A Heavy Lift

While they may not be the most visible elements of a kitchen, functional hardware performs most of the heavy lifting in the space, making sure cabinets, drawers and organizational tools work efficiently.

Soft-close and touch-to-open technologies continue to improve, providing quieter operation and greater ease of use. New applications, including lateral door operation and a variety of lift-assist options, allow for greater access and storage flexibility as well.

Below are some of the latest trends in functional hardware right now.

–As fewer walls drive the trend toward less wall cabinet space and more drawers, heavy-duty slides become increasingly important, with higher weight capacities being incorporated to maximize storage.

–Clean lines and simple designs continue to trend, which translates to more hidden or flush doors that require concealed hinges.

–Soft-close drawers are increasingly becoming the standard, while the need to maximize space has led to more demand for full-extension drawers.

–Touch-to-open solutions are gaining in popularity, as today’s streamlined looks lend themselves to touch-to-open door hinges and drawer systems.

–There’s also a growing demand for a variety of lift-assist and lateral door opening systems, which offer quick, easy access to interiors while promoting Universal Design.

–Hot new technology includes the introduction of electronics into hardware, such as sensors that automatically open drawers or cabinets.

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