Recent home trends point to new signs of life in the kitchen and bath market, opening up opportunities for woodworkers, cabinetmakers and other businesses catering to new-home buyers and remodelers. The time to reach these potential customers is now.

Residential architects are reporting that business conditions are improving, as is the demand for remodeling and renovation projects, according to the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) fourth quarter 2011 Home Design Trends Survey, which focused specifically on kitchens and baths.

AIA’s survey results showed that as new signs of life begin to surface within the housing market, kitchens are once again the heartbeat of the home. Homeowners are embracing the kitchen by devoting more space and centering family activities in this part of the home. In addition, preferences for more open designs and integration with other family spaces have increased over the previous year. Kitchen and bath designers also saw increases in the desire for adaptability and universal design.

For another view of what’s ahead, we look to The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and its recent Best in American Living Awards. The competition’s award- winning designs serves as a preview of the trends homebuyers will see in 2012 and through the rest of the decade, according to NAHB.

Based on this, the winning designs predict consumers will want classic, yet contemporary designs that combine both comfort and style; first floor open living designs; and, given the state of the economy and diversity, more multigenerational living as extended families reside together under one roof. In addition, as more new homes feature smaller footprints that are less expensive to build, consumers will be looking for cost-effective interior design solutions, including creative storage for kitchens.

Are you making it easy for consumers to do business with you? This is good time to update your marketing plans to meet the needs of today’s changing buyers. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Refresh your Web presence. Research shows that 60 percent of consumers use the Internet in their cabinet purchasing process. That’s one reason we recently launched the new MasterBrand.com. Our new site is optimized to provide consumers with the one-stop online resource they need.

2. Inspire your customers. Tune up your marketing materials to reflect the current and emerging trends to help guide homeowners’ visions for their new space. Outline creative solutions for utilizing space throughout the home with added storage, or products that make life easier for households with multiple generations. The new MasterBrand.com offers tools and resources inspire consumers’ designs before they walk into our dealer and designer showrooms.

3. Ensure your customers are well informed. Remodeling projects can be exciting, but also very overwhelming. Streamline the remodeling process for your customers by refreshing your marketing touch points such as the company website, product brochures or showroom with new educational tools and resources. From a detailed renovation budget calculator to tips for working with dealers and designers, MasterBrand.com is equipped with a number of educational resources to help guide consumers through the cabinetry purchasing process and drive more prequalified leads to our dealers and designers.

By keeping on top of trends and continually adjusting your outreach strategies, your business will be ready to rock as the housing market continues to pick up.

Emily Small is the Director of Marketing Communications at MasterBrand Cabinets. Headquarters in Jasper, Ind., MasterBrand Cabinets Inc. is the largest cabinet manufacturer in North America. Its divisions include Aristokraft, Decorá, Diamond, Dynasty, Homecrest, Kemper, Kitchen Craft, Omega and Schrock. MasterBrand Cabinets is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. For more information visit www.masterbrand.com, or contact Emily at esmall@masterbrandcabinets.com.

 

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