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By now you’ve probably gathered that sourcing products and searching out the best of the best — at the most affordable lux pricing we can find — is one of our strengths. We aim to please both our online and showroom shoppers! We scour business news to understand how trends in product categories other than our own, can speak to something much larger. For example, Procter and Gamble reports that Febreze has hit the $1 billion mark in sales by selling itself as more than an air freshener. Meaning the product kills odors in stuff that ordinarily would require expensive cleaning bills — like stinky curtains and sofas. Affordability rules yet again and obviously influences the shopper in the marketplace, for products large and small.

Business trade shows are also influential brand makers. When we sent members of our design team to an international products show, they scouted for everything apropos to the brand (and beyond). Their goal: to see how affordable lux influenced design. But before we share our insights from that outing, we want to tell you about a consumer survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens that hit home. It says homeowners are tired of “wasted space,” and want “more value for their dollar.” We’re on the same page! Affordability and energy efficient design plus goods that resonate with one’s personal style remain high priorities. Space features sought by consumers reveal expectations based on “setting priorities.” These include: at least one bathroom with its own private bath, an eating space in or close to the kitchen, a separate laundry room and additional storage space with walk in closets or build-ins.
As for product news from seminars at the 2011 International Builder’s Show, stainless steel appliances remain high on the list of must haves, along with contemporary sleek designs. Other top design priorities for 2011 include:

  • Freestanding tubs with a separate stand-up shower in the bathroom.
  • Color schemes – earth tones, blues and blue greens.
  • International design influence, especially Asian design in both décor and functional products.
  • Ceiling details accenting rooms within open floor plans.
  • Living areas wired for technology.
  • Organizational features, built-ins, and smart storage concepts.
  • Universal design features incorporated in subtle ways.
  • Artistic tile in baths and kitchens; organic nature-driven patterns.
  • Energy efficient products, especially toilets and showerheads.
  • LED lighting incorporated in sinks, showers, and, medicine cabinets.


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