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.

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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

Marketing Home Products: Febreze’s Road to the Billion Dollar Club

Morning coffee

How did Febreze join the “$1 Billion Club,” noting the company’s recent success according to the Wall Street Journal? While the declension in the housing market brought a lot of home products down with it, certain small aspects of daily home life are, in fact, flourishing. Febreze has managed to prosper during a stark decline in the industry, which has some people in the field scratching their heads. What caused the trend? Some experts suggest that more people are spending more time in their homes as a way to save money; as part of the aftermath of the recession. As a result, it has become increasingly important for families to eat out less, drive less and spend less time shopping. Still, data suggests that people will splurge from time to time, just not in the same ways they used to.

Many families have started to spend their money on accessories for the home, giving reason as to why Febreze defied market trends with its profit gains. It is perfectly reasonable that a family which spends most evenings indoors will want a home to look, feel and (as we’re seeing now) smell nice. The recent movement to all things green may have played a role, as well, as Febreze has been effectively labeled as a green product; simple and clean. Regardless of what the future holds for Febreze, businesses and consumers should take note that new consumer trends are reshaping industries in unexpected ways. In light of that, we have assembled a comprehensive guide for appealing to different consumers. Read more…

Let the 4 P’s of Integrated Marketing Work for You

In a world of thousands of brand messages, it’s important that every brand message is consistent and relevant.  That’s where integrated marketing communication (IMC) becomes important.  With IMC, all aspects of marketing communications such as Bussiness Discussionadvertising, public relations, direct mail, promotions and social media work together, instead of each working in isolation.  IMC starts with a core brand strategy based on goals and objectives, and goes beyond communication tools to include the coordination of messaging, channels, creative and technology.

When IMC broke onto the scene in the 1980’s, the mantra was “one voice”.  A company relied heavily on advertising to develop its brand, because in advertising the company controlled the content.  Depending upon its budget, the company supplemented its ad messaging with unified messaging in collateral, promotions and trade shows.  Through press releases, case studies, interviews, photography and other elements, the company’s public relations agency provided information to the media for their content.  It was a different time.

While today’s IMC continues to be a customer-centric approach, technology has changed the playing field.  Regardless of their consumer or B2B-focus, companies are increasingly developing their own content and using social media, contests, user-generated content, video clips and other Web-based applications to engage with consumers.  While technological advances enable companies to create and communicate their own brand content more quickly, effectively and at a reduced financial risk, there is still the matter of orchestrating the various messaging with a tonality to which customers respond.  Tweets need to conform in ‘voice’ with other social media, collateral, press releases, ads and sales promotions as well as the Website and other digital media.  It’s an orchestra of messaging with everyone playing on key, and in time. Read more…

Is Your Pitch Perfect? Take Steps to Elevate Your Brand and Pitch

You know the story. When two or more entrepreneurial businesspeople source a new concept and decide they want to launch it together, they start a company. When it comes to naming it, there can be some back and forth, but eventually a name is Businesspeople Communicating In Elevatordecided upon. Next a logo and a tagline are developed, followed by a unique value proposition. As the business grows it becomes more than a name, it evolves into a brand. In the home and building PR channel, our brand is our promise. It’s our personality and reputation. It’s how we do business, how we come across on the phone, online or in a conference room. It’s even how our employees behave in their “free” time.

Your logo, employees, activities, press releases, web site copy, tagline and tweets are all parts of your company’s personality that conveys a consistent message. Your brand/persona become words to live by in order for their messages to receive merit. Are you working on a pitch that communicates exactly who you are as a brand, and who you aspire to be? You can create a brand promise, illustrated with a pitch that uniquely and succinctly portrays your brand in the marketplace. Few companies can say they are the newest, oldest, or best in class… however, with a heavy dose of ingenuity and some of that entrepreneurial spirit — it is possible to create a brand that resonates and competes. Read more…

Homeowners Choosing Popular Upgrades as the Economy Recovers

In this current recovery, homeowners are becoming more confident, demonstrating pent-up demand for home and building products. The remodeling industry is experiencing a steady uptick, as the nation’s recovering economy encourages renewed homeowner investment. Following one of the most significant plunges in the U.S. real estate channel’s history, homeowners are now opting to consider their existing space for their residential upgrades.

“During past recessions we experienced mortgage applications declining while interest rates rose resulting in a drop of new homes being constructed,” explains Steven Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “Remodeling permits by contrast during those cycles traditionally increased, as homeowners sought to capture equity in the rising values of their homes. However, during the most recent housing crisis, remodeling permits simultaneously decreased in concert with new home construction as foreclosures and declining home values combined negatively to shake homeowner confidence. The good news is we’re finally seeing evidence of that long anticipated turn around.”

In fact, The Conference Board this week reported that their July Consumer Confidence Index soared to 90.9, the highest level since October 2007 while they forecast that the trend was likely to continue.

Stainless Steel and the “Pro-sumer”
A new type of consumer – the “pro-sumer” – has emerged during this current wave of remodeling. These homeowners desire commercially proven, professional grade products that are fabricated and re-purposed for specific residential applications.

