KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th March 2012


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Award winning quality and design

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The award winning flush sliding door system: Eku Frontino 20, is now available from Hafele UK to allow flexible, design-led solutions to suit sideboards or wall cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, living room or office.

NKBA reveals top kitchen & bath trends for 2012

More than 350 National Kitchen & Bath Association member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey in the US to cite the materials, product types and styles that they've incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. While broad trends won't be evident in every local market, the following are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.

Get a hold of this...

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Hafele has released a new Decorative Handles catalogue, introducing five exciting new ranges. 

Welcome to the


Wow! What a show! What a lovely industry!

Yes, John and I are back from KBB Birmingham 2012, which we're delighted to say was a real success. 

All the exhibitors to whom we spoke were very enthusiastic about the numbers and quality of visitors (we always know they've been really busy when they start the conversation with, "I've not been to the loo/sat down/had anything to eat or drink since I the show opened this morning" and there was plenty of that) and it was clear that there have been a lot of new business start ups recently, with the business owners flocking to the show to see what's available, what's new and to get advice on how the go about building their businesses.

There was so much on show that inspired and amazed that it's been hard to know what to include in our show review. We've decided that rather than skim over everything and perhaps as a result not do it justice, we'd split our review to run over the next three weeks, so if we spoke to you and took your picture but you can't see our report here, don't despair as it will be included either next week or the one after.

And if you're on the retail, architectural, specification or consultancy side, watch this space as we have some truly wonderful innovation to share with you!



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Winners of the KBB Review Awards 2012 announced at dazzling ceremony

* Rory-Bremner_host.jpgThe winners of the kbbreview Awards 2012 were revealed at an exquisite and much-anticipated ceremony a little after the Show closed its doors on Monday. The awards, hosted by Taylist Media's kbbreview magazine, recognised the very best in the kitchen and bathroom industry, with categories ranging from design to business.

The annual awards, now in their 18th year, were held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, with a 'magic' theme, and were hosted by Rory Bremner, the renowned TV impressionist and comedian.

Drawers, doors and lifting systems - a study into the real usage of kitchens

FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday.

The FIRA funded study for Blum, has looked into how real-life kitchens are used and the impact this has on the design, manufacture and installation of furniture fittings. The project aimed to review data relating to the usage of drawers, doors and lifting systems within real kitchens. The study compared how kitchens within the UK are used in comparison to kitchen usage in Europe - particularly Austria.


* Pelipal.jpgIt may be a girly thing, but I absolutely loved the Pelipal stand with the LED lights defining the shelving on its cabinets, as you can see if you look carefully at our picture (it’s not green beading you can see, but light). If this is bathroom furniture of the future then I can see lots of people bathing with the lights out. Gorgeous!

Sensio offers clever power solutions as well as lighting

* SensioPod+CH1.jpgAlthough the SensioPod won an innovation award as far back as 2010, John and I hadn't seen one before and we were really impressed. They work on the same principle as the pop-up loos that you find in some town and cities when the normal public washrooms have shut for the night, popping out to give access and tucking out of sight when they're not needed, saving space and keeping the area clutter-free.

BMA and B&Q team up at Show to help industry 'talk clearly' to consumers

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced following KBB Birmingham that they are to collaborate on a new piece of research into how the industry should communicate with consumers about saving water.


* KitchenAid.jpgI can't think of anyone who enjoys cooking or who simply wants a kitchen with the wow factor, that wouldn't wish for some of the state of the art appliances on KitchenAid's stand. I was pulled on by the striking red appliances that match the less covetable ones I already own but John soon called me over to examine the clever Twelix oven with its convection system and 33 cooking modes - and, most importantly - its demo mode which allows showroom staff to show potential purchases exactly what the oven can do and how easy it is to use, without the risk of it heating up!


* HiB-Ventilation-KBB2012.jpgOccasionally John and I have one of those, "Now why on earth didn't anyone think of that before!" moments and our visit to the HiB stand brought about one of those.

Steel Cuisine

* Steel2.jpgSteel used the show to launch a colourful collection of built-in ovens and hobs that was hard to miss! The display featured seven new built-in ovens from both the Ascot and Genesi collections, and a Genesi hob.

The Genesi range showcases bright and bold statement colours that I loved - but there was something for every taste as the Ascot range features deep and natural colours. Certain models of the new built-in ovens feature Steel's new and innovative combi-steam function, for flexible and healthy cooking.


