Kitchen Cabinets Are Still King

There's continued good news being reported from the nation's cabinet front, as the kitchen and bath industry enters the fourth quarter of a year that remains not only robust, but ripe with promise for the foreseeable future.

The positive developments are arriving in several forms, all of which are reflected in this month's issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News.

First and foremost is the latest monthly report from the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, revealing that June kitchen cabinet sales rose a whopping 24% over sales the same month in 2003 and that, year-to-date, cabinet sales are up nearly 19% over the first six months of last year.

K&BDN has been reporting the results from the KCMA's monthly "Trend of Business" surveys for several years now, and June marks nearly 100 consecutive months of cabinet industry growth an achievement that's as remarkable as it is a reflection of a housing and remodeling sector that continues to shine in an otherwise spotty and fragile economy.

There's more to all this, however, than simply the once-in-a-lifetime combination of economic, demographic and lifestyle factors that's currently driving the industry to unprecedented heights.

Cabinet manufacturers and kitchen designers have obviously done an excellent job, too helping to create a powerful wave of consumer demand for upgraded cabinetry. In fact, as reported in this month's Consumer Buying Trends, American homeowners "have an obsession" with their kitchens, and most wish to remodel the space in one way or another. When asked what they most want to change about their kitchen, their top choice, of course, was cabinets.

Much of what these consumers are looking for in cabinetry is illustrated this month in K&BDN's annual Kitchen Cabinet Style and Design Guide, which has been expanded from past years to accommodate industry growth. The guide, it's hoped, will prove to be a valuable year-round resource for kitchen designers seeking to satisfy consumer demand with the latest and the best in cabinetry.

Clearly, cabinets remain king in this industry the focal point and most critical design element in today's kitchens . . . and the greatest profit opportunity for kitchen space planners.

It's certainly encouraging that cabinet demand remains sky high, and that manufacturers are meeting that demand with cabinetry that's proving to be such a turn-on for consumers.

Editor's Note: The notion of innovative design remains very much in the forefront of today's kitchen and bath industry.

That same notion also been very much in the forefront of our thinking as we developed plans to unveil a series of editorial and graphic enhancements to Kitchen & Bath Design News.

Those enhancements begin with this month's issue.

We hope you'll notice, for example, that we've spruced up K&BDN's graphic presentation with the introduction of new type fonts and other design elements aimed at improving the magazine's visual impact.

Even more importantly than our own design, however, is the fact that K&BDN has added a number of editorial features aimed at addressing the design-related issues facing our readers.

Expanding the regular design coverage K&BDN offers through columnists and contributors like Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, Sarah Reep, CKD, ASID, CMG, and Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, will be the following:

  • Well-known designer and product innovator Fu-Tung Cheng will explore cutting-edge ideas for re-examining and reinventing traditional techniques in kitchen design. Cheng's first in a series of "Design Inspirations" columns, exclusive to the design trade through K&BDN, appears this month.
  • K&BDN this month also debuts "Take Five" , a new department in which leading kitchen and bath designers will share their insights and design philosophy with readers. This month, the focus of the department is well-known New York designer Florence Perchuk, CKD.
  • Also exclusive to K&BDN, a new department, "Pro to Pro", will serve as an interactive forum for a wide range of topics relevant to kitchen and bath designers.
  • Lastly, "Winner's Circle" will regularly spotlight kitchens, baths, showrooms and related projects that have been honored for their outstanding design and creative use of product.
  • Our expanded emphasis on design, we hope, will serve K&BDN readers well and will complement our monthly coverage of news, trends, sales ideas, management techniques, new products and other topics critical to business success.