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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th April 2014


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

International News

'Jewels' from Spain!

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As we walked towards the stand, we wondered what precious objects were on display in small glass cabinets on individual plinths, objects that perhaps needed to be kept safe from the hands of potential thieves – like priceless jewels perhaps. As we got closer, we realised they were handles… beautifully designed handles I have to admit, but displayed in a way that made them appear to be highly covetable.

What a brilliant idea, as our photo shows!

Showering made easy with new Elite easy access from Simpsons

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Simpsons has launched a stylish new walk in, easy access enclosure in its luxury Elite range. Designed to make showering easy and safe for the whole family, it comes with a robust 8mm toughened glass screen and folding panel to afford easy in and out access.

Pinova makes its spring debut

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Crown Imperial has unveiled its latest kitchen furniture design for Spring 2014 - Pinova. As a renowned British manufacturer and one of the leading names in kitchens, Crown Imperial is synonymous with high quality design and product innovation spanning over 60 years.

Kitchens the Crosswater way

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Crosswater is bringing its well-honed eye for bathroom style and quality to the kitchen with a brand new tap and sink range entitled Cucina.

Rearo launches UK's 'best priced' quality kitchen worktop

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Rearo, the popular supplier of laminated and solid surface materials, has just launched what it believes is the UK's most cost-affordable kitchen worktop.

Blanco makes style statement at KBB

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John was particularly taken with this worktop - the latest addition to the Blanco Steelart line. Durinox is a new material designed for the exclusive custom-made worktop range.

Get into the groove...

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What better way to show the true potential and versatility of your range of solid surfaces than use them to build into your stand a concept kitchen and tables incorporating just about every angle, curve and groove you can think of?

That's exactly what Karonia did at kbb with its Mistral products & I have to admit that John and I were continually distracted from our conversation with the stand team because we kept discovering new configurations and saying to one another: "Have you seen this?" at which point we would both run our hands over it and ask: "How on earth did they do that?"

IDS: not just a pretty face

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International Decorative Surfaces,the UK's largest distributor of surfacing materials specialising in flooring, worktops, laminates, panel products and solid surfacing, is part of the Saint Gobain Group, recognised as Europe's leading organisation in building materials.

Just when you thought you knew it all...

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As I've so often said, one of the beauties of visiting a show in this industry is the ability it gives you to touch things. Come across a manufacturer of opening systems for cabinet furniture and what do you do? Open every cupboard and drawer that's within touching distance, then close it again!

AEG launches ProCombi SousVide Oven, bringing professional cooking techniques into the home

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AEG's ProCombi SousVide brings the precisely controlled cooking method of professional chefs to its multifunction steam oven to deliver melt-in-the-mouth flavoursome and nutritious food at home. The addition of the AEG vacuum-sealer drawer completes the sous vide system.

"Sous vide is a wonderfully versatile cooking technique, and AEG is proud to bring it into UK homes," explained Helen Casewell. "There is almost no limit to the range of dishes that can be enhanced using this method."

Pelipal's Solitaire 6005 and 7005: New for 2014 and highly covetable!

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Bringing out the 'girlie' in me was Pelipal's new Solitaire 7005, displayed in black with a fine glitter effect. I'd have picked it up and carried it home given the chance...

The asymmetrical basin in mineral marble is also available in a modern grey metallic and mineral marble white as well as the black - all enhanced with a fine glitter effect. The gently rounded curves of the vanity unit are echoed in the basins and the selection of handles. New LED lights can be incorporated beneath the wash basin for night-time ambience or be set above, below or included in the mirror - all carefully positioned to provide light without glare.

Carron Phoenix: so much to see and a history lesson too...

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There were so many fabulous products on the Carron Phoenix stand that we wondered how they managed to remember all the features and benefits but remember them they did! John and I loved this new design feature whereby the taps can be co-ordintated with the sink and we could see that we weren't the only ones.

Extractair - extractors which add that extra 'vibe'

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John's not much of a Michael Jackson fan and had it not been for the friendly faces and warm greetings provided by the team on the Extractair stand, he'd probably have moonwalked on by, but a change of tune soon captured us both.

The extractor hood, so often now a centrepiece of the kitchen in terms of positioning, function and striking design, has been taken into the entertainment business too. The one we were looking at was playing music...

kbb 2014 Innovations Awards

I mentioned innovation so perhaps I should kick off this review with a look at the Innovation Awards winners – announced at the show on Monday. With each and every exhibitor able to enter the awards (sponsored by Blum) by displaying an innovation tag on what they felt was their most innovative product, there was an abundance of products for the judges to consider. “This year the kbb exhibitors showcased more innovative products than ever, with each one providing a new and interesting solution,” they said.

