Tidings of Comfort and Joy
In New York, winter always seems to come quickly; one minute it’s 60 degrees, the next, it’s 30. Pumpkins are barely gone and winter holiday decorations are everywhere. Head out anywhere, and there’s music, lights, shopping and a fair amount of good will (well, at least as long as you stay out of the shopping center parking lots!).
Of course it’s also a time to handle those end-of-year accounting tasks, plan out your business strategy for the new year and maybe prep for KBIS – all while juggling those holiday preparations on the home front. Despite the craziness of the holidays, I like to think of the season as a time filled with comfort and joy.
While those words are often used to describe the holidays, I believe they are equally apropos for the kitchen and bath industry.
Indeed, joy is such an important part of what design professionals do that a new survey by the National Association of Realtors actually assigned a “Joy Score” to renovation projects gauging the happiness consumers reported with their newly remodeled spaces. And, it should come as no surprise that on a scale of one to 10, a complete kitchen renovation received a top Joy Score of 10, with 93% of those polled saying they have a greater desire to be at home since the completion of their kitchen project, and 95% saying they have an increased sense of enjoyment when at home (see related Consumer Buying Trends, Page 12).
At a time of year when people are thinking about gifts, it’s nice to remember that as designers, you give your clients one of the best gifts of all. Making the heart of someone’s home warmer, prettier, more functional, better organized and more accessible is the gift that keeps on giving, providing a sense of pride, satisfaction and, yes, joy to those who live in the space. And as families come together to celebrate the holidays, what better gift to give them than a wonderful kitchen where they can make joyful memories together?
Meanwhile, in the bathroom, it’s all about comfort and wellness.
Wellness is nothing new; as far back as the 5th century, the original Greek School of Medicine called for massage therapy; in the 8th century, Buddhist texts formalized the Chakras, which corresponded to different colors and their effects, and in the 12th century, the Persians perfected the distillation of essential oils to treat physical ailments and elevate moods.
But in today’s hectic world, consumers have doubled down on the wellness trend, and the bath has been the primary focus for that, with technological innovations that allow for the creation of healing spa-style havens that comfort, nourish and heal body and soul (see related Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Perspectives).
As the boomers continue to age, the wellness trend will only keep gaining steam. But even the younger generations, battling the stresses of day to day living, desire the gift of a peaceful sanctuary to get away from it all, to restore themselves, to recenter and recharge.
So as you look back on 2019, and start thinking about 2020, don’t forget to take a moment to recognize the value of what you do. You may have long moved onto the next project, but the ‘tidings’ of comfort and joy that you’ve brought your clients will live on for many years to come.
And while you’re thinking about the gifts you give to your clients each and every day, don’t forget to give yourself a gift this year – whether it’s signing up for a seminar you’ve always wanted to go to but were always “too busy” for; attending an industry event where you can network with colleagues; taking that promised vacation so you can find inspiration in nature, great architecture or just solitude, or investing in some new technology for your home so you can better explain the benefits to your clients.
All of us at Kitchen & Bath Design News wish you a holiday season full of comfort and joy, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! ▪