Smart Design is made up of elements such as technology, organization, and lighting. When these elements are combined, space is maximized in rooms of all sizes!
Current lifestyle trends, whether it may be empty nesters, first time home buyers, or the economy, have left people with smaller spaces. A solution to this mainstream problem is designing “smarter.” Many elements work together to construct a design that encompasses several ideas that not only look amazing but are very practical at the same time. Smart Design a way of incorporating great designs for all ages in smaller spaces using technology, organization and lighting to create storage solutions that make use of every inch of space.
The best part about Smart Design is that it’s not just limited to the kitchen. It can be used throughout every room in the home. This is important because the kitchen is not the only room that needs space maximized, and by excelling in technology, organization and lighting, a room’s accessibility can be transformed.
The advances in technology have opened up the opportunity to make life a little easier. Cooking, a lot of times, leaves you with your hands messy or full. With features such as touch to lift, touch to light, touch to open and touch to close, a solution is provided for this mainstream problem. Another neat possibility with technology is the ability to bring items down and up with the push of a button. This has been shown through countertops that lift and lower depending on the task at hand, cabinet shelves that lower to the countertop and lift back up for convenience and closet rods that lower and lift maximizing space that otherwise would go untouched.
Organization is key when making the most use of small spaces. With so many storage solution kits and accessories, there is guaranteed to be a place for every item! Also, when spaces are kept organized, locating items becomes much easier. Components such as drawer dividers, tray dividers, spice rack pullout cabinets and sliding shelves are only a few of the items that can aid in organization. Remember to be creative! Who says that a draw divider can’t be useful in a craft room? Find organization that works well for you and stick to it!
The right amount of lighting not only complements cabinets to show the true beauty of the wood, but it also provides the function of making things easier to see. This alone can save space because it gives you access to locate items in all areas of the cabinets. Lighting is an element that is often overlooked, but really does provide function to cabinets.
Touch to Open
Another option for convenience is our Touch to Open feature. Wellborn’s drawer base cabinet with touch to open technology allows users to simply touch the front of the drawer that they want to access, and it glides open, eliminating the need to grab any hardware. When the drawer is pressed in, a small motor activates the door to open. This makes this Smart Design feature the perfect solution for homeowners with mobility or motor challenges, or for those of us simply looking for a little extra help in the kitchen.
Electronic Charging Stations
It’s a technology filled world and all those devices need their own place to rest and recharge. So why not give them one? Include our Charging Drawer Station into your design and provide yourself with a dedicated area specifically for your technology. Many base, desk and vanity cabinets 21” wide or wider can get the Charging Drawer Station Installed. This option installs an in-drawer electrical outlet into the top drawer and includes two outlets and two USB ports to charge most any personal technology device (phone, tablet, MP3 player, etc.) in the drawer.
When dreaming up your new home or remodel, try to think of ways that Smart Design can be incorporated in each space!
The world of marketing has shifted over the last decade, as I know all of you are aware. What you were doing 10-15 years ago is likely not as effective as it once was. Digital is taking over the world, with social media the reigning king. While some may think that social media is just for teenagers, others may be well aware that it is an important facet of their marketing plan. Whatever side of the fence you are on, you need to understand that in today’s marketplace, those who do not embrace this change will soon be left behind. However, it can be scary and somewhat intimidating when trying to attack this new medium that you may have little experience with. I’m going to give you some tips that will help you get moving in the right direction!
Social Media Tip #1:
You can’t do it all.
Choose a few platforms to do really well instead of being mediocre at all of them. One of the main reasons that social media can seem so intimidating is the fact that there are dozens of social media platforms, each with a different niche. Perfection is not guaranteed in all of them. You need to think hard on this before you jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, because this can be the choice that brings success or failure to your efforts. Some of the main platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Tumblr (or any other blogging platform), Periscope, Google+, Houzz, Buffer, Delicious, Digg, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbledUpon, and many many more. In deciding the platforms that you’ll start with, ask yourself these 3 things:
How much time or resources can I dedicate to this? If you are ready to fully commit, you can choose more platforms to tackle than if you can only dip your toes in the water. It is better to dominate one platform than to not make an impression on many.
Who is your demographic and which social media platforms are they spending more time on? This is another question of key importance. If your demographic is between the ages of 45-55, you won’t have much success with Snapchat, or likely Vine. These platforms skew a much younger generation. Facebook has an older demographic, while Twitter is popular with a middle aged crowd. Do your research before getting started! You’ll be wasting time and resources if you don’t.
