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Monthly Archives: October 2021

Fisher & Paykel Unveils Improved Digital Interface

COSTA MESA, CA — Fisher & Paykel, the Costa Mesa, CA-based supplier of high-end appliances, has launched a Trade Resources platform, a “next-generation solution” for the brand’s trade partners, the company announced.

Improving upon The Kitchen Tools interface that had previously served as a gateway for product access files for the A&D community and builders, the company developed the new program with leading global BIM software “to ensure a better user experience,” corporate officials said.

“The Trade Resources portal offers everything a trade professional might require, from project concept and modeling capabilities to post installation with specification documentation,” said Kevin Dexter, North American president for Fisher & Paykel. “We’ve developed this improved platform to ensure that architects, designers, builders, specifiers, developers and other industry professionals have a seamless experience with our brand from start to finish.”

Technical content available to users include 3D files for Revit, ArchiCad, Sketchup and Rhino, 2D CAD files in ‘dxf’ and ‘dwg’ formats, specifications guides, data sheets and planning guides, the company said. In addition, hinge articulation files, a higher level of dimensional information and alternative installation files, are available, Fisher & Paykel added.

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Beauty, Function & Wellness Blend in the Latest Bath Accessories

As homeowners look to their baths as an escape from the hectic world, function and beauty take the lead in design. However, the urgent craving for wellness is also having an impact on the elements of the bath. What were once luxuries, such as towel warmers and statement-making accessories, are now an integral part of the overall aesthetic of peaceful pampering.

Here are some of the hottest trends in bath accessories right now.

  • Organization has taken a giant leap forward, with storage shelves and towel storage becoming key elements of the design.
  • Finishes are still trending warm, with matte blacks and all shades of gold leading the charge.
  • Safety and accessibility continue to be top of mind, and items such as grab bars and shelving provide their services in very stylish ways.
  • Open storage is becoming much more popular, and shelving on walls and in vanities and showers is adding extra space for decorative and functional items.
  • Decorative accessory finishes have moved beyond metals and now include powder-coated paints, as well as stone and wood for a touch of nature.
  • Saving space and using every inch of the bath continues to be important, and those demands are being answered by smaller-sized accessories, individual towel warming rails and wall niches.

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Appliance Shipments Continue Climb Through Q3

WASHINGTON, DC — Reflecting continued gains in new construction and residential remodeling, domestic shipments of major home appliances continued their year-long upward climb through the third quarter of 2021, despite a modest July-through-September downturn, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers reported.

According to the Washington, DC-based AHAM, a July-through-September decline of 2.4% compared the same quarter a year ago was not enough to thwart an overall year-to-date gain of 16.0% in major appliance shipments compared to the same nine-month period in 2019.

Year-to-date shipments through the third quarter of 2021 totaled 66.7 million units, compared to 57.5 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2020, AHAM reported.

Gains through the third quarter were posted in all key product categories, including food preservation (+17.8%), cooking (+12.6%), kitchen cleanup (+9.1%) and home laundry (+19.1%), the trade association said.

 

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SEN to Host Four-Day November Business School

CHARLOTTE — SEN Design Group, the Charlotte, NC-based buying group and business education resource, has begun accepting registrations for its industry-specific Business School, to be held in-person Nov. 8-11 at theMART in Chicago.

The four-day event, sponsored by Custom Wood Products and Bridgewood Cabinetry, is aimed at empowering owners and executives in the kitchen and bath industry with business management tools aimed at growing their businesses, according to SEN.

“The Business School is the kitchen and bath firm owner’s opportunity to move the needle in their organizations. It’s a truly transformational, poignant program that brings industry owners and partners to the next level,” said Dan Luck, SEN Design Group’s senior v.p.

“The program covers critical topics to maximize returns, master financials, leverage marketing strategies, improve personnel relations and implement proven methods to quickly and profitably grow kitchen and bath businesses,” Luck said.

According to SEN Business School, attendees “will develop strong strategic planning skills and learn how to manage business financials, build a successful commission system, learn how to forecast sales, create an effective pricing formula, increase profits, build a powerful sales team, win bank financing requests, develop a three-year budget and more.

Additional information can be obtained by visiting www.SENDesignGroup.com.

