Photo By BauTeam
“Trends” are never an easy topic to nail down. Some people hate the word or the entire concept, preferring terms like “style movements” or “design evolution.” But if you’re in the fashion business – and if you build closets or kitchens or supply materials to these markets, you are – you need to have a way to communicate how “what’s next” is different from “what’s past.”
With that in mind, here’s a survey of what’s next for 2024 from two prominent industry players and some of the top materials and accessory suppliers in the market today. Knowing how to connect with evolving tastes is more than just checking a box labeled “hot new trends for this year.”
Let their insights inspire your 2024 success!
Shaker fading, laminates rising
Natasha Shtapauk, Brand Ambassador and Lead Designer for BauTeam is on the cutting edge of the cutting edge. BauTeam advertises themselves as “German kitchen tailors,” but they’re uber-awesome at closest design as well.
Shtapauk, now an award-winning designer and product developer, began with the company as a student in southern Russia before joining the company’s design and product development team at its head office in Germany. Her innovative design approach and hard work led to her transfer to BauTeam’s new head office in Los Angeles, where she played a crucial role in establishing and developing the BauTeam brands in the USA.
Under her leadership, the company now boasts 62 performing locations in the US and Canada.
“We’re seeing that the solid wood and shaker door trend in closets is starting to phase itself out. About 70 percent of the closets our company manufactured in 2023 were made out of different laminated panels,” says Shtapauk.
“The quality provided by 3D laminate producers allows us to achieve almost perfect replications of natural products like different types of wood, textiles, leather, concrete, and so on. That’s why most designers and end consumers are warming up to them. Before, they weren’t an option because most laminates looked fake and cheap.”
“Switching to laminate not only benefits the clients’ designs because of the variety of options for the price…they benefit the environment in the long run as well. The known sustainability advantages of laminates are becoming a major factor for designers. We also think of sustainability in terms of durability and longevity of the installation and materials: If you don’t have to throw away your old closet to bring the new one in, you create less trash for the planet!” Quick fun fact: architectural products account for one-third of all landfill waste in the U.S.
Lastly, on the materials front: “About 20% of our production, quantity-wise, not price-wise, is leather closets. It’s very cool, but of course, very expensive.”
Wardrobes, safe rooms
Pulling back from material trends, Shtapauk says wardrobes are popular in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
“Instead of the standard American option of the closet with sliding glass doors and one or two hanging rails inside, clients are going for free-standing furniture pieces with cabinet doors. This allows them to maximize the storage within the small space they have. Furniture-based design was one of our main trends for our kitchen segment, but the same trend is slowly moving into the closet design.
“Safe rooms for the primary closets are becoming more popular due to the rise of robberies in expensive neighborhoods. We plan a lot of closets with hidden doors into safe rooms, drawers with double bottoms, and a variety of hidden compartments with phone-controlled locks.”
Glass and lighting
Eric Marshall, North American closet industry veteran and thought leader, sees megatrends taking shape.
“Glass. Glass shelves with lighting above, glass doors with lighting inside. Doors with lighting are really the hot ticket. This is right now, not next year. People don’t know enough about it yet to be using it, so not all the closet companies are doing it, which is why I’m including it in the presentation I’m planning for Closets Expo in April, with a focus on how to install lighting. Glass is easy, but glass with lightning requires some charm and finesse.
“The goal, and what people like about it, is that it opens everything up, especially with metal-frame doors like were seen at the last SICAM fair in Italy. There’s a movement toward less clutter, less stuff, and more visibility.”
Glass not your thing? “Flat slab doors in TFL are taking over, partly because there’s never a matching issue, no color or sheen differences, that can be a challenge when combining different materials. And brown-toned woodgrains, I think they’re going to be the big winner this year.
Greys are still popular and are influencing brown tones.
“And in general, accessories, accessories, accessories!”
Sustainable storage accessories
Accessibility and organization technology are always on-trend. The Conero collection from Richelieu features a complete assortment of closet accessories with a rounded design, ultra-thin sides, and luxurious glass inserts, all finished in a sleek black hue. This assortment is not just a storage solution; it’s a bold statement of contemporary sophistication that effortlessly integrates into living spaces.
New to the system is the wardrobe Lift Top with an integrated shelf, so your customers can say adios to struggling with stepladders to reach the top shelf. Designed to maximize space utilization, it features a range of components like shelves, drawers, and hanging rods, tailored to accommodate a variety of items from clothing to accessories.
The rest of the Conero collection includes graceful pull-out shelves and drawers featuring integrated glass accents to the cutting-edge pull-down wardrobe rod Top so you can elevate your designs.
It contributes to a lower carbon footprint, too. The closet hangers, made from a blend of recycled plastic and meadow grass, are lighter, stronger, and incredibly durable.
As we enter 2024, the world of closet and storage design is undergoing a transformative journey, blending minimalist aesthetics, sustainability, and a touch of playful charm. This year, homeowners are seeking storage solutions that not only declutter their spaces but also elevate the overall design of their homes.
In 2024, minimalistic designs will take center stage, seamlessly marrying elegance with functionality. Sleek lines, subtle color palettes, and the incorporation of innovative materials are redefining the landscape of cabinet design. The emphasis is on clean, uncluttered spaces that exude sophistication. Cabinets are designed with a focus on simplicity, offering a timeless appeal that complements various interior styles. Whether you prefer a contemporary or classic look, minimalistic designs provide a versatile canvas for personal expression. Uniboard’s L03 – Bonaventure light wood-grain texture epitomizes the essence of this movement.
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