Ask yourself what your key demographic would be looking for on these platforms. This greatly depends on your business. If you are in the Kitchen & Bath category, you know that there is a lot of information that goes into making the decision to remodel. If your audience would be craving information & clarity, you need to know. If they’re looking for design inspiration, you need to know, if they’re looking to know more about your specific business, you really need to know! Don’t give them what you THINK they want, give them what they want.
Social Media Tip #2:
Make a plan.
After you’ve done your initial research on the platform(s) that you should be focusing on, you need to make a plan. If you’ve decided that your audience wants information about product materials & design inspiration, you may have chosen to start a blog (on your website or Tumblr), to share this information on Facebook (The platform your demographic is using) and to share design inspiration on Pinterest (where your demographic goes to get ideas on style and trends). Here are some tips on how to make your plan.
When to post. Research the best times of the day to post on your platforms. This can have a big impact on your engagement, which is the point of your posts in the first place. Every industry is different, and those that like or follow your page will have their own habits of checking social media. There are many tools online that can help you with this. Sprout Social is a dashboard that will give you key information on your demographic’s habits. You can use IconoSquare for Instagram stats or TweetDeck for Twitter. If you spend some time digging, you can find anything you’re looking for.
How often will you post? You want to make sure that you post consistently, but not TOO frequently. Those who will follow your social media accounts want to see action, or they will lose interest. There are different “rules” for each platform that you can find if you do your research.
Research competitors & businesses in similar industries. This will give you ideas on the type of content that may work for your audience. If you see certain types of posts with lots of engagement, take it as a sign that this audience is interested in what they’re being given. Adjust these concepts to make them your own. This is a “Hypothesize, Test, Repeat” kind of thing. You may not hit a homerun on your first try, but analyze what is working vs. what is not, and adjust accordingly. Doing your research up front on posts that are working for others will save you a lot of time in the end. Take a look at the hashtags that are being used by your audience and tie them into your posts! Make sure you link all posts back to your website, when at all possible. The point is not just to engage on social media, but to pull them into the buying funnel!
Put it in writing (or typing). Now that you know where you’re posting, when you’re posting and what you’re posting, you need to set it in stone. Nothing great is ever accomplished without a plan. There are many templates online of content calendars for social media that you can edit in Excel or Google Sheets. They will have columns for all the key information that you’ll need to effectively plan you posts. You can opt for a social media dashboard like HootSuite, which will allow you to plan & schedule all of your posts (for most platforms) in advance. This will definitely save time. I recommend you take 1-2 hours each week getting all of your posts scheduled for peak posting time.
Social Media Tip #3:
Engage to get engagement.
I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “To have friends, you need to be a friend.” This concepts hold true in the world of social media. It is rare to get without giving in some way. Social media can be seen as a “Cocktail Party”. When you think of it this way, it helps you understand the concept more clearly. When you’re at a cocktail party, you don’t simply go up to everyone you see and tell them why they need to buy from your company. That would be very inappropriate and in-your-face. The key is to network. You meet someone, have a great conversation with them, and let them know what you do. You become interested in what they do and how you can help them. When that person is in the market for your services, they may reach out to you, as they remember the positive interaction that you shared. They may even tell their friends about you! Keep this in mind as you embark on your social media journey. You need to genuinely be interested in the business or lives of others to get people interested in you. Seek out companies like yours or individuals in your demographic to follow or connect. Engage with their content and share your thoughts! This is the “introduction” at the cocktail party. Remember that this is a long term plan to increase awareness and sales in your business, and you will need to work at it in order for it to work for you. Once your posts are scheduled for the week or the month, log on various times during the week to engage, or answer questions or comments directed at you. This is key in becoming successful in social media.
In our next article, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into social media marketing success. There is a lot to learn, but if you take it one step at a time, you will find that it not only gives you a great return on investment, but it will give you much deeper insight into what your customers are looking for. Until next time, pleasant posting!
Allie is the Marketing Director at Builders Surplus. Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling and renovation company in Louisville, Ky and Newport, Ky, which also serves Cincinnati, Oh. Builders Surplus focuses mainly on Kitchen and Bathroom Design, Flooring, Windows, Doors, and Tile. If you have any questions for the author, feel free to comment below!
