shows at these events. And this year,
some major U.S. manufacturers, such
as MasterBrand, opted out. This year, a
surprising number of European manufacturers joined the show, although
some of the big names from Europe
that we have become accustom to see
at these shows, such as Poggenpohl,
also opted out this year.
Still, major players from here and
abroad were on hand, and the survey
results seem to confirm other trend reports we’ve gotten outside of the show.
Frameless takes the lead
One of the most surprising changes
in this year’s survey is the strength of
frameless construction. Often called
European construction because it
was developed in Europe after World
War II, frameless construction has
struggled to get a real foothold in the
United States. But for the first time,
frameless construction took the top
spot in our cabinet trends survey,
with 47 percent of all the kitchens on
display using frameless construction.
Right behind that was face-frame
full-overlay construction at 44 percent,
which is a kind of construction that
outwardly can look like frameless. Traditional face-frame construction with
less than full-overlay doors trailed at
8 percent, and kitchens with full inset
doors were just over 1 percent.
Many companies emphasizing
frameless cabinets promoted them as
“full-access” cabinets, highlighting the
additional usable space inside frameless cabinets. Others featured the clean
Euro look and said they were popular
with millennials who find more traditional styles stodgy and out of date.
Wellborn, which launched its Aspire
frameless line two years ago, reports
good sales. “It’s starting to move at very
rapid speed,” said Angela O’Neill, director of marketing. Interestingly, she
said the rise of frameless has presented
an issue dealing with another trend: increased interior lighting. Lighting can
easily be hidden behind face-frames,
but other provisions, such as routed
channels, are required for frameless.
Chad McGlaughlin at River Run
described the trend this way: “
Millennials want a cleaner, simpler look.” His
company was showing only frameless
cabinets in its booth.
Where’s the wood?
Another surprise from this year’s survey is the lack of wood. Wood cabinets
with clear or stain finishes use to dominate these displays, but no more. Paint,
laminates, and ironically wood-like textured laminates have all pushed wood
aside. Less than a third of cabinets on
display used natural or stained wood
A Cabico kitchen displays the popular clean frameless, no hardware look in gray.
Overhead doors, many with automated
mechanisms, are increasingly popular.