Custom cabinetry trends

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Archive for December 2008

NAM leaders lobby President Bush

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Peter Perez, left, recently met with President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., to discuss the effect the current economy has on manufacturing.

Peter Perez, left, recently met with President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., to discuss the effect the current economy has on manufacturing.

There are two things you never turn down—a free lottery ticket and a face-to-face meeting with the President.
During the recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) meeting in Washington, D.C., a group of NAM representatives met with President George W. Bush to discuss the current economy’s effect on manufacturing and the Economic Stability Act.
During the discussion, the president was “well-informed, articulate and made detailed inquiries regarding the impact that both the national economy and world markets were having on our businesses. He had his facts in hand,” says Peter Perez, Carter Products Co. president and NAM director.
While there are no easy answers, Bush requested NAM members also work with their representatives in Congress. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the special attention!


Written by cabinettrends

December 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm

2009 color trends released

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White kitchenAccording to the Color Marketing Group there will be more evolution than revolution in color trends in 2009. Here’s a breakdown of the 2009 color trends and my “commentary:”


Purple kitchenPurple, Purple, Purple!

Emerging as a hot fashion color last fall, purple is not just a fad – it’s an entrenched trend, strongly influenced by the election. (After all, red plus blue equals purple.)  Look for a greyed-out violet that works equally well as an accent or a neutral, as well as redder, plummier purples and bluer-influenced fuchsias in a huge range of products.  Purple is 2009’s “must have” color.

“OK, purple is a classic this must be where the ‘evolution’ part comes in.”


Blue is the New Green

Various greens have symbolized “green living” over the last few years, but in 2009 the “green” environmental message is delivered by the color blue. There are watery blues, sky blues and a whole range of blues that now represent our commitment to living on a greener planet.

“I’m not really buying this. Blue is a calming color and most people like the color blue.”


Cooled-down, Greyed-out Browns and Greys

Complex neutrals satisfy our urge toward classic colors in an economically challenged time. They also bridge the area between black, which seems harsh, and brown, which doesn’t seem strong enough.

“So, people are depressed and are going to live in drab houses and wear drab clothes to show the rest of us how depressed they really are? I’m pretty sure these were goth kids in high school.”


Yellow for Energy

The neutrals may have greyed, but look for lots and lots of bright vivid yellow to give us energy as we re-build the economy. It’s the stand-out accent color for 2009.

“Sure, OK. Again, yellow is a classic.”


Bright Accents from India, China, and Turkey

The exotic has become the familiar. Oranges, turquoises and teals, reds, and yellows will abound in hues from far-away countries that now seem very near. They are the optimistic touches we crave.

“So, because the economy is crappy we’ll all be forced to decorate ala World Market and Pier 1? Hoo-ray.”


White is now a Business Color

Technology has produced amazing new (and very practical) finishes, which helps explain why white is showing up everywhere, even in corporate board rooms. The contrasts are all in the finishes: matte versus gloss; shine and shimmer on reflective surfaces; textured whites versus smooth — all washable and cleanable. White also represents purity of thought, motive and result – exactly what we want from businesses now.

“I hope they didn’t hurt themselves coming up with this epiphany.”


Mauve is back

It’s mauve. Remember mauve?  An old color that looks new again, in dusty violet shades, mauve works as an accent but also serves now as a neutral, punched up by those bright Asian accents (orange, turquoise, teal, red, and yellow.) 

“60-something pumas will be thrilled. In fact, I’m going to call my mother right now and let her know to retrieve all her old mauve throw pillows from Goodwill.”

So, what should you recommend to your customers? Let them do whatever they want to do. It sounds like every color is “in.”



Written by cabinettrends

December 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Study: Granite countertop hysteria debunked

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Silent killer?Granite countertops won’t kill you (unless one is dropped on your head).

According to the Marble Institute of America, a recent study found granite countertops do not pose health risks. Quantities of radon and radiation emitted by the granite fell below average background levels commonly found in the U.S.

Scientists conducted more than 400 tests of 115 different varieties of granite countertops, including stones cited in media reports as being potentially problematic.

