Mobile Home design features at the 2017 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show mirrored some of those at the International Builder’s Show (IBS), and are based on customer preferences. Among the popular design features are:
- Bathrooms with glass enclosed showers and elements of nature like pebble tile.
- Modern-farmhouse design with “living wood” details on countertops, walls and sliding doorways.
Kathi Golden, Design Manager for Shaw Industries – Specialty Markets, said, “The main take away that I had is that we are offering more and more choices for home buyers who are considering a manufactured home. And that is exciting!”
She added, “The talk at the shows was all about the tech-savvy home and providing consumers with connectivity and convenience for their devices, as well as the fact that different life stages require different needs to be met by builders and product developers. Millennials and the 55+ groups are the largest ones and are getting the most attention right now. Universal design, aging in place and multi-generational living are driving many of the requirements that shape interior design. Builders are increasingly aware of these trends and include features in their homes to set themselves apart from their competition.”
At the Louisville Show, ceilings, feature walls, beams and wood look tiles for showers carried the look of wood up from the floor. “Open floor plans create a spacious feel with the same flooring used in the main living areas – most of it being some form of hard surface,” Golden added. “The most popular look was rustic, wide-plank wood looks. A variety of wood tones and finishes continue to be used on many surfaces throughout the home.”
Golden continued: “The popular show “Fixer Upper” seems to have had an influence in some houses with the farm house look, including shiplap walls, farm house sinks, and light fixtures made from jars and other rustic items. Open shelving gave kitchens an update. A variety of range hoods and unique back splash tiles add designer touches. Sliding barn doors, free standing tubs and upgraded fixtures were in many houses on display in Louisville.
Scott Parkhurst, Skyline Corporation’s National Sales Manager echoes some of those comments. “Consumers today are requesting huge walk-in tile showers, spacious kitchen islands that serve as a great space for both gathering and meal preparation as well as new flooring options to minimize the abundance of carpet in their homes. Skyline is committed to bringing the design features homeowners of traditional site-built homes love to our manufactured and modular product offerings.”
Kurt Barrett, Director of Sales at Shaw Industries, added that he sees the continuing growth of their hard surface categories across the spectrum of homes built by their customers.
“Shaw has been providing floor covering for our manufactured housing customers for a long time,” Barrett said. “We have seen many cycles in customer preferences over the years, but the sustained growth in hard surfaces in many spaces of the home has been pretty amazing. We have invested heavily in our hard surface business in response to this trend.”
Shaw offers it builder customers the latest in LVP/LVT (Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile), laminate flooring, hardwood flooring, tile and stone, and recently launched a new well-received resilient line with many varied wood plank visuals.
“Tile and stone has been a very important category both on the floor and on the walls, but because of the installation time, many of our builder customers have not been able to take advantage of this,” Barrett said. “We have recently launched an innovative installation system for tile and stone which will allow the manufacturer to offer this to the consumer without disrupting their production.”
While Shaw’s hard surface business continues to grow, Barrett says they still work hard to provide the best value in carpet to their customers. “We continue to invest in innovation when it comes to carpet. Consumers want quality products from known and trusted companies in their homes. We hope that by using products with our Shaw Brand will help our Builder-Customers give a sense of comfort and quality to their home-buyers.”
Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber, a blogger, interior designer and more, recently wrote about the IBS and noted that one of the hottest trends is homes that are at least partially constructed in a factory. “Home builders at the show were fascinated by the mobile homes that were on display, and they could not believe the time and cost savings that this form of housing offered,” she said.
She added that Cavco Industries had homes on display at IBS that “appealed to different buyers, and helped change the perception about what factory built housing offers.”
For the 2017 Show Village at IBS, Palm Harbor Homes and Nationwide Homes built, transported and set up a record-setting five manufactured and mobile homes.
Felber said Cavco’s Tree House was the talk of IBS. Using a basic park model RV as its base, Cavco Park Models and Cabins division teamed with Daniels Wood Land Inc. (also of the TV Show Redwood Kings) for a rustic tree house design and decor. In the last two years, Cavco and Daniels Wood Land have developed a growing collaboration. They have built unique tree houses together that are now in use at places such as the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Mill Run, Pa.
Also at the Louisville show, Skyline featured a variety of homes ranging from a 396-square foot HUD-built model with a full deck that received attention from those interested in the “tiny living” movement to package and custom homes.
Parkhurst said, “We really could not have asked for a better show. Skyline Corporation received new orders for all divisions that will help fulfill winter production slots. Because of the show, we must review the need to increase current production at a couple of our divisions, which will give us a jump start for the spring.”