The Wellborn KBIS booth was built on many early mornings and late night coffee runs. The Wellborn truck drivers ventured out to Las Vegas two weeks before the show, and the display crew followed right behind, flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. It took countless hours to perfect every detail on the sets making them show ready for the excited viewers who were eagerly waiting for opening day. The marketing department arrived a few days before the show to set up accessories, prop the booth, and assemble the media kits and flyers. After the setup was complete, it was time to get a good night’s rest for day 1 of KBIS, which started at 9 a.m. sharp!
With the vast amount of dealers, designers, builders and suppliers, Wellborn’s booth was crowded from 9-5. Various companies and customers viewed our new products and designs, and Wellborn Cabinet was ready with numerous new displays that presented several design trends for 2016 and 2017.
With 531 exhibitors this year, people scrambled from booth to booth to see all of the latest products and designs in the kitchen and bath industry.
We, as exhibitors, were just as excited as the consumers to showcase our new products and answer the question we love to be asked, “Why Wellborn?”
It was invigorating to watch our guest’s eyes light up as we presented our new products. In addition to our new designs, we were also able to debut our new full access frameless line, Aspire Cabinetry.
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. presented many new products, lines and technology to KBIS this year, while obtaining encouraging feedback from our audiences. We envision endless opportunities for the future and hope that you will join us for the ride!
If you did not get a chance to attend KBIS, we will help guide you step by step through our 2016 KBIS booth! Enjoy the beauty inside Wellborn!
We have our door style Cortland on Maple. As part of our ColorInspire program, the color is called Espalier green from Sherwin Williams. This is an eclectic design that include raised panels as well as recessed panels.
In this vignette, we have stacked wall cabinets, open shelving cabinetry, cutlery accessory pull-out from Rev-A-Shelf, cutlery drawers, silverware drawer and deep pots and pans drawers.
*Please Note, due to different screen resolutions the Espalier Green color may not appear accurate. Visit a Sherman Williams store or supplier to view the color swatch. Any ColorInspire orders require a sample door order.
In this vignette, we introduced one of our new Medium Density Fiberboard door styles called Trestle, along with our new white paint, Porcelain.
Porcelain is a white paint with gray undertone, very similar to what designers call a Gallery White.
We have our accessory wall cabinet, with a raised Blum mechanism built inside, interior cutlery and spice drawer accessory, pots and pans tiered pull-out drawer, and a pots and pans drawer with a hidden rollout shelf for shallow goods.
Our new frameless line of cabinetry will provide more room for storage and accessibility. This line is planned to launch in 2017. Aspire will include wood, textured melamine and metal. It will have extensive amounts of stain and paint colors in metals and melamine door materials.
This vignette door style is Wellington. This is an ArtDeco Asian inspired design showing the possibilities of Wellborn Cabinetry with different themes, orientations, depths, ideas and insets. This is our new Natural Cherry for 2016 with a slate glaze.
In these wall cabinets, you can see where the crown molding was flipped upside down for a different aesthetic application. The cabinetry is also reversed with doors up top and drawers at the bottom.
As part of Our Whole Home Design vignettes, we have our Winslow on Oak door style with Dove paint with a Pewter glaze. The darker drawers are Winslow door style on Oak in Shadow with a Pewter glaze.
This area is considered a pet center/utility or laundry room. The two You Draw It cabinet towers both play a different role within the room. One is custom made for a medium to large dog and features an open area for a bed, along with a touch to open drawer that houses the dog’s bowls. To the right of the pet center is a utility cabinet. The tall utility cabinet has pocket doors that slide back to access a washer or dryer or washer and dryer combo. A shelf was constructed to store laundry detergent, dryer towels, etc. The cabinet constructed up top, holds cleaners and laundry.
This vignette shows that even a 42” base can act as an island in any small area. The island has finished end panels and a peninsula back so both the storage is accessible from either side of the cabinetry. The door style is Sandia on Hickory wood species. The paint is Dove with a Pewter glaze.
The cabinetry is from the Estate Series; the color is Drift with a Pewter glaze. The door style is called Sandia on Oak wood species. The peninsula portion of this kitchen that hold the cooktop was a custom creation through our You Draw It program and features glass inset doors lit with LED puck lighting that provides a beautiful contemporary look.
We have accessory drawers with glass fronts, base pots and pans pull-out with a blind corner pull-out, deep pots and pans drawer, base stainless steel peg pullout drawer and an accessory drawer pull-out.
This vignette has our Winslow door style on Maple wood species. The stain is Shadow with a Pewter glaze. It is referred to as Cascading Drawers because, as you can see, the drawers cascade down. This is an example of a different application where we wrapped edge banded shelving around the cabinetry to give it more of a contemporary feel.
