Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2014

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Product Trend Report July 2014 | 43 By Elizabeth Richards Keystone Wood Specialties ofers Knife Block Drawer Boxes and Knife Block Drawer Inserts available according to custom specifcations. The minimum drawer height is 3-1/2", and the minimum depth for the knife block is 16-3/4". The knife blocks can be ordered prefnished or unfnished, and in any available wood species the company ofers. Circle No. 155 on Product Card K itchen accessories and interior cabinet fttings aren't generally at the forefront of consumers' minds when be- ginning a design project, but their importance shouldn't be overlooked. These added features help make the kitchen work more efciently, maximize storage and accessibility and contribute to optimal use of space and time. The most important things consumers look for when it comes to interior cabinet fttings are products that add con- venience, are easy to access, allow creative use of space and maximize the use of the space. Interior fttings that can be customized for the specifc organizational needs of the user are also critical, while accessories that add a touch of luxury are also key, according to manufacturers recently surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News. The kitchen is central in the home, whether being used for meals, entertainment, homework or relaxation, says Jan Fitzpatrick, customer and market relations manager for Kern- ersville, NC-based Grass USA. "Any item that adds convenience, keeps things organized and makes frequently used items ac- cessible will be in high demand. These items don't have to be expensive upgrades, they just have to make the homeowner feel that everything has a place and everything is in its place," she says. "Developing products that increase efciency and conve- nience is a given in today's market," says Susan Kearns, creative services specialist at Accuride International Inc., based in Santa Fe Springs, CA. "Continued development of products in this vein will further stimulate creative and innovative designs as well as new applications. Related to this, there is a growing demand from the multi-tasking, on-the-go consumer and the aging segment of the population for products that are easier to use." Daniel Tripp, product manager for kitchen products at Hafele America Co. in Archdale, NC, says that companies that have tru- ly embraced interior organization, and thought about things like efciency and convenience instead of focusing only on aesthetics, are experiencing strong and proftable growth. "When you fnd companies that are really embracing this, it has had a really positive efect on their business," says Tripp. INNOVATIVE & MULTIFACETED Accessories and fttings that ofer a creative approach to stor- age or a new solution to an old problem are what designers are looking for, manufacturers say. Products need to work for the specifc lifestyle needs of homeowners. Designers must think not only about practical cooking needs, but also the type of storage and organization their cilents want for dishes, pots and pans, pantry items and even wine. "More and more storage is taking place in either base cabi- nets or tall pantry cabinets, but not as many wall cabinets. The wall space is being used in a diferent way," says Tripp. Heavier items are being stored down low, in easier to reach areas such as drawers, he says. He also is seeing more creative uses of space, where common items are used in diferent ways. Fitzpatrick says, "Drawer organization is still popular since there are more drawers and fewer wall cabinets in open plan kitchens." Increased island usage creates more storage space, but only under the counter, she adds. "Deep, heavy-duty draw- ers can handle bottles and boxes but only efciently if there are adjustable dividers to keep everything in place," she notes, adding that linear, cube-style drawer boxes were very popular at the Eurocucina show in Milan and are making their way to the U.S. market. Kearns says designers are also seeking specialty storage solutions geared to specifc customer demands. She cites a new approach to interior storage where layers of shelving units are installed inside cabinets or pantry closets. These sliding units are built more narrowly than the width of the space. Sliding back and forth on linear tracks, they reveal access to shelves that are stacked one behind the other. "This approach can sig- nifcantly increase storage capacity and can be used to conceal items deeper in the cabinet," says Kearns. "In open shelving designs, the front sliding unit can hold decorative items, while concealing stored items that may not have aesthetic appeal." Today's hottest kitchen accessories and interior cabinet fttings focus on convenience, accessibility and creative use of space in the kitchen. The Peg Board Drawer Inserts from Hardware Resources organize cabinet drawer clutter and are available in 9, 12 or 16 peg sets. Each set includes a pre-drilled 5/8" maple UV-coated plywood drawer insert that is fully customizable to trim and ft diferent sized drawers. Pegs are 6" UV-coated wood that press into the peg board. Circle No. 157 on Product Card Designed for kitchen cabinets, Glideware is a cabinet storage system that features Glideware Synchronized Motion, which keeps cookware quiet even as it slides in and out of the cabinet. From the company of the same name, Glideware installs inside a standard-depth cabinet and slides a 21-piece set of cookware out on a fully extendable rail system, eliminating stacking, stooping and clutter. Constructed from clear hard maple, the unit's adjustable hook system holds 100 lbs. Circle No. 156 on Product Card Available from Warmup, the 3iE is a fully interactive, touch-technology and energy- monitoring thermostat for heated foors. Temperature can be regulated with precision, and it can be programmed in under 10 seconds. Circle No. 159 on Product Card The EZ Down storage system from Richelieu Hardware is a pull-down basket system with integrated handle for enhanced ergonomics and easy movement. The system and baskets are height adjustable, allowing an easy ft into the cabinet. Circle No. 158 on Product Card KBD_42-47_PTR.indd 43 6/17/14 10:43 AM

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