We saw so many exciting innovations that we felt relieved not to have been charged with selecting the winners, who were:

Sensio - lighting up all those dark places...

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As a market leader of kitchen & bedroom lighting solutions and a company that's established a reputation for developing award-winning, innovative LED lighting solutions of the highest quality, it was only appropriate that Sensio had a strong presence at one of the most prominent trade shows in the industry. This enormous stand (at 105sq.m) showed off the company's lighting innovations a treat, allowing visitors to interact with and understand each concept. We certainly liked what we saw...

Bauformat launch a host of exciting new kitchen innovations that stand the test of time

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2014 is set to be a year of celebration for Bauformat, with the leading German kitchen manufacturer toasting its 40 years in the UK, a Golden 'M' award and the UK launch of its "Schnell" range at KBB Birmingham. Visitors to the show will also have a unique preview of its new retail showroom concept - Cube Fashion, a 'shop within a shop' that offers a completely new consumer shopping experience of Bauformat products.

Welcome to the


Two stories in today’s issue of KBzine lead me to believe that one of my bugbears – having to deal with cowboy builders and tradespeople that bring the very word into disrepute, is on the way to becoming a thing of the past.

The first, the relaunch yesterday of the Government’s Trustmark scheme, will help raise standards and underline the need for consumers to deal with reputable, qualified professionals.

The second – an interesting survey from insurance giant Axa - shows that a formal education to degree level as well as professional qualifications are becoming more commonplace amongst today’s tradespeople and that more and more women are taking up a trade.

The idea that these people are going to be better qualified to carry out their trade fills me with confidence... And as a female that finds the idea of forcing companies to have more women in the boardroom (only for reasons of equality) totally abhorrent, the fact that these tradeswomen are in the industry because they want to be, fills me with pride.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Today's tradesman is well qualified and happy in his (or her) work

Research carried out by AXA Business Insurance, one of the largest insurers of the UK's tradesmen, reveals that a formal education to degree level as well as professional qualifications are common place among today's tradesmen while the proportion of females working in trades looks to be growing.
The poll, carried out among hundreds of the UK's tradesmen showed that:

* over a third (37%) of those polled had been university educated
* more than eight in 10 (83%) had a formal professional qualification in their trade
* over 70% had taken an apprenticeship. In turn, nearly half have themselves offered opportunities to others by providing a formal apprenticeship within their business.

KBSA unveils new consumer strategy

* Proud-to-be-KBSA-Approved.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced a new consumer focused strategy that aims to raise awareness of the association and drive more traffic to retail members.

A major research project carried out last year led to the appointment of a new creative agency, which has been working with the KBSA board over the last three months. A new look was unveiled this week along with plans to re-launch the website and other initiatives.

Seven new members for furniture sustainability scheme

* envirnoment.jpgA sustainability scheme, internationally recognised as the environmental benchmark for the furniture industry, has gained seven new members in the last six months, including the first Irish company to achieve certification.

To achieve membership of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP) an organisation must demonstrate its commitment to managing and improving sustainability. FISP, which is audited by FIRA International, was launched in 2006 to support and promote sustainable development in the furniture industry.

UK government relaunches Trustmark

* Liz-Male-TrustMark.jpgTrustMark, the Government-backed quality mark for reputable tradesmen, was relaunched yesterday by Consumer Minister Jenny Willott with new improved standards of consumer protection under a renewed master licence from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

In one of the first major announcements from the joint industry and Government industrial strategy for construction, 'Construction 2025', Peter Hansford, the Government's Chief Construction Adviser, also emphasised the Government's strong commitment to TrustMark and called upon more firms to get behind the scheme which is central to boosting the reputation of tradesmen as well as consumer confidence in the domestic repairs, maintenance and improvement market.

Bang on trend with colour in the bathroom this Spring

* Laufen-radiant-orchid.jpgWith colour being incorporated more and more into modern bathroom design, Swiss manufacturer Laufen is bang on trend with its furniture offering, with many of its ranges available in hues in line with this season's 'must-have' Pantone colours.

Of the 38 special paint finishes available on many furniture units from Laufen, four have been named among Pantone's most important colours for 2014. For more than 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on colour, has surveyed the designs of New York Fashion Week and beyond to identify the season's most important colour trends.

Shower for the freshest thinking

* Hansgrohe_Select_showers.jpgHave you experienced new ideas, fresh thinking and improved creativity as a result of your daily shower? A new survey conducted on behalf of Hansgrohe shows that 72% of the globe has so you're not alone; in fact, 14% of people have showers with the only reason being to generate new ideas.

