KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
27th August 2010


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

International News

Whirlpool's new fridge freezer extends freshness up to 50% longer

Whirlpool is passionate about food preservation. Not only is food essential to life, for consumers food is ranked as part of enjoyment as well as being key to good health. There is a major focus on diet today and the desire for healthy and fresh food to cope with the pace of modern life and keep in good shape is top of mind for most.

KitchenAid's powerful hood is on an island of its own!

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It might be hard to believe for those of a certain vintage, but cooker hoods are now seriously challenging other glamorous kitchen appliances for iconic status as fashion and lifestyle statements. The dowdy and noisy models of 10 or 15 years ago now seem a lifetime away as consumers are romanced by hoods with show-stopping designs and state-of-the-art technology.

Mark David Enterprises trains

Staff at Mark David Enterprises had their sales skills honed last month when Grayam Hayden held his one day sales & negotiation course at their head office premises.

Symmetrical design at its best!

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The new Alpina APX 611 sink from Franke replaces the popular GAX 611; with its perfect symmetry, it represents a complete re-design of the original.

The sink's large 390 x 445mm bowl configuration, which is ideal for large pots and pans, is popular for hardworking, stylish kitchens. The new Alpina design features a modern drainer pattern which incorporates the tap ledge within the overall design of the drainer.

Available in a stylish stainless steel silk finish, the sink is constructed from premium grade materials and is perfect for modern-day living. The finish is incredibly durable and hygienic; it is resistant to staining, chipping, rust and corrosion and is also extremely easy to keep clean so will stay looking good.

T: 0161 436 6280
F: +44 (0)161 436 2180
E: info.uk@franke.com
W: www.franke.co.uk

Mereway Kitchens New English Revival Shaker Collection

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A fashionable return to more traditional kitchen designs brings a brand new beginning for Mereway Kitchens this summer with the introduction of a new Revival Shaker style door for their English Revival range.

New flooring is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms

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The look of rustic stone or cool ceramic tiling remains a perennial favourite when it comes to the fitting out of new kitchens and bathrooms or the refurbishment of existing ones. Now, a new range of laminate effects - indiscernible from the original material and with significant practical advantages - has been introduced .

Welcome to the

Welcome back to the first issue of KBZine following our Summer break. Apart from keeping abreast of what's been going on in our industry (well you never can quite get away from it, can you?) I've actually managed to get some time away and one of the things I did was attend a festival run by an eco-conscious organisation.

No smelly banks of mobile loos for this lot! They'd built 'compost loos'. And while when I've read about these things in the past with horror, I didn't have any choice but to try them - and they were brilliant!

Built from wood from the surrounding forest, the loos comprised cubicles with proper seats. Inside each cubicle was a solar powered light, an enormous loo roll, a bottle of hand sanitiser and a bucket of sawdust which appeared to be mixed with soil and ash. The amount of this you sprinkled into the pit depended upon how much you actually needed - full instructions were on the door together with information on where to collect replacements.

Anyone who's been to this type of event where people camp out overnight will be aware of how awful the toilet facilities can be and how badly they generally end up smelling. There was no such problem with the compost loos though and despite what must have been going on inside them, they smelt absolutely delightful all the time - and everyone seemed to leave them as they'd hope to find them too!

As they were waterless they saved an important commodity and judging by the size of the melons and other fruit and vegetables in the walled gardens, the waste that was removed from them was put to excellent use. And yes - the walled gardens smelled delightful too!

I ran an item in KBZine about a year ago, sent in by the developer of a shower that uses the same water (filtered through beds of sand and various other layers) over and over again and am wondering whether anyone in the industry is considering developing compost loos for use inside the home?

In news just in, the Office for National Statistics says that the UK economy has grown 'more than first thought'. It says the growth - 1.2% - has been boosted by a strong performance by the construction sector, which grew by 8.5% in the second quarter. Others of course are saying that this growth is down to the pending increase in VAT, or the scramble to finalise deals before the government has the chance to axe them. Only time will tell...



