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Majaps Reach Critical Mass At ADHDS Show

NEW YORK – Super-premium refrigeration and cooking vendors flocked to the 13th Annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show (ADHDS) here last month, and dealers, decorators, designers and consumers were in hot pursuit.

The four-day trade and public event, held at Manhattan’s Pier 94, mostly features luxury furniture, accessories, lighting, kitchen and bath products. But this year the white-goods contingent nearly doubled to some 16 exhibitors, turning the event into a “Kitchen/ Bath Industry Show East” of sorts.

Majap makers ranging from Big Chill, BlueStar and Bosch to Viking, Sub-Zero and Wolf presented powerful, technically advanced products for kitchens and outdoors which are attractive, discreet and, given their four- and five-figures price tags, intended for an elite audience.

Distributors Almo and Eastern Marketing were also on hand to showcase their clients, which include Capital, Farber and Liebherr for the former and Bertrazzoni, Blomberg and Wood Stone for the latter.

Product highlights included Blomberg’s new French door refrigerator, whose Flexi Zone system provides a temperature range of -10 degrees F to 50 degrees F, allowing consumers to store either fresh or frozen foods in one compartment. With a 2014 “most efficient” rating by the by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the fridge also features “blue light” ultraviolet technology — also found on Dacor’s Distinctive 36-inch model — that allows fruit and vegetables to continue photosynthesis while in storage to maintain their freshness and vitamin content.

Blue light — as well as green, lavender and 11 other spectrums — is also special to True Refrigeration, the 65-year-old commercial refrigeration resource. Its patented TriLumina LED lighting system adds a cool glow to products within its residential Professionalseries line, including a dual-zone wine cabinet that can be used either indoors or outdoors.

Speaking of outdoors, backyard enthusiasts had plenty to consider at the show, including Kalamazoo’s new Gaucho Grill. Making its official debut at ADHDS, the product, inspired by traditional Argentinian/Santa Mariastyle grills, uses a hand-cranked wheel to raise and lower cooking surfaces over a wood cooking fire. Suggested retails range from $17,495 to $21,195.

Moods were equally high at the show. Warren Chaiken, president/COO of Almo and a repeat ADHDS exhibitor, observed that after a long, hard winter, “Spring is finally here and business and the builder trade are coming back” – a point that was underscored by the throngs of industry attendees.

Eastern Marketing president Marty Friedman added that the show is a big draw for New York area dealers and a good opportunity for spontaneous sales.

The event, which was co-sponsored by Whirlpool’s Jenn-Air brand and The New York Times, also featured a series of seminars for the trade and public, including a session on “Designing in the Age of Connectivity,” moderated by Wired and Popular Science correspondent Bob Parks. The panel, which included Jenn-Air general manager Steve Brown and Stephen Fanuka, host of DIY Network’s “Million Dollar Contractor,” explained how designers can capitalize on smart, connected products and mobile technologies for the kitchen, garage, home security and climate control.

However, aside from Dacor’s line, connected majaps were in short supply at the show.