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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th March 2016


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

International News

Masterclass takes up position at KBB Birmingham 2016

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Renowned UK manufacturer Masterclass Kitchens will be heading to the NEC next month, as it showcases its very latest ranges and engages with existing and potential customers at this year's KBB Birmingham.

Proud of its progressive design and product quality: Abode to showcase 2016 range of taps

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In the 14 years since Abode made its first entry into the UK market, it has become renowned for its progressive design styles at all budget levels. The company's focus on innovative kitchen sinks and taps has been recognised many times - with a cabinet full of industry awards which reflects Abode's ethos towards investment in design and product quality.

Karonia at KBB 2016: New Look Mistral worktops

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"Mistral was launched at KBB 2010 when we presented the industry with our different approach and, thanks to the many, many designers, installers and retailers who have dared to imagine what Mistral can achieve, we have grown to be a market-leading worktop brand," says the manufacturer. "In honour of this, Mistral has a new look as we seek to build on this success and continue the evolution of the brand by improving our offering to customers."

Twyford works with homeless charity, CRASH, to support projects in the North East

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Twyford has donated products from its Quinta and T4 ranges to two projects in the North East that provide accommodation for vulnerable homeless people, through the charity CRASH.

Grohe's new SmartControl takes modern shower control to the next level

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Grohe tells us it is delighted to present a brand new, unique Grohe Rainshower system featuring innovative SmartControl push button technology: said to be the first of its kind on the market to offer on-off and volume control at the push of a button. Simply select and start the spray pattern by pushing a button on the sleek, wall-mounted control. Turning the button allows the user to then choose the strength and volume of the water flow - putting a perfect shower experience for all the family at your fingertips.

Leisure Sinks adds Aquaflow 35 to mixer tap portfolio

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Leisure Sinks has added the lightweight yet highly functional Aquaflow 35 (TAF35CM/) to its range of WRAS approved taps. Boasting a polished chrome finish, the competitively priced single lever tap is perfect for both the domestic and contract markets.

Designed for single tap-hole sinks, the new Aquaflow 35 allows for hot and cold water to be mixed - as well as turned on and off - in one simple action. Compared to similar kitchen mixer taps, this new model is considerably smaller, without impacting on functionality or durability.

Devonstone's feature floor range extended due to demand from retailers

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British Ceramic Tile has added a black colourway to its commercially successful Devonstone collection. The range, which has been a hit with retailers and consumers alike since its initial launch, epitomises one of this year's hottest trends - patterned flooring.

Responding to retailer demand and strong sales of the Devonstone range, British Ceramic Tile has launched the new black colourway to strengthen the current offering of grey and brown. The eye-catching tile features a uniform pattern, making it easy to install in the home for one continuous, stunning look.

AEG enters water softener market in the UK... creating a new market opportunity for kitchen retailers

Premium appliance brand AEG has entered the UK water softener market, with a range of products to be sold exclusively through kitchen retailers.

Giving retailers the opportunity to capture the sale of these high-end products during the initial kitchen design phase, the AEG launch enables kitchen showrooms to generate additional margin and offer customers a comprehensive solution to protect their home and appliances from the damaging effects of lime scale.

Lakes Bathrooms launches pivot door with integrated in-line panel

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Lakes Bathrooms has added a pivot door with integrated in-line panel to its Classic Collection. This semi-frameless design offers a seamless finish for a wider enclosure, by dispensing with the profile between the door and the adjacent in-line panel. Available in three sizes, it offers more choice for larger alcove spaces and can be teamed with a low profile tray for a clean, minimalist look.

Mixed material bathrooms, available from The Bathroom Shop

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2016 is already seeing a new wave of intelligent materials being used across bathroom interiors, challenging our senses and bringing new innovation, in terms of material and design. Specialist retailer of quality bath and shower solutions, The Bathroom Shop, depicts one of the hottest trends for 2016 - mixed materials - with its inspired collection of tactile bathroom furniture by Dansani.

Introducing multifunctional living from Schmidt - the flexible way to cook, dine, relax and work

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Whatever size and shape the kitchen shell may be, whether it's in a compact city apartment, open-plan loft or spacious five-bed home, making the most of every inch of space is key to a clean, clutter-free look.

Welcome to the


Some years ago I bumped into an ex-colleague on one of those buses that whisk you from the NEC halls out to the car park – a real Godsend when you’ve spent the day racing around in high heels. It was standing room only and I had to giggle because he had so many brochures and press packs in his arms that he could hardly stand up – let alone grab hold of a handrail when we lurched around the many roundabouts!

I remarked that he must have had a really busy day, having managed to collect so many brochures, and been incredibly well organised to get around so many stands.