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

MFI to reassemble

The return of a familiar face in the family of mass market KBB retailers is likely to shake the industry up... Shane and Jason Walker, who run family plumbing business the Walker Group, have bought the rights to the MFI brand from administrator MCR for £250,000 and are set to relaunch the company, two years after its collapse due to the credit crunch.

The 111-strong chain, which was a popular first port of call for those seeking a decent-priced kitchen and advice on how to design it, was founded in 1964 and became famous for its flatpack furniture.

New models join latest Blancoair extractor range

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The latest range of Blancoair extractor hoods, launched by Blanco this summer, includes a number of stylish new models, all of which stay true to the original design brief of the range: to combine quality of build, high performance and low noise emissions with optimum efficiency at price points to attract the mid to low-end markets.

Energy efficiency is achieved with lower powered motors using less energy, made possible as a result of the advanced technology of the airflow system. 

In premium quality stainless steel, sometimes in combination with glass, the choice includes canopy, integrated, chimney, wall-mounted and island options, 600mm and/or 900mm wide, the majority with a high extraction rate of 750 m3/h. Purpose-made ducting is available to order, and with some models homeowners can complete the look with a stainless steel decor panel.

Winner of Britain's Oldest Fridge search chooses new fridge freezer

* Britain's_oldest_fridge.jpgThe winner of the annual 'Oldest Fridge' competition, organised by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, chose to replace his 56-year old fridge with a state-of-the-art Whirlpool fridge freezer.

Edmund Garrod of High Wycombe, the winner of the recent Time to Change UK's oldest fridge competition, selected the top-quality, European built and Italian designed, A+ energy efficient, Whirlpool fridge freezer, the WBC 3546 A+ NFCW.

Take a fresh look at Westin

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Award-winning Westin has unveiled a fresh, exciting new look and company name. The company has re-branded to Westin Design as a commitment to both its sustained growth strategy and its expanding range of innovative and exclusive domestic kitchen extraction solutions.

The new brand rollout includes a new website, product catalogue, new signage at the company's offices, a PR campaign, direct mail, corporate clothing for staff, collateral and additional marketing material.

Westin Design's Sales & Marketing Manager Ann Phillips explains: "Westin is recognised for our high quality, high performing, innovative product range - be it a customised or 'off the shelf' extraction solution - and for our dedicated, attentive service and customer care built over many years of Westin. Our objective going forward with the re-brand is to strengthen and build on this reputation.

Electrolux reveals more about Design Lab competition finalists

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Click image to watch the video

Electrolux has just released eight superb mini video clips about each of the Electrolux Design Lab finalists.

From a gel fridge to a dishwasher that composts food left on your plates, they really do make you wonder why no-one's thought of them before.

Check them out on the website and then make sure you see them for yourself at 100% Design, which is taking place at London's Earls Court from 23rd to 26th September 2010.

New 'International' hinge from CRL blends value with performance

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CRL is to introduce the new International Series Hinge for frameless shower door applications at the end of Summer 2010.

Offered in both traditional square corner and bevel edge styles, the hinges are available as wall mount with full back plate, as well as 180-degree glass-to-glass models, which essentially cover the majority of popular installation configurations.

The NKBA calls for entries to the 2011 NKBA Design Competition

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), along with sponsors Kohler, This Old House, Waypoint Living Spaces, HGTVPro.com, GE Monogram, and ServicemagicPros.com, has announced the call for entries to the 2011 NKBA Design Competition.

The industry competition, held annually, honours designers from across the US and Canada, who show exceptional aptitude for the incorporation of technology, beauty and creativity in their residential design solutions for the kitchen and bathroom.

