If there had been any doubt about whether the closets sector would survive the downturn, those questions were answered at Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo 2014, held in Somerset, NJ, last month. Closet businesses turned out by the hundreds, many from across the U.S., and from Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, even a couple from Australia – attending the one event catering precisely to closet business owners.

As Cabinets & Closets Expo broadens its appeal to cabinetmakers and designers serving the wider custom residential interiors market, it is still very strongly embraced by closet professionals. With the recovery, closet companies were revisiting the manufacturing side of the business. They are finding appeal in new software, and manufacturing technology allows for more automated, cleaner and more compact production operations.

The show also presented a rare opportunity for people in the closet business to meet each other. That started April 8 with the Association for Closets & Storage Professionals (ACSP) early arrivals reception, continued through networking and the Closets Conference April 9, and ran on into the gala awards event that evening. There, past ACSP president Jeff Klein, owner of Closet Specialist, Savannah, was presented the group’s 2014 Pioneer Award. (See Top Shelf coverage on pg 4 of this issue.)

Closet Group Makes It Their Event
Two key events developed by and for closets professionals were the unveiling of the ACSP Planning Guide, and a day devoted to closets design.

In the works for two years, the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals Planning and Design Guide was developed by ACSP’s Standards Committee. It contains “benchmarks for creating more closet and storage space in new construction and remodeling projects,” as its descriptor reads. The guide is intended to educate architects, builders, remodelers, and interior designers on how to prepare construction sites so that closet and storage professionals can easily design and maximize their clients’ space.

ACSP also launched a day-long “Deep Dive Into Design” program co-located with the show. “For the first time in our 10-year history, we’re dedicating a day of education to closet design, since it’s now as important to what we do as machinery, melamine and hardware,” said ACSP president Dave Skinner.

A bigger edition of Cabinets & Closets Expo takes place April 14-6, 2015 in Chicago.

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