Pulte Homes is looking to offer more attractive kitchens to its clients by holding a massive kitchen competition, a collaborative effort of major manufacturers.
The “Kitchen Throwdown” competition began this fall when 36 manufacturers were split into six teams to build a functional kitchen space that clients would find unique and appealing.
Each team consisted of manufactures that specialize in home technology options such as connected appliances, induction cooking, smart lighting and water options.
After eleven weeks testing designs, the teams met in Norcross, Georgia in early November to display their final kitchens.
Big name manufacturers like Whirlpool, GE, Bosch, Moen, Kohler and Leviton competed along with 30 other international manufacturers and the new-to-America brand Bertazzoni.
Mohawk Flooring has worked with Pulte for the past 20 years and says this is the first time they’ve been involved in an event like this. “Pulte used this event to show how they think as an organization, while imagining how the consumer of the future will live,” says Mollie Surratt of Mohawk.
The teams had to create kitchens that could appeal to three possible homebuyer scenarios: the empty nester cooking enthusiast, family chef and Millennial entertainer.
Each team was given 20 minutes to highlight the ideas that led to the design, the features that homebuyers demand and how the mock kitchen could serve the different age groups that live in a household.
“From construction to final presentation, these six lifestyle kitchens exemplified the essence of forward thinking, innovation and, most of all, personalization that will wow our consumers,” says Diahann Young of Pulte. Following each team’s demonstration, an audience of homebuyers and experts voted on which aspects of the kitchen stood out most to them.
But why did Pulte focus on the kitchen with this competition? According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the average American spends at least seven hours in the kitchen, either eating or preparing food. At the same time, a HomeAdvisor survey reports that the average kitchen remodel can run homebuyers around $19,820.
“Kitchen tech is definitely a growing trend that can help to differentiate your offering from the competition. The key is providing technology that provides a tangible benefit to the consumer without sacrificing design,” says Ryan Groff of Moen.
By offering a dream kitchen as a standard Pulte is hoping that homebuyers will be able to spend more money on different tech packages around the new homes. The “Kitchen Throwdown” will be used by Pulte to streamline tech options and designs before they are rolled out.
The Pulte “Kitchen Throwdown” was an innovative way to conduct real-time research to gain insight into the latest consumer needs and wants. We were all very collaborative and had a lot of fun,” says Sherry Bale of Sea Gull Lighting.
These designs will be installed in new homes sometime in 2016.