AVENTOS cabinets, with the old-style handle.
Lift-system cabinets doors — doors that open or fold up, as opposed to out — have been around for a few years, but they've gotten sleeker and more user-friendly, and that's what caught my eye at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. The newest versions from two makers in particular, Blum and Bauformat, feature seamless fronts that open up at the slightest push and fold back down with the touch of a button.
The advantage of lift-system cabinet doors? They don't get in the way. When you leave regular cabinet doors open, they can block your view and smack you when you're working at the countertop. But lift-up doors — particularly these seamless, semi-automated ones — are an elegant solution.
- Blum: North Carolina company Blum has offered their signature AVENTOS lift-system cabinets for a few years, but this year they introduced the electrical SERVO-DRIVE, which closes the cabinets at the push of a button. To open the cabinets, lightly push on the outside to have the cabinet door swing out and up. Then, to close it, push the small button on the inside corner of the cabinet, and the doors automatically close. Streamlined and efficient.
The Blum representative I spoke to said the company's lift-system cabinets have been huge sellers for them, and she expects the new SERVO-DRIVE feature to be a big hit as more consumers look for streamlined, hands-off solutions in the kitchen.
- Bauformat: This German company is over 60 years old, but relatively new to the US. (They currently have a distributing partner in Los Angeles, but are looking to expand.) These cabinets also open at the lightest push, and close automatically when you push the small button on the inside corner. They move smoothly and close softly, too. No more loud banging!
- Design Craft by Elkay: These cabinets have a handle to operate them, so they're not quite as nifty as the button-operated ones from Blum and Bauformat. But it was the bright red that caught my attention here!
(Image credits: Cambria Bold)