“I’ve not been to any stands,” he retorted. "I arrived late so I’ve been in the press office for a pastry and a coffee and gathered all these brochures to take home to look at, so I can beat the traffic travelling south.”

As someone who can never quite get around to see everyone I want to at these shows, and could happily spend an extra couple of days trying, I was incredulous that a fellow journalist could travel all the way up from London and not actually go into the exhibition!

Of course it wasn’t a KBB show, so won’t have been nearly as much fun, but to drive all that way only to pass up on the opportunity to go and examine the things you’ve been writing about for months, well – it seems such a waste! Where’s the passion?

So – the much anticipated KBB Birmingham exhibition opens its doors on Sunday. And while attending on the opening day would make a good Mother’s Day present for me, that’s not something I dare tell my family, so I’ll have to wait an extra day to be able to see first hand all the wonderful new furniture, appliances and equipment I’ve been receiving press releases about.

I hope that if you’re a trade visitor, you find everything you’re looking for, and that if you’re exhibiting, your stand enjoys a steady stream of potential buyers throughout the event. Let’s all hope that visitors like the one I’ve described here, are few and far between, and that we can all come away at the end of the week feeling that everything’s been a great success and worth being away from home for.

See you there!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBB NTG pushes petition to keep creative subjects on curriculum

* KBB-NTG.jpgThe KBB NTG is working hard to promote the need for creative subjects such as design & technology to be kept on the national curriculum and is asking everyone to sign a petition calling on the Government to rethink its education policy.

"The NTG is a member of the Proskills (Sector Skills Body) Furniture Board and we are working together to support the petition to keep creative subjects in school - including design and technology," says KBB NTG CEO Renee Mascari.

British Ceramic Tile sponsors the UK's first National Tile Week

* BCT-1.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile will be sponsoring the UK's first National Tile Week which will run 11th - 18th April. Just in time for the double May bank holiday where consumers do their most DIY of the year, National Tile Week aims to equip retailers with all the information their customers need to feel confident when choosing and laying tiles.

More than one in three of us prefer neutrals when it comes to decorating our bathrooms

* Virtual-bathrooms.jpgNew research conducted by bathroom furniture supplier, Virtual Bathrooms, has revealed that people are wary of using bright and vibrant shades when decorating their bathroom.

A new London hub for global bathroom specification: Hansgrohe opens 'The Water Studio' in Clerkenwell, London

* Hansgrohe_TheWaterStudio.jpgAward-winning German bathroom specialist Hansgrohe launched a new concept 'Water Studio' in the heart of London's design district on 1st March. Marking the latest chapter in Hansgrohe's remarkable story, The Water Studio specification centre will act as a hub of inspiration, resource and a collaborative space for those serious about creating show-stopping bathrooms.

Situated at 12-16 on the bustling Clerkenwell Road and spread over two floors totalling 262sq.m, The Water Studio is a true brand experience and brings water to life through the Hansgrohe SE values of innovation, sustainability, quality, design and expertise. UK managing director, Martin Mongan, comments:

Shaws launches utility range

* Shaws-Shaker-800.jpgShaws, well known for its superior ranges of fire clay sinks for both commercial and household usage, is launching a wide range of sinks specifically selected for their suitability and durability for use in laundry rooms, utility rooms and garages.

There are six heavyweight sinks available with a durable white glaze. The Shaws glaze has recently been independently tested, using the ISO 22196/JIS Z 2801:2000 test method to international standards, and all samples proved to be 'antibacterial'. Shaws glaze reduced bacterial colonies of E-Coli and MRSA by 99.99% over a 24-hour period and were classified as excellent in this area.

Consumers to get creative as Burbidge injects new colour into isala

* Burbidge_Isala-1.jpgIn keeping with consumer demand, Burbidge is adding infinite colour possibilities to its Isala range - enabling consumers to put their own personal stamp on the popular handleless kitchen design.

Burbidge's award-winning Isala range remains one of the bestselling kitchens launched by the company in recent years.

British Ceramic Tile launches an exclusive Retailer Club at kbb Birmingham

Leading UK tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, is set to launch its new reward and loyalty scheme to selected premium retailers as a thank you for their continued business support over the last few years.

The Retailer Club will offer an enhanced level of support to selected premium customers through a variety of in-store solutions, print and online marketing materials and incentive and service packages, with the aim being to help retailers drive sales and increase their turnover.

Blanco supports new trust for kitchen industry

* BLANCO-Claron.jpgBlanco has given its support to the formation of a new body which represents education in the kitchen industry. Blanco is an international business which supplies an impressive portfolio of hobs, sinks, taps, extractor hoods and kitchen accessories and boasts a reputation for innovation, versatility and high quality.

The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET) provides the kitchen industry with a formal platform to assist with the Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design at Bucks New University in High Wycombe.

