The First Luxury Bath Summit Is Held By The NKBA

Luxury Bath Summit

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the world’s largest non-profit trade group for the kitchen and bath industry, held its first Luxury Bath Summit on June 22 and 23. Over 1200 professionals from the kitchen and bath industry attended. The two-day virtual event, put on by House of Rohl in partnership with Cambria, was based on the results of the NKBA’s recent market research report, the 2022 Luxury Bath Study.

Suzie Williford, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at NKBA, said that the luxury bathroom of today has changed and become a luxurious spa-like space that offers sanctuary, wellness, and peace. The NKBA market research team started the event with a qualitative glance at the luxury bath segment. After that, there were more in-depth talks about what influences luxury bath design today, including products, design approaches, lifestyle changes, and other influences.

Williford said it wasn’t surprising that many people wanted to travel, have great hospitality experiences, use fully integrated technology, and get their hands on many rich materials. We also found out that the luxury bathroom is part of a complete look at the main suite, which includes the bedroom, living room, dressing areas, closets, and bathroom spaces. Professionals in the NKBA trade continue to impact two of the most important living areas in residence, always bringing comfort, safety, and beauty.

 Five Important Takeaways from NKBA Luxury Bath Market Research

  • Luxury bathrooms are taking over space that used to be used for bedrooms, closets, and other things.
  • Technology in the bathroom is essential, even if it’s not apparent. It creates things simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.
  • Wellness and aging-in-place ideas are easier to implement thanks to new products like steam showers, hydrotherapy, chromotherapy, smart toilets, and bidets built in.
  • Baths have gone from being primarily functional and an afterthought to one of the essential rooms in the house.
  • Baths have become a spot where we spend time and have fun, where we take care of our whole health, and where we fall in love.

Summit Features and Attendees

NKBA designer members who were interviewed as a section of the Luxury Bath Study and who took part in the summit were:

Luxury Bath Designers (NKBA)

  • Christopher Grubb is the President of Arch-Interiors Design Group, Inc. in Beverly Hills, California.
  • Shea Pumarejo, CMKBD, is the founder of Younique Designs in San Antonio, Texas.
  • President of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design in Portland, OR, Garrison Hullinger
  • Blue Arnold is the proprietor of Kitchens by Demand, Inc. in Jarrettsville, Maryland.
  • Elma Gardner, CMKB, is the owner and president of By Design Studio, Inc.
  • Sandra Diaz-Velasco, Principal Architect, EOLO Design, Miami, FL
  • Christine Conte, owner of Christine Conte Interiors in Huntington, New York
  • Jacque Bethke is the head designer, architect, and engineer at JAQUE in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Aparna Vijayan is a designer for Ulrich.Inc in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
  • Joy Chao is the guide interior developer at John Henshaw Architect Inc. (JHA) in Vancouver, BC. Canada
  • Reisa Pollard started Beyond Beige in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Senior Designer Kelly McDermott, Greater Chicago Area, IL

Julie Faupel, the founder of REALM, and moderators Wendy Cohen, the CEO, and founder of PowerHouse Companies. Kathryn Given, the old style and market editor for Luxe Interiors + Design; Susan Brinson, the co-founder and creative director of House of Brinson; Christopher Wallace, the founder and president of InnerView; Alex Capecelatro, the CEO of Josh AI, and Tricia Zach, the head of research for the NKBA, were also industry experts.

Highlights of the NKBA Luxury Bath Summit:

NKBA designer members who were asked to interview as part of the Luxury Bath Study and who took part in the summit were:

Luxury Bath Designers (NKBA)

  • Christopher Grubb is the President of Arch-Interiors Design Group, Inc. in Beverly Hills, California.
  • Shea Pumarejo, CMKBD, is the founder of Younique Designs in San Antonio, Texas.
  • President of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design in Portland, OR, Garrison Hullinger
  • Blue Arnold is the proprietor of Kitchens by Demand, Inc. in Jarrettsville, Maryland.
  • Elma Gardner, CMKB, is the owner and president of By Design Studio, Inc.
  • Sandra Diaz-Velasco, Principal Architect, EOLO Design, Miami, FL
  • Christine Conte, owner of Christine Conte Interiors in Huntington, New York
  • Jacque Bethke is the head designer, architect, and engineer at JAQUE in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Aparna Vijayan is a designer for Ulrich.Inc in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
  • Joy Chao is the guide interior developer at John Henshaw Architect Inc. (JHA) in Vancouver, BC. Canada
  • Reisa Pollard started Beyond Beige in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Senior Designer Kelly McDermott, Greater Chicago Area, IL

Julie Faupel, the founder of REALM, and moderators Wendy Cohen, the CEO and founder of PowerHouse Companies; Kathryn Given, the old style and market editor for Luxe Interiors + Design; Susan Brinson, the co-founder and creative director of House of Brinson, Christopher Wallace, the founder and president of InnerView, Alex Capecelatro, the CEO of Josh AI, and Tricia Zach, the head of research for the NKBA, were also industry experts.

Highlights of the NKBA Luxury Bath Summit

Incorporate Nature.

Elma Gardner, CMKBD, Owner, and President of By Design Studio, said that some natural materials that stand out are teak, a soaking tub that lets water move continuously, and large windows that let in more natural light and show off views of the outdoors.

Integrated Technology is divisive, but it will endure.

Homeowners want technology that works well together and is easy to use. Blue Arnold, the owner of Kitchens By Request and a CMKBD, said they don’t want to figure out how to use the technology. He put in well-hidden, helpful, and not too complicated technology in his client’s bathroom, such as automated shades, tile floors, ambient lighting, speakers, and a TV in the mirror.

Hospitality is a source of inspiration.

The head designer at Jaque Bethke Design, Jaque Bethke, agreed with the NKBA study’s conclusion that hospitality and travel spaces significantly affect clients. They must recreate the comfort, details, and amenities of five-star properties, such as hidden TVs, separate water cabinets, coffee, and wine bars, seating area, voice-activated lighting, temperature and window controls, and soaking tubs and showers with multiple sprays.

Image credit: Jennifer Siu-Rivera, Jennifer Siu-Rivera Photography

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