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Returning to New Orleans to commemorate the National Kitchen & Bath Association's 50th Anniversary, The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2013celebrated "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" as the good times indeed continued to roll amid a backdrop of positive economic momentum.

A limited supply of housing is helping to propel home prices even faster than wage growth... based on land, labor and materials cost constraints. In fact, home prices rose over 7 percent in the first 2 months of 2013, representing the biggest gain since 2006. Wallboard giant, USG, reported its first quarter net profit in more than 5 years, with Q1 operating income more than doubling year-over-year. Industry publishing leader Hanley Wood recently noted that home plan sales were outperforming budget "by far", with a reminder that builders buy plans only when they're ready to build.

Remarkable highlights from the KBIS 50th Anniversary Show emphasized Outdoor Living, Modern Convenience and Fashion-Forward Style from around the world…

Outdoor Living3
Cabinetry representing virtually every wood species was on display from notable brands including Wellborn and Wood-Mode; as well as new exhibitor, Elmwood.

However, most impressive was the Stainless Steel Cabinetry from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens... with powder coated color finishes designed to perfectly match their iconic patio furniture line.

Countertop favorites included Silestone's new Suede Texture, offering a striking matte, velvet surface; and Cambria's Berkeley Waterstone collection with hints of copper and bronze highlights shimmering amid its bed of sandy quartz tones.

Nonetheless, Danver's Italian Volcanic Lava Stone tops -- glazed in a myriad of durable, hand applied ceramic colors -- were clearly the show's most luxurious surfaces.2
Modern Convenience
SecuRemote technology was integrated with Belwith Products' Keeler Architectural Door Hardware... now providing us the flexibility to operate their dramatic entry lock sets using remote Bluetooth smartphone access.
Rev-A-Shelf introduced a host of "necessories" including the only brushed aluminum door mount waste container system with patent pending Rev-A-Motion soft open / soft close slides. Their Tresco lighting options included L.E.D., Xenon and Fluorescent lighting innovations for the ultimate in cabinet and storage convenience. And, its co-branding relationship with ProMob 3D software imaging gave us the opportunity to view each functional opening from unlimited angles. I understand there's even an interactive, ergo-dynamic video interface which ProMob is currently developing from its Brazilian headquarters.
Fashion-Forward Style
Speaking of Brazil, drama-seeking KBIS heads really turned for Metalsinos Hardware-- featuring semiprecious jewel insets, mined exclusively from the Amazon region. 1They're apparently all the rage in Abu Dhabi... recently spotted in the new Abu Dhabi Armani towers!
Yes, as you can see, challenger brands were certainly making their mark alongside industry leaders at KBIS this year. I invite you to download below our new White Paper, "How to Win as a Challenger Brand" by Kleber and Associates to learn more about a host of proven competitive marketing success strategies, designed to help your team cross the finish line first.
All my best,



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