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Lowe’s announces partnership with Porch.com

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s has announced a strategic partnership with Porch.com, a home improvement network that connects homeowners with over 1.5 million professionals.

The partnership aims to expand Lowe’s service capabilities by connecting customers with home improvement pros for nearly any project outside of what Lowe’s currently offers as part of its installation services. 

"Working with Porch is another great example of how Lowe’s supports our customers throughout every step of the home improvement journey," said Jay Rebello, VP new business development & corporate innovation at Lowe’s. "By partnering with Porch, Lowe’s can help our customers achieve their home improvement dreams by providing them with the confidence of knowing who their neighbors have used successfully, and benefit our professional customers by providing them greater opportunities to grow their businesses."

To be introduced at Lowe’s stores, the partnership will make its first touchdown in 139 stores in the Carolinas and the Seattle metro area.

"For millions of people, the home is the biggest investment of their lives. Home improvement projects are an essential part of owning or renting a home – finding the right professionals should be easy, delightful, and connected," said Matt Ehrlichman, CEO of Porch. "Now, Lowe’s customers can not only buy high-quality products to make their home improvement projects a reality, they can connect directly with local professionals their neighbors have used."

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HIRI elects new officers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Home Improvement Research Institute elected new officers during the group’s quarterly board meeting Tuesday.

Dennis Neumann, manager marketing analysis at Andersen Windows, was elected as HIRI president. Russ Ellis, VP at the Reader’s Digest Association, was elected VP. Rounding out the list of officers, Shawna Martin, market research manager for Masco Corp., was elected secretary.

“HIRI is very excited to enter 2014 with such a talented group of officers,” said Fred Miller, managing director. "Leadership from these highly involved members continues to drive HIRI as a vital source of industry information."  

HIRI is a membership-based, independent, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. Its mission is to be recognized as the primary authority for effective, useful information about home improvement products and services in North America.

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Pulte Homes sees ‘soft modern’ ruling the 2014 trend outlook

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pulte Homes has dished on its trend outlook for the new year: soft colors, natural lighting, open spaces, modern details and reclaimed furniture are all of-the-moment design trends for 2014, according to the homebuilder.

"Many of the prevailing trends from 2013 will be seen in 2014, but with a softer and more modern edge," said Janice Jones, VP merchandising for PulteGroup, Inc. "We’ll still see soothing colors, bold accent pieces and open layouts, but 2014 is about mixing and matching a warm, comfortable environment with modern finishes and angular details."

According to the company’s consumer research, buyers still prefer open layouts, with the kitchen serving as the "hub" of the home.

Other trends noted are a proliclivity toward large windows, simple can lighting and under-counter lighting and spotlights. Various shades of gray are also popular in wood flooring, walls, cabinetry and surfaces. Finally, there’s a continuing tendency toward mixing and matching: that of soft, rustic elements and their more angular, modern counterparts.

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