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K/bis draws large crowds, hundreds of new products

The 2005 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show

and Conference moved to a new venue this year, leaving Chicago for the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. The show, held May 9-12, is the world's largest international trade event dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry, showcasing the latest products and design ideas.

This year's show featured an array of product displays and demonstrations, professional development courses, and the opportunity to network with thousands of industry professionals. More than 900 exhibitors and 40,000 industry professionals participated. K/BIS is owned by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

"Consumers demand the whole package these days, including cabinetry that is fashion-forward on the outside but still highly functional and organized on the inside," said Richard Forbes, president and CEO of MasterBrand Cabinets of Jasper, Ind., at the trade group's annual meeting.

Overall, Forbes is bullish about the industry's next decade, noting that baby boomers will have disposable income to tackle home improvement projects. The industry is currently growing at a pace of about 6 percent a year.

Some trends at the annual show included appliances paneled to mimic cabinetry, ovens built-in to look as though they were part of a beautiful armoire or piece of furniture, rain showerheads and very quiet appliances, according to Melissa Birdsong, vice-president of trend forecasting and design for Lowe's. Convenience is a key theme with new products, whether it's a kitchen with counters of varying heights for parents and their kids, or customized entertainment bars with wine chillers or a built-in coffee maker.

"Overall, innovation has gone mainstream, whether it's in new finishes and colors, technology that prevents cabinetry doors from slamming, or functionality that makes products easier to use for a wide range of users, such as under-counter microwaves and refrigerator drawers," said Birdsong.

REHAU's new Tambour Door Express Collection includes a metallic finish on a polymer base. Doors in the Metallic Line are lighter and less cumbersome than traditional metal doors, and don't swell or stick like wood doors.

Rev-A-Shelf's four-bin top mount waste container offers under-cabinet storage for four 27-qt. containers. It features front side and rear-adjustable mounting brackets, and full extension slides rated at 150 lbs.

A Knape & Vogt center-mount wood/chrome pantry unit features chrome-plated railings, Baltic birch veneer shelves and full-extension slides.

Custom Lazy Susans can be enhanced with chrome fence railing from Rev-A-Shelf. Kidney-shaped rails are available in 24", 28" and 32" diameters, while full circle rails are available in 18", 20", 28" and 32" diameters.

Knape & Vogt's slide-out base blind corner unit features four shelves that can be adjusted to fit a variety of configurations. A quick pull of the handle allows half of the unit to gently slide out of the cabinet. Another pull slides the other half out of the cabinet and exposes the entire series of adjustable storage shelves.

Knape & Vogt offers a Lazy Susan made from Baltic birch and the Piroet Lazy Susan (inset), which features a height-adjustable top shelf that can be raised or lowered without unloading items. Unlocking and spinning the shelf allows the user to choose a desired height, and then lock the shelf back in place.

Stainless steel sink front tip-out trays from Peter Meier Inc., which convert the area behind false fronts on sink base cabinets to useful storage space. Trays are available in 9", 11" and 14" widths.

Kitchen pantry hardware, available from Lee Valley Tools Ltd., packs the equivalent of over 44' of shelf facing into a cabinet 34" wide, 20" deep, and just over 6' high. It features 42 height-

adjustable shelves and can be used in a freestanding cabinet in existing kitchens or as a built-in for new kitchens.

Wood drawer inserts from Peter Meier Inc., can be adjusted to create customized drawer organization. The cutlery inserts are available for 15" and 21" cabinets. By moving the plastic clip inserts, up to five different configurations can be created.

A peg board kit for deep drawers is available from Peter Meier Inc. for 30" and 36" cabinets. Each kit includes eight pegs. An additional set of four pegs can be purchased separately.

Pull-down shelves, available from Lee Valley Tools Ltd., make high storage space more accessible. The entire unit comes forward 15-1/2" and drops 11". Springs and gas cylinders on each side regulate the movement.

The Aventos HF from Blum is a bi-fold lift

flap that can be opened and kept in any position.

An upper cabinet Lazy Susan system, available from Rockler Woodworking

and Hardware. The D-cut design includes two 20" diameter trays, a center post ajustable from 24" to 31" inside the cabinet, and mounting hardware.

Blum's Space Corner for corner cabinet drawer applications. The front of the drawers and pull-outs slide inward when opened, to avoid touching the front of the adjacent carcasses. When closed, the fronts revert to their initial positions.

The three-tier pullout shelf, available from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, is ideal for pantry items and spices. Chrome rails help keep cans organized and secure. It's offered in 5" or 8" widths.

Blum's Orga-Line of drawer and pull-out

systems includes a new spice rack (shown), knife block, and storage compartments for bottles, cutting boards and baking trays.

Appliance lift hardware, available from Lee Valley Tools Ltd., for a swing-up shelf, suitable for a mixer or blender. The hardware can be mounted in a cabinet at least 14" deep, and has a weight capacity of about 17 lbs.

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