|The innovation continues|
At IWF, closet industry products had a large presence at the Häfele booth.
“Anything from manufacturing the closets as far as doing the connections, all the connector fittings and things like that we start there,” adds John Runyan, Häfele product manager. “Then we go right into the accessories as far as belts, ties, valets, the wardrobe tubes. We’re now getting into hampers, pullouts, shoe organizers, a wardrobe lift so if you need seasonal clothes held at a higher level brought down every so often and changed out. Closets really are evolving. It’s not just the shelf and the bar anymore. It’s high end.”
The closet market has now spilled over into the garage, and improvements to both areas can be viewed as an investment, increasing the value of the house.
“We’ve brought out a new garage organizer system called the OmniTrac, and it does allow you to start storing the garden utensils, the sporting equipment, helping out with the workbench area,” Runyan says. “To a woodworker or to a closet company, which is our main focus with this product, they can take their cabinets that they already deal; now they can go into another part of the home to find more revenue.”
Hettich International’s IWF booth was crowded and busy. The European manufacturer highlighted its seamless kitchen with doors and drawers without pulls and knobs, LED under-cabinet lighting that uses standard 110-volt power supplies, and overhead ovens that move up and down at the push of a button.
“I think you’ll see the electrification of drawers being standard and in two years the electrification of doors being more popular,” says Mrozik. “So that’s the evolution, and what happens is the price point is driven by the wealthy, the price point is driven by the expensive and the high end and it always trickles down. Demand will grab and say, ‘Hey listen, I don’t need a $100,000 kitchen to have an electrified drawer.’ ”
Additional offerings were the chrome and stainless steel Decore drawer top profiles, the OrgaFlex bin system for under a sink, the OrgaFlag organizing element for cabinets, and the InnoTech drawer system with a variety of options for kitchen organization that uses the Hettich Silent System to close drawers slowly and quietly. The MultiTech steel drawer system and new “sensys” hinge were among other notable offerings.
Knape & Vogt displayed a number of new items at IWF, showcasing its corner Lazy Susan drawer system that features two pull-out drawers mounted on KV in-line undermount slides. Four mount baskets can be adjusted to accommodate items of various shapes and sizes, and the unit rides on a rotating platinum-coated steel frame.
“The Lazy Susan drawer system has been a terrific product for us,” says Ross. “The demand on that is growing weekly, it’s a neat innovation to take that dark corner and turn it into something that comes out into the kitchen and gives people a lot of storage options.”
The company created easy-to-install waste and recycle bins for the kitchen, featuring soft-close drawer slides with a decorative slide cover, stylish wire supports, a Baltic birch platform and six-way adjustability for door alignment. The top-mount style holds single and double bins; a bottom-mount style is available for single, double and four bins.
“Things like waste baskets, to soft-close them into a cabinet hasn’t been done much and hasn’t been done at an affordable price point,” Ross says. “There are certainly some high-end products, but not in the everyday price points. So we’ve tried to do some development there to try and bring that feature to more consumers because people love it.”
Liberty Hardware introduced three collections of knobs and pulls. The chic and contemporary Barcelona decorative hardware collection of four knobs and four pulls features finely polished chrome, while the 10-item Venue collection of knobs and pulls has a satin-nickel finish. The Painted Woods collection has a hand-applied finish,
1-1/2" hardwood knobs and 3" center-to-center wood pulls that are available in “richly flavored hues” of ivory, honey maple, hazelnut, java and espresso.