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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
10th October 2014


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

International News

The BlancoAttika sink... perfect for the design-focused kitchen

The new handmade stainless steel BlancoAttika XL 60 sink and 60-T drainer are practical additions to the Blanco Germany Steelart range. The sink measures 520 x 420mm and has a deep bowl which is ideal for washing large pots and pans.

Welcome to the


Life’s getting interesting, isn’t it? The inflation rate in the UK and the Eurozone is at its lowest level for five years and in the UK, we’ve just recorded the largest annual fall in unemployment on record, since such records began in 1972.  A survey just published by the British Retail Consortium reports that sales are at their weakest level in six years, yet a new study by the Federation of Master Builders claims that almost a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion between them on property upgrades over the next three years.

I wonder, perhaps, whether we’re staying away from the shops because we’re saving so hard to pay for these forthcoming upgrades?

With almost 40% of those planning to improve their homes, saying they will be major refurbishments such as new kitchens, bathrooms and extensions, this bodes very well for the KBB industry indeed, so I hope that everyone sticks to their plans.

The study, which you can learn more about below, also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four homeowners feel out of their depth. Don’t I just know about that! I now go through several websites making a shortlist - and whatever industry associations those on it are members of, if they’ve not got a good number of excellent reviews on CheckaTrade and the like, with a score of almost a perfect 10 and the price charged the same as the estimate given, I don’t bother to contact them. I’ve come unstuck too many times to be slaphappy in my choice.

Apparently, most people choose their builder on personal recommendations. I’ve come unstuck this way too, as of course a builder performing well on just one job, isn’t necessarily going to come up trumps every time, is he (or she)? And of course we all have different expectations (in my case, builders knowing what they’re doing is one of them!) ‘Safety in numbers’ has become my mantra and it’s paying off, although it does mean I have to wait longer to have the work done, as those I want to do it, seem to take more holidays than most! I suppose that figures though…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

New survey reveals shocking failure of Government to address payment issues

* Barry-AShmore.jpgStreetwiseSubbie.com's latest survey of 216 specialist contractors reveals that the voluntary measures put forward by the Construction Leadership Council, and the promises of help from UK Government to 'help' specialist contractors in the construction industry are still suffering from payment abuse.
Lack of payment is destroying jobs and killing businesses and hampering economic growth.

Here's a snapshot of the results:

Problem solved... New ingenious combined overflow and waste system hides pipes on freestanding baths

* Arcade-Fire-Hydrant.jpgOne of the great strengths of the Arcade luxury Belle Epoque collection from Bathroom Brands is accurate detailing that raises this beautiful range above the rest. Arcade's Fire Hydrant is an ingenious combined waste and overflow system that allows waste pipes to be run out of sight - essential with a freestanding bath.

Based on a Victorian original, the Arcade Fire Hydrant can be positioned at the side or end of the bath and comes with extensions that allow it to be up to 950mm away from the centre of the bath waste. It is nickel finished in a coating process called PVD (physical vapour disposition). All Arcade brassware is nickel plated via PVD offering the unique finish that is as hard wearing as chrome.

Cosentino Group announces its 9th International Cosentino Design Challenge Competition

* Cosentino.jpgThe internationally recognised Spanish manufacturer and distributor of innovative surfaces in the world of design and architecture, the Cosentino Group, launched its 9th International Cosentino Design Challenge this week and interest has already come from as many as four continents, 13 schools and institutions from Europe, one from Oceania, one from Asia and one from America.

The competition comprises two categories - Architecture and Design - and is open to all students who registered between the years 2014 and 2015 from any school or centre of higher education for design, architecture or interior architecture anywhere in the world.

Brand designs for Schueller

* Schuller1.jpgInHouse, the UK agent for Schueller and next125, has just returned from its largest and most successful retailer trip to Kitchen Mile in Germany.

Over 120 UK retailers joined the InHouse team to see new ranges presented by Schueller and next125 plus a presentation by managing director Wayne Dance on Branding and Marketing, specifically aimed at the UK independent retailer.

KBSA announces National Chair Designate

* KBSA-Riley.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Tina Riley will take on the position of KBSA National Chair Designate, ahead of confirmation of her appointment at the next Board meeting.

Tina is the owner of family business Modern Homes in Leamington Spa, which celebrated its 45th Anniversary recently.

Just Taps Plus moves into furniture

Mobel-new-furniture.jpgNew bathroom furniture, launched in September, from Just Taps Plus, has sleek European styling and is available in sizes to suit bathrooms large and small.

The new Mobel range is built using top quality carcase materials with fittings from Blum and is very versatile.

British Ceramic Tile supports the next generation of designers

* BCT-flooring-show.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile, has proudly sponsored the 'Live Design' project as part of The Flooring Show 2014.

Developed to bring insight to the flooring industry, the 'Live Design' project, which formed part of the trends hub, showcased the next generation of designers, who were tasked with producing inspirational flooring designs over the three-day period.

On-trend stone finish for popular Milbourne range

* Millborne.jpgMilbourne, PWS' latest Shaker door range, is proving so successful that the company has introduced a stone finish ex-stock. The collection is currently stocked in chalk, alabaster and sage with a further palette of 21 colours available on a paint-to-order basis.

