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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th January 2010


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

International News

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.

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:


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.

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

First I must congratulate the winners of the New Design Britain awards which were announced during a drinks reception at a buzzing 'interiors 2010' this week.

The New Design Britain awards, in cooperation with the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and sponsored by Willis and Gambier, are the culmination of months of hard work by the students and the organisers to find the very best product designs the UK has to offer. With over 150 entries from over 80 universities, the final 16 were showcased throughout the event.

I have to agree with Judge Damian Walton, who believes it is hugely important for the next generation to feel that the industry and professionals within it are interested. "Product is all about design and if you don't invest in design, you won't progress the products," he argued.

There were three categories in the competition and each was then divided into 'Made in Britain' and 'Designed in Britain'. The winners were:

Accessories : Made in Britain – Ruler by James Cadogan / Designed in Britain – Contoured Blind by Helena Carelson
Fabrics & Surface Coverings : Golden Stag wallpaper by Lynsey Henderson / 4 countries fabric by Jennifer Jones
Furniture : Coat stand by Lorna Wilby / Multi function dining station by Phil Crook
The judges also singled out Tamar Balakjian for a special mention, feeling that her table cover was "in a class of its own".

Next week we kick off our 'rolling' preview of another much anticipated industry event - kbb Birmingham 2010, which is celebrating its 25th year at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21st -24th March. If you're exhibiting at the show and haven't yet told us why visitors should make a point of going along to your stand, please do so quickly and ensure you don't miss the chance of sharing your news with KBZine's many readers throughout the world.



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

Indesit wins Good Design award 2009 with the Quadrio

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For the third year running Indesit Company has received a Good Design Award for industrial design. After Scholtés's Multiplo cooking vessel in 2009 and the Indesit Moon washing machine (in the 'Bathroom' category) in 2008, the 2009 award went to Hotpoint-Ariston's Quadrio fridge in the domestic appliances section.

Granted by the Chicago Athenaeum - Museum of Architecture and Design together with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, the award was in recognition of the excellence of the design produced by the famous Japanese designer Makio Hasuike for a revolutionary fridge that carries forward food preservation technology whilst showing an intelligent attitude to energy saving.

The revolutionary Quadrio concept guarantees energy savings of over 50% with respect to a normal fridge: both the fridge and freezer compartments have independently opening doors so that the internal temperature is re-established more quickly. An intelligent technology that's useful for the consumer and friendly to the environment because it's geared to economic efficiency, wellbeing and reduction of waste.

iF Product Design Award 2010

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For over 50 years the iF design award has served as a recogniSed trademark for outstanding design all over the world. This year the jury gave its professional opinion on the design quality of entries in 16 product categories and noted that - especially in economically uncertain times - design is a decisive factor in terms of market success and value creation, with many of the submitted products setting new benchmarks in their respective fields.

According to the jury chairman Fritz Frenkler (of f/p design in Germany): "Good design isn't born of good marketing, it's created by designers."

A total of 2,486 products from 1,016 entrants in 38 countries were judged and 778 designs were awarded as the best designs.

The iF product design award are marked on design quality, workmanship, choice of materials, degree of innovation, environmental friendliness, functionality, ergonomics, visualization of use, safety, brand value, branding and universal design.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances is pleased to announce that in the category Kitchen/Household the Product Design Award 2010 has been awarded to CoolDrawer, said to be the world's first multi-temperature cooling drawer.

'Next' kitchen collection from Schueller makes great design affordable

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The 'next' collection for 2010 is a new modern kitchen classic featuring a streamlined cubic shape, new innovative materials and door designs all with the promise of making great design affordable. The collection includes 'next125' and the handle-less 'nextline' range, which rival premium brands for the finish and the fixtures, but offered at a mid-market price.

Each kitchen has a pure cubic shape, made possible by a depth of 575mm, which not only looks beautiful but provides additional storage space, demonstrating how creativity can be combined with practicality. The collection is also built on a Raster system of 125mm, usually the preserve of premium kitchens, so that the line in the kitchen is continuous and unbroken.

Mereway Bathrooms kick off new launch this coming Monday

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Always offering the very best in bathroom furniture, Mereway Bathrooms continues to live up to its reputation by investing in the launch of new door styles, handles and brassware, available from 1st February.

First to announce is the new addition to Mereway's long-established style Aegean door style. Aegean; (pictured) is a stylish paneled raised and fielded design that has helped Mereway cater for the traditional end of the market for many years. As this market is showing signs of strengthening, Mereway has given Aegean a makeover, introducing two beautiful warming woodgrains; a Warm Maple and Warm Cherry finish, with matching or contrasting cabinet colours available.

Tiles anywhere and everywhere

* tile_association.jpgIn the UK ceramic and natural stone tiles used to be confined to the bathroom and kitchen but not anymore. Now British homeowners are becoming more like their European neighbours and are using tiles throughout the home. If your home is minimalist loft, cool, uncluttered Scandinavian, richly decorated Victorian or warm country cottage there is a tile that will perfectly reflect and enhance your style.

