KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
21st December 2012
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Thousands of people across the country will stand in their kitchen this month, possibly cooking a Christmas feast for their family, and they will resolve to upgrade their kitchen as part of a New Year's resolution. Home improvements are a very popular resolution for many people to make, and with the kitchen one of the most frequently used rooms in any home, it's important for it to be both stylish and functional. This guide examines the trends which are taking over the kitchen world right now, and are set to be huge in 2013.
Made from genuine pewter in the UK exclusively for Hafele, this understated, robust and classic collection has been designed to maximise versatility through mixing and matching of handles. Hafele chose Pewter as the material for its debut range of branded hardware because of the inherent benefits to the customer.
Coming up to Christmas we editors receive lots of information about predicted trends for the coming year and a press release that arrived yesterday was headed up: 'IBM reveals five innovations that will change our lives within five years'. The first paragraph read: 'Breakthroughs will mark the era of cognitive systems when computers will, in their own way, see, smell, touch, taste and hear'... At first I thought the idea was ridiculous but then I recalled how far computers have come in the past five years, so perhaps it wasn't as daft as it sounded.
Imagine using your smartphone to shop for your next kitchen, bathroom or bedroom and being able to feel the texture of the cabinetry, handles, or worktop, or the depth of the grooves in a drainer - all from the surface of the screen? In five years, industries such as retail will be transformed by the ability to 'touch' a product through your mobile device, claims IBM, whose scientists are developing applications for the retail sector using haptic, infrared and pressure sensitive technologies to simulate touch, such as the texture of a product, as a shopper brushes his or her finger over the image of the item on a device screen.
Utilising the vibration capabilities of the phone, every object will have a unique set of vibration patterns that represents the touch experience.. The vibration pattern will differentiate, say, oak from granite, helping simulate the physical sensation of actually touching the material.
It doesn't end there... Computers will not only be able to look at and recognise the contents of images and visual data, they will turn the pixels into meaning, beginning to make sense out of a photograph similar to the way a human views and interprets it. In the future, 'brain-like' capabilities will let computers analyse features such as colour, texture patterns or edge information and extract insights from visual media.
It's quite a thought, isn't it?
This is our final broadcast of 2012 (or our final broadcast if those that believe the world will end today turn out to be right!) We reckon we're still going to be around though and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we wish you peace, good health, joy and goodwill to all men (and women) until our next broadcast on Friday, 11th January. Do have a very happy start to 2013 and keep an eye on our website for breaking news.
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This Week's News
Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone and for businesses it's a period when energy costs typically rocket according to IMServ Europe, the independent energy data management provider.
Putting up the Christmas lights, installing the energy sapping inflatables and turning up the thermostat to combat the recent arctic weather will all combine to push up electricity and energy costs. Employees also tend to be lapse at this time of year when it comes to energy saving at work, with The Carbon Trust estimating that UK businesses alone lose around £9 million over the festive period by failing to turn lights and equipment off. The recent energy price rises will also add to this festive burden, with many businesses in for a shock when their bills arrive in the New Year.
The Red Dot Best of The Best oven, Zen, from Amica, will be available from 1st January 2013. Amica Zen, pictured here, is an environmentally sound, technically advanced oven conceived for those who are searching for tranquillity and simplicity in their homes. The Zen is the antithesis of overwhelming technology. No illumination, alarms, ringtones or buzzing timers - nothing to attack the senses.
While places have been booking up fast, places are still available for selected training dates in January at Geberit's HQ in Warwick. The free training modules will cover sanitary systems and piping solutions, enabling installers to be brought bang up to speed on every aspect of fitting Geberit products.
The piping solutions training module includes choosing the best drainage and supply systems, Mapress and Mepla installation and drainage design.
Inta launched the competition to its stockists in the Summer and was inundated with entries from merchants across the UK.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced two new retail members to its ever-growing ranks in the shape of PMH Interiors of Newcastle upon Tyne and Goddard's Interiors, Essex.
Show-stopping cooker hoods are increasingly in demand, featuring the ever-developing technology in this area. All Blanco by Gutmann hoods are handcrafted to the highest standards and all offer the highest levels of air movement and a host of innovative but practical features.
Gone are the days when the bathroom cabinet was purchased down at the local hardware store when you realised that you'd forgotten where to store your shampoo and deodorant. In those days a plain white plastic box often with sliding glass doors was all that was available.
UK kitchen frontals and accessories manufacturer Burbidge, has announced that it has taken on the name and product range of Woodfit - a distributor of hardware components for the furniture industry - after the business went into administration.
Kubex UK recently introduced the Solo, a walk-in bath that will provide relief and comfort for many who find it difficult to get out of a conventional bath and fear the indignity of having to call for help. Nicely designed and precision made in Kubex's plant in Kingston-upon-Hull, the Solo has an access point only nine inches from floor level, a comfortable moulded seat and back rest and an inward-opening, profiled door that is simple to use and absolutely leak free.
Crosswater Holdings, which comprises Crosswater bathroom taps and showers, Simpsons wet room and enclosures and Bauhaus bathroom furniture, has increased its fully-owned and operated delivery fleet to 25 purpose-built and environmentally friendly delivery vehicles. The company has added a further 10 brand new Mercedes Sprinter vans and five new DAF LF 45 7.5 ton trucks to the liveried 'It's all about you' Crosswater fleet to underpin its reputation for timely, complete deliveries.
A tumble dryer with heat pump technology uses up to 40% less energy than a standard A rated model by recycling air and using lower drying temperatures. Unlike traditional tumble dryers, heat pump dryers use a heat exchange unit that recirculates the air within a closed system to reduce energy loss.
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Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, writes...
The latest report from the 2011 Census makes fascinating reading and gives the bathroom industry food for thought.
A partnership between Zero Waste Scotland and Tigh Grian will see the design, build and eventually de-construction of an affordable family home which showcases the principles of resource efficiency and aims to change the future of homebuilding in Scotland.