Industry experts share insight and design trends during 2017 AWFS Closets Symposium

LAS VEGAS - Attendees at the 2017 AWFS Closets Symposium, held July 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, heard from an impressive lineup of industry experts on the latest in panel trends as well as best practices tips on product innovation and developing strategic showrooms, how to work with builders, advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing versus insource, opportunities in garage renovation and much more.

Brandon Olson of Closet Creations and Karla Kinney of ClosetMaid discussed the projects Olson has done with MN Custom Homes, including a 14-closet home recently completed on Lake Washington.
Jonathan Zublena, director of sales and marketing for WoodTrac Closets by Sauder, shared the process the company when through prior to the launch of WoodTrac Closets, and he offered valuable tips for companies considering disversification or adding new product lines. 
European design trends are generally a couple of years ahead of the U.S. and Sheri Mercadante, Marketing Director at German Design Center presented examples of European closet design, noting the popularity of wardrobes in Europe as well as the latest trending colors and finishes.
Mike Carson, Inspired Closets and Eric Marshall, Modern Closets & Garage and DEA Kitchen Remodeling, offered symposium attendees numerous best practices tips and advice on the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing versus manufacturing. Marshall later joined Troy Greenberg, RedLine Garage Gear, to discuss the variety of opportunities available in garage renovation including cabinetry options as well as accessories and flooring.
Celebrity closet designer Lisa Adams shared the works she has done for stars such as Tyra Banks and Brad Goreski. She also joined Michele Weitzel, Northern Contours and Jesse Collins, Rehau as they presented the latest trends in panels and components, including two-toned and high gloss finishes, mixed materials and much more. 
The full-day symposium ended with presentations from Sarah Reep, Director of Designer Relationships & Education at Masco Cabinetry and Denise Butchko, Butchko & Co., on how to create strategic showroom - brick and mortar retail spaces as well as digital.

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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.