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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th November 2015


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

International News

Fixol Universal Drawer Kit available exclusively from LDL

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LDL is adding another exclusive product to its portfolio - the Universal Drawer Kit from Fixol, a quick and easy solution for sink units in particular to avoid plumbing kits.

Arcelik Group gains AA sustainability rating

Arcelik Group, one of the leading players in the global home appliances industry and parent company of Beko, has been awarded an AA rating in the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Global Sustainability Index Series. This latest accolade reinforces the company's, 'Respects the Globe, Respected Globally' vision which focuses on delivering sustainable efficiency and excellence throughout all its business processes.

Bathing in design award glory

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When it comes to cork, few are as ingenious as Granorte and the manufacturer is continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this incredibly versatile and sustainable material.

HiB marks a new era of super stylish storage with Xenon

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HiB is continuing to add to its ever-expanding product portfolio with the launch of a brand new LED bathroom cabinet collection, Xenon.

Signalling the next generation of sophisticated bathroom storage, Xenon comprises a sleek double-sided mirrored cabinet finished off with a luxury LED lighting trim. The result is an uber modern feel, guaranteed to make a boldly contemporary style statement in even the simplest of bathroom designs.

Insinkerator heats things up with the new Anthracite 3N1 steaming hot water tap

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InSinkErator, a major player in the steaming hot water tap market, has unveiled a stylish new finish to add to its popular range of 3N1 kitchen taps with filtered steaming hot, hot and cold water.

Linear kitchens become the design for 2016

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Trending in kitchen design for 2016 is a very sleek, linear look with handleless cabinetry and a few hi-tech appliances that make cooking, entertaining and living easier and more enjoyable, according to designers from independent kitchen retailer, Kitchens International.

Burbidge's commitment to craftsmanship is commended with Manufacturing Guild Mark

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Renowned kitchen manufacturer, Burbidge, has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark (MGM) following over 40 years' work designing and developing truly innovative and exceptionally crafted premium kitchens.

Britannia breezes into retro refrigeration

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Britannia has announced the launch of a new retro-style cooling range, Breeze.

The collection - available now, features three A+ rated models in a variety of configurations: 70/30 fridge freezer split, top mount fridge freezer and standalone fridge, in up to three colours, including Gloss Black, Vanilla and Chilli Red.

Recycled leather creates warm effect

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EcoDomo recycled leathers can be used as leather veneers (for doors, cabinet inserts, table tops, counter tops, etc); tiles and planks (for floors and walls) and as wall panels to impart a feeling of warmth to your project.

LDL to stock Blum Servo-Drive flex

LDL Components is now offering the new Blum Servo-Drive flex intelligent, electrical opening system for handleless, integrated refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers from stock.

Roper Rhodes extends Hampton furniture range with two new units

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Roper Rhodes has taken its popular Hampton furniture range to greater heights with the addition of two new units. Joining the classically styled range, which comes in a variety of sizes and timeless finishes, is a statement 700mm basin unit and a neat and petite cloakroom unit.

Lustrolite helps householders stay calm and collected

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Relaxing at home after a long day is something that we all look forward to. So why not make your own 'me-time' - or that of your client or customer - even more worthwhile by using colours in the home that enhance feelings of calm?

Abode launches the ISO bathroom taps collection

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Iso is just one of the eight new tap ranges launched by Abode this year. The Iso collection features a stylish and detailed channelled tap head design, inset handle and contrasting curved spout - a prominent design with sharp edges to suit the most contemporary of bathroom settings.

Welcome to the


Remember the days before the TV remote control, when instead of rummaging around under the cushions or grabbing the device from the person who always seems to hog it and simply pressing the buttons as we do now, we had to drag ourselves up from the sofa and walk across the room to press the buttons on the TV set itself?

Haven’t things changed! Over recent years, smart home technology has made huge strides forward and now has the potential to control just about every aspect of our lives. There’s hardly a part of the home that can't be automated or controlled via smartphone/tablet app and I’m sure we have further to go before all the possibilities have been exhausted.

There are simple things such as turning on the lights and heating so we can come into a cosy home and opening the garage door as we approach. The washing machine can be loaded before we leave in the morning, then activated from our workplace so it’s just ready for us to empty while we drink that first cup of tea – no waiting time for that either as we can activate the kettle from down the road so it’s boiling when we get in.

