The furniture hardware experts at Blum have put together an interactive display at the new Wellington Design Library on Thorndon Quay, the much-loved location by cabinet makers, designers, and architects in the lower North Island.
Equipped with its full range of hardware and storage solutions, the Blum exhibition space enables trade industry professionals to get ‘hands-on’ with products while seeing how they operate in realistic set-ups.
Blum Product Manager Claye McBride has helped to design and decide on what to display. He’s an experienced cabinet maker in a previous life, and his insights were priceless.
We asked Claye to give us a tour and share some tips for designers and cabinet makers.
Claye, how did you come up with the display concept and layout? What were the considerations?
“When we first started talking about the Blum concept for the library, we knew we wanted to show the largest range of products we could easily fit into a small space.
“We’re all aware that smaller living spaces are more of a thing now than in the past. Wellington is definitely one place in New Zealand that seems to be leading the way with smaller footprints.
“The Blum kitchen concept is therefore based around a small space with practical ideas on how to create more usable space with our products. For example, the Blum SPACE STEP makes it easier and safer to access units at or above head height while also creating an extra drawer at the lowest level.
“The display also needed to show that Blum products are not just for the kitchen. So we have a wardrobe very cleverly designed into the back of the kitchen, a laundry area and a bathroom area, all showing Blum products and ideas.”
How does the new Blum space help cabinet makers in their work?
“It helps with being able to explain what Blum products do because seeing really is believing. We can always talk about a product, but I find that people need to touch, feel and see how it works in action to understand a product fully.
“The cabinet maker or designer can also bring in their customers to help their sales process. They can use the Blum display to explain products, select the type of product group and motion technology, and even check the colour of products they are considering for a project.”
What would you say to cabinet makers and designers who previously visited the old location of the Wellington Design Library but haven’t yet seen the new one?
“The Blum display is totally new — nothing from the old space was used. And the area is now five times the size, so it definitely has a lot more to see and experience.
“Since last year's opening, we’ve added our new box system, MERIVOBOX. It’s set up in the kitchen area, so our customers can see and feel the difference and, of course, show their own customers. MERIVOBOX was only released to the New Zealand market in June 2023, so it’s brand new.
“Apart from that, the Blum display has evolved to become an even more inviting site for cabinet makers and designers to collaborate with their customers.
“Our goal is always to be showing what is new at Blum. We have some exciting products coming over the next year, so these will all be added when they become available. Watch this space!”
As a former cabinet maker, what features do you think are particularly interesting to people in the trade?
“I feel the thing that will interest them the most is the products they may not have used before. Products like SPACE STEP, SERVO-DRIVE or even EXPANDO T. Seeing them set up, and experiencing how they work in practice, is always beneficial.
“I find when trade people see things in the flesh, they suddenly have an idea or a job they can use it on.”
What is your favourite feature in the Blum space, and why?
“My definite favourite part is the hidden drawer storage beneath the over-cupboard in the kitchen area. It’s such a basic concept, but by using wasted space, it creates a great spot to store cooking sauces and oils.
“And it looks really nice because it’s built from oak timber and uses Blum MOVENTO runners.”
Is there anything else in the Blum space your clients should know about?
“You can see all our box systems, LEGRABOX, MERIVOBOX and TANDEMBOX, in different colours and with different motion technologies. And we have Blum AVENTOS, hinges and AMBIA-LINE, our dividing system for drawers, to name just a few products.
“There are some great practical concepts for storage and ideas using different materials. For example, there are handle-less designs with thin fronts on cupboards using stone.
“The other thing you’ll find is how storage can be creatively implemented throughout the home. You’ll see how Blum products can be used in the bathroom and laundry, along with wardrobes and other living spaces.
“If you’re curious about what’s possible with storage, the Blum space at the Wellington Design Library is a place to stimulate your imagination.”
Visit the Blum exhibition space at the Wellington Design Library and get inspired for your next home project.