KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
16th June 2017
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.
Targeting the top end of the market, Utopia is deliberately competing against European brands to prove inspired British design can not only match but surpass the continental offering.
Like everyone else, I've been distressed by the devastating news about Wednesday's fire at London's Grenfell Tower.
I know that every day, people are injured or killed in their masses throughout the world and like most of us, I hurt for them all. With my daughter working for the London Fire Brigade though, and seeing her return home late the past two nights - so very distressed at what she'd experienced throughout her long days - a more graphic picture than I might have received, has been painted for me.
Early-hours reports that an exploding fridge had caused the fire, weren't, as far as I could see, repeated over the ensuing 24-hours and I'd hoped that this was simply an unfounded rumour, since our industry is already having to deal with the fallout from previous appliance fires - some of which have led to a loss of life. Yesterday afternoon however, once the reporters had been given the chance to speak to survivors, a story emerged that one of the residents on the fourth floor - where it has been said that the fire initially broke out, had called a neighbour into his flat to witness his burning fridge.
The spotlight is currently on other areas though... Building services such as sprinklers and alarms apparently weren't functioning properly and cladding installed last year as part of an upgrade, allegedly caused the fire's incredibly rapid spread. Safety advice given to residents in the event of a fire (before this one occurred), is also being called into question.
Whatever the outcome of the investigations, one thing this disaster has brought home to me is what a heck of a responsibility we all have for other people's lives. We go about our work, often following instructions that we may or may not agree with, generally oblivious to the effect that what we do, might have on others. Gas and electrical safety are much tighter than they used to be but how many of us can honestly say we work safely all the time? Do we perhaps endanger others by cutting corners to get the job done more quickly? Do we drive safely or do we perhaps make rash decisions if we're running late, which could cause other drivers to swerve or brake suddenly and perhaps have an accident?
I won't go on, but it does make you think, doesn't it? At least I hope it does.
This Week's News
At the fourth Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group Annual Members' Meeting, which took place on Monday, over 130 delegates participated in an expansive programme dedicated to the current climate of the kitchens and bathrooms industry.
The theme for this year's event was balance, which was incorporated into KBBG managing director Bill Miller's address. This explained the importance of striking the right balance in any successful business and also included the announcement of additional suppliers and services, which are uniquely available to members.
Wilsonart UK is reporting increased sales of its Zenith ultra slimline work surface for use as kitchen islands. The trend for column-come table in the kitchen fell out of favour in recent years but is being championed once again by independent and national chain retailers.
"Our own research and experience highlights an increase in the specification of multi-purpose kitchen islands, something borne out by a recent Houzz report," says Ruby Kiernan, marketing communication manager for Wilsonart UK, part of the world's largest manufacturer of laminate surfaces.
In-Wash is an innovative WC with in-built technology for exceptional personal hygiene that provides complete cleaning, care and comfort. Its soft curves and minimalistic design mean In-Wash will adapt perfectly to the interior design of any bathroom space for ultimate well-being.
ArtiCAD has announced that new graphics for the Silestone Quartz, Dekton Ultra-Compact and Sensa Protected Granite from Cosentino will shortly be available as a comprehensive graphics catalogue within the ArtiCAD-Pro software.
Designers using ArtiCAD-Pro and wishing to incorporate Cosentino's innovative and stylish surfaces within their designs will simply be able to search the graphics catalogue, select the items and finishes they require and then insert them into their new room design.
Extra deep with sleek lines for a luxurious bathing or showering experience, there are three freestanding models in both acrylic and solid surface resin along with two double-ended, two single-ended and one inset bath.
Hectic family lifestyles can result in varied meal times and routines. There is now an increased need for appliances that are easy to use, which also benefit from reheating and last minute defrosting functions. This microwave has seven power levels, a clear digital display with simple, no fuss, button and dial controls.
British cooking brand Stoves has announced a new partnership with cookery theatre provider Chefs on Stage, which will see its appliances used at food and drink festivals across the UK throughout 2017.
Stoves will provide built-in cookery appliances for the live cookery theatres at some of the biggest food and drink festivals in the country - from Harrogate to London and Glasgow to Portsmouth.
Utopia Bathrooms has introduced a new freestanding version of its popular Dualelle double-ended bath to complement its three new modular collections and also to capitalise on the general popularity of feature baths.
The smart new Dualelle freestanding bath is available unpainted in gleaming white or in three fabulous painted metallic finishes, Copper, Indigo and Lustre, to match the metallic accents on the new Star, Lustre and Opula furniture.
Steve, formerly of Ideal Bathrooms, took up his post in April and brings with him 27 years' experience from within the bathroom industry. He will play a key role in driving the company's growth plans as well as building on Barwick's outstanding reputation for customer service to bathroom retailers.
Luxury, freestanding bath specialist Waters Baths of Ashbourne has invested in a new show van, which it has kitted out with some of its latest launches, to give retailers the opportunity to see the quality and beauty of its products in person.
Now visiting retailers throughout the UK, it features beautiful, inspirational photography of just some of the manufacturer's stunning stone and acrylic freestanding baths.
Geberit and distributor CM Marketing are proud sponsors of the Northern Ireland school's rugby team, which will spend several weeks over the summer practicing its best scrum and tackles against sides from other nations.
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.
How to contact us at The KBzine:
REQUEST THE KBZINE HERE
The KBzine is broadcast
every Friday. You may receive it FREE each week by
clicking the link above.