Why not use the same floor tile throughout the house and change the moods with soft furnishings. Using the same floor covering gives a feeling of spaciousness as the hall blends into the dining room, which merges with the kitchen and melts into the lounge. Go for the latest porcelain, natural stone lookalikes in trendy pale beige or cream. They provide a neutral background to the rest of your f

20-20 Fusion welcomes Pilkington's Tiles Group to its fast-growing catalogue portfolio

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20-20 Fusion, the renowned developer of advanced design and visualisation software for the kitchen and bathroom industry, is delighted to announce the addition of Pilkington's to its fast-growing portfolio of manufacturer catalogues. Pilkington's will be represented across both the Fusion Bathrooms and Kitchens platforms with the inclusion of its complete product portfolio, encompassing over 500 wall and floor tiles, borders and mosaics.

Retailers using the Fusion design software can now offer their customers an even greater variety of tiling choices as a result of this new collaboration. Pilkington's has its finger firmly on the pulse of tile fashions and its integration within Fusion Design gives customers the opportunity to explore all of the latest looks, colours and fixing style options.

Thermastone: for the design conscious kitchen connoisseur

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Gadget loving design junkies will love this innovative kitchen 'must have' from Mercury. The super slick, modern styling of the Thermastone heat storage range cooker has embraced all things design to the maximum and created a kitchen appliance that not only looks great, but which also pushes traditional boundaries of cooking technology.

The special silicon carbide material that creates two of the four oven cavities is an exceptionally hard material with what is said to be twice the heat store capacity of the cast iron used in other heat storage cookers. The hob - comprised of two gas burners and an electric solid surface Chef's Plate, perfect for simmering, sizzling and sauteing, all powered separately from the ovens - unusually offers users the option of adjustable heat storage temperatures throughout the summer months, without compromising its slick and exclusive look, perfectly matched for any style of kitchen.

Jade Allen joins 20-20 Fusion’s dynamic sales team

Jade_Allen.jpg20-20 Fusion, the design and visualisation software specialist, is delighted to announce the appointment of Jade Allen as its new Area Sales Manager for the North of England.

Jade comes from a sales background, having worked for a Manchester-based PR agency where she learned the value of nurturing strong business relationships with clients and customers. Coupled with her local knowledge, this makes Jade the ideal candidate for taking the 20-20 Fusion message to retailers and manufacturers throughout the North of England.

Lawmakers join forces to 'waterproof' EU policies

A newly-established Water Intergroup in the European Parliament has started to help MEPs consider EU water policies more horizontally, as the European Commission prepares to put its water strategies in line with climate and resource-efficiency policies.

"Adaptation to climate change, risks of flooding and water scarcity will be on the agenda, as well as the influence of product design and different production processes," said the new group's chairman, MEP Richard Seeber opening its first meeting yesterday on Wednesday.

The group's monthly meetings are also expected to address "the security of infrastructures, the necessity of ensuring technological leadership by the European water industry and the relationship between water, health and biodiversity," he continued.

The informal MEP and stakeholder group was set up with the support of Eureau, the European federation of national drinking and waste water operators, which will also manage the intergroup's secretariat.

Lee Hobbins joins Utopia

* Lee_Hobbins.jpgUtopia Bathroom Group has announced the appointment of Lee Hobbins as Contract Area Sales Manager for the South East.

Lee joins Utopia from Porcelanosa where he spent seven years in a variety of roles. His most recent position was Area Sales Manager for the South Eastern region, where he was responsible for a team targeting the house builder market.

The appointment of Lee follows that of Phillip Conroy and Tom Dicks as Contact Area Sales Managers in December and further enhances the expansion of Utopia's Contract and Developer team.

T: 01902 406402
W: www.utopiagroup.com

Return to Zehnder!

Zehnder Retail Division tells us it is strengthening its operation in the UK merchant and showroom market with the introduction of the Zehnder brand to the retail market. This will incorporate the current Acova product portfolio from 1st February 2010.

Zehnder will focus on distributing innovative, well designed, towel radiators and heating products through bathroom and kitchen showrooms and the merchant network. The exciting portfolio will incorporate products previously sold as Acova as well as new additions from the Zehnder range. Bisque, acquired by ZGUK in 2007, will continue to offer design-led products to premium showrooms under its own brand name.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen helps citizens 'age in place'

* dreammaker.jpgAccording to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders in the US, most baby boomers are choosing to 'age in place' at their current homes. And, in honour of Senior Independence Month this February, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen says there are several upgrades that can be made to make a home safe and enjoyable.

"Today's mature population is more independent than ever, so they're bucking the trend of downsizing," says Doug Dwyer, president and CSO of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen. "We're finding that adults over 50 are looking for ways to refresh their existing residence as opposed to moving into age-restricted communities. Today's mature population is more independent than ever, so they're bucking the trend of downsizing."
Doug says the following remodels can perform double

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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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