NEW ORLEANS, LA -Cabinetry, hardware and component engineering that feed the growing 'Universal Design' movement are the dominant trend at KBIS 2013 - along with mixed and contrasting colors, reclaimed wood and updated classic and rustic designs. Glass is also figuring big in many of the cabinet designs on view here.

The Universal Design approach - which mixes in features of accessibility, and fixtures that allowr consumers to comfortably age in place, in home interior appointments. On the show floor, this results in hardware and component solutions like pull-out shelves instead of lazy suzans, slide-open and tambour doors that don't impede access or obstruct walkways, and servo-motorized door and drawer hardware  that put hard-to-reach within easy reach, especially for aging boomers who are getting less limber.

While cabinetry makers are adopting modern hardware, exterior cabinet designs are evolving more gradually from traditional styles. A trend to slate gray, and juxtaposing contrasting light and dark color cabinetry continues. Consumers do seem to be embracing reclaimed wood. But the spare aesthetics of modern European design are more evident in bath and plumbing fixtures than in cabinetry seen around the show.

The evolving design trends favored by designers and consumers - perhaps a post-modern take on traditional styles - are reflected in the winners of NKBA's annual awards, announced yesterday. Wendy Johnson of Designs for Living in Manchester, VT, took the Best Kitchen Award for a grand-scale room with a curved LED-lit glass bar overlooking art glass on panels in the cooking and entertaining areas. It's wood finish cabinetry features clean  lines and Euro-style brackets supporting an island serving bar.

Shea Pumarejo of Younique Designs, Helotes, TX earned the Best Bath Award for a Baroque style room featuring a hand-cut glass wall, and red hand-blown glass faucet and sink.

Pushing the limits of cabinet design was  Custom Cupboard's digitally printed and personalized cabinetry. Chris Stout (left) and Roger Hazard of Design Hazard's TV show fame helped introduce the line. The two said they are developing furniture with Custom Cupboards as well.

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