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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd January 2010


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

International News

National Kitchen & Bath Association reports the styles for 2010

The results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) of the US to reveal the key design trends for 2010. The results of the NKBA 2010 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Survey confirmed the continuation of a number of existing trends in the marketplace, but also uncovered others that indicate shifts in the direction that kitchen and bath style will take this year. Below are 2010's seven kitchen trends and four bath trends:

1. Traditional is the new Contemporary: Traditional will continue as the most popular kitchen design style in 2010, with contemporary following closely behind, while the Shaker style is seeing a surprisingly strong resurgence. Shades of whites and off-whites will be the most common kitchen colors in 2010, while brown, beige, and bone hues will also be popular.

2. Cherry on top: Cherry will remain the most popular wood for kitchen cabinetry, followed closely by maple, while alder increases in use. As for the finishes placed on those cabinets, medium natural, dark natural, glazed, and white painted will all be common. Other colors of painted cabinetry and light natural finishes are in decline, however, as are distressed finishes.

Baumatic joins forces with Galaxy in series of consumer competitions

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The Baumatic brand is being strengthened further thanks to an exciting cross-marketing partnership with chocolate manufacturer Galaxy. The two companies are teaming up for a series of competitions appearing in several high-circulation consumer titles, across both magazine and online formats, including Womenandhome.com and Prima.

New Premises for Vado

Vado has purchased a new 22,800 sq ft warehouse in Cheddar. Situated on a 1.4 acre site, the new building effectively doubles the company's available warehousing space and also provides much needed office space for the extra two people a month being taken on!

The new building will also house a recreational room for staff enjoyment, a new bank of meeting suites, plus another showroom area for customers.

Sarah Williams, VADO's Commercial Director, comments: "We are committed to taking the business forward and even during these bleak financial times we are planning for a very bright future."

T: +44 (0) 1934 744466
E: [email protected]
W: www.vado-uk.com

National Sleep Foundation launches air purification product for the bedroom

The National Sleep Foundation of the US has partnered with Austin Air Systems, a leading indoor air cleaner manufacturer, to launch a new National Sleep Foundation-branded air purification system specifically designed for the sleep environment. The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine by Austin Air is making its debut at the Big Sleep Show in Washington, DC today.

RETRA meets Chinese delegation

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Retra, the association for independent electrical retailers, has gone global! The Association has been building bridges with a selection of representatives from the Chinese government.

BCG adds value to its keenly priced service with Airmiles

Kitchen, bathroom and heating distributor BCG now offers its customers Airmiles against their purchases, following its launch of the travel reward scheme at the start of the year.

Welcome to the

Over the nine months or so that I've been working on KBZine I've been regularly amazed at some of the features that are being designed into the latest appliances and the types of materials now being used for items that I'd previously felt were fairly mundane. I've realised that my thinking about what's available in terms of kitchen and bathroom appliances, fixtures and fittings, was - prior to my involvement in KBZine - decades behind the reality.

Although I've not been able to get out and about as much as I'd have liked to (although that's about to change - watch this space!) I've tried to get myself up to speed and had thought that I'm now going to be less surprised when presented with a new concept by someone in this industry.

However... news has reached me from Detroit of a novel innovation that has put an end to a spate of burglaries where the culprits were spiriting away not just jewellery, expensive personal gadgets and easy-to-carry electrical items, but large and expensive kitchen appliances. Indeed one burglar was targeting houses with newly fitted kitchens with a view to stealing all the appliances! Seeing a gap in the market, one clever manufacturer started incorporating GPS systems in its cookers and it so happens that the burglar has now been traced and captured.

No doubt I'll be receiving a press release about a similar new product launch shortly...

And another tip... although I'm not a Radio Two listener, I am a fan of Chris Evans and I've been tuning into the station to hear him present the breakfast show since he took over Terry Wogan's slot this week. I don't know if you heard it but there was a discussion in the studio about the use of freezers and the general consensus was that once things are put into a freezer, they tend to be left there, as if they've kind of disappeared into a black hole.

