What’s New at IWF 2012

Were you too busy to attend IWF?  Did you attend but spend all of your time researching machinery?

This was the best show in years, many new exhibitors, new products and attendance was up over 40%.

Here are 3 items that I thought you would find interesting…

Floating cabinetry is a hot look that is spreading.

Coming soon to the market is a hardware kit that easily installs on your cabinets and has up to 5/8” of adjustment.

It overcomes the challenges that traditional hangers present like interfering with your drawer slides or not sitting flush against the wall.  This will be available in the coming months.

It’s not always about the product, sometimes it’s about packaging…

Most of you are familiar with the leg levelor pictured above… Most of you also know the problems –

You or an employee spend hours screwing the legs into the t-nuts.  You also have to inventory two separate items…

How many times have you had legs without any t-nuts?? I know sounds painful…

Finally you can buy a leg levelor set, which is a leg and t-nut pre-assembled.  Tap the assembly into the vertical and you are done…

Last but not least is a new soft close hinge that has a piston built into the hinge arm.  The concealed piston eliminates the problem of changing your current drilling and the need for stocking an additional soft close dampener.

The best part of this hinge is not the soft close, it’s the cam adjustable plate.   There are many import hinges on the market, but most of them don’t have a cam adjustable plate. This adjustment will save you time and aggravation on the job site.

Your turn, what new items did you find at the show?

I help individuals and organizations to be successful… If you have any questions please contact me at 347-723-7433 or you can email me at richdemarco@optonline.net.


Increase your profits with hampers….

I’m sure if there is enough space in your design most of you will add a hamper…

If you’re like most in the industry it’s a tilt out… Why?

It’s not the least expensive option and the argument can be made that it’s a service call waiting to happen…

Is it because this is what you have always done?  Did anyone else just yawn?

Here are some hamper options that may help you stand out, increase the dollar value of your sale and hopefully increase your profits…

  • The least expensive and most versatile option is to use an 18” high pull out wire    basket.  It comes in all of your standard widths, three different depths, and three different finishes.  I’m sure that you will be able to find one that will work with your design.  Sell a canvas liner to add to your sale.  The downside to this option is that you can’t add a drawer face without some carpentry magic.

  • The mid-level option is also the biggest.  It’s a 20” wide X 14” deep X 24” high, vented white plastic hamper.  The basket can be easily removed and installs with four screws into a fixed shelf.  A door mount kit is available.

  • The Cadillac of hampers is a double wire hamper with an aluminum frame and soft close slides.  It’s made for a 14” deep vertical and fits snuggly in a 24” wide section.  Your door mounts to the frame and can be easily adjusted to give you the right reveal.  Sell the canvas liners to add to your sale.

Your turn… What are your tips or tricks when adding hampers to your designs?

If you would like more information please feel free to contact me at richdemarco@optonline.net.

Push open hardware, it’s not all about the design…

Using push open hinges and slides are great for creating a modern feel to your space.  This hardware will eliminate the need for handles and knobs, giving you that European look that your customers keep asking for…

However I think there is an entirely different market for this product that our industry could be missing…

How many of you have worked in a senior community?  Have you ever been told that it’s difficult to open the drawers?  Did you have to go back to remove the rubber bumpers in the back of the slide?

Do you install cabinets in medical or dental offices? No handles = no germs…

These places could benefit from not having to open up doors or drawers with a handle.

Your turn, have you had any experiences with push open hardware?

I help individuals and organizations to be successful… If you have any questions please contact me at 347-723-7433 or you can email me at richdemarco@optonline.net.

Just say “NO” to Shelves Below

The closet consultation conversation often begins with the client saying:

“And I’d like some shelves for shoes on the bottom”.

If you’ve designed many closets – you’ve heard this request from a client.

Just because you were raised with putting your shoes on the floor underneath the single rod inside your reach-in closet DOES NOT mean it’s the best practice to employ today.

And just because you see it advertised that way does not make it a good idea either.

Typical hanging garments average 24” in depth. That means when they are hanging on a hanger inside your closet, they occupy about two feet of space.

I’m willing to bet that not one of you reading this has feet that are 24” – I don’t even think Shaquille O’Neal – Doctor – Shaquille O’Neal – has feet that big.

So what that means is that if you put shelving underneath hanging, you’ve got to clear your clothing out of the way to be able to see what’s on that shelf. You’re looking down into the darkness to find your black shoes.

Makes sense to me.

Make finding your shoes as difficult as possible.

How about the opposite?

Best practice in the closet industry is to bring those shoes into the light (pretty high minded of us isn’t it, outwardly worshiping shoes in such as a way as to allow them prime location in our closet space).

Yes, you can put 24” deep shelves below your hanging, but if you do that, those shelves should be pull out shelves or you’ll never remember the items that get pushed to the back on this deep of a down low shelf.

If you want drawers under hanging – that’s an option but standard industry drawers are 14” and 16” deep – so your hanging will “hang out” (and not in a cool way) over the standard drawers and block your access.  It’s also a bit more difficult for people who are petite to reach that higher rod – so it’s not a design practice I ever put in to play.

So you either put shelving above a short hang rod or do an entire column (or stack or section) of shelves to accommodate any items you would normally store on shelve – be it jeans,t-shirts and yes – even shoes.

Watch the video –


And how do you keep learning these wonderful insights and tips so your designs become more effective and your sales increase?

I’ve got your answer!

I’ve created the FIRST EVER INDEPENDENT closet design course – ON LINE!

If you’re wanting to learn about closet design, or become better at closet design – this the opportunity for you to make that happen.

Check out the details by clicking on this link:


Denise Butchko is a design and marketing expert who teaches these concepts with the intention of helping people grow their businesses (particularly those in the design/build industries). She’s been a contributor to Closets magazine since 2003 and is a judge for the closet industries “Top Shelf” Design Competition. Her design work has been featured in national publications like “Better Homes & Gardens” and she works with some of the top interior design firms in the country. She’s helped cabinet companies launch closet product lines and trained sales professionals in both design and marketing, including ways to leverage social media and design to increase opportunities and brand themselves as the “go to expert”. If you want to have fun while you learn and bring your “A” game to your business, Denise is the one to partner with to make that happen.

Building Your Brand Begins Off-Line…

No matter what profession you are in we can all agree that building your personal brand should be at the top of your “To-Do” list.

I can hear you yelling at the computer – of course it is, but how do I start?  What should I be doing?  I don’t have time for all of that extra work…

Building your brand is easier than you think… Every satisfied customer gets you one step closer to fame and fortune… Ok maybe not movie star fame and fortune, but you could be known as the best closet designer in NY or the best cabinet builder in PA.

Be the best that you can be and people will begin to notice.

I didn’t become the Mayor of Hardware overnight… 10 years ago I became a student of the closet industry.  Learning as much as I could about hardware, whether I sold it or not.  You want to build a loyal customer, tell him that your competitor has exactly the item that he needs.

The 10 years of studying was the ground work for my brand.  It wasn’t the last two years on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  Social media is an outlet to help me expand my brand, so of course I think that everyone should at least have a LinkedIn profile.

Enough about me… What are your thoughts about building a brand?  Is there a difference between your personal brand and your business brand?

I help individuals and organizations to be successful… If you would like to discuss branding, social media or hardware, please contact me at 347-723-7433 or you can email me at richdemarco@optonline.net.