"Neutral tones, inspired by nature, are very much on trend, and the stone painted finish responds to the consumer demand for a timeless tone that can be dressed up or down, modern or country," comments Graeme Smith, senior designer at PWS.

V-ZUG's James Smith participates in Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge for British Heart Foundation

* VZUG-biker.jpgPremium Swiss appliance specialist V-ZUG UK's Product Manager and Head of Gourmet Academy, James Smith, has participated in a charity bike ride for the British Heart Foundation.

The Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge took place late last month and provided riders with varying routes and distances to cater for a multitude of riding abilities.

F & P Wholesale launches new Capri bathroom suite

* Fresssh-Capri.jpgCommitted to providing top quality yet competitively priced bathroom suites to merchants, F & P Wholesale has extended its Fresssh bathroom collection to include the stylish new Capri range.

Available exclusively to F & P Wholesale customers, the Capri range joins Halo, Elan, Georgia Plus and Lucy - providing independent merchants with even more choice of exclusive ranges to help achieve a competitive edge in the marketplace.

New, high-end boutique hotel in Rome features Kaldewei baths and shower surfaces

* Kaldewei-JK-Place.jpgThe J.K. Place, one of the most prestigious boutique hotels in the world, has opened a 5-star establishment in the heart of Rome. The rooms of the building, which dates back to the 17th century, are furnished with an exceptional sense of style.

Equally as much emphasis on exclusive design and 'made in Germany' quality was applied to the bathrooms, which feature baths and enamelled shower surfaces made by Kaldewei.

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

New Design Britain Awards 2015 open for entries

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New Design Britain Awards organised by UBM Live Built Environment launched on Monday with a new set of initiatives to add to its already established awards programme. The first in the calendar is the opening of entries for the New Design Britain Awards 2015 to design graduates to apply until Friday 16th January 2015.

Refinery Showcases the Future of DIY Retail

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As part of its Store of The Future retail estate refresh programme, Homebase has unveiled the blueprint for its DIY store concept, designed by integrated brand communications agency Refinery.

Gruelling three-day charity challenge beats target

T* Wilson-Art-cheque.jpg
he North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund to support a vital breast care unit, has received a whopping £8700 from laminate and solid surface worktop manufacturer, Wilsonart, following three-day cycle challenge.

Celebration marks quarter of a century

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When Portway started distributing freestanding and built-in appliances way back in 1989, a mid-range washing machine cost £400! That same machine would cost under £200 today!

KBSA AGM and National Meeting breaks records

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has said that this year's AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner were their most successful since the start of the recession. Attended by over 40 retailers and almost 30 corporates, the event attracted almost 120 delegates.

KBSA announces 'Excellence Award' winners

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The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winners of the 2014 'Excellence Awards', which were presented at their 2014 Networking Dinner at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon, earlier this week.

Diane Berry Kitchens wins 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

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The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards. Retaining her title as overall designer of the year was Diane Berry of Diane Berry kitchens in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, with her also repeating last year's success as kitchen designer of the year.

Kitchen Concept winner announced in 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winner of the 'Kitchen Concept Designer of the Year' in the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards as Karen MacArthur from Kitchens International in Edinburgh.

Denby Kitchens wins 2014 KBSA Designer Awards

The KBSA has announced the winners of the 2014 Kbsa Designer Awards, and the winner of the Bathroom Designer of the Year was Barry Lavin, Director of Denby Kitchen Company.

Young designer stars in KBSA Designer Awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced the winner of the Young Designer of the Year in the 2014 KBSA Designer Awards as Rebecca Reynolds from The Kitchen Showroom in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Supplier Awards winners anncounced

The now traditional Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Supplier Awards were announced at the 2014 KBB Review Kitchen Conference this week, and again, KBSA members voted for those suppliers that they thought had excelled in their service to them in 2013/14.

Revealed: 'Rainfall Showers' and 'Standalone Baths' voted ultimate wish list features for luxury bathrooms

New research conducted by an online bathroom retailer in the UK has revealed the top desirable wish list bathroom features which create the most luxurious bathroom environments.

LDL Components scoops Entrepreneur Award

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LDL Components has won the 'Most Impressive Growth' category at the recent National Entrepreneur Awards 2014.

Triton questions revised consumer rights bill

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The Government's 'one solution fits all' approach to its new Consumer Rights Bill has been criticised by a spokesperson for a leading UK shower manufacturer.

Ceramic tiles market strengthens in 2014

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Findings from a new report on the ceramic tiles market by MTW Research indicates that the market is now experiencing above inflation growth for the first time since 2007, with tile sales set to grow by more than £15 million in 2014.


Franchise makes concessions to High Street trading conditions

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Trading conditions are still tough on the British High Street, with company failures already giving rise to over 1280 shop closures in 2014, although recent developments in 'omnichannel retailing', where consumers make purchasing decisions from different devices, using different apps in different locations, suggest that physical stores remain as important as ever.

Abode unveils inspirational new website

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Abode's new website is now live and brimming full of inspiration, stunning photography, product information and support, designed for the manufacturer's trade partners as well as end consumers.

One in four UK businesses think their marketing isn't performing

Almost a quarter (24%) of UK based businesses believe that their marketing isn't performing as it should be, with a third of these (33%) complaining that the difficulty of making an impact with the advertising they do, is the biggest barrier to success.

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