Custom cabinetry trends

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Archive for February 2009

5 emerging kitchen trends

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Sub-Zero Inc. and Wolf Appliance Inc.’s bi-annual Kitchen Design Contest has revealed several emerging kitchen cabinet trends, according to K+BB.

Some of these trends include:

  • Smaller, high-quality kitchens. Smaller kitchen footprints are in, but are including higher-quality appliances, finishes, flooring and other elements to make it a long-lasting space. Consumers are investing in kitchens they will be in for years, so they are demanding luxury solutions.
  • Mixing materials and textures. This year, more than ever, there is combining of materials for countertops, floors, cabinets and backsplashes. “We are seeing soapstone, concrete, wood, limestone and glass,” said Kitchen Design Contest judge Patti Weaver of Creative Design Solutions. “This year we saw an increase of appliances in carbon stainless finishes, which is refreshing given it blends style and design and can be used in traditional or contemporary kitchens.”
  • Second-life, sustainable integration. There is a budding trend toward integrating second-life pieces, whether antique, vintage or classic, to provide personal elements of designs. “Designers have an appreciation for timeless art pieces as a focal point,” said judge Kristen Totah of Studio K Kitchens and Design. “Repurposing historical furniture is a stylish form of recycling. Designers are rebelling against look-alikes and opting for original pieces to create eclectic spaces.”
  • Light and dark duality. Kitchens are seeking sophistication and balance by contrasting light and dark materials, such as bright cabinets and bold, black flooring, or deep, espresso cabinets and glowing, marble flooring. “It’s the idea that black and white go with everything and accessories should pop against the background,” said judge Jamie Drake of Drake Design Associates.
  • Clean lines.There is considerable focus on clean lines, simple design and attention to detail, versus embellishments and heavy adornments. The “zen” kitchen is apparent. “Many of these kitchens are taking on the minimalist approach versus the old world, traditional styles,” said contest judge John C. Senhauser. “Homeowners want to simplify their lives, especially in the kitchen, which is often the center of the home.”
  • Eco-savvy kitchens. From bamboo countertops to earth-friendly flooring, designers are integrating environmentally sustainable materials and energy-saving appliances into their kitchens. “Consumers increasingly want to embrace a green home and this trend translates easily into fresh kitchen design,” said Barbara Houston of Houston & Associates.

Written by cabinettrends

February 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm

See real Amish people, new technology at the Mid-Atlantic Expo

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Trade showI often find attendees scratching their heads when they see Amish woodworkers at regional and national trade shows. They are some of the finest woodworkers in the world, but they do have that “thing” about electricity. However, exhibitors love the Amish! They’ll come to shows with bags of cash and they’re ready to buy. It doesn’t get anymore qualified than that.  

The Mid-Atlantic Industrial Woodworking Expo is returning to its roots in Pennsylvania. This is the only professional exhibition directed at the woodworking industry in the region this year. In addition to more than 300 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees, there will be numerous new product introductions and series of professional seminars and roundtable discussions.

The Mid-Atlantic Expo will take place April 2 -3, 2009, at the Toyota Arena at York Expo Center, York, Pa.  Show hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday.

In spite of the changes in the woodworking and furniture business, the Central Pennsylvania region remains a strong market. 

Attendees can gain free admission to the Expo by visiting http://midatlanticwoodexpo.com and following the “Guest” links. Use MAPR for the free pass code to register for free.

Written by cabinettrends

February 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Putting new technology in an old house

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Blum servo-drive-in-action“This Old House” is using Blum’s new servo-drive drawer technology in a Brooklyn brownstone which is the subject of the show’s first-ever New York City renovation. Part of the renovation was a 250-square-foot kitchen that now includes Blum’s Tandem plus Blumotion concealed runners, Orga-line drawer organization, and Clip top hinges with Blumotion quiet closing. One cabinet was outfitted with Blum’s servo-drive opening feature that opens a drawer electronically with just a light touch of the drawer front.

For the first time in its three-decade history, “This Old House” is taking on a renovation in New York City, home to one of the greatest collections of residential architecture in the country. The project is the conversion of a 104-year-old rowhouse in Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood, from a nine-room boarding house to a three-family home.

The “This Old House” New York City project airs on PBS Thursdays at 8 p.m. (check your local listings).

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February 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Makita offers free OSHA safety training in Spanish

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Makita is offering a spanish-language training course.

Makita is offering a spanish-language training course.

To increase jobsite safety awareness, Makita and Wrangler Western Wear are offering free bi-lingual OSHA-approved construction training. The class, in conjunction with local branches of the Hispanic Contractors Association, is taking place in Dallas, February 21 at Richland College.

