. In design, the arch is still a popular addition that adds a bold structure to a roof. Its’ construction, however, can be a taxing process requiring a craftsman. Enter Universal Arch Kits – an out of the box system that allows builders a complete arch solution with minimal install time. Universal has multiple options including Archways, Dome Ceilings, Groin Vaults, Barrel Vaults and Cove Ceilings

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Design and Construction Week 2015: Our Team’s Top Trends, Observations

So what were the prevailing trends at Design and Construction Week? With four team members on the floor, K&A was fully immersed in the experience. We asked our associates to compile their observations on what seemed prevalent and what resonated with them.

Kevo by Kwikset allows users to send a code via a product mobile application which can open a door wherever there's internet connectivity.

Kevo by Kwikset

Joey Peters – Account Director
“The continued integration of technology amazes me. It seemed like every manufacturer had some sort of mobile application you could download for a variety of functions. From selecting color/textures to opening your front door from thousands of miles away, technology is king. And it’s no longer a frivolous extra for consumers – retailers I spoke with said these products are being expected now – particularly from younger buyers. The digital native’s influence is omnipresent – manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with their needs. The mobile application is a powerful connection and opportunity for these brands, however. Downloading an app puts a brand into the user’s digital dashboard where they essentially live their life from communications to banking and beyond. It wasn’t just applications either. Places to charge mobile devices in genius locations also caught my eye. Where you can put a USB port, companies were taking advantage. I spoke with one countertop manufacturer  experimenting with a powered surface – making the entire countertop a charging station. You adhere a sticker to the phone’s back and place it on the surface wherever you like. Meeting the demands of a modern  consumer isn’t just for electronics – it’s here to stay with our industry as well.”

GE made waves with its' new Keurig machine integration

GE made waves with its’ new Keurig machine integration

Dominique LesCallet –  Account Executive
“Bright colors were everywhere.  I saw several manufacturers display brightly colored products, e.g. Feeney, Masonite, Electrolux (KBIS), Kohler (KBIS), Dacor (KBIS), True (KBIS). Kitchens and bathswith bold, bright colors allow homeowners to customize their spaces based on personality. “It wasn’t just colors – fashion-inspired patterns were a popular attraction as well. Manufacturers are incorporating fashion design into interiors decorating more than ever before, e.g. tiles and flooring, kitchen and bath backsplashes, etc. With advances in technology, manufacturers can replicate natural textures with amazing accuracy. One of the cooler trends on the KBIS side were Espresso and Coffee Makers Integrated into Kitchens – Several manufacturers, including GE and Gaggenau, are now offering in-home coffee and espresso makers for convenience. This was a pretty powerful validation the single serve coffee phenomenon is here to stay.”

Jasmine Gurley
Integrated lighting remains a big trend – particularly with the deck and railing category. With LED technology, manufacturers have the ability to integrate lighting versus a stand-alone accesorry. Within rails or sunken into deck panels, these lighting surfaces minimize space but offer a bold design element.

feen_led_rail_light

LED Rail Light for DesignRail by Feeney

Bold Colors: Individual style was a big theme in the booths. From doors to interior roof panels, color was huge. And not just primary colors, either. Bright blues, deep reds and vibrant yellow could be found on all sorts of surfaces. It was an interesting premise – using an object not normally considered a style surface and making it a focal point. Consumers want to express themselves and these colors reflect that. Stock whites and browns are blank canvases – adding these colors starts the portrait.

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

 

 

Smart Home Trends from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

If there is one thing we know from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show it’s that the smart home is no longer something from a sci-fi flick; it’s existing in neighborhoods today. Imagine waking up and your lights have already turned on and the coffee has already begun brewing. You wash your face and then check your LinkedIn from your bathroom mirror. These are all concepts explored in Las Vegas this week.

Kwikset Kevo and LG are both showcasing their capabilities to work with Nest at this year’s Consumer Electronics show. Nest is a learning thermostat that studies your preferred temperatures for every time and scenario of your day. It detects when you are home and when you are away, all the while paying attention to your temperature preferences and creating a schedule based on your daily habits.

