KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
3rd June 2016
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Next125 wins two Red Dot design awards for contemporary kitchen design
Open sesame! with Servo-Drive flex by Blum
European Water Label launches new two-minute movie
Ultra-Natural addition has beauty in its veins
A marble-inspired design, Statuario Maximus is a bold new surface, featuring intricate warm grey veins which sweep across a soft white base, enriched by delicate background veins.
New Pro filter system launched by Pando
Xpelair puts noisy bathroom fans back on the agenda
Chic Coheba joins RAK's porcelain collection
New Victorian back-to-wall WC by Perrin & Rowe
More Bette Baths with hidden overflow - BetteSensory options extended
Realising that it’s World Environment Day on Sunday and seeing an item in an online newspaper, made me think about the fine line we have to tread in the KBB industry, between looking after this planet (and being seen to do so) and manufacturing/selling KBB products.
After all, whether we’re questioning whether global warming is made up or actually happening or whether we’re avid environmentalists either way, consumers are now taking sustainability more seriously and are more often than ever, questioning a company’s values in this area, before choosing to do business with the organisation.
The KBB industry on one hand has to try and work in a sustainable way while at the same time persuading consumers that they really ‘must have’ that ‘essential’ (now where did those terms come from?) upgrade which – far from being essential – may not actually be needed at all.
Where do we draw the line?
The online news item that got me mulling over this question concerns a £600 gadget with robotic arms that can – apparently – steam out creases and fold our laundry perfectly. It was invented partially as a result of a survey which revealed that 46% of us want appliances that fold our clothes for us. Called FoldiMate, it also features a conveyor belt, a rack and a tray; users simply clip their clean washing to the rack, set their preferences in the electronic menu and wait for the gadget to go through the process.
I can see this type of gadget being really useful for those of limited mobility, but bearing in mind that those of us in the more developed part of the world are suffering from an obesity crisis, my feelings are that (a) we probably need the exercise and (b) a normal householder – while they might be able to afford to pay for the extra electricity consumed by a gadget that folds clothes – can’t really justify it in terms of being very environmentally friendly, can they?
What are your thoughts on this?
This Week's News
Mira Showers brought together a panel of experts in to discuss the top trends that will appear in 2016 and how they can be implemented in the home. The panel consisted of Mira Showers' industrial design director Simon Browning, Sally Nettleton and Sarah Shepherd from TrendPulse, digital expert Will Brocklebank, interior designer Richard Randall and Heloisa Righetto from WGSN.
Here is the summary of the top trends to look out for in 2016, as seen by the panel.
Home Décor acquires Optiplan Kitchens and Manor Cabinet Co
Bedroom furniture supplier Home Décor, has acquired Optiplan Kitchens and the Manor Cabinet Company. The move significantly increases the size of the group and enables Home Décor to offer a more integrated KBB range to both consumer and trade markets.
Home Décor, which has its head office in Sheffield, manufactures and installs fitted wardrobes and sliding wardrobe doors direct to consumers through its Spaceslide brand. It also has a substantial trade business supplying to the new build residential market and trade and DIY retailers.
Smoothly does it - The Masterclass silk story
With a luxuriously tactile finish that is smooth to the touch, Masterclass has introduced Silk, a new painted range that offers quality and perfection which is only possible due to superior manufacturing processes.
The Silk story has unfolded on four new ranges, catering for contemporary and classic tastes alike and to offer a luxurious finish without the high end price tag.
Axor asks experts to "create your own spout" with alternative materials and forms
Building on the technological capabilities of the Axor U-Base, Axor envisioned a new dimension of individualisation: washbasin spouts crafted from alternative materials with total freedom of form for seamless integration in the interior design or for creating a personal statement. Within this creative brief, Axor invited world-renowned design partners to present their visions for the meaning of water within the living spaces of tomorrow.
Together with Axor; David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, Front, GamFratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud designed unique spouts that through their materiality, form and function, give a new emotionality and value to the tap itself and the water passing through it.
Smeg unveils limited edition collection of MG FAB28 fridges
Smeg has unveiled a limited edition run of MG-inspired fridges to celebrate its new UK headquarters, built on the site of the sports car company's original factory.