Perfectionism in corner cabinets from Vauth-Sagel - plus much more!

* Recorner-Glassline.jpgProviding maximum possible storage space for all those things that need to be stored in kitchen cabinets today is an important topic in modern kitchen design - from cookware all the way through to groceries.

Burbidge takes the tactile approach with Isala

* Burbidge-Isala.jpgIn keeping with consumer demand, Burbidge is expanding its contemporary offer with the introduction of the new Isala tactile timber effect kitchen, offering the ultimate in urban minimalism.

Isala offers a complete contrast to gloss, with a unique horizontal timber effect introducing depth and a tactile feel. Available in either bold Dark Elm or soft Warm Grey Oak, the exquisite finish of the new textured frontals exude a striking simplicity as a whole kitchen, or can be combined with the Otto range of neutral gloss colourways for a truly individual design.

Ideal Standard unveils a new look for The Bath Room

* Ideal-Standard.jpgIdeal Standard has reopened its resource centre, The Bath Room, after a major refit. The new look showroom will see the company's latest ranges take centre stage and enhances the Bath Room's visitor experience.

The new look centre plays host to a stunning display of Dea, Ideal Standard's new range from award-winning design consultancy, Seymourpowell.

Franke rolls out major product promotion for More in Store retailers

* Franke-Orion-Tectonite-sink.jpgFranke has unveiled a 25% off product promotion for independent showroom retailers as part of its More in Store campaign, offering a mix of brand new and popular existing sink, tap, hood and waste disposers at discounted prices that are only available to independent retail showrooms.

The promotion is not available for retailers who trade only via the internet.

Abode's new Verla kitchen mixer tap is a smooth operator

* Abode-Verla-Angled-Monobloc-tap.jpgThe innovative Abode Verla is a new take on kitchen mixer tap styling with a unique 'V' shaped body design. Verla's smooth curved radii comes together perfectly - from the architecturally tall spout design, to the easy-to-operate minimalist paddle style handles which epitomise cutting edge design and style... Pure design, distinctly stylish and certainly a tap to stand out from the crowd! The new Verla is available in both chrome and brushed nickel finishes from June this year.

Essex kitchen retailer awarded quality mark for installation excellence

* Regal-Kitchens-FIRA.jpgA kitchen retailer and installer with showrooms in Chelmsford and Billericay is the first in the area and only the fourth in the country, to be awarded a quality mark signifying excellence in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation, as part of a furniture industry scheme specifically aimed at independent retailers.

Regal Kitchens, which offers a full range of contemporary and classic kitchen styles and designs and can provide anything from a simple makeover to a complete supply, remodelling and fitting service, has been certified to meet the quality targets set by FIRA Gold Installation Certification for Independent Retailers.

The KBzine Archive Search

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





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

KBB review: Franke - an abundance of everything...

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'Heaving' is a word I'd normally use to describe a busy pub or club, or perhaps the pitch at Wembley stadium during a rock concert, rather than an exhibition stand, but 'heaving' is the first word that came to mind when I started to write this piece about Franke's stand at KBB Birmingham.

A new take on the goldfish bowl...

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We couldn't help stopping to find out what happened to the goldfish when the chain was flushed...

Youth, Energy, Vitality, Ideas, Innovation...

These are the words Yvonne Orgill is using to describe the progress being made with the arrangements for the Bathroom & Kitchen Conference 2014.

"We're delighted with how the industry's long established conference is developing this year," enthuses Yvonne, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which organises the annual event.

KBB Review Awards 2014 winners announced at landmark 20th ceremony

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Winners of the kbbreview Awards 2014 were announced at a much anticipated ceremony, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Tuesday. The occasion marked a landmark 20 years of the most prestigious awards event in the kitchen and bathroom industry, which are organised by kbbreview magazine.

A packed seminar programme hit the spot in more ways than one!

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Visitors were able to visit the seminar theatre for business advice and inspiration in a free, four-day, seminar programme.

It also gave the aching feet of those who attended, some much-needed respite!

Mobil Turi UK's kitchen: all the way from Italy

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As one of Italy's largest kitchen manufacturers, Mobil Turi was delighted to be showing at kbb Birmingham 2014, using the event to introduce its collection of Italian kitchens to the UK for the first time.


Karonia introduces inspirational new brochure

Solid surface specialist Karonia has introduced a new lifestyle brochure to present the features and benefits of the Fabulour Mistral range.

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