While some very large cabinet manufacturers have opted out of KBIS 2012 in Chicago, the bonds between the cabinet making industry and hardware and component manufacturers actually seem to be deepening.

Sugatsune, well known for its inventive soft close hinges, slides and architectural door hardware, is working closely during the show with its wood components partner, Northern Contours, which sponsored a presentation by certified interior designer Annette Wildenauer, "Is the Generation Gap back," on challenges for workplaces populated by multiple generations.

Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Sugatsune has opened a Chicago showroom in the trendy South Loop area, about a mile north of the KBIS show at McCormick Place. The showroom served as a stage for another Sugatsune partner: Woodways.

The Zeeland, MI custom residential and commercial cabinetry firm builds some of Sugatsune's showroom displays. Woodway sponsored Suzanne Rudnitzki in sponsoring a presentation by Suzanne Rudnitzki on Tuesday to discuss the design process for custom kitchens and commercial casegoods.

Hafele has taken it a step even further: its KBIS booth, 1261 features displays built in collaboration with  Custom Cupboards, Rutt Hand Crafted Cabinetry, Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., The Grothouse Lumber Company and Harman/Kardon.

The displays incorporate Hafele components into holistic solutions that illustrate the possibilities in the kitchen and bath for architects, designers and builders who attend the show.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.