Each issue of Surface & Panel emphasizes certain segments of homes, businesses, offices, stores and more and how they use modern composite panels, decorative surfaces and the accessories that go with them.

In the first-quarter edition, which you are holding in your hands, we single out kitchens, baths and home organization. In the second quarter, we feature store fixtures and commercial interiors. The third-quarter issue moves on to residential interiors and furniture, while the fourth quarter focuses on office furniture, health care and hospitality.

The areas of emphasis don’t make up the entire edition. We mix and match to a degree based on what’s timely, interesting and available, but we always make sure to give the designated topics their due.

Given that this issue is at least partly devoted to kitchens and baths, it’s no surprise that cabinets are the primary products of two companies profiled in separate stories. After all, cabinets are the major elements of both areas, particularly when it comes to the materials that are this magazine’s primary focus: composite panels and decorative surfaces.

While they share cabinets as a key element, the two stories are considerably different. Suzanne Van Gilder’s piece on Metropolitan Cabinets, which starts on page 6, looks at how a company went from a small stock distributorship to the biggest cabinet manufacturer and stone countertop fabricator in the Northeast. My story about acpi’s new Serenade Cabinetry, on the other hand, is more about a company’s commitment to a new high-end frameless line and its decision to invest millions of dollars to make it happen. The Serenade story starts on page 34.

Home organization also gets attention in the first quarter, and this year’s feature is a dandy. Closet America has a great story to tell about two guys who started as dealers but decided they wanted more control. So they started manufacturing their own parts, and they’ve never looked back. Read about their success starting on page 22.

While those stories provide the foundation for this issue, they are far from the only content. Starting on page 46, Ashley Furniture’s Rick Bryson offers insight into decision making at the world’s largest furniture manufacturer. Several housing and remodeling experts assess what’s in store for the rest of 2018 and beyond starting on page 18, and the impact of digital printing on panel processing is explored starting on page 52.

Lots to read. Lots to learn. That’s only fitting for an industry with as much happening as this one.