The course covers four major hazards encountered regularly on construction sites: falls, electrical injuries, and caught-in and struck-by hazards. The training focuses on methods of recognition and prevention of these common hazards. After completing the course, students receive an OSHA 10-hour Certification Card.
“Hispanics comprise 25 percent of the construction-industry workforce,” says Helga Grunerud, executive director of the Hispanic Contractors Association. “However, Hispanics in this industry are injured at a disproportionately higher rate than non-Hispanics because of a lack of proper training.”

Written by cabinettrends

February 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Cabinet sales down -19.3% in 2008, industry regroups

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To combat declining cabinet sales, KCMA has joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan.

To combat declining cabinet sales, KCMA has joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan.

According to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) yearly Trend of Business Survey, cabinet sales were down $6.7 billion or -19.3 percent in 2008 compared to 2007. Stock sales were down -18.5 percent; semi-custom declined -19.9 percent; and custom sales plummeted -20.6 percent as compared to 2007. 

Survey participants include stock, semi-custom and custom cabinet companies whose combined sales represent well over 60 percent of the fragmented U.S. cabinet market. 
To help get the economy and housing back on track KCMA has joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan. The coalition consists of more than 600 organizations, home building companies and manufacturers and is pressing for a major stimulus package to stem the decline in home values, stabilize financial markets and reignite consumer demand.
The coalition is calling for significant enhancements to the current $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers. Among the improvements:
*All primary home purchases between April 9, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009 would be eligible. 
*The credit amount would be increased to 10 percent of the price of the home, capped at 3.5 percent of FHA loan limits, bringing the credit to a range of roughly between $10,000 and $22,000.
*The current recapture provision would be eliminated. Repayment would only be required if the home were sold within three years. The credit would be available at the time of closing, making it easier to be used as a down payment.
These are good ideas, but until the stock market stabilizes and job losses level out, consumers will continue to have death grips on their wallets.

Written by cabinettrends

February 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Know your opportunity cost per hour, what it means for you

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Time is moneyIn my travels, I have seen all kinds of numbers when comparing shops with similar activities. What has become clear is that the higher that number (revenue per productive hour) the more money is being made.

We can equate this concept as the opportunity of sales dollars created per productive hour, otherwise called the opportunity cost per hour. Based on a 40-hour week, a man works 2,000 hours per annum. Using this number as a constant, we can readily come to a conclusion as to how effective our business is versus others in the industry.

Would it surprise you that the opportunity cost per productive man on the floor varies from less than $100 to more than $500 per hour? To be sure, several factors contribute to such a variance, factors such as the value of the material, the market area, the market segment, the efficiency on the shop floor, the plant layout, the machinery employed, the attitude to make versus buy and the price obtained.

The one overriding criteria common to all shops is this: The level of production in the shop varies on a daily basis for reasons that can be related to all kinds of factors, such as:

  • The crew goes out to install, and nothing is done in the shop.
  • The sawyer works out his own cut list while standing at the saw
  • Daily output is measured in dollars rather than components or cabinets produced.
  • Due to incomplete and precise cut lists, parts have to be fitted rather than predetermined.
  • Custom part sizes are made in the old empirical system rather than metric.
  • Incorrect door sizes are ordered leading to remakes and go-backs.

To take the install issue stated first, what should you do rather than you or the whole crew going out to install leaving no one to produce anything? Subcontract the install. The most expensive install costs by a subcontractor I have seen anywhere is $500 per day; this equates to $62.50 per hour. While this is a good return for two men with a set of tools and a van, this will represent a loss for your business if no productivity takes place in your shop on that day.

Written by cabinettrends

February 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

CMA hosts event at WalzCraft

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A WalzCraft plant tour at a recent CMA Midwest-regional event in Lacrosse, Wis.

A WalzCraft plant tour at a recent CMA Midwest-regional event in Lacrosse, Wis.

Small shop owners who can’t make it to the big one in Atlanta or to the upcoming AWFS show can still see equipment in action and network with other cabinetmakers.

A recent Cabinet Makers Association event in Lacrosse, Wis., at WalzCraft, brought in 50 participants from the Midwest and Canada. The event featured a tour of the more than 350,000-square-foot WalzCraft facility, a finishing products seminar, a marketing seminar and an architects and designers presentation.
This was the third Midwest-regional event for the CMA and the next event is scheduled for May 15 in Nekoosa, Wis., hosted by Per-Mar with a focus on green manufacturing.

Written by cabinettrends

February 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm

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