Our bathwater can be regulated to stay at our chosen temperature all night if we wish, while those lucky enough to own a smart toilet can programme it to warm the seat prior to use and provide the perfect personal ‘wash and brush up’ afterwards while playing one's favourite music.

Then there are the smart appliances themselves… the dishwashers and washing machines that can calculate how much has been loaded into them and how dirty it is, before setting their own cycles to provide the best wash and dry in the most economical way. Our fridges and cookers meanwhile – and what they can do for us, has changed them beyond all recognition. We can now be notified when food is getting past its best and our cooking technology means we can produce gourmet meals without even really needing to learn how to cook!

I wonder how many of those that are old enough to have had to change the TV manually and who’ve been in the industry since their youth, will have envisaged the changes we’re now enjoying? And are they wondering, like me, where it’s all going to end? If you’re one of these people, I’d love to hear what you think...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Whirlpool awarded consumer Superbrands status

* WHIRLPOOL-Superbrands.jpgWhirlpool has been awarded the honour of consumer Superbrands status for 2016, confirming its position as one of Britain's most iconic household names.

The matchless accolade is awarded to brands which, after scrutiny by an expert council and a nationally representative sample of 2,500 British consumers, are deemed to have the strongest consumer brand image in Britain.

Industry stalwart, Ron Blount of Blanco, reflects on his career as he bows out

* Ron_Blount.jpg"The decision to step down in January 2016 was taken three years ago; three years to plan and implement succession... Not only my own successor but also other key roles within the company with a view to evolution, not revolution.

Blanco UK is a strong company with sales forging ahead year on year and a committed team serving great customers. Simon Hart, my successor, has the enviable role of leading the company - with the full support of the UK team and our colleagues in Germany - to ever greater heights as the years unfold.

The changing face of surfaces in 2015

* Stephen-Moss.jpgWith 2015 coming to a close, Stephen Moss, managing director of worktop specialist Max-Top, shares the top five changes he has noticed in the surface industry over the last 12 months.

- Speed and simplicity are a top priority: As surface installation often accounts for just a fraction of a renovation project, the speed and simplicity of installation can be crucial to ensuring that timescales and kept. Modular work surfaces offer a lightweight solution that can be cut on site, in no time at all and have therefore proved increasingly popular throughout the year.

New MGS Black Steel 3-hole basin mixer available from Grange Design

* MB282-Black-Handwheel.jpgGo against the grain with the new MGS Black Steel 3-hole basin mixer exclusively available from specialist distributor Grange Design! Grange believes that the new MB282 in matt black steel is a bathroom design first, being the only black tap collection to be designed and made from stainless steel.

Presenting a curvaceous design that will enhance any luxury bathroom; the new MB282 is a low set deck-mounted design.

Add some colour with multi-coloured grab rails

* Barwood_Sharon-McKenna.jpgSpecialist manufacturer of bathroom products for the inclusive sector, Barwood Products, stocks a wide range of grab rails in popular, standard colours and sizes to satisfy quick delivery requirements.

Made in the UK from UK-sourced steel that is powder coated and polished to ensure excellent quality and durability, these rails are available in a wide range of standard sizes and can also be custom made to order.

Kitchen makeover franchise Dream Doors launches new recruitment and training programme for franchisees

* DD_Training-centre.jpgDream Doors, the UK's largest kitchen makeover franchise, has launched a comprehensive new recruitment and training programme for franchisees, supported by more in-territory support and a new bespoke training centre that replicates an actual Dream Doors showroom.

All potential Dream Doors franchisees will now undergo the Extended DiSC personal assessment - used by 70% of Fortune 500 to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication - and will also take the Devine Inventory skill assessment, which helps companies find the right candidate.

Schmidt shows how a relaxed country casual style suits both modern and period homes

* schmidt.jpgWhen it comes to buying a new kitchen, it's just as easy for people to fall in love with a modern handless slab door as it is to hanker after a Shaker-style scheme.

Furniture no longer falls into classic or contemporary categories; today it's all about getting the best of everything to create an ultimate dream design. Schmidt has the perfect solution for those who want a clean, fuss-free look with a softer feel and the warmth and natural character of timber.