A copy of the study’s summary can be downloaded at

I wonder if this latest health scare was announced by the same outfit that said movie popcorn butter and Chinese food will kill you a few years ago. Hacks.

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December 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Contest rewards creative veneer use

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What can you do with veneer?Veneer Technologies now is accepting entries for the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge Awards, sponsored by FDM and CabinetMaker magazines.

The competition recognizes achievement in the use of natural veneer or wood product applications through cash awards and other recognition to designers, craftsmen, distributors and distributor’s sales representatives. Entrants may submit up to three items. The competition categories are: Furniture, Store Fixtures, Cabinetry, Architectural Woodworking, Specialty Items and Student Design.

Cash in the amount of $3,000 will be awarded to the grand-prize winning entry. The distributor of the veneer for the grand-prize will receive $2,000 and the corresponding salesperson will receive $1,000. Six $1,000 prizes also will be given out to each of the category winners. A $1,000 bonus is available for the grand-prize winner if entered by March 31, 2009.

 There is no entry fee, and entries are accepted through June 1, 2009. The official announcement of winners will be made at AWFS Las Vegas, July 15-18, 2009.

 A really creative table featuring pau ferro, holly, lacewood, wenge, laurel burl and pear veneers was chosen as the top entry out of 168 in the fourth annual competition, announced in Atlanta during the 2008 IWF show. Gregg Novosad of Divine Design, Palatine, Ill., was awarded the $5,000 grand prize for excellence in woodwork featuring natural veneer and wood product applications. Certainly Wood, distributor to Divine Design, received a cash award of $3,000 and salesman Jim Carroll received $2,000 in recognition of their participation in the supply chain.

 I was lucky enough to see the winning table in person. It is amazing! If you decide to enter the contest, don’t forget to take really, high-res clear photos. Your piece may be outstanding, but if your photos don’t show it the judges won’t know.

For more information and for entry materials, visit

Written by cabinettrends

December 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

NARI launches online educational program

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Because remodeling is still going strong (see half empty or half full? post), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is offering a program that addresses modifying a home to fit changing families’ needs.


The educational program, “Universal Remodeling — Creating Comfortable and Accessible Homes,” will teach cabinetmakers how to interview clients with an understanding and consideration of their special needs, how to build these projects and universal remodeling principles.

Some of these principles are:

  • Equitable use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  • Flexibility in use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  • Simple and intuitive: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.
  • Perceptible information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
  • Tolerance for error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  • Low physical effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
  • Size and space for approach and use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of the user’s body size, posture or mobility.

 The class meets once a week for two hours via a teleconference/Webinar for four weeks. The program costs $295 for NARI members and $395 for non-members.


Has anyone taken this class? Is it worth the money?

Written by cabinettrends

December 10, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Half empty or half full?

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Dream kitchenAccording to participating members in the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association monthly Trend of Business Survey, cabinet sales for October 2008 decreased 22.8 percent compared to sales for October 2007. Stock cabinet sales decreased 17.5 percent, semi-custom sales decreased 26.5 percent and custom sales decreased 29.2 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales show a decrease of 17.8 percent, with stock sales down 18.5 percent, semi-custom sales down 16.9 percent and custom sales down 18.7 percent.

I know these numbers look scary, however, according to a study conducted by This Old House Ventures:
71% – Homeowners say home improvement is a way of life.
81% – Homeowners say their home is an important part of who they are.
93% – Homeowners say they are planning to do work on their homes.
45 % – Homeowners say they are moving forward with all planned projects.
37% – Homeowners say they are cutting back on other expenses to pay for home.

Despite the slow economy, homeowners continue to spend money to upgrade their existing home. Gourmet kitchens and luxury spa bathrooms are still the most-wanted features when buying or building a new home. Heck, most design shows on HGTV feature amazing kitchens or bathrooms to remind us how inadequate our spaces are. I live by a Home Depot and Lowes (Chicagoland area) and their parking lots are humming with activity. On the weekends, it’s hard to find a parking place.

People are spending money but they seem to be investing in items such as home repair/upgrades — areas that could have a potential payback. What do you think?

Written by cabinettrends

December 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm

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