Hansgrohe mourns loss of valued and respected colleague

* Hansgrohe_Niall_Geldard2.jpgOn Sunday 15th August, Niall Geldard, National Sales Manager at Hansgrohe, died tragically from a heart attack. Aged just 51 years, Niall was a well-liked and valued member of the Hansgrohe UK team with sole responsibility for special key accounts.

"Niall was not only a respected colleague, but a personal friend for nearly 20 years," says UK Managing Director, Iain McKinlay. "He did not smoke and led a healthy lifestyle - he regularly used the gym, played squash and was an avid golfer, which makes this news even harder to understand."

Niall married his wife, Jacky, just a few weeks ago.

Our thoughts are with Niall's family and colleagues.

T. 01372 465655
W: www.hansgrohe.co.uk

Whirlpool's clever accessory makes it easy to use any pot or pan on an induction hob

* WPro.jpgWhirlpool is renowned for its ingenuity and the new 'Interface Disc' accessory will certainly be a great asset for those selling induction hobs! This handy accessory enables any saucepan to be used on an induction hob.

As we all know the induction hob is an amazing appliance with superb eco-credentials - it is the fastest, most energy efficient hob technology available and is the true alternative to a gas hob. However, true volume sales have yet to come. For some there is still a reluctance to purchase. This is either down to the initial cost of the appliance, or the realisation that a beloved, and sometimes very special or favourite saucepan is immediately made redundant.

Warts and all: major bathrooms customer service survey launched

Don't you just hate it? You've a pocket full of money. You want a new bathroom. You go into the showroom and you're either completely ignored (they are chatting about lasts night's soaps) or, if you are spoken to, they haven't got a clue. "I'm just standing in mate. I'm usually in gardens," is the type of reply you're likely to get.

Today's customers are increasingly sophisticated and just won't put up with shoddy customer service. But how bad, or how good, is it in today's bathroom world?

The Price is right as Simon joins Moores sales team

* Simon_Price.jpgMoores Furniture Group, leading manufacturer of quality kitchen and bathroom furniture, has strengthened its sales team for the contract sector with the appointment of Simon Price as Business Development Manager covering the South West of England.

With more than 13 years' experience of working in the kitchen industry, covering everything from manufacturing through to sales and installations, Simon is well positioned to take the Moores brand forward. His new role will see him managing Mooresí extensive customer base within the private development sector in and around the Bristol area.

FIRA teams with Brunel University to offer free design projects to member companies

The Furniture Industry Research Association's Ergonomics Unit and the School of Engineering & Design of Brunel University are collaborating on a series of student projects, offering FIRA members the opportunity to benefit from a valuable free design and development service.

FIRA is looking for short research and design projects which would constitute coursework assignments for about 60 design students. Brunel Design Department has some of the top design students in the UK and FIRA is linking with the teaching team to bring real-life design issues to these students.

Tap into Savings survey shows residents are already water wise

A Tap into Savings survey carried out this Summer in Coventry revealed that 85%of respondents from Tile Hill, Canley and surrounding areas say that they are already taking steps to save water. Tap into Savings, a new community-based project in the area, aims to help everyone save even more to save money and help local water supplies and wildlife.

Free home visits are being offered to 2,000 residents in Tile Hill and Canley to help reduce the amount of water that many taps, toilets and showers waste. Simple water saving devices are fitted to reduce waste without changing the look or performance of existing fixtures. Electricity and gas saving devices are also offered as part of the home visits, which may help save about £50 a year in total on household bills.

Water For People announces new Board of Directors

Water For People, the international, non-profit humanitarian organisation that focuses on long-lasting, safe drinking water resources and improved sanitation facilities in the developing world, has announced today the individuals that will join the newly structured Water For People Board of Directors.

In line with the organisation's 2010-2014 Strategic Plan released in March, the new Board is committed to moving away from the philanthropic norm of simply reporting annual beneficiaries and instead, measuring the impact of its water and sanitation projects over three, six and 10 years, through in-depth mapping, monitoring, and evaluation.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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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