Doubling down

Bedford Falls follows mHouse with office project featuring innovative panel products

Panel processed products are finding their way into residential environments at a rapid pace.

Whether it’s kitchens, bathrooms, entertainment, storage or household furniture, two factors are driving the trend.

First, the “IKEA factor” has introduced high-style contemporary furnishings to the American public. And guess what? It isn’t just millennials who find cool contemporary appealing. Baby boomers have also fallen in love with the clean lines of contemporary.

Second, today’s spectacular surface materials are a driving force behind the trend to panel-based products. No longer are these “laminates” considered cheap imitations of something natural. Laminates have evolved into something more important than just a surface. Surface materials have become the most outwardly identifiable quality of a winning product – a product that sells. The look and feel is everything. And no advancement in the furniture, cabinet and fixture business has been more important than the textures, colors, styles and designs of surface materials.

We’ve frequently reported on the mHouse project, where 35 global companies participated in the construction of a modern home -- a residential research lab where surface materials were used in unique applications. HPL on walls, TFL on ceilings, compact laminate as siding, and much more. The project sparked interest from the A&D community. Architects and interior designers have been exposed to the project and found it fascinating how our industry’s products have been used in creative and unique ways.

For us, it is all about education, and the best way to do that is to show the A&D community “what’s possible.”  Architects and interior designers now have a better understanding of the role that panel- based goods will play in the future of residential construction.

In addition to building the mHouse, Bedford Properties, a division of Bedford Falls Communications, the publisher of this magazine, recently gutted and remodeled an office building, where, once again, panel- based surfaced composite products were extensively used. The office building, now named City Centre, was designed in 1956 by architect Helmut Ajango, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. With its flat roof and clerestory windows, the exterior has hints of prairie style. It’s a classic mid-century-modern building. The exterior will be completely remodeled and clad in Fiberesin’s StoneWood compact laminate in spring 2017.

As publishers, we are passionate and fanatically dedicated to the industry we serve. In our small way, employing surface and panel products in residential and commercial environments demonstrates that commitment. We develop a deeper understanding of each material and challenge each other to think of creative ways to utilize them. It’s also a lot of fun. Decorative surfaces and composite panel products have a very bright future ahead.

Turn to page 38 to see a montage of the City Centre remodeling project and the application of our industry products.   

As publishers, we are passionate and fanatically dedicated to the industry we serve. In our small way, employing surface and panel products in residential and commercial environments demonstrates that commitment.