Hardware, fittings, and components for cabinets complete the look, feel and ambiance of any space, whether it’s in the kitchen or bathroom, bedroom, living space, or commercial application. Cabinet hardware could be the defining element in the room, or the last detail in the design.

The modern kitchen merges seamlessly into the living space where people enjoy cooking, eating, and spending quality time with family and friends. Planned kitchens are sustainable and flexible; using quality materials for cabinets and highly functional hardware that keep up with this development. A point of difference in any cabinet are the fittings used in its construction, and the hardware that provide the user with access, ease of operation and visual appeal.

The most talked about international trends in 2022 kitchen design are simplicity, functionality, and eco friendliness leading to green living. Cabinets may have minimalist handles, or no handles at all, relying on a simple push to open. Hinges and stays are more likely to be more discreet, taking less space from the cabinet storage space. Runners, like hinges, will almost certainly be dampened. Discrete lighting for decorative elements is highly desirable. As the cabinet morphs from kitchen furniture to living furniture, hardware design and function will be more significant than ever.

Modern cabinet hardware leads to enhanced freedom of design, whilst maintaining form and function, enhancing life, living, and working both in the home and in the workplace of the future. ‘Less is more’ as consumers are drawn to clear lines and minimalist but sustainable design that satisfies the increased demands on functionality due to changed living and working arrangements. Cabinet hardware contributes mostly to user comfort, where unobtrusive design and simple operating functionality contribute most to the space.

Modern Standards

Blum Servo-Drive motion technology opens lift systems, pull-outs, and fully integrated fridge/freezers with a single touch. They close again softly and effortlessly with soft-close BLUMOTION. But there could be more to come. At the last Interzum in 2019, Blum presented its SERVO-DRIVE smart concept study to demonstrate how wall cabinets and pull-outs, dishwashers and refrigerators can be opened and closed with simple, spoken commands. Say, “Clear away the shopping” and the relevant wall cabinets and pull-outs will glide open by themselves. Intelligent devices are becoming more important to consumers, and more homes are becoming “smart”. Everything revolves around connecting people and the objects around them and the innovative Blum SERVO-DRIVE smart concept could one day become a reality.

Pioneering architect Rem Koolhaas said, “If less is more, then maybe nothing is everything.” This was the inspiration for the development of the Grass Kinvaro T-Slim flap lift mechanism that seems to blend into the furniture almost invisibly. GRASS engineers have managed to reduce the complex mechanism of a lift-up fitting down to an overall size of 12mm, providing furniture designers with maximum flexibility.

Häfele understand the digital networking of living environments is the big topic of the present and future. Also, at the last Interzum, Häfele excelled with Loox5, the 5th generation of the LED lighting system by Häfele, featuring intelligent connectivity in the smart world of living. Digitalisation will have a secure future in the furniture and living environment if their integration into the cabinet, and their operation is easy. Häfele Connect technology makes it possible to network with smart components, and sophisticated lighting, controlled by a smartphone or tablet. The “translators” are either the Häfele Connect chip, as the heart of the Häfele Connect Mesh system, or the Häfele Connect Hub. In March of this year, Häfele expanded its expertise in smart networking of furniture and rooms with the acquisition of the innovative company ThingOS who have developed technology to enable smart control of complex networked systems in living spaces and hotel rooms.

In the megatrend towards urbanisation, every inch matters. Hettich has solutions to show a home office or pantry kitchen invisibly integrated in a very small space in the living room or make an office space more flexible. Customisation is the new Hettich standard and their AvanTech drawer system permits slimline, purist design without visible screw heads or cover caps. Inlays can be used to create a huge variety of individualised eye catchers on the top edge and outer side of the drawer side profile. opening up great potential for kitchen and furniture manufacturers to set themselves apart from the competition with their own furniture design.

Kesseböhmer is represented in Australia by Häfele. With the “LeMans” corner cabinet pull-out, the company is putting forward a solution brimming with persuasive features. Results have shown that the “LeMans” offers up to 70 per cent more storage space than a cabinet with pull-out shelves when it comes to the usually dead corner space. Also, with its “urban smart kitchen”, Kesseböhmer can demonstrate how a small metropolitan kitchen measuring six square metres can be planned with intelligent fittings in a practical and user-friendly way, how technology can make the best use of storage space on small floor spaces. The supplier is readying all of the relevant fittings for use in the smart home, making them compatible with the various options for voice control.

The rubbish bin is very likely the most used appliance in the kitchen. A Hideaway Bin by Kitchen King is a practical solution that slides away inside the cabinet and is completely hidden from sight until needed. The result of seven years of research, development, and testing, the Concelo bin delivers form and function that should be expected from all premium kitchen appliances.

The award-winning DTC Pivot Star adjustable soft-close hinge holds four patents and integrates a multi-cam mechanical motion device into the hinge arm, enabling the soft-close damper to be adjusted even while installed. The hinge is available from Nikpol who can now manufacture and ship custom benchtops through their automated ordering system.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute estimates that between 78% and 81% of Australians aged 55 years or older want to live in their own home as they age, rather than entering specialised aged care. One of the most important spaces in ‘ageing-in-place’ design is the kitchen, one of the most used rooms in the home.  Achieving a balance of accessibility and style ensures a kitchen will bring joy and happiness to its users for their entire lifetime. Nover supplies a wide range of accessible solutions that are perfect fits for barrier-free kitchens and living areas including PEKA storage solutions, Krome task lighting, and the Concelo bin system.

From Salice, Pin is the innovative and revolutionary display storage system. Available in three versions, Pin Wine, Pin Knife and Pin Shelf, Pin allows the most flexible and creative arrangement of bottles, knives, and shelves. The system is available in aluminium and titanium finishes, complementing diverse room settings, furniture, and other applications.

Traditionally, storage in living areas has been in either tall, built-in units, or freestanding furniture. More recent design trends have seen kitchen-style cabinets move into other areas of the home as the kitchen becomes more of a focus for family living. Vauth Sagel has recognised that innovative storage concepts work in almost all areas of the home, introducing clever storage solutions such as the VS SUB Comfort, a drawer system that utilises clever kinematics to transfer the rotary motion of the doors in such a way that the speed at which the drawers come out is either increased or decreased at an even, gentle pace throughout until they are fully extended.

The upturn in demand in the home renovation and furnishings market started in the second half of 2020. Across the globe, many people invested in their own homes and that trend is predicted to continue for several more years at least. Working from home has opened up a new market: the home office. The skyrocketing cost of raw materials and logistics followed by ever higher energy prices are issues hardware suppliers must deal with by becoming more flexible in their raw materials sourcing and manufacturing. In spite of these issues, the hardware, fittings and components market remain strong, with a clear user-focus based on design, functionality, sustainability and quality.