This is our seating area (banquette) for anything from lounging around the home to an accessory eating or entertaining area. The door style is Chelsea on Oak species painted with Dove then topped with a Pewter glaze.
We are showcasing an application of furniture drawer, utility height cabinets used in a hallway for accessible storage. The door style is Hanover; the wood species is Maple. The paint is Dove with a Bronze glaze. This vignette showcases 3 and 4 deep drawers.
This beautiful Modena vanity has Geneva door styles on Maple wood wrapped in our New Natural Cherry. This is part of our ColorInspire program where we used Twilight Purple from Valspar. The wrapping of the cabinetry gave the room a contemporary feel. It showed the contrast between paint and wood. Below the vanity is a custom built New Natural Cherry floating shelf with L&S LED Lighting. The shelf provides room for storage underneath the vanity.
*Please Note, due to different screen resolutions the Espalier Green color may not appear accurate. Visit a Sherman Williams store or supplier to view the color swatch. Any ColorInspire orders require a sample door order.
As part of our Whole Home Design solutions, we have our Creative Cave. The door style is Bishop. The paint is called Bleu from our Premier Series line. This room is designed for you and your spouse to spend quality time together while working on your favorite hobbies.
Located in this vignette, is a tall cabinet to store your collections, a cabinet to hold your sewing products and a wrapping paper holder. The rolling tool cart was constructed with our Palermo door style with built in castors, so it can roll around for his or her hobby needs.
There are three styles of kitchens: Contemporary, Traditional and Transitional. The choice of the style depends on the home owner’s budget and needs. Purchasing cabinetry is a big investment that will remain in the home for years. There are two main options when purchasing cabinetry: framed or frameless. For years, Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. only offered one of those options, but now the time has come to broaden our options in order to better fit our customers’ needs.
At KBIS 2016, Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. announced that we will be launching our new frameless line, Aspire Cabinetry, in 2017. Aspire will be a full access frameless cabinet brand that will help bring the contemporary, sleek look in the home. Frameless not only provides a modern look, but it can still provide a traditional style without having to add the extra frame on the cabinetry.
Framed vs. Frameless:
Framed cabinetry provides a more traditional and transitional style. For years, framed has always been the most popular style of cabinetry in the United States because of its endless options and durability. The trends have begun to shift and frameless cabinetry is now an option that most homeowners are considering. Wellborn offers endless options of framed cabinetry between our lines, Estate Collection, Premier Series, Select Series, Home Concepts and Elegant Bath Collection.
According to the name, frameless cabinetry is constructed without a face frame. Frameless cabinetry provides more storage and accessibility in a cabinet because it does not have a center stile coming down in the middle of the two cabinet doors. Also, drawers in frameless tend to have more storage space due to the lack of a face frame.
“Our new Aspire Full Access Frameless line is set to launch in 2017. With this addition to the many brands Wellborn offers, including, Wellborn Select and Premier Series, Estate, Closets and Elegant Bath Furniture line.” Angela O’Neill, Director of Marketing added, “Aspire adds the finishing touch to our product offering.”
Construction of Framed:
The standard face frame for the Wellborn doors are ¾” x 1 ¾” Kiln-dried solid wood stile and rail members. The center stiles are ¾” x 3 ½” solid wood. On all corner base and corner wall cabinets, the center stiles are ¾” x 6 ½” solid wood. 48” corner base has a 9 ½” center stile. All face frame joints are precisely aligned with blind mortise and tenon, glued and stapled at all joints.
Construction of Frameless:
Frameless cabinetry is constructed without the face frame located at the front of the cabinet. The logical reasoning behind this idea was to provide more room for accessibility and storage. The cabinet construction is ¾” thick thermofused melamine end panels, shelves, tops and cabinet bottoms. All the doors have a fully concealed Euro cup hinges with a six-way adjustability. The doors include a self-closing soft close feature, for that ever so quiet close. Wellborn Cabinet’s brand will offer two drawer options: a 5/8 solid wood dovetail drawer with natural finish and a double sided metal drawer with powder coated steel in silver color.
Storage– Frameless cabinetry provides room for more storage due to the absence of the face frame.
Contemporary look-the European style cabinetry gives the home a more modern appeal
Quick Construction– The frameless cabinets provide a quicker construction and installation.
We have exciting plans for this brand, and we cannot wait to see where this takes us in the future. As we travel on this journey, we invite you to follow along as we introduce the Aspire Cabinetry line. We envision an incredible outcome for our company!