KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
30th March 2020
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The new handles are designed by Jonas Nordgren and Ted Schauman. The designer duo are founders of the Copenhagen and Helsinki-based architecture and design studio Schauman & Nordgren Architects.
Inspired by his time living and working in Japan, Arik Levy worked closely with VitrA's in-house design team to create a bathroom collection that allows both mind and body to relax.
Available in two colour options - industrial chic with a black version; and, grey profiles and chrome shower giving the traditional a modern twist - Brooklyn features transparent glass on the grey version and black silk screen printed lines on the black version.
With wall panels becoming a go-to favourite over tiles in recent years, Nuance brings fresh new designs in Designer and Acrylic collections including weathered timbers and luxury stones, all designed to create a high-end look with less mess and less cost than tiling.
Bathrooms and surfaces are now showcased in their own dedicated brochures, which are now available to order from the manufacturer or from the download area on its website.
Samuel Heath is well-known for its stylish and sophisticated bathroom products. On the eve of its 200th birthday, the Birmingham-based company, with its design centre showroom at London's Chelsea Harbour, is known for its quality craftsmanship and luxury, contemporary looks.
In my last Leader I encouraged you to attend KBB Birmingham, saying it would be a shame to miss it as the next Show was two years away. At that stage I expected my flu-like symptoms to clear up but sadly it wasn’t to be… I have no idea whether I’ve had mild Coronavirus or severe flu; either way, please accept my apologies for being unable to broadcast KBzine since then - but what with the aches, pains & brain-fog it was probably better that I stayed tucked up in bed. I really do hope that you and your loved ones are managing to stay safe and that you have plenty of everything you need.
The Show’s organisers say that not only was there an “exceptionally strong” turnout, but that a record number of visitors attended on two of the four days.
Richard Hibbert, KBSA national chair, was impressed that in contrast to some European shows where many of the exhibits are prototypes or inspirational, “there were lots of things that could be taken back to showrooms and implemented straightaway," he says. Well… after lockdown finishes, anyway…
Sustainability’s always been dear to my heart and I like that KBB Birmingham and The Used Kitchen Company (TUKC) launched a partnership to help exhibitors sell their displays. I do hope this is still up and running for KBB 2022, since I’m still sporting the Gumtree kitchen I had when I started editing KBzine well over a decade ago!
I also missed hearing the winners of the Blum-sponsored 2020 Innovation Awards announced, and seeing the 10 finalists’ entries displayed and admired for their forward-thinking and technically advanced design. Congratulations to Natufia Lab, crowned People's Choice Award winner for the world's first fully integrated and automated hydroponic kitchen garden, which maintains light, pH, temperature and water levels in addition to optimising minerals, nutrients and vitamins for non-GMO certified plants. It brings nature into the home and allows people to conveniently manage their own produce from the comfort of their kitchen. Mmmmm… Perhaps when I have my new kitchen…
Congratulations too, to Wirquin for its Neo Zero Leak Trap, which scooped the Judge's Finalist prize for its cost-effective and space saving zero-leak traps for basins or sinks, which incorporate washers that are over-moulded onto the body to ensure complete protection against leaks, while preventing odours and noises.
If you were particularly inspired by anything at the Show, please do let me know, so I can look into it, won’t you?
This Week's News
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has postponed its Industry Conference - due to take place in October - until 7th & 8th June 2021.
Marking 10 years since the launch of the innovative Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops, solid surface specialist Karonia’s KBB2020 preview of The Unique Collection - a series of marble-inspired worksurfaces – has attracted a lot of interest and some excellent feedback.
While lots of businesses have shut their doors due to Covid-19 restrictions, many construction projects and manufacturers' operations have continued up to now. Several businesses have reported a backlash on social media as a result.
Theseimpressive basins are produced in Sam's workshop in Derbyshire. Sam has mastered the art of producing these artistic patterns using a completely different technique from the usual basin manufacturing processes.
It has been a turbulent few weeks, as the kitchen and bathroom industry and the whole of the UK goes through an unprecedented time. Businesses are switching strategies, and adapting to the new climate as seamlessly as they can.
Adrian Hinchliffe, managing director of Verona, the UK's largest distributor of tiles, comments on the crisis the industry is currently facing: "We have been through tough times before, but this crisis brings with it a whole new challenge. As a business, our number one priority is to safeguard our employees and customers by following Government guidelines.
The bathroom and wet room are fast becoming an integral part of today's smart home, with intelligent technology that not only makes possible exceptional control and ease of use, but also is unrivalled for reliability and easy installation.
Brought into the 21st Century by a powerhouse of bath design and manufacturing, the Magnus bath has undergone a refresh, with a much thinner rim to provide a deep and spacious bathing area to consumers.
VitrA has published its third Design Update, this time the focus is water. Arguably the most important element in bathroom design, VitrA delves into the debate on modern day water consumption, water consciousness and how our relationship with water is changing.
The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation has published an article that provides greater insight into the Government's new Self Employed Income Support Scheme. As well as looking into the scheme, it provides answers to some of the most popular questions raised by members www.bikbbi.org.uk Like many of us now working from home, the team is contactable by email only. For addresses see: www.bikbbi.org.uk
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has unveiled its new interactive website; optimised to work across multiple devices including smartphones and tablets, with improved navigation. www.bathroom-association.org.uk
The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has issued a package of support to help members deal with the COVID-19 crisis. This includes an emergency advice line for expert HR and health & safety support from business partner Croner and a 'Buddy System' to offer support and advice to retailers. "We can provide our members with direct and easy access to all the advice and tools available to help them keep their businesses running," says KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert. "Our new Buddy System offers more than just business support, it gives members an opportunity to talk and share their concerns; it lets them know that they are not alone." T: 01623 818808 / www.kbsa.org.uk
Simon Acres Group has launched a free service to help source and introduce temporary staff for merchant and KBB businesses that are losing key workers due to self- isolation etc. T:0203 701 6660.
Grand Designs Live, due to run from 2nd - 10th May 2020 in London, has now been rescheduled to take place from 22nd August 2020 - 31st August 2020 at London's ExCeL. www.granddesignslive.com
Vogue (UK)'s remote sales office can be contacted via 'phone and email. Warehouse staff are working to fulfil outstanding orders for the company's premium designer radiators and towel warmers, albeit with a slower lead time, and new orders are being taken. 01902 387 000 / [email protected] / www.vogueuk.co.uk
Edwins is temporarily closing its showrooms and trade counters, from 17:00 today (Friday 27th). Staff will be able to quote, answer queries and progress orders. Some suppliers have agreed to facilitate direct courier deliveries for important/essential items. T: 0207 221 3550
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"FTA is urging businesses to drop their bans on commercial drivers using their toilet facilities, following reports from FTA members that this is occurring across the nation.
Achieve+Partners provides EPA for the furniture, wood and trade supplier industries.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has confirmed that Graeme Chaplin, West Midlands agent at the Bank of England, will make a presentation on 'current economic headwinds' and lead a debate on the current state of the sector, at its Finance Directors Forum on 31st March.
"As consumers and homeowners we very aware of environmental concerns, particularly in relation to plastics and energy usage. However, we need to address environmental concerns on many fronts. There is overuse of everything, from water to fossil fuels, from packaging to fashion items and action is needed to tackle all of this.