Now this isn't at all how I use my freezer. It's one of the best used appliances in my kitchen, I have a vague idea of what's in it and am regularly hunting for things to pull out and defrost. However while when I've bought a few freezer items I tend to sort out the three drawers in an attempt to group similar items together, the contents never seem to stay tidy and next time I sort things out, I'll find two packets of the same item opened and half used.

I'd be interested to know if anyone's working on designing a freezer that helps with stock rotation or will notify users when an item really ought to be taken out and cooked as it's been languishing in the drawer far too long and is getting beyond its best.

Now don't tell me someone's made one already...

Don’t forget that on Sunday at 09.00, the NEC Birmingham throws open its doors for the start of the four-day Interiors 2010, the UK's largest trade gathering of interiors products. You can find out more by clicking the link just above our Google search bar, near the foot of this column.

Although we haven’t previewed this event we will be attending and will bring you a rundown of what’s impressed us, over the coming weeks.

Our preview of this Spring’s other big show – KBB Birmingham 2010, is due to kick off shortly so if you’re exhibiting and haven’t yet sent us any information about what you’ll be showing, please do so as soon as possible so you don’t miss your chance to tell KBZine’s readers just why they should visit your stand.



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

Blanco's new showroom's 'open week' starts Sunday

* Blanco2.jpgBlanco is inviting all its existing and potential trade customers to come and visit its team 'at home' in the company's new custom-built UK distribution centre and showroom during a special 'Open Week'. The 2700 sq.ft. showroom in Radlett, Hertfordshire, displays the complete Blanco range and all the new products for 2010, including the very latest sink designs, a wide variety of taps and the most up-to-date cooker hoods.

As well as excellent hospitality and the chance to see a great array of products, Blanco is promising visitors great deals and great giveaways. The team of Blanco regional managers will on hand to show customers around, and explain deals and incentives on offer.

Retro-chic at the sleep room

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Online bed specialist, The Sleep Room, offers a range of glamorous, retro-inspired beds for stylish sleepers. Nostalgia is a big theme for 2010 but it's often difficult to pull-off this look with modern products. Whilst vintage beds look great they rarely offer maximum comfort - are you really willing to put style before sleep?

With the 'Retro' bed from The Sleep Room, you don't have to compromise on anything. This beautifully nostalgic design offers the much sought-after style of a vintage bed with all the comfort and reliability of modern design.

New eLIX tap meets criteria for Code for Sustainable Homes

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The eLIX tap by Carron Phoenix is the perfect little number for the contract market, allowing developers to meet level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The code requires all the water products in the house to add up to no more than 105 litres per person per day and eLIX helps achieve this by way of a flow regulator that sits unobtrusively inside the perlator at the end of the tap spout. The eLIX also has a click valve which can be used to give the water a temporary boost - for example when filling a kettle.

Bushboard's Encore Chocolate Sparkle solid surfacing is rich and luxurious

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Chocolate Sparkle from Bushboard's Encore range offers rich and luxurious looks in solid surfacing, giving those who prefer dark shades an appealing design alternative to black.

The intensity of the colour offers a richness that will combine well with a wide range of plain colours and woodgrain finishes to give an impeccably sophisticated look. Its luxuriousness is further enhanced by subtle pearlescent particles, with the beautifully smooth surface.

RETRA shows there is strength in numbers

Retra, the electrical retailers association, welcomed a record number of associate members last year, underlining the importance of the need for businesses to stick together in difficult times.

Proof that there is strength in numbers, retra has been joined by an increasing range of associates from an array of sectors, including distribution and digital services. Retra is especially proud of the additions because they bring extensive benefits to members.

The new associate members that have joined retra in the last 12 months include: Big Red Sales, D.A.D, Digital Radio Development Bureau, Digitaltvinfo.com, Kodak - Tetenal, Midwich, Euro Digital Services, Humax Electronics Co., LG Electronics UK, Philex Electronic, The Sirius Buying Group and Technisat Digital UK.

