IBS Day 1 Recap

The 2015 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) is off and running, and design is at the forefront. From popular exhibits to packed education sessions to exciting product demonstrations, it’s clear that the Best in American Living slogan, “Redefining Home and Community” is on attendees’ minds.

A full house listens to "what buyers really want."
A full house listens to “what buyers really want.”

The sessions are where the industry’s top professionals are really getting at the heart of current design trends. Michael Medick and Christopher Grady of Denver’s KEPHART firm explained that builders need to be flexible when designing their communities in “Creating Community: What Buyers Really Want and How You Can Deliver It.”

There is conflicting information about what consumers want in a community. While there is a push for density, smart growth and walkability, buyers also express a desire for a suburban or even rural living environment for many buyers. Based on data collected by the NAHB and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the presenters discussed how to address these conflicts in sensible ways (“be flexible”) that meet the needs of the community and the desires of new home buyers: single family homes with city amenities.

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A modular home by Keiser Homes.

Design is also a consideration in the fast-growing modular market, which is “a construction technique, not a type or class of buildings.” In “Modular for the Small Builder,” Kevin Flaherty of Innovative Building Systems, NC, addressed the issues small-volume builders face each day–issues that any design business can understand: finding skilled labor, customer satisfaction, and reducing risk on the job site as well as how modular can produce beautiful results.

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A Marc-Michaels master bath.

“Trends in 2015: What Is the NOW Best Thing” was a hugely popular session given by Dan Swift of BSB Design, West Des Moines, Iowa, and Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL.

Home design used to be fairly simple, but the GenXers are changing all of that. They have money to spend on their homes, and they know what they want…but do you? The speakers explored topics like designing around “life moments”–leaving for work or school; coming home; weekend time; holidays; and putting things away. They encouraged attendees to “build around the way people live,” “consider features like pet spaces and garages,” and “putting the ‘room’ back into ‘bathroom.'”

They also discussed countless “trend blitzes” like pocket offices, snore rooms, multigenerational, ethnic buyers and prayer rooms, master baths and feature bathtubs and much more.

Scott McGillivray gives his thoughts on design trends.
Scott McGillivray gives his thoughts on design trends.

Finally, readers and writers alike celebrated the launch of a third year of Best in American Living magazine with a cocktail reception, featuring celebrity real estate expert Scott McGillivray and host of the HGTV show “Income Property.”  Staff revealed additional features and advancements while mingling with many of the industry’s leading residential architects and developers.

Want more Best in American Living? Read our winter issue here.

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