|The innovation continues|
Outwater, a distributor of thousands of hardware products, displayed a number of LED products, including its Powerhouse swivel light. Stainless-steel backsplashes in several patterns were also new items, as were various storage solution items.
“We sell to a lot of cabinetmakers, and I’ve seen an increase in storage-solutions sales this year, so I think people are working on the inside of their kitchens instead of buying,” says Crouch.
“We decided as a company to make a deal with a company called Vanguard Plastics and they sell us closet hardware, plastic brackets, and plastic and wood dowels. We felt there was still a strong closet market, refurbishing, building closets that we weren’t reaching very well. We’re hoping with this Vanguard closet guide, not only are we going to still have the cabinet guy with the basic hardware, but we’re hoping we’re going to pick up more business with hardware on the closet side of things.”
Outwater’s philosophy is to obtain products that combine quality with a reasonable price point.
“We try to pick product groups where we know there is a demand for it, and I call it get-them-in-the-door product lines,” Crouch observes. “We really shop very aggressively to find the best source. We don’t want to compromise quality, but we indeed want to get the best source or the best manufacturer arrangement that we can, and then offer the customer the best price.”
Rev-A-Shelf, a company in the organization business aimed at maximizing space, had dozens of innovative shelving options at its IWF booth for kitchens and bathrooms.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the people that were at the show and the quantity,” says Rob Jenkins, director of marketing and consumer sales for Rev-A-Shelf. “We didn’t have real high expectations, given the state of the economy. It was a good show for us because of the interest in our new Rev-a-Motion waste container products, our green initiative, as well as our closet armoires.”
An extensive line of bamboo products was exhibited along with a base-cabinet combination pull-out; soft-open, soft-close bottom-mount waste container; bathroom vanity filler; wire storage baskets; cookware organizers; closet accessories; and assorted kitchen inserts.
“Oftentimes, the design of the kitchen in the past has been more important than the actual use or the operation of the kitchen. So what we’re trying to do is come out with some different items like those tall pull-outs [6" x 96"] that utilize previously dead space. It’s not only making things accessible, but finding those nooks and crannies and making sure that you utilize your available space, because space is a premium.”
Richelieu, a distributor, importer and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products, unveiled a large selection of items at IWF. The company emphasized its promotion of green products with the introduction of three collections of solid brass decorative hardware to the marketplace that contribute to satisfying recycled content credits under LEED.
Other products stressed accessibility, creating spaces, LED lighting, storage solutions, hardware for sliding doors and other opening mechanisms. In an effort to optimize closet space, Richelieu released its Orlando series of baskets, sliding racks, pull-out wardrobes, and various other supports to maximize flexibility while enhancing functionality.
Salice, known worldwide for its hinges, offered a new opening system for wall cabinets called Lift, a line of four opening systems for flap doors, folding doors, swing-opening doors and parallel-opening doors. The Lift systems were created to offer alternative ways to open wall-unit doors, giving greater design flexibility, while offering better space utilization. Their mechanisms are simple to assemble, designed for kitchen wall cabinets; and also lend themselves to cabinets with restricted depth, like bathroom cabinets, adding design originality and high perceived value.