New Ebro tap range goes with the flow

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Hot on the heels of several new tap ranges launched in 2009, Pegler Yorkshire has expanded the range further with the introduction of two new tap ranges - Ebro and Pulsar. Both are minimalistic in style and despite being part of the Francis Pegler range are competitive in price.
Ebro is a fresh new design and named after the largest river in Spain, it has an unashamedly European vogue - a flow straightener is fitted as standard and all the basin fittings include an aerator, for that champagne 'bubbly' water flow.

An eight piece range, Ebro offers taps for basin, bath, bidet and kitchen and includes a single lever mono basin mixer complete with flip waste. The mono bath mixer is particularly impressive and offers exceptional flow rates at low pressure.

In keeping with Pegler Yorkshire's policy on water saving initiatives, the Ebro range offers a water saving option, which keeps the Francis Pegler range at the cutting edge of the water saving market and actively involved with the ever-changing legislation in the drive to conserve water.

MGA Distributors introduces the brand new Europa-2 drawer from Indaux

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MGA Distributors has been chosen as the UK's first distributor of the new Europa-2 drawer from Indaux.

Indaux has been creating, developing, manufacturing and marketing fittings and components for the furniture industry since 1962. The Europa-2 drawer demonstrates Indaux's knowledge of its market and customers' needs.

SMEs can utilise free web-based technology to improve cash flow

Recession-hit small businesses are actively managing their cash flow yet struggling to access finance because they are not presenting their management accounts in the correct format to the finance and credit industry.

The news follows the latest research from the Forum of Private Business, commissioned by CreditPal, the free accounts analysis system for SMEs.

The survey found that 96% of the SME respondents have improved their cash position through better controls rather than looking for outside financing. Pursuing late payers (76%) heads the list, with placing tighter controls on ordering supplies (67%) next, followed by internal cost-cutting exercises (67%) and then deferring payments to HMRC under the Government�s �time to pay� scheme (25%).

The strongest sign that the credit crisis is driving better internal financial management is that 68% of respondents said that they now produce management accounts � with 85% of these citing the reason for doing so as improving business management. However, the cost of doing this is considerable � on average, over £500 each and every time. Just 17% of respondents cited accessing credit as the motivating factor behind the production of management accounts.

'Pure inspiration' draws Ken to Novellini

* Ken_Mercer.jpgNovellini, said to be Europe's largest producer of bathroom and showering products, has announced the appointment of Ken Mercer, formerly regional contracts manager (SE) for Roman, as sales manager SE for Novellini UK. Ken brings 15 years' experience of the industry to the role and swells the national sales force at Novellini to 12.
Ken says of his appointment: "The Novellini range is pure inspiration. I'm delighted to have joined such a fast growing business with diverse and stylish products that suit all types of contract installation."

T: 01242 621061
W: www.novellini.com

Training for the KBB industry: first 12 delegates of 2010 put through their paces

This year's first one day KBB sales and customer care course was held at the Whirlpool training centre in Croydon on Wednesday. Twelve delegates took part in the course, which is designed to give people the skills required to increase conversion rates and improve profitability on installations.

To date 380 delegates have attended the course which is run by Graham Hayden, and this January course included delegates from The Myers Touch, Dobsons Home improvements, Tradex and KCA. This course is approved by the KBB NTG - as well as by CITB Construction Skills who sent delegate Gerald Kelly on the course.
He commented: "I enjoyed the course which was very well presented and very interesting."

Full details of training courses from Graham Hayden can be found on his website:


New brochure adds culture to the bathroom

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Leading sanitaryware manufacturer Laufen is getting the New Year off to the very best of starts with the launch of its latest product brochure - Bathroom Culture.

In full-colour throughout, the brochure has an impressive 260 pages packed with full details on the manufacturer's complete portfolio of products, printed on heavy-weight stock to lend it the quality feel which has become synonymous with the Laufen brand.

Siamp rises to the challenge to raise money for African charities


Siamp UK joined forces with industry colleagues and people from across the world to tackle a tough fundraising challenge in South Africa.

Siamp managing director Stuart Lorne took part in the eight day Enduro Africa Challenge, a 1500-mile off-road motorcycle trip along South Africa’s rugged Wild Coast, to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Touch Africa and UNICEF.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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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