Design must embrace change

Kohler’s one-long presentation focused on current trends in modern design, building and renovating. (Photos by Christian Sorrell)
Kohler’s one-long presentation focused on current trends in modern design, building and renovating. (Photos by Christian Sorrell)

Last week, Rachel Kohler led an afternoon presentation at the Indiana Design Center in Carmel. More than 50 design center members and area designers, builders and renovators were in attendance. Kohler is the group president of interiors for Kohler Co. and a member of the company’s founding family.

While a portion of the presentation was dedicated to the history of Kohler Co. and its 140-year history, a majority of the afternoon focused on kitchen and bath trends that Kohler has seen develop during the last several years and of which she has learned to take advantage.

Kohler summarized the key trends into several categories: “rightsizing,” “deconsumption,” “sophisticated fusion” and “technology invasion.” Rightsizing is an emerging trend in house and space design in which consumers are looking to create spaces that are an appropriate size for their lifestyle. With this trend, using space efficiently and effectively is vital. With the rise of deconsumption, Kohler Co. has seen that consumers are not necessarily spending less, but are becoming more selective in their spending. Companies need to keep in mind that consumers must be fought for in today’s market, perhaps more so than in the past.

With what Kohler referred to as “sophisticated fusion,” she has found that during the last several years, consumers have become focused on expressing and celebrating their personal style. Kohler has taken advantage of this trend by having products in an array of colors, giving consumers different options and offering multiple models of many of their products rather than focusing on the custom work that was popular throughout the last decade.

The final trend Kohler spoke about was technology invasion. This is a trend that has been developing for years now, really since the rise of the iPod. According to Kohler, it is now more important than ever for products of all kinds to embrace technology and connectivity in ways that has not been done in the past. To capitalize on this trend, Kohler Co. features a number of high tech products such as medicine cabinets housing televisions and refrigerators and showerheads with built-in wireless speakers.

The event ended with a question-and-answer session between Kohler and those in attendance.

For more information regarding this event and future events, visit

Upcoming events at the Indiana Design Center

  • Flooring Fridays – The second in a series of courses geared to help builders, architects and design professionals build their knowledge. This month’s topics are “Meeting the Challenge of Glass Tile Installations” and “Grouting for Success.” The course will be taught from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Friday at IDC, 200 S. Range Line Rd. RSVP by e-mailing [email protected] or calling 569-2095

  • Management and Marketing Class by Drapery Street – The main objective of this seminar is to provide the designer with the basic tools and training essentials to successfully operate a small or mid-size business. The two-hour seminar will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Drapery Street inside IDC, 200 S. Range Line Rd. Call Drapery Street at 816-9774 or e-mail [email protected] to RSVP for the event.