* Showerwall-NoirMarble.jpgWe tried several times to speak to people on Showerwall's stand, to get the background to the major design update the company had made to its range of waterproof wallpanels, which it unveiled at the show.

The Mosaic Bath Company

* Mosaic-baths.jpgTalk about a showstopper!

The Mosaic Bath Company specialises in creating beautiful, hand crafted, individually designed mosaic roll top baths and the small selection Andy Wood and the team had brought to the show was stopping visitors in their tracks - wow!


* Hotpoint.jpgHotpoint is now offering the complete kitchen solution with the exclusive launch of two new collections of sinks and taps at the show. The new Luce and NewStyle collections mark Hotpoint's entry into the sinks and taps sector for the first time in its 100-year history.


* Dawood_Laufen.jpgLaufen's stand was incredibly busy but Dawood Palekar kindly took some time to show us around the displays. There was a lot to see...

The KBzine Archive Search

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Growth of construction sector activity accelerates to 11-month high

* Stronger expansion of new business supports rise in output 

* Employment falls, but only marginally

* Business confidence reaches a nine-month high 

February data signalled a solid rise in the UK construction sector output, extending the current sequence of growth to 14 months. The stronger expansion in activity was supported by a sharp rise in new work intakes. However, accelerated growth of both new business and output were insufficient to prevent a fall in employment. Meanwhile, a fourth successive improvement in confidence was indicated.

Management buyout for Waterfront Bathrooms

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The Directors and Management of New River Holdings, the company behind the long established bathroom distributor Robert Lee, have announced that they have recently helped finance a management buyout of the bathroom brand Waterfront Bathrooms, thus ensuring that this respected brand name remains alive and well within the industry.

Kitchen Retailer Exchange at Blum

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The Retail Services Division of Blum UK has launched a series of Kitchen Retailer Exchange events to be held for one day at the company's centrally located Milton Keynes facility.

InstallerLive and the HHIC join forces

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InstallerLive, the largest national event for installers of plumbing, heating and renewable technologies, has teamed up with the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council to bring a brand new feature area to the exhibition in 2012, the Boiler Workshop and Legislation Hub.

Major new TV series seeks Britain's most colourful and unconventional workplaces

BAFTA award winning documentary company Dragonfly Film and Television, maker of super hit shows The Hotel and One Born Every Minute is looking to produce a feel-good documentary series that profiles remarkable businesses to find out what working life is like in a 21st century British workplace.

Protection vital in volatile market, warns KBSA

The news that the Homeform Group will not pay out on any customer warranties or guarantees has prompted the national trade association for the kitchen bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, to warn consumers that it is still vital to buy from retailers that offer financial protection.

New standard for furniture hardware

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new standard for furniture hardware: 'BS EN 15939: 2011 Hardware for furniture. Strength and loading capacity of wall attachment devices'.

BMA's delight in welcoming new member - Dietsche

Roman Dietsche Gmbh, the well-respected German bathroom products manufacturer, has become the latest recruit to the expanding Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

Ecobuild is just four weeks away

Ecobuild, the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, opens in exactly a month and the organisers are promising:

KBSA welcomes back three members

Highlighting the value of belonging to a professional association, especially in a tough economic climate, the Kitchen Bathroom Specialists Association has announced the return of three previous members.

New qualification created for domestic refrigeration engineers

Amica, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association are lending support and financial sponsorship to the process of creating A Qualification Route for Domestic Refrigeration Service Engineers.

New courses cover kitchen & bathroom design principles and project management

The NTG has announced two new design courses for 2012. They will be delivered in a collaboration between EQ Software, the NTG (National Training Group) and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Bathroom Academy. These two day courses are aimed at professional kitchen or bathroom designers as well as new entrants into the kbb market.

Anthony Nolan named Belling's centenary year charity

British kitchen manufacturer Belling is hoping to raise at least £10,000 for pioneering stem cell charity, Anthony Nolan, after naming it Charity of the Year as part of its centenary celebrations.


Tyldesley tiler named as leading professional

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David Stott, of Tyldesley-based Elite Tiling, has won the national 'Tiler of the Month' accolade from TilerWorld, the free web site for tilers and their customers. He was chosen for his tiling quality and high standards of customer service, shown by reviews posted on TilerWorld alongside customer ratings.

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