Kitchen hardware is a pivotal, practical and outstanding feature of any new kitchen design. The brands leading innovation in Australia are Blum and Hettich. This article looks at the technology behind hinges, drawer storage, and handless doors of kitchens and compares and evaluates these two kitchen hardware brands.
Hinges and runners are the engine of your kitchen. They get used multiple times a day and must be accurate, sophisticated and built to last. Here we look at hinge innovation from Blum and Hettich.
Blum: Clip Top BLUMOTION
Released in April 2011, Clip Top Blumotion is the latest hinge innovation from Blum. It is the winner of the internationally acclaimed iF Product Design Award and displays superb technology in a small and compact design. Silent closing doors are not a new feature of modern furniture, but in the past, Blum hinges required a separate dampening system that had to be drilled or clipped on. This feature has now been integrated into the hinge itself. The Clip Top Blumotion hinge also has a small deactivation switch in the hinge, allowing the device to be deactivated if doors are small or light. The improved pivot point of the hinge allows for better accuracy with thicker and heavier doors.
Winner of the iF 2009 Product Design Award and the 2008 reddot Design Award, the Sensys hinge is elegant and functional. Designed and released earlier into the Australian marketplace earlier than Clip Top Blumotion, the design demonstrates ergonomics, and has a slimline appeal that saves space when using internal drawers.
Both hinges demonstrate the same principles: silent closing doors with the technology conveniently integrated into the hinge itself. Blum Clip Top Blumotion has the advantage of a switch to turn off the device if required, making this hinge more advanced. It also has the capability and flexibility to manage thick, heavy doors. Both hinges offer incredible millimetre accuracy, and both are durable, long-lasting and hardworking.
Drawer storage and kitchen organisation are essential to achieve an ergonomic, practical and hassle-free kitchen. Here we look at what distinguishes each brand and the innovative solutions they have to offer.
Blum has extensively researched human movement and ergonomics in the kitchen space and has devised its own theory of kitchen ergonomics called Dynamic Space. It has revolutionised the way kitchens are used and designed, and many kitchen designers from around the world study their models. The aim is to achieve optimal room utilisation and quality of movement. Orgaline is Blum’s internal drawer storage organisation. Everything is stored securely and can be reached easily, by various configurations of lateral dividers, cross dividers and containers.
“At Blum we like to say ORGA-LINE is the heart of a functional kitchen. Kitchen users often underestimate how much time and unnecessary rummaging can be saved with a well organised drawer. With our ORGA-LINE range, everything is close at hand, right where you need it,” comments Blum Product Manager Michelle Sung.
From spice, plate and knife holders to cleaning compartments, waste storage and foil and film dispensers, Blum really has thought of everything.
Innotech is Hettich’s storage system, and similar to Blum’s Orgaline, items are logically and conveniently stored and organised by a series of cross dividers and containers. Innotech drawer systems take design right through to the cabinet interiors. They are available in five different finishes; white, silver, stainless steel, beech and anthracite. Innotech is the industry’s most versatile drawer system with its many different materials and components that can be customised and tailored to any design.
Innotech’s diversity is appealing in any kitchen, but the more luxurious materials such as timber, come at a cost. You can mix and match to get the perfect balance of style and budget with Innotech. I feel that Blum has surpassed Hettich when it comes to functionality in specific areas such as under the sink storage solutions. The sink depth is taken into consideration, and cleaning items are easily accessible in a pullout drawer on either side. This too, however, comes at a price!
Handless doors are becoming a design statement in homes trying to achieve a minimal, clean and streamlined approach to design. One method for achieving these clean lines is to replace handles with internal fitting solutions.
Tip-ons are Blum’s mechanical opening support system for handless cabinets. A light touch is needed to open the door, giving the user a good view of the interior without causing obstruction. To close the door, it can be lightly pressed shut or closed with a gentle swing. The Tip-on magnet works with a catch plate to ensure that even when closed with force, the door remains closed. They are made with high-quality materials that will last the lifetime of the furniture. The Tip-On unit can be installed within the end panels, hiding bulk, and giving it a appealing minimal profile. If needed, it can also be attached to the interior of the cabinet. Tip-Ons can also be used for wall units that lift up, giving this mechanism a diversity of uses on a range of materials.
Hettich: P2O Push-To-Open
Hettich has three different Push-To-Open devices, the P2O Magnet, the P2O Pin, and the P2OUniversal. The P2O Magnet is small and comes in an internal and external model. When you either push or pull the door, the magnet springs into action. The P2O Pin works via a pressing action which releases the door automatically. The P2O Universal works without the need for special hinges or other requirements. A nudge of the door is needed to propel it open comfortably; the extra long mechanism overcomes the door’s closing force as it opens.
Whilst Hettich provides three different solutions, each with its own advantages, Blum’s Tip-on works well in all circumstances and is the favoured choice. The Tip-On is discreet, high quality and low maintenance.
Both Blum and Hettich offer exceptional kitchen hardware innovation. Quality is taken extremely seriously by both these European companies, which lead the industry in consumer investment and product development. Favourite brands are developed based on their ingenuity in product development and marketing communications, and for me, I feel that Blum has the edge.