Slide into style with a new feature from in-toto

* in-toto-sliding-doors.jpgOne of the UK's biggest kitchen specialists has announced a versatile new look with innovative sliding doors.

The kitchen is often the heart of the home... a busy hub of people gathering to eat, drink and socialise.

LDL introduces new consumer guide to kitchen storage

* LDL-The-front-cover.jpgLeading distributor LDL Components has compiled a brand new consumer brochure entitled 'Workflow, Space & Motion' to bring together the very latest kitchen storage systems and accessories. The attractively presented lifestyle brochure includes key products from Swiss partner Peka, renowned component manufacturer Blum and other innovative manufacturers.

As the brochure explains, the secret to creating the perfect, functional kitchen is a combination of forward planning and 'thinking inside the box'.

Caple's updated appliance brochure is available now

* New-appliance-brochure-2016.jpgCaple's new 300-page colour catalogue is the biggest ever and features the brand's three comprehensive collections, the high-performance Classic, Sense and high-end Sense Premium, with colour-coded, easy-to-find sections - cooking, cooling and washing - all enhanced by beautiful lifestyle photography.

The brochure features all of Caple's latest launches including, for the first time, its new collections of Classic built-in ovens and range cookers plus an impressive portfolio of the company's bestselling products.

Utopia appoints creative brand co-ordinator

* Richard-Kozakiewicz.jpgUtopia Furniture Group has confirmed Richard Kozakiewicz's appointment to the newly created position of creative brand co-ordinator.

Working in the busy marketing department and reporting to Sam Ball, marketing manager, Richard has been at Utopia for the past six months and has been responsible for developing concepts and artwork across all channels of communication, in particular digital and social.

Whirlpool UK appliances appoints new digital marketing manager

* Hanifa.jpgWhirlpool UK Appliances has appointed Hanifa Dungarwalla as digital marketing manager, UK & Eire. Hanifa will be responsible for the online presence of the Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit brands, ensuring a strong user experience and maximising the brands' overall key messages.

She will also be responsible for managing the digital team and working closely with the communications team to deliver the best overall consumer experience.

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

SHD acquires majority stake in ArtiCAD

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As of 11th February 2016, SHD AG acquired the majority of the shares in British software specialist, ArtiCAD Holdings. The company founder, Richard Turner and director of corporate sales, Daniel Allerton, will remain as shareholders and will be responsible for the further development and sales strategy for ArtiCAD's software solutions.

KBBG members to enjoy an exclusive consultancy offer

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The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group is dedicated to supporting independent kitchen specialists in the UK; members can benefit from an exclusive business consultancy opportunity to work with one of the UK's leading independent kitchen and bathroom retailers, with a support package, only available to KBBG members.


Hoover appoints Glyn Martin as account director

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Hoover has added to its freestanding division for the second time in six months, with the appointment of Glyn Martin as account director - major domestic appliances. Glyn's appointment swiftly follows the addition of Garry Smith as laundry product manager, which was announced earlier this year.

Smeg UK welcomes Matt Balm as southern sales manager

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In his new role as Southern sales manager with Smeg UK, Matt Balm will use his vast experience to develop both new and existing business, whilst overseeing the Southern regional sales operation within the retail channel of the business. He will also be responsible for Smeg UK's ongoing relationship with the CIH/Euronics buying group.

Urban Interior (London) expands its design team

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Nestled in the trendy E1 district of London, kitchen design specialist Urban Interior has added to its expert design team, with the employment of Luisa Agliatta, as senior designer.

Ideal Standard appoints new UK sales director

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Ideal Standard has appointed Steve Breen as UK sales director. Steve joins from Electrolux, where he served as head of Kitchen Retail & Contracts. He worked across the kitchen retail and house-builder channels - with a high profile client portfolio, including Travis Perkins, Magnet and Homebase, as well as independent kitchen studios and all major house builders.

Methven reinforces national accounts team with three key appointments

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Following the opening of its new UK Head Office and showroom in late 2015, Methven has strengthened the national account team and made the key appointments to further reinforce its support for customers across the UK.


Dream Doors targeting kitchen industry as it launches major new recruitment drive

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Dream Doors, the UK's largest kitchen makeover franchise, has launched a major new recruitment drive targeting those already working in the kitchen industry, as it looks to meet ambitious 2016 expansion plans. The company has traditionally recruited its franchisees from a variety of different backgrounds, but as it is targeting 80 showrooms by the end of the year, has chosen to focus on recruiting those with existing kitchen skills and expertise.

Fresh new look for PWS' 1909 website

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PWS has launched a new website for its 1909 kitchen collection, following the launch of the brand's contemporary in-frame slab range. In keeping with the fresh modern feel of the new door design, the website has a simple and clean layout that's both easy on the eye and easy to navigate.

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