The latest trends in furniture and kitchen design need fittings innovation to make them work.

Open plan living and a growing preference for clean, minimal lines have popularised the use of fewer, larger doors and drawers in the kitchen and other fitted furniture. The increased use of internal drawers is part of this.

At the same time, customers for mid- to upper-range product are looking for thicker doors to lend a quality feel and differentiate their kitchen from a budget alternative. And they want smaller visible gaps between cabinets, too, for a sleek appearance.

The challenge for designers is to enable furniture to fulfill its storage role, while meeting aesthetic expectations. Two specific challenges addressed by Hettich are to combine thick doors with narrow gaps between cabinets, and to enable full access to the cabinet and any internal drawers without the need to open the door so wide as to be a hindrance.

Hettich’s solutions are the new thick-door and wide-angle variants of the company’s Sensys hinge, both of which were presented at Interzum this year. They offer visible and functional advantages and can both be specified with Silent System, without Silent System and free-swinging for push-to-open situations.

The thick-door and wide angle hinges allow all the Sensys benefits on doors up to 32mm thick but achieve this with a mere 1.9mm gap between doors.

The new wide-angle Sensys allows the cabinet door to open to 165˚ but unique to Hettich is that full access to the cabinet can be achieved at 95˚ opening. This means internal drawers can be accessed without opening the door to its full extent.

Time to slide
Also relevant in the era of clean lines and minimal clutter is the sliding door. New this year from Hettich is the TopLine L soft opening and closing system for sliding doors.

TopLine L makes light work of solid or aluminium-framed doors from 16-40mm thick and 50kg in weight. It can be specified with synchronisation for both centre doors in a four-door cabinet.

Fully overlapping doors allow for internal drawers as well as handle-free designs.

These innovations allow retailers to maximise on storage ergonomics, including ease of access and opening, while enabling designers to inspire and surprise their customers with what can be achieved visually.

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