Set to be unveiled at the MG Car Club's MGLive! event at the Silverstone race circuit in later this month, the collection of 39 fridges is a significant number as it represents the number emblazoned on the MG K3, which famously won the prestigious Mille Miglia road race in Italy, beating all margues in its class, the 1st non Italian car to ever take honours, back in 1933.
Hisense unveils affordably-priced premium refrigeration range
Hisense UK has introduced a series of A+ rated, freestanding fridge freezers in black, stainless steel or white, which sport a classic tall design, soft rounded doors and an integrated handle, for seamless integration into the majority of kitchen environments.
Features include Total No Frost and Super Freeze technologies, multi-air flow capabilities for even and reliable temperature dispersion, electronic temperature control - and - for users who are away for a prolonged period, an energy-saving 'holiday' mode.
Hayley Fenn, UK head of Granite Transformations, offers some great ideas on remodelling projects...
"The latest home improvement report from Barclays indicates that over half (53%) of UK homeowners would choose to remodel their existing properties, rather than move to a new house. The most desirable home improvement is a designer kitchen, with an en suite bathroom also high on the wish list. Remodelling homes is my business, particularly kitchens and bathrooms, so here are five more affordable tips, which will enable those considering remodeling, to enhance their living spaces and adding value to their property.
Urinal Art project to commemorate anniversary of Duchamp's iconic Fountain work
A new collaborative project between Hull School of Art and Design, the bathroom manufacturer Armitage Shanks and the Arts community in Hull, has been launched to celebrate the dual anniversaries of Duchamp's Fountain (100 years) and Armitage Shanks (200 years) in 2017.
The project, titled Fountain17, is now looking for artists, poets and playwrights with an open call to respond to Duchamp's intervention 100 years on - with a competition for ideas that transform an actual urinal (provided by Armitage Shanks) as well as responses inspired by 'Fountain' but produced in other media.
Introducing Dekton Trilium made with recycled materials
Inspired by the industrial look of aged stainless steel, new Dekton Trilium is the first colour option in the Dekton range of ultra-compact surfaces to incorporate recycled materials.
A mix of volcanic shades with intense grey, brown and black tones with light-dark contrasts offering extreme realism, Trilium features a soft metallic matt finish. The surface is unexpectedly smooth to the touch, yet edgy enough to cater for projects with an industrial aesthetic.
Uform chairman named as Ernst & Young 'Entreprenuer of the Year' finalist
Eamon Donnelly, co-founder and chairman of kitchen door and component supplier, Uform, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Ireland.
Following an intensive interview process, Eamon - who has recently completed a week long CEO retreat in Boston as part of a programme of strategic activities over the next six months - has reached the final within the 'industry category' and now competes against 23 other entrepreneurs with winners announced in October this year.
Compusoft group welcome new marketing manager
With Compusoft's healthy expansion plans for the UK kitchen and bathroom market, the company has appointed Amanda Glover as its new marketing manager.
New to the kbb industry, Amanda's background of marketing started by graduating with a Business and Marketing BA (Hons) Degree at De Montfort University in 2013 and continued with her role as marketing co-ordinator at Pera Consulting, helping deliver national government programmes which offered support to businesses to increase economic GVA and employment.
AKW transforming 31 dementia-friendly bathrooms at Grade II listed Lypiatt Lodge, Cheltenham
AKW, the UK's leading manufacturer that's renowned for its accessible bathroom solutions, has completed the first phase in the renovation of 31 luxury dementia-friendly en-suite bathrooms at the Grade II listed Lypiatt Lodge nursing home.
Situated in a striking period house in the heart of Cheltenham, Lypiatt Lodge provides specialist nursing care to residents with both long term and respite needs. The nursing home was acquired by Fidelia Care Limited in 2015 and, after evaluating the needs of residents and assessing the home's existing facilities, the new owners decided to undertake a full refurbishment of the property in order to update the site and better support residents, especially those with dementia.
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Kitchen entrepreneur shortlisted for coveted interiors award
Liebherr has great success at Grand Designs Live London
HIB welcomes bathroom renovation popularity
VitrA expands sales team with new 'North of England' rep