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Three trends from IBS 2015

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The International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas wrapped up last week, and a treasure trove of summaries and trend pieces have since been published. Before the building season ramps up, now is the time to get smart on all of the latest trends from the industry that will surely make your product stand out.

Here are three of the biggest trends that emerged at this year’s IBS according to RealtorMag.com:

Kitchens Will Evolve

Who wants two steam ovens when you can install a combi oven that offers both steam and convection in the same unit? Whether it’s high-temperature cooking options, functional surfaces or designated areas for activities like canning or brewing, the kitchen of tomorrow meets the needs of foodies and mainstream homeowners alike.

“Think about different questions to ask home owners about their food acquisition,” says Judith A. Neary, principal of Roadside Attraction Design Studio LLC in Vashon Island, Wash. “Do you have a garden? Do you do canning? Where do you store that? I have to have these conversations with them. We’re trying to plan a kitchen solution for that.”

Smart Home Tech Searches For Its Footing

Think back to the late 1990s and how personal computer brands flooded the marketplace. Consumers knew little about hardware, but they understood the necessity of owning a PC. As the years past, many of the lesser brands and their flawed products died off while juggernauts like Apple, Dell and IBM stayed the course.

Smart home tech is very similar to that era in personal computing. And that’s exactly why you should think twice before going all-in on products that may not be long for this world.

“Be careful about who you hitch your wagon to,” says Jacob Atalla, vice president of sustainability initiatives at KB Home. He notes that there are a lot of relatively unknown companies serving up new home technology products, and there’s no guarantee how long they’ll be around or how well their products will work. “There could be some disappointments in the future, so we shouldn’t rush into it.”

Gray Has Company

Like fashion, paint colors seem to be on a 20-year cycle. That’s why many aren’t surprised to see of-the-moment gray joined by the likes of browns and yellows. Even avocado green — a blast from the past — is back in the mix.

“I’m thinking, ‘Why are you so excited about this color?’” says Kay Green, president of Kay Green Design Inc. in Winter Park, Fla. She says she later realized that it was a generational thing: “It’s because they didn’t have a refrigerator that color growing up!”