KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
2nd November 2018
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Available in silk gloss lacquer or structured lacquer, the Winchester kitchen boasts beautiful colours from the Master, Trend and Comfort Collections, including 1,950 hues and natural stain on veneer shades, such as honey and oak, allowing homeowners to create their favourite look and feel.
While there were both winners and losers with this week's budget, one thing I was pleased to see is that the Chancellor is taking seriously our need to halt the demise of the 'Great British High Street' with the announcement of the £675 million 'Future High Streets Fund', which will support and fund local areas' plans to make our high streets and town centres fit for the future.
According to Office for National Statistics figures, between 2007 and 2018 online sales increased six-fold while in-store sales dropped dramatically, leading to the closure of many long-established and much-loved stores. Friends and family grumble about these closures but the younger ones are shopping online more and more; seemingly unconcerned by any "use it or lose it" warnings. In 2000, online retailing accounted for less than 1% of retail sales while in August 2018 almost a fifth of all retail sales took place online. It's scary, isn't it?
Online retailers can offer competitive prices, more choice and greater convenience than many town centre competitors. In turn, we consumers are changing what we want from our shopping centres: The Institute of Place Management reports that there is an increased importance placed upon the overall 'experience' of high street shopping; we want our town centres to provide convenience, a sense of community and to add value through services not offered online.
Evidence from the Public Health England British Property Foundation shows that high streets with a wide choice alongside well-designed and planned residential and office space are more resilient to these changes and are adapting more successfully. In contrast, high streets that rely heavily on traditional retail without sufficient office space and housing, have found it harder to adapt and tend to be the ones that are struggling.
Through my work in estate agency I'm well aware of the lovely spaces above our town centre shops - many of them devoid of any useful purpose which is a real shame when one considers the general lack of available housing. The moves to make these spaces useful again are most welcome and filling them with people who may well patronise the shops below will help make our town centres vibrant again.
News that something's finally going to be done about our nation's potholes was also welcome, although I do wonder whether enough money has been set aside, bearing in mind the size and number that need to be tackled...
This Week's News
The comments were made at the Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference. Yvonne said that the industry was missing a chance to gain more sales as their research showed that consumers would be positively influenced to buy products if they had more information about water efficiency.
The new kitchen from Keller comprises a choice of artistic melamine cabinetry in various shades and finishes to offer an industrial look. The Elba model is available in nine colours from the Master Collection and 14 colours from the Comfort Collection, including Graphite Fleetwood (pictured) which gives a wood-effect appearance, whilst remaining less vulnerable to scratches and scrapes than real wood.
The simple industrial style offers homeowners and designers the opportunity to create trendy 'personal' kitchens. Complemented by statement pieces and fashionable accessories, such as brass or copper-coloured light fixtures which can be matched with bold coloured appliances - such as a striking metallic fridge - Keller's Elba model enables homeowners to turn their dream kitchen into a reality.
The AIA UK Student Charette returned for its eighth consecutive year and once again the one-day student design competition was hosted by the Roca London Gallery and supported by Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen.
The new products that have been added to the portfolio include:
With kitchen design now based around lifestyle choices and no two spaces ever being the same, Masterclass Kitchens introduces The Signature Collection, a series of iconic products that make every kitchen special and confirm that beauty is more than skin deep.
More than just a range, each piece in The Signature Collection can be chosen to suit the needs of the consumer, enabling the kitchen to be tailor-made to individual requirements.
Tap into the nation's passion for pattern in the home with the V&A Brompton range. No longer a style choice confined to the more adventurous designers amongst us, pattern is everywhere and it's packing a punch. From walls through to floors, retailers can help consumers embrace the current pattern trend, transforming a plain, neutral space into one brimming with individuality with this new collection.
Victorian decoration at its finest, the new Brompton range from British Ceramic Tile and the V&A delivers style and sophistication. Celebrating the Victorian fascination with medieval geometric floors, this striking collection of porcelain tiles can be used inside and out, decorating the home with authentic character.
Blanco UK has, once again, sponsored an aspiring young kitchen designer, Beth Elson, so that she can progress her career by taking a course with The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET) in Bucks University.
Beth completed her first year of the course in June, having been on three trips where she was able to interact with speakers from the industry and visit various kitchen locations, including the Roundhouse factory, Miele Experience Centre and the Weald and Downland Museum.
Wilsonart has appointed a new senior national account manager - Stuart Wilson. Formerly with the BSH Group, Stuart brings a wealth of experience from the kitchen industry and its diverse routes to market.
Having graduated from Brunel University in Uxbridge with Masters in Molecular Medicine and Cancer Research, Fahim was subsequently attracted to a career in sales and has since spent over seven years in Specifications.
International bathroom manufacturer, VitrA, has appointed Margarida Jesus as specification manager at its UK head office in Oxfordshire. Lisbon-born Margarida has a background in interior design and luxury consumer-goods sales.
Saniflo UK - the country's leading designer and manufacturer of macerators, pumps and shower cubicles - has launched a new website available at saniflo.co.uk, offering access to a a raft of information for homeowners wishing to find out more and upgrade their homes using a Saniflo product.
The new website makes it easy for homeowners to search and find the products they need.
Renowned for its stunning, handcrafted baths and coordinating basins, Clearwater is embracing the finest materials with a range of baths and basins crafted from polished natural stone and dynamic ClearStone.
InSinkErator is supplying its 3N1 steaming hot water taps to the new Galliard Homes development, Maine Tower, in London's Docklands. The Maine Tower, a focal point of the Harbour Central development, is to comprise 297 exquisite apartments situated over 42 floors. Each will feature an InSinkErator 3N1 L Shape steaming hot water tap finished in Brushed Steel.
Not only will this addition streamline the worktop, reducing the clutter of a kettle, the tap brings a number of convenient benefits to the end user.
A painstaking programme of development and testing, conducted by the Steel Window Association's technical committee, has led to the UK's top-rated fire testing centre granting a half-hour test certificate for both single and double W20 doorsets. Ongoing work by SWA member companies over the past eight months has culminated in the full fire test, carried out at the facilities of Exova Warrington, under BS 476:Pt 22: resulting in a 30-0 rating.
Where such tests are normally carried out on fire doors set into masonry or gypsum boarded wall constructions, the SWA opted to mount both the single and double doorsets within a glazed screen, replicating the situation in which they are routinely specified by architects and interior designers.
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