Nest

Kwikset Kevo is the industry’s first smart lock that allows keyless entry with the touch of a finger. Upon locking the door the user is prompted to set Nest to the away mode where less energy is used. When the user returns and unlocks the door, Kevo will prompt Nest to adjust back to Home mode where temperature is returned to the user’s preferred temperature.

kevo

LG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LG also has big plans to integrate its dryers with Nest. When the user is away, Nest will communicate with the LG dryer that it can lower the heat to save energy.These partnerships with Nest bring the importance of interconnectivity to the forefront of the conversation. In order for a home to truly be smart, its devices have to be in sync. Devices and appliances that communicate make for a home that flows intelligently and efficiently throughout each day.

Wearables are a big topic at CES this year for this exact reason. They provide a channel for us to communicate with our smart homes. For instance, a wearable that senses when you get up for a bathroom trip in the middle of the night and alerts a nightlight to turn on or even a coffee maker that brews when the wearable detects that you are awake.

Whirlpool

The smart home is here to stay and companies are predicting where an interconnected home can take us in the future. Whirlpool imagines a kitchen that syncs devices and kitchen appliances with access to internet, social media and live video chat. The Interactive Kitchen of the Future 2.0 is on display at CES this year that demonstrates what this digital media hub will look like. The interactive backsplash and cook top allow the user to access favorite recipes, websites, or social media without added devices or having to leave the kitchen. This display demonstrates live video chat capabilities- so you can get step by step directions from grandma for her secret pound cake recipe. This kitchen also features an oven that turns on at the perfect time to ensure dinner is ready and a refrigerator that notifies you when your food is freshest. The display allows CES attendees to imagine a kitchen that anticipates the user’s needs and provides solutions on its own. These products and predictions make for an exciting trend in home devices and appliances.

 

“The Trillion Dollar Opportunity – Marketing to Hispanic Americans”

imgresDue to the increased prominence and impact of Hispanic Americans across the country, Kleber and Associates has published a white paper discussing Hispanic Americans’ influence on, not only our culture, but, also on consumerism. As the largest minority group in the country – a group of now more than 50 million – Hispanics represent a rapidly increasing level of purchasing power, currently more than $1 trillion. For those of us in the home and building products channel, Hispanic Americans are a highly targeted group, as they have both increasing population and purchasing power on their side, more so than any other minority group in the U.S. All consumer product marketing for that matter should pay special attention to what their audiences think and how they buy. Given the new sphere of influence minority groups have created, marketers must ensure the appropriate messages are reaching them. Read more…

Keep Your House Warm and Your Wallet Happy this Winter

In anticipation of another harsh winter season, homeowners and apartment dwellers alike are pondering ways to “winterize” their homes while also saving winter housemoney. With the exception of warmer climates, most will likely see at least some snow this winter with temperatures lower than they’ve ever been. There are, however, plenty of ways to keep your home warm and energy efficient this season. One of the easiest ways to save money during winter is to use an energy efficient space heater. Today’s heaters are smart with thermostatic remote controls, meaning that they sense the ambient temperature and can heat the room accordingly. Most electrical space heaters convert close to 100% of the electricity they consume into heat, which is good for your wallet. By using a space heater to heat only the rooms where you or your family are located you can save big bucks on your heating bill. Read more…

Kleber & Associates Named New Agency of Record for Georgia Pacific Gypsum

Kleber & Associates has been named as an advertising agency of record for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC and will support the brand’s global marketing initiatives through multiple product promotions. Kleber & Associates will manage creative Georgia-Pacific-Gypsum_2014_Kleber-and-Associates-Public-Relations-Advertisingadvertising, media planning, account strategy and digital execution for the award-winning Dens® family of premium fiberglass mat gypsum panels, including DensGlass® Sheathing and Shaftliner, DensArmor Plus® Interior Panels, DensDeck® Roof Boards and DensShield® Tile Backer, as well as the broad array of paper-faced interior drywall products in the ToughRock® Gypsum Board portfolio.

“With Kleber & Associates, we found an integrated marketing agency that has extensive category experience within the construction and building products industry and demonstrates the ability to provide fresh, breakthrough creative ideas designed to help drive our business,” said Mike McCoy, vice president of marketing and commercial roofing for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

According to Steve Kleber, the opportunity to partner with a division of an iconic Atlanta corporation like Georgia-Pacific is the culmination of hard work and perseverance. “Growing up in Atlanta, I was always aware of Georgia-Pacific’s role as an important business and community leader, while its headquarters has been an integral part of the Atlanta skyline,” he said. “It is a unique pleasure and responsibility to be in a marketing partnership with such an important part of the company.”

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.