KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st September 2012


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

International News

Get ahead of the curve with Franke

by John Swain, Product Manager for Franke UK

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The trend for curves in the kitchen - and indeed the home in general - gathers pace. Gone are the days of curve-free, boxy, linear rooms and furniture as the fashion for open-plan living and casual dining demands more flexible, soft lines.

Innostor Plus - new storage solutions from ECF

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Innostor Plus is the latest range of in-cabinet kitchen storage solutions from ECF. Available exclusively from ECF and covering the majority of popular cabinet configurations, the range comprises rotating and standard pull-out larders, base pull-outs and a range of corner storage solutions.

Renolit reveals another new modern abstract design

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Renolit has introduced a further striking fantasy design to its Covaren stock range.

Pictured here is the new Renolit Covaren Moulins; a design reminiscent of a concrete structure with a subtle two colour square print. Given its very subtle printed design, the finish can also be used as a pseudo solid colour.

Ellis Furniture unveils Cambourne kitchen range

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Forming part of this season's launch of new kitchens from designer and manufacturer Ellis Furniture, is the sublime Cambourne range. A very versatile collection, Cambourne can harmonise with a wide variety of property and interior decor styles, helping homeowners achieve the highly desirable shaker style, painted timber look at an affordable price.

One drawer, one box - a new level of convenience from Hettich

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Hettich's new InnoTech Drawer in a Box brings together all the elements for a drawer set in a single box, which is easy to store, transport and handle.
The InnoTech platform system suits all levels of production, but with distributors and small to medium-sized manufacturers in mind, Hettich has introduced InnoTech Drawer in a Box for its most popular 470mm-depth, silver formats up to 30kg in capacity, with integrated soft-close.

Discover Vintage

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A new and exciting collection of Vintage style handles hasbeen introduced by Hafele UK.

Selected to enhance and complement any piece of furniture, each handle has been individually chosen to add drama to the furniture. This avant-garde category includes Heritage, French, New Victorian, Oriental or Art Deco selections.

Renolit reveals two modern abstract designs

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Renolit has announced two quite individual and striking fantasy designs as new additions to its Covaren stock range.

Pictured here is the new Renolit Covaren Cobra - a fantasy design which picks up on the current trend towards irregular stripes and geometric patterns
The design is modern and contrasting, yet creates a very homely atmosphere depending on the colour combination used. It is most suitable for combinations with the three colours which feature within the printed design itself - namely greys, coffees and blues. 

KitchenAid's Twelix oven is ideal for the passionate gourmet

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KitchenAid, the premium manufacturer renowned for its appliances that combine professional performance with stylish design, offers the cooking enthusiast the Twelix oven, to create exceptional results in the domestic kitchen.

Small is affordably beautiful - Mini from Roca

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Compact and stylish, Roca's Mini is a contemporary cloakroom or small bathroom solution that, as its name suggests, is ideal for small spaces. This amazing value for money, perfect combination of furniture, basin and mirror or mirrored cabinet is available in Gloss White or Textured Oak, Wenge or Grey finishes.

Designer drainers from Franke

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For a stylish, removable drainer in the kitchen, the new Mobile Drainer from Franke is just the job; and ideal for add-on sales opportunities for merchants and retailers.

New law seeks to limit dumping of e-waste

At least 85% of electrical and electronic waste generated in the European Union will have to be recycled by 2020 under new rules that took effect on Monday.

Bathing with a view: Kaldewei equips private luxury residences of 5-star hotel

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For more than 100 years, guests from all over the world have found peace and relaxation in an exclusive setting on Mont-Pèlerin near Geneva. The 5-star Le Mirador Kempinski luxury hotel and the 14 exclusive apartments promote maximum wellbeing for guests and owners. Living up to this credo, several of the hotel suites and private residences are equipped with high-quality baths and floor-level shower trays in Kaldewei steel enamel. 

Eye-catching Epos makes stunning statement in stylish kitchens

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The elegant Epos EOV glass sink from Franke is designed to complement a stylish, modern kitchen and makes a stunning aesthetic statement.

Welcome to the



An article in my local paper got me thinking about how much the sales side of the industry has changed over the years. The Epsom Guardian drew my attention to the story by showing an image that was captioned: 'Simplicity itself: a little loo'. 


* Victorian-demo-toilet.jpgOf course, as an ex-Council Member of the British Toilet Association and someone who's guest judged the Loo of the Year Awards, this was one story I couldn't resist!

The publication reports that Bourne Hall museum, just down the road from me, houses quite a collection of historical artefacts that aren't on display - including a porcelain loo complete with the beginnings of a wastepipe, measuring just five inches tall by two inches wide. A miniature of the Victorian 'Simplicitas' lavatory bowl manufactured in  the 1920s by the renowned sanitaryware engineer, Doulton, it - and others like it - were handed out by travelling salesmen as samples prior to the advent of glossy advertising brochures and magazines (and of course the wondrous Internet!) to show potential customers just how the full-sized item would look and feel.

Nowadays of course, it would be impossible to demonstrate the attributes of most of the KBB items being sold by leaving miniature versions with potential customers. They're far too clever! I've held many a listener enthralled by my description of a loo which is programmed with the individual family members' preferences when it comes to seat temperature, direction/ type/temperature of spray that washes the user and temperature/velocity of air that dries them afterwards. Oh - and there's the choice of music too - all pre-programmed in and selected via a button on the remote control.

And then of course there are the dishwashers that leave your crockery sparkling on just six litres of water (having used the previous load's rinsewater for the pre-wash), fridges that tell you when your food's about to go off, ovens that do away with the headache of turning out a perfectly cooked joint of beef by calculating cooking times and temperatures for you and microwaves that glow a particular colour and play a certain tune depending upon the function being used...