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New CA Law Requires Use of ‘Lead-Free’ Plumbing Fixtures

ONTARIO, CA — A new plumbing code signed into law in California will mandate strict new limits on the manufacturing and sale of plumbing fixtures that leach lead, a toxin that has been tied for decades to drinking water, state officials announced.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signed into law AB 100, legislation that establishes new lead leaching standards for the state, according to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), an organization that coordinates the development and adaptation of plumbing, mechanical, swimming pool and solar energy codes in the U.S. and abroad.

The new law, effective Jan. 1, 2023, prohibits the manufacturing and sale in California of any plumbing fixture, fitting or faucet that does not meet NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2020, the IAPMO said. The law also requires that product packaging and labeling of any device that’s intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption must indicate compliance with the “lead-free” standard.

“AB 100 will help reduce the risk of lead exposure in the built environment through certified, ‘lead-free’ endpoint devices,” said Robyn Fischer, director of government relations for the Ontario, CA-based IAPMO. “This new law will complement the larger-scale efforts underway to help protect Californian’s water infrastructure and underscores the state’s commitment to uphold public health and safety.”

“We’re grateful that California’s new law promotes the industry standard for lead reduction, so that drinking water fixtures and faucets are accurately labeled,” added Tom Palkon, IAPMO’s executive v.p.

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Continued Growth Forecast for U.S. Building Products

INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. building products market will continue building on its “exponential growth” of the past two years, gaining an additional 2.9% from 2023 through 2025, with the professional sector increasing by 4.6%, according to a newly released forecast by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).

The Indianapolis-based HIRI predicted that the total U.S. building products market will increase by 13% in 2021 over the previous year, with the professional sector growing by 18.2%. The total building products market is forecast to grow an additional 2.3% in 2022, with the professional sector growing by 7.1%, HIRI added.

“The home improvement industry had explosive growth during the coronavirus pandemic, due primarily to DIY projects, but that may now be driven by pros,” said HIRI Research Director Matthew Craig, adding that growth in the DIY sector is expected to decline as an overall share of home improvement product sales in 2022, since “many homeowners completed planned projects throughout this year and the last.”

However, growth “will continue further in the professional products market as COVID-19 restrictions ease and projects put on hold resume, HIRI said.

“The strong home improvement outlook provided by pandemic behavior has been given new life by improved employment gains, increased access to vaccinations and additional stimulus measures,” said HIRI. “A continuing strong economy suggests that spending (in the professional sector) will improve, as households feel more comfortable with contractors in their home.”

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LX Hausys America Unveils New Brand Identities

CHICAGO – LX Hausys America Inc. unveiled new brand identities for its  HIMACS Solid Surface and Viatera Quartz Surface brands, and a new brand identity for its resilient floorcovering line of products, HFLOR, at NeoCon last week. The new brand identities reflect the company’s name change this summer from LG Hausys America to LX Hausys America.

The new name is a result of the company’s position within the recently established LX Holdings Corp. The holding company is a globally diversified organization recently spun off from LG Group, the South Korean multinational conglomerate best known for its advanced consumer electronics.

Concurrent with the name change, the company introduced a new logo. It pays homage to the company’s roots, looks to the future and embodies the organization’s management philosophy: “Link to a sustainable future.” Of significance, the “X” within the LX Hausys logo is intersected with an ascending diagonal line, which is a visual representation of the company accelerating into the future, notes the firm.

An ascending diagonal line is now found within each brand logo. This subtle design treatment creates a unified look between the company and its three brands, the company continues. It also ensures the company’s mission for creating a more sustainable future is consistently visually represented across its portfolio of brands.

 

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RSI Acquires Beck/Allen Cabinetry

ST. LOUIS, MO – RSI Kitchen & Bath President and CEO Megan Bittle has announced the expansion of the RSI portfolio of offerings with the acquisition of Beck/Allen Cabinetry in advance of company President Mike Beck’s planned retirement.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Beck/Allen through times of tremendous growth, as well as challenging economic downturns that tested our team,” said Beck. “To have had a role in taking Beck/Allen from meager start-up to becoming the sought-after player in the cabinet space that it is has been both gratifying and humbling. A succession plan was extremely important as we looked to the future, and we’re confident that the company and our employees will be in trusted and forward-thinking hands with Megan at the helm.”

Founded in the year 2000 by Mike Beck and Lee Allen, Beck/Allen began as a wholesale cabinet company catering solely to home builders and remodelers in the St. Louis area. Over two decades, the company evolved in both product lines and capabilities, earning the respect and business of leading trade professionals including designers and architects.

