Walking into the International Builder’s Show (IBS) floor yesterday was so much fun! The displays tend to be larger than KBIS and the structures soar at two and three stories high. The sheer magnitude of what work went into the displays is incredible.
Our first stop was the Marvin Windows and Doors and Integrity Windows and Doors booth. We wanted to check in with Andy Tone, the Product Manager for Integrity to hear his 2014 forecast. We’ve worked with Integrity many times over the past years and we were excited to see two new steps in their product innovation.
First, Integrity passed the stringent American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) requirements for Consistent Finish Certification and they are the first and only to do so in their category. Andy was so proud and we are too—Integrity is a wonderful example of craftsmanship and dedication to consumer value.
That dedication also brought another first in their category—an oversized double hung replacement window that can be ordered up to 54 inches x 84 inches. Now you can have that classic windowscape with picturesque views with a wood and Ultrex window for your new home or your vintage home. No other window manufacturer can offer such a large format with these incredible standards.
We also met Breanna Welke, the new Public Relations Manager for Marvin. She showed us several new products and we were very impressed with the blinds that covered sliding doors or windows. The best part of how they work is that you don’t have to close the blinds to open the door or window. They work with the door or window, folding upon themselves and it slides. It’s genius!
There are lots of other innovations from Marvin and we’ll be sharing those in upcoming blog entries.
Later we stopped by the Bosch and Thermador booth. This year Bosch revamped their entire line up of kitchen products. Usually companies update one or two products at a time but Bosch took on the task about five years ago to update every single product.
The new line is sleek and sturdy. We especially like the side opening ovens that can sit side by side on a wall instead of stacking them. This French door application allows ease of use and is so much more ergonomically functional.
Our tour guide for the booth was Micaela Shaw, the Brand Manager for Bosch Home Appliances. She took us through four vignettes that were beautifully designed by Mick De Guilio. We really appreciated her passion and outlook on how the Bosch team came up with the features on the various product lines.
One of the other impressive products is the new 30” induction range that can slide in as an easy replacement to
an electric cooktop. It’s the first in its category and a great option if you’d like to upgrade your electric cooking surface.
Speaking of induction surfaces, we met with Tom Tino, Business Development Manager for Thermador, to review their new product line up. They came out with an induction cooktop that uses the entire surface as a cooking element. When you place down a pan of any shape, the surface reads that information and heats under that particular pot no matter where you place it. But that’s not all, if you slide the pot over, the cooking surface will move the heated area with the pot and maintain the temperature. It’s super smart!
It was a true pleasure to talk to Tom—he knew a lot about Minnesota. Apparently there’s a lot of brand love for Thermador with All inc. and Warner Stellian. Sales have quadrupled over the past year or so. For more product information, see http://www.thermador.com/
Barbara Schmidt is principal and lead designer of bstyle inc, a nationally recognized design firm creating and building spaces for homeowners, retailers and manufacturers for over twenty years.