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

For example, the Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail® provide unique illumination for outdoor living environments for consumers looking no further than their own backyards for home space to improve. Originally designed for use on sea-faring vessels to resist nature’s destructive forces upon sails, Feeney’s stainless steel CableRail railing products are finding a new market among homeowners who desire attractive deck railing that won’t impede views of their landscape.

Danver Outdoor Kitchens

Danver Outdoor Kitchens

 

 

Stainless Steel Cabinetry is Popular
Similar in attributes, stainless steel cabinetry is gaining popularity in weather-sensitive, outdoor living applications. Consistently specified by restaurant designers for commercial kitchen surfaces where durability and easy-to-clean performance has been critical for food preparation areas, stainless steel now is being fabricated into cabinetry by Danver – made in America in Wallingford Connecticut. For many consumers, not just any plain silver grey finish will suffice and responding to that demand, Danver has introduced coated stainless steel doors in designer color finishes including wood grain patterns that now provide homeowners with outdoor kitchens that feature every convenience of traditional interior environments.

 

Cellular PVC Pergola Outdoor Kitchen View 1 Canopy retracted

Walpole Outdoors Pergola

Social Cooking and Living Life Inside-Out
Recently the kitchen has become a room for communal activity, as food preparation and bartending bring people together in social gatherings and at parties. Today’s outdoor kitchen has followed suit, expanding far beyond the lone barbeque grill with appliances such as the Evo cooktop that connect multiple cooks and dining audiences to engage in social cooking experiences out-of-doors.

In an effort to enjoy outdoor living through all four seasons, homeowners are seeking greater year-round shelter from nature’s elements. Walpole Outdoors pergolas are an attractive choice among renovators and come in a variety of colors applied to easy-to-maintain cellular PVC available in convenient, ready to assemble kits and with retractable ceiling screens.

Sometimes Only Real Wood Will Do
When it comes to curb appeal, homeowners are making high impact home fashion trend statements with simple replacements of their front doors — increasing their homes’ energy efficiency, while setting architectural style highlights at their guests’ first point of contact when they visit.

Masonite Torrefied Door

Masonite Torrefied Door

While fiberglass and steel doors remain popular choices, some homeowners demand the authentic aesthetics that only real wood doors provide. Yet, wood doors traditionally have inherent maintenance costs that restrict greater audience acceptance. Not anymore. The collection of Masonite Torrefied doors are fabricated through a process that actually heats the door during manufacturing, increasing its resistance to natural rot, weather and termites. What’s more and as an added bonus, the doors take on an attractive toasty brown finish that accentuates natural graining patterns.

“Ultimately, consumers need to be aware of the industry’s leanings towards renovating and upgrading existing space,” states Kleber. “In coming years, smart homeowners will undoubtedly experience a significant return on investment for the improvements they’re making now.”

 

 


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.

YouTube Videos Enhance Digital Marketing

YouTube used to be a venue for sharing videos with family and friends or to feature crazy comedy sketches.  Today, marketers are all over YouTube using it to their advantage. In fact, YouTube is so popular and serves so many digital advertising functions, its ranked number 2 on top search engines. We still use YouTube to post comedy sketches, but YouTube has now become a competitive platform for businesses to build, brand and market their companies.Untitled

Some companies use YouTube to demonstrate tutorials, present Frequently Asked Questions, discuss reviews, juxtapose before and after home renovations or show expert interviews. YouTube also provides important metrics in how many views the video received and how much user and viewer engagement is achieved. Read more…

Future of Instagram for Advertising and Marketing

Instagram began as an IOS-only photo sharing app in 2010. It has since evolved into a massive social network with a large Web and Android presence involving a total user base over 200 million. It’s therefore no surprise that Instagram has developed new advertising opportunities for businesses by introducing sponsored posts for brands to better reach their ever-expanding user base. Sponsored posts have been launched on a test basis a number of times, but the results are promising for the future of paid marketing on Instagram.ig-logo

The first brands to try paid marketing on Instagram saw great success in terms of engagement and awareness. One of the guinea pig brands, Ben & Jerry’s, reached 9.8 million people with its sponsored post in an eight day period. Another brand, Lexus, gained 3,862 new followers on the day of the ad campaign. Read more…

Kleber & Associates Wins Platinum & Gold for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

The Kleber and Associates PR and Advertising team is full of bright, creative and innovative individuals.  With our clients as our top priority, we strive to ensure that all of our integrated marketing campaigns are one-of-a-kind anHermes 2014 jpgd reflective of each client’s unique products and services. We don’t do it for awards; we do it because we have a commitment to give our clients the best public relations and marketing experience possible.  It also doesn’t hurt that we love what we do. Read more…

Use LinkedIn for Personal Public Relations

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Are you using LinkedIn for personal public relations?  If you are, here’s the latest.shutterstock_64192717


LinkedIn has been getting a lot of media attention lately. Most importantly, LinkedIn is quickly becoming a vehicle for personal public relations and professional networking. Networking has become somewhat of a buzz word lately in all industries – to get a job you need to network, to get a new customer you need to network, to maintain your existing customers… yep, you guessed it. And many companies are familiar with social networking websites, 44% of companies believe a Facebook page is important for their business and 38% believe a Twitter page is. Read more…