“I believe that to exist in our industry 20 years from now, you must be thinking of strategic alliances, and Beck/Allen represents a complementary segment of the kitchen and bath industry in St. Louis,” says Bittle. “There is so much growth potential in the St. Louis market that acquiring a local business with strong ties to the community and not having to look outside of this market was incredibly intriguing. Our cultures and customer bases meld so well that I saw an opportunity to grow RSI over the next 10 years.”

Moving forward, Beck/Allen Cabinetry will be referred to as a “division of RSI Kitchen & Bath”.

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Wetstyle Opens New Showroom

Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Canada – WETSTYLE, a Canadian manufacturer of premium-quality bath fixtures and furnishings for the North American market, has opened its newly constructed showroom to architects, designers and the general public for the first time.

Beginning May 1, 2021, customers are welcome to view WETSTYLE’s product line at its new corporate showroom, with social distancing practices in place. The 11,600-sq.-ft. showroom, located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, on Montreal’s South Shore, will be open by appointment only during showroom hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

“We are very proud to welcome customers to this facility, which was designed to showcase our values as a brand,” says Mark Wolinsky, president of WETSTYLE. “We look forward to showing local specifiers and customers what we do.”

The showroom exhibits 19 bathtub models, nine furniture collections and more than 30 sink models to choose from, many featuring WETSTYLE’s proprietary WETMAR BiO material, recognized by GOOD DESIGN for Green Innovation as the industry’s first recipe for soy and mineral stone used in the fabrication of composite bath fixtures. Among the WETSTYLE products on display are the Stelle Vanity collection, Mood bathtub and Feel shower bases, all recipients of GOOD DESIGN awards.

Designed by Atelier Moderno, and recipient of the Grands Prix du Design 2020 award, the showroom is filled with distinct and intimate spaces, each highlighting an individual product. The contemporary space features non-obtrusive walls that isolate each product zone in vignette-like fashion, invoking sentiments of environments reflective of the products in use. Atmospheric lighting sets the mood of each product zone via strips and spotlights, reflecting off of a porcelain floor with marble-esque qualities that embrace the sophistication of the company’s high-end, handcrafted, made-to-order products.

“The showroom is the face of our beautiful finished products, and we have succeeded in creating a space that captures the essence of that beauty,” adds Wolinsky. “It’s also a vehicle for exhibiting the tremendous level of detail, craftmanship and passion invested in the making of our award-winning products.”

Ensuring a safe environment

With the health and safety of its clients and employees as a top priority, the WETSTYLE showroom strictly adheres to all government guidelines in respect to COVID-19 protocols. As of May 1, the facility will welcome customers up to a maximum of five people per designated appointment time.

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Fantini Calls for Awards Entries

New York – The Fantini Design Awards, an annual competition presented by Fantini USA, has opened its competition with a call for entries through October 29, 2021. The competition, celebrating its fourth year, celebrates the best of North American design inspired by water. Fantini invites all architects, designers and developers to submit their eligible projects for consideration.

Seven projects will be selected as winners by a panel of judges, and one representative per winning project will receive a four-day, all-expenses paid trip this fall to Casa Fantini/Lake Time resort, designed by Piero Lissoni at Fantini’s headquarters in Pella, Italy.

Qualifying Projects should:

Be either a Completed or a Future project

  • Be completed after January 1, 2019 and no later than October 29, 2021
  • Be located in the U.S. or Canada
  • Be documented with high-resolution, professional photography (Completed Projects) OR a sketch, rendering and/or floor plan (Future Projects)

Completed Project Requirements

  • Fit in one of the categories: Residential or Commercial
  • If Residential, the Project must have at least:

    One master bathroom with five or more Fantini fixtures (including faucets), OR
    two or more bathrooms with at least three Fantini fixtures (including one or more faucets) in each

  • If Commercial, Fantini branded products must have been used in the Project.

Future Project Requirements

  • Project must be under construction, meaning that the construction works have begun on-site in the U.S. or Canada but are not yet completed.
  • Must fall into one of the following two categories:
    Residential, provided it will install Fantini fixtures in two or more bathrooms; OR Commercial, provided that Fantini branded products will be used in the Project.

Project entries will be judged by Kendra Jackson, deputy editor, AZURE magazine; Olivia Hosken, Style and Interiors writer for Town & Country, and Alessandro Munge, founder and design director for Studio Munge.

All submissions must be received by October 29th, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST.

For additional information, visit https://fantinidesignawards.squarespace.com/

 

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