Rhoper Rhodes launches beautiful Verse brassware range

* Roper-Rhodes-Verse-mixer.jpgCharacterised by elegant curves, the new Verse brassware range from Roper Rhodes has been designed to perfectly complement the company's contemporary furniture and sanitaryware and provide a real focal point in the bathroom.

The basin mixer with click waste is controlled by sleek, easy-to-operate joystick-style levers and is suitable for use with all plumbing systems, including conventional gravity fed systems with a minimum 0.3 bar pressure and above.

Liebherr revolutionises refrigeration design with BluPerformance

* Liebherr-Premium.jpgUnveiled at IFA 2015 and now to be launched into the UK market for Spring 2016, Liebherr has announced its most significant recent development in its refrigeration appliances with the introduction of its BluPerformance Premium models, which offer energy ratings of A+++, and even better A+++/-20% - thanks to a complete rethinking of the appliance's design and technology...

The compressor and condenser unit has been removed from the back and is now compactly integrated into the base of the appliance. This provides a much larger internal capacity and ensures the appliance is quiet in operation.

Steven Jaques joins board of directors at Utopia

* Steve_Jaques.jpgUtopia Furniture Group Ltd promoted Steven Jaques to the position of sales director with immediate effect.

Ian Hall, joint managing director, comments: "Steve has in effect been fulfilling this role at Utopia since 2013 and we are now very pleased to recognise this formally.

Caple's new sinks and taps brochure now available

* Caple-brochure.jpgCaple's new sinks and taps brochure is packed full of inspirational ideas. Whether for a contemporary or traditional kitchen, there are sinks and taps to suit all tastes and budgets.

With beautiful photography and all the information needed to help buyers make the right decision, this new brochure is an invaluable tool.

LDL raises £3,200 for Lewis Moody Foundation

* LDL_Matt-Lord-centre.jpgLDL Components has raised £3,200 for the Lewis Moody Foundation by donating a percentage of sales from a promotion held in the run up to the recent Rugby World Cup.

Lewis Moody, the rugby player and former England captain, founded the Foundation with two main objectives. The first is to support families where a child or parent is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness by giving them a day out of the ordinary to create special memories.

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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

Construction staff remain in high demand

The latest 'Report on Jobs', published today by KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, highlighted slower, but still robust, growth of demand for permanent and temporary staff in the construction sector during October.

Season: the Exclusive Cookery School

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Hobsons|choice has completed a unique kitchen project at historic Lainston House, Winchester. Working with Exclusive Hotels&Venues, the talented design and installation team created the kitchen area of the new Season, Exclusive Cookery School - the brainchild of Exclusive Hotels & Venues managing director, Danny Pecorelli, who says:

Campaign raises awareness of the dangers of scalding and makes over £5000 for charity as it does so

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In just 12 months, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has raised over £5,000 for its favourite charity, the Children's Burns Trust.

Soapbox: Celebrate being truly independent

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Writes Bill Miller, Managing Director, Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group

"Being a truly independent kitchen or bathroom specialist is something to be cherished and celebrated. It is essential that we constantly promote the many advantages we hold over our multiple competitors. We are the true specialists of our industry, offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as a distinctive atmosphere of warmth and intimacy that is so lacking in multiple outlets.


Uform announces appointment of new managing director

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Uform has announced the appointment of Simon Oliphant as its new managing director. Simon will be responsible for providing leadership of the company's fast growing operations and delivery of the company's five-year strategic plan and will report to the newly appointed chairman Eamon Donnelly.

New appointment at KBBG to support KBBG independent kitchen specialists

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The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), part of the Der Kreis, dedicated to supporting independent kitchen specialists, has appointed Louisa Cole to the newly created position of office support executive.

Haier appoints Vincent Rotger as general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe

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Appliance manufacturer Haier, has strengthened the organisational structure of Haier Europe with the appointment of Vincent Rotger (pictured) as general manager for the Northern and Eastern Europe regions.


It's panto time at Utopia!

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Oh, yes, it is! Once again, Utopia is preparing to launch its popular pre-Christmas promotion and this year it will have a fabulous pantomime-based theme.

SmegZones enhance immersive shopping experience

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Smeg is rolling out its own 'shop in a shop' dedicated displays with the aim of supporting independent electrical retailers. SmegZones are the Italian brand's bespoke package of products and displays tailored to fit a specific store's demographic and catchment.

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