LIN-X a Japanese solution to “Rabbit Hutch Britain”

InterAlia concept kitchen using LIN-X
The Monoflat LIN-X Hinge in a single-door configuration
The actual LGA Certification
ELAN, the lift-assist stay that soft-closes and stops anywhere
The LL-66S - lost wax cast 316 stainless steel hand polished looks good in a superyacht
The LL-66 in white

Modern homes are shrinking giving rise to the expression “Rabbit Hutch Britain” as developers try to squeeze the most out of their investment

British homes have the smallest rooms in Europe. In a recent survey 47% of new home owners did not have enough room for their furniture and 57% did not have enough storage. The trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future so it’s up to designers to find ways of maximising the space that is available.

Tiny rooms and big ideas

Yossi at InterAlia – a bespoke kitchen and bedroom manufacturer – often has clients with tiny rooms and big ideas. ” One recurrent problem is that people want wardrobing by the bed but when the doors open the gangway is entirely blocked.” Yossi told me. It’s a difficulty found in kitchens too where an open door and no way through can be a safety hazard. Yossi’s new favourite solution is the Monoflat LINX door system from Sugatsune. He exhibited a concept kitchen featuring the doors, which open out and to the side, at the recent Homes and Interiors Show and created a great deal of interest in the new system.

Soft-closing and space saving snap-on hinges 

The doors have a soft closing feature and the way they open keeps them out of the way in galley style kitchens or where the cabinets open out into a passageway. They also work well in blind corners or on outside corners of kitchen islands and are easy to fit using the same mounting plates as a standard snap-on concealed hinge.

Opportunity to innovate

So long as developers are intent on making us live in ever decreasing spaces there is an opportunity for increasing ingenuity in bedroom bathroom and kitchen design. Designers turn to companies like Sugatsune for innovation in this area particularly because Japan has decades of experience of making minute living spaces work.

Sugatsune SLS-ELAN Lift-assist stay achieves LGA certification.

The SLS ELAN has achieved LGA certification. The Lift-assist stay which will stop anywhere and soft-closes was subjected to 40,000 cycle tests in the LGA’s Nurenburg test centre. The integral LAPCON damper performed effectively throughout. “It’s not a surprise” stated R Obinata “all of the products are rigourously tested by Sugatsune but it’s nice to have this affirmed by such a highly respected organisation.” The certification is an assurance for those fitting the stay that performance will not be significantly impaired over the product life.

Innovation and reliability

Sugatsune has a long history of product innovation but is always careful that new ideas are delivered with rock solid reliability

Easy to fit

The Elan is finding a brisk market in hand made kitchens and bespoke furniture manufacture where it’s slim design gives the desired functionality without cluttering up the interior space of the cabinet. It’s also popular because it’s very easy to fit – just line it up with the edge of the carcass – and often requires no hinges.

The SLS Elan is available direct from Sugatsunes UK warehouse or can be ordered online on their website.


Earthquake proof latch finds home in yacht interiors 

The LL-66 is a positive closing catch that is fitted behind an overlay door to allow a positive close and release. It was developed in Japan where earthquakes are frequent. The LL-66 is designed to keep doors closed where magnetic catches may fail – after all an earthquake is enough to worry about without your kitchen cabinets emptying their contents onto the floor!

Catches are effectively invisible

Thanks to our more stable geology the need for catches like the LL-66 is reduced in Europe. However it is being used widely by yacht manufacturers who’s interiors can routinely be subjected to the equivalent of a magnitude 8 earthquake as the yachts bash through heavy seas. It is seen as a useful alternative to modern push knob latches which can be a little ubiquitous. The catches are effectively invisible being mounted behind the door so there are no style considerations to be concerned with and a sheer flush finish can be achieved.

Acceptance in the marine market

One reason for the catches ready acceptance in the marine market may be that it is based around an old concept for a drawer latch. Ships drawers have always needed a means to secure them and latches based on this concept used to be commonplace – Jeanneau have fitted them to the drop down flap doors which run the length of the interior of the yacht

The latches are available in black, white or brown plastic or for when the occasion demands, in hand polished lost wax cast 316 stainless steel.

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