International Builders Show Recap: 2016 Building Trends

Last week I headed to Las Vegas to check out KBIS and the NAHB’s International Builder Show. Every January builders and designers unite to see the latest in trends and products for home building.


I walked the show (so you didn’t have to), and am happy to report the 5 most interesting new trends I discovered!

  1. Architectural Trends

One thing to say here: Midcentury. From architecture to finishes, trends in scale and detailing provoke this era. Lower profile rooflines, larger fascia profiles, simple windows and a desire for overall modern simplicity are trending in architecture.

IMG 7068 OPT

  1. Multi-functional Use of Space

People are downsizing. Smaller spaces are a big topic right now, so products must follow with ingenuity in use of space.

Kohler blew me away with a new line of bathroom multi-function vanities with built in electric components and pull out drawers.

IMG 35441

Outside at the show sat a 432 Square foot, net zero tiny house… (I’m thinking, “YES!”) Attendees walked through this tiny house to see what this lifestyle is all about. Honestly, it was fun to see how something so small could make such a big impact to the industry.

  1. Indoor / Outdoor Blurred Lines

With smaller spaces, the need for windows and glass door options becomes more critical to the architecture. People are spending more time outside of the home.

Ply Gem showcased an incredibly impressive European style glass door that opened with the touch of a button from a smart phone. The door works on a 3 track system, so the built-in features are smooth and minimal in profile. Besides the cool factor of operating through Bluetooth, the door can reach up to 12’ wide and 6’ tall for a spectacular view to the great outdoors.

I was also excited to see a brand new polymer siding option in the Ply Gem booth. Contractors, you’ll be glad to hear the research on this product boasts a 3x faster installation time than fiber cement options! Engineered material is always a good idea in terms of maintenance on the exterior.

IMG 3511

What makes me most excited about this?! You can paint this siding… and y’all know I love color!

Exterior cladding is no longer limited to the outside. Trends are pulling siding and cladding inside the home, to create overall dimension in the space. Again, the line between indoor and outdoor is blurred in terms of style and products.

  1. Textures and Finishes and Dimension! Oh My!

New tile featured great depth and dimension, making the installation a custom artwork opportunity.

Handmade tiles take a more artisan story approach, which is a front runner in terms of consumer interest in the market right now. I saw some beautiful products coming out of the Portland area.

Matte finishes were EVERYWHERE.

Faucets, appliances, counter tops, paint… Trends are steering away from high gloss, so manufacturers are working hard to keep up the demand for simple, no frills finishes.

IMG 35201

Rose gold, pewter, matte black and copper were finishes shining bright throughout the show!

  1. Best in Show

Here are a couple of the really innovative products I found at the show this year.

No More Shims: Check this out… Winbag at first glance looks like a blood pressure reader, but for all of you contractors that use shims for installations, you have to watch this video!

Going Mobile: The paint store comes to you!

When it comes to product innovation at the show this year, I was thoroughly pleased to see such clear shifts in the marketplace, proving that manufacturers are listening to the end consumer.

2016 is going to be a good year in the home improvement industry!