February marked the industry’s largest trade show of the year: the 2022 NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Top home building and design professionals from around the world gathered in Orlando to showcase new products, attend educational sessions, network and share top industry trends.
Whirlpool Corporation was back on the show floor with a 4,800 square-foot booth filled with 47 appliance innovations, as well as self-guided experiences and content drops. And, thanks to attendee badge scan donations in our booth, we were able to raise a combined $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity and Professional Women in Building.
With more than 1,200 exhibitors and over 70,000 attendees, there was a lot to see and discuss. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the show, or see as much of it as you would have liked, we’ve gathered a few of the most prominent trends showcased at IBS and KBIS that may influence your projects in 2022:
Greenery was everywhere at the show. Kohler, for example, had beautiful plant displays throughout their booth, while Sherwin-Williams debuted its Living Well collection that offers shades inspired by nature. This trend comes as no surprise with the increasing desire among home buyers to reconnect with nature.1 Pinterest reports that related searches were all trending up through the end of 2021, with biophilic architecture up 150%2, biophilic office design up 3x3 and biophilic-designed bedrooms up 100%.4
Biophilic design’s main goal is to connect homeowners with the natural world.5 Key features of this design style include:
Nature-inspired colors on walls or cabinetry can be used to emulate the mood-boost nature provides.9 Subtle accents of color on appliances, such as the avocado cream-colored KitchenAid® 30'' Smart Commercial-Style Gas Range with 4 Burners, can also bring the beauty of the outdoors into the home.
Sustainability & Efficiency
It was clear that IBS and KBIS exhibitors and attendees alike had sustainability and efficiency top of mind, and for good reason. Energy-efficient products showed up strong as Best of IBS™ Award winners, like a smart panel that serves as an energy management system for the home, and solar energy shingles that absorb solar energy without compromising curb appeal.
As environmental concerns grow, buyers are increasingly looking for ways to be more sustainable in their everyday lives. They’ll even pay more for it: 77% of millennials, today’s largest group of home buyers, say they’d spend more on sustainable products and homes, compared to 64% of Gen X and 57% of boomers, according to Green Builder’s 2022 COGNITION Smart Data Report. Additionally, more than half10 of realtors surveyed said their clients were interested in sustainability, and nearly a third11 reported they were involved in the buying or selling of a property with eco-friendly features in the last 12 months.
1/2+ of realtors surveyed said their clients were interested in sustainability
When designing a sustainable home, water and energy-efficient appliances are vital. For example, dishwashers are 3 to 4 times more water-efficient12 compared to handwashing, with most of our dishwashers saving over 2,500 gallons a year. And, adding an ENERGY STAR® rated appliance can save buyers anywhere from 10-50%13 on energy costs — an added benefit they’ll appreciate.
Health & Wellness
Over 75%14 of consumers surveyed feel that wellness is more important than ever, and want their homes to support this belief. This sentiment was echoed throughout the show floor at IBS and KBIS 2022, with many brands showcasing products and services that encourage healthy habits at home. Moen, for instance, introduced a device that uses UV light to sanitize its garbage disposals, and there were various educational sessions centered around health and wellness, like “10 Healthy Home Design Strategies.”
One specific health and wellness trend we saw was a focus on air quality, which is of growing concern for buyers. One study shared that 71%15 of those surveyed found dynamic control of indoor air quality to be most important in their home. The kitchen is a room that requires ample ventilation, so it’s important to include appliances that help to filter the air while cooking. The Whirlpool® ENERGY STAR® Certified 30" Chimney Wall Mount Range Hood that was featured within our “Four-Ward” Thinking Kitchen at IBS, for example, has three fan speeds to give homeowners precise control while drawing out smoke, odors and moisture.
Buyers are also looking for appliances that can help them whip up a quick and healthy dinner. Sales of air fryers, a widely regarded healthy cooking method, grew in the last year by 20%.16 The 5.0 Cu. Ft. Whirlpool® Gas 5-in-1 Air Fry Oven and the 6.4 Cu. Ft. Whirlpool® Electric 7-in-1 Air Fry Oven incorporate this feature into a traditional oven, giving homebuyers the countertop space and versatility in cooking modes they desire. And, thanks to an over-the-air update in January 2022, consumers can now air fry right in their Whirlpool® 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Single Wall Oven with True Convection Cooking. This appliance, along with other select Whirlpool appliances, get smarter over time to evolve with changing consumer wants and needs.