Retail Observer

January 2022

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 32 of 67

JANUARY 2022 RETAILOBSERVER.COM 33 breakout stars within the kitchen and bath space, making consumers' lives easier and helping to decrease high-contact surface areas. And yet, while there was lots of buzz around involving technology in 2021, the market remains largely untapped, as only 30% of kitchen projects and 21% of bathroom designs included some type of integrated appliances. In addition to smart technologies, 58% of designers believe that spaces serving multiple functions will become increasingly popular in 2022 and beyond. New millennial homeowners are looking to maximize their kitchen space with islands that serve as a meal prepping area, a workstation and a dining table as well as a place to entertain guests. Further, younger consumers are looking to include laundry facilities inside their bathrooms, maximizing space while freeing room elsewhere in the home for various activities. With work-from-home and flexible workdays gaining traction nationally, the ability to customize the home space for specific needs will continue to grow in importance for homeowners. In the same vein, millennials are leading the increased interest in natural and contemporary designs, especially in the kitchen and bath. Moving away from white and gray as primary colors, designers expect nature-inspired colors to grow in prominence, most notably greens and blues. For fixtures, the trend is toward more matte and brushed finishes in black, stainless, nickel and pewter. Additionally, designers see increased natural light with large high-performance windows and doors for outdoor access becoming more prominent, as homeowners continue to create outdoor living, dining and cooking areas outside the home. "Besides the pandemic, another rising factor in the design trends we're seeing for 2022 and beyond is the growth of the millennial and gen X customer base, as these homeowners are now reaching the point in their lives where they are increasingly working with designers to create their ideal homes, as opposed to attempting to do it themselves," continues Darcy. "These homeowners expect a certain style and flair for their homes, while also showcasing a different vision for what they feel their home should bring to their life. For example, they are requiring a space for work as well as an escape, leading to designs that are both relaxing and reinvigorating." While boomers continue to be a large part of designers' customer base, the demographics are shifting toward a younger audience that is increasingly driving future trends. While gen X remains the biggest age group, with 49% of design projects customized for them, designers note a 6% increase in work on behalf of millennials. This has resulted in a shift in how designers do business, as millennials are more apt to conduct meetings virtually and are almost 10% more likely to want to do the entire project virtually. To learn more about the key findings from NKBA's 2022 DesignTrends report, and receive your own copy, please contact RO

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