How Pros Can Influence Sustainable Design… and Skeptical Clients – NKBA


How Pros Can Influence Sustainable Design… and Skeptical Clients

Making the Best Case for Practices That are Better for Families – and the Planet
Design by Kathleen Donohue, CMKBD. Photo by Tim Cotter Photography.

By NKBA | KBIS Editorial Team

While homeowners are increasingly curious about sustainable design practices, many still remain skeptical. As a result, securing consumer buy-in continues to be a challenge for kitchen and bath design professionals.

According to insights included in NKBA’s 2024 Sustainability in Kitchen & Bath Design report, that wariness is rooted in a number of factors, including expense, lack of attractive sustainable design options and the long payback period to realize the financial benefits of sustainable choices.

The report provides important insights into how design professionals can do more to convince wary customers that sustainable design can be both beautiful and beneficial.

According to the surveyed industry professionals, homeowners rarely, if ever, bring up sustainability. As a result, designers need to initiate these conversations and recommend sustainable products and practices. To do so, they will require a deeper understanding of sustainable options so they can make the case for greener choices.

The report provides new insights into the value propositions for sustainability that are most compelling to consumers. Leading the way, by a large margin, is family health and well-being (42%), the idea that sustainable products and practices create healthier home environments for consumers and their families. Next, homeowners say that energy savings (22%) is also a significant benefit of sustainability. Reducing the household’s carbon footprint (17%) and reducing waste (11%) are also cited as important benefits.

The burden isn’t all on K&B designers, however. Brands will need to do more to offer products that are practical, economical and attractive. Survey respondents stressed that the industry must give design pros the information they need about sustainability – and its most attractive benefits – so they can become enthusiastic and knowledgeable advocates.

“The growing enthusiasm for sustainable design is a win-win for our industry and consumers alike,” said Bill Darcy, Global President & CEO of NKBA | KBIS.  “However, we know the adoption of sustainable practices is lagging behind that enthusiasm. Industry professionals are the key to educating consumers that the time to incorporate greener products and practices in their kitchen and bath renovations is right now.”To learn more about how the tide is turning on sustainable design, read NKBA’s 2024 Sustainability in Kitchen & Bath Design report.