Indeed times have changed and manufacturers keep coming up with new technology; turning out products with features we'd never have thought possible even a few years ago. How on earth the salespeople manage to keep up-to-date with it all I just don't know!





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Lower costs of buying, rather than renting a home, impacts positively on the industry

New figures released this week* show that it is now £130 a month cheaper to buy a property than rent, putting home ownership within reach of millions looking to get on the property ladder. For those who can save a deposit, the extra money freed up by paying a mortgage rather than paying rent, makes purchasing home improvement items a lot easier - and the industry is already seeing a difference.

Yvonne Orgill, of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, writes:

Our industry, bathrooms and kitchens, is going through a massive upheaval.

We all know that.

Changing routes to market, the influence of the internet, price comparison sites, decline in the high street, consumer confidence, stiffer competition... The list seems endless.

KBSA recognises excellence at awards ceremony

* kbb-Kitchen.jpgThe best performing Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association suppliers have been recognised during an awards ceremony at the 2012 KBBR Kitchen Conference. The awards recognise excellence in those companies that supply products to KBSA retailers and are the only awards of their kind that represent the views of retailers and not a panel of judges.

KBSA AGM National Meeting and Awards a great success

* KBSAA-agm-speakers.jpgThere was standing room only at the KBSA AGM, which was held at the Billesley Manor Hotel in Warwickshire earlier this month. Almost 90 retail and corporate members attended the AGM which was followed by the national meeting and a dinner in the evening, which included the presentation of the KBSA Designer Awards.

iKBBI announces leading industry brand name as new corporate member

Highly respected for introducing Corian to the UK, Britain's original solid surface distributor CD (UK) has become a corporate member of the iKBBI.

The Basis of a beautiful kitchen

* Franke-Basis-Lifestyle.jpgThe new Basis inset sink from Franke, in either single or 11/2 bowl configuration, is designed to bring colour and style to all kitchen design schemes.

Reflecting the trend for the return of colour to the kitchen, the sleek, smooth sinks are available in Polar White, Coffee or Onyx.

Cooking up a storm in kitchen tap designs from Pegler Yorkshire

* Pegler-Yorkshire-Chef.jpgAs the hub of the home and the most used room in the house, the kitchen - and thus its design and accessories, is highly important. When it comes to taps, choice is what most consumers want, along with guaranteed quality. Pegler Yorkshire has developed its Francis Pegler Kitchen tap range to offer both of these essential qualities.

Ellis Furniture introduces minimo push-to-open technology

* Ellis-Furniture-Inspire-PTO-tech.jpgAs part of this season's launch of new kitchen ranges, Ellis Furniture is adding a new twist to handle-less designs with minimo push-to-open doors and drawers. The technology behind minimo works by lightly pushing the door or drawer, which then gently springs open.

Bushboard opens new showroom & training centre at Wellingborough head office & factory

* Bushboard-new-showroom.jpgBushboard has opened a brand new showroom and training centre dedicated to its worktop brands at the company's factory and head office at Wellingborough. The new facilities are aimed at retailers, installers and the company's distribution partners.

British Ceramic Tile ride to success for Cancer Research UK

* Moor2Sea.jpgA group of intrepid cyclists from British Ceramic Tile endured harrowing hill climbs and sore limbs all in the name of charity, raising over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.

Illegal gas fitter put lives in danger in Rochdale

A Rochdale man has been sentenced after he put lives at risk by illegally carrying out gas work at three homes in the borough. Paul Gregory was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive after he left a newly installed gas hob in a condition classified as 'immediately dangerous' at one house on Holmes Street in Rochdale.

Dust Control UK unveils new training programme to combat silica

* Dust-Control-UK.jpgDust extraction specialist, Dustcontrol UK, has unveiled a new training programme to help combat the serious issue of Silica within the work place.

Autumn promotion from Hepplewhite

Fitted bedroom furniture company Hepplewhite is offering its best-performing dealers the chance to win some fantastic new technology as a sales incentive this Autumn.

For every £1000 worth of orders received at Hepplewhite during the promotional period of 22nd September to 30th November 2012, retailers will receive a virtual ticket.

BMA takes on marathon running shopaholic


Laura-Knox.jpgA shopaholic, film fan and would-be marathon runner who likes to socialise has joined the permanent staff at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

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

Government publishes legislation to help accelerate major infrastructure investment and house building

The Government has published legislation which will enable it to guarantee up to £40 billion of investment in infrastructure, and up to £10 billion in new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill gives statutory backing to the UK Guarantees programme announced in July and the housing guarantee schemes also announced last week.

Showerlux UK

Coventry based Showerlux UK ceased trading from its Coventry base in Sibree Road on 23rd August 2012 with 16 staff being made redundant.

Sensio approved as a corporate KBSA member

Sensio is delighted that it is now a corporate member of the Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom Specialists Association. As a leading lighting manufacturer, Sensio has joined the organisation with a goal of providing help and support to all kitchen retail KBSA members.

British Ceramic Tile's Elite stone collection makes its TV debut on Channel 5

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British Ceramic Tile's extended Elite stone collection made its first appearance on prime time television this July, featuring in Channel 5's brand new series of Half Built House.

David is revved up for week-long fundraiser on the continent

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An Indesit director will swap cookers for cars when he takes part in a seven-day rally to raise money for Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.


Crosswater hires independent consultant as part of key expansion plans

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The Crosswater Group has enlisted the expertise of independent consultant Richard Hurst of RAH Consultancy, to assist in its bid to improve its customers' wellbeing and to become the leading supplier within all segments of the bathroom market.

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