KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
31st August 2020
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The striking collection encompasses shower screen solutions, fittings and accessories, all designed to give customers the ultimate showering experience.
Brandt Design, specialist retailer in the design and installation of residential and commercial lifestyle interiors, bring its showrooms to you with the launch of a new commercial Design Tool.
I daresay that, like me, you'll have wondered many times over recent months where the Government is keeping its brains. Nothing seems to have been thought through and the plethora of inconsistencies... well - I've been shaking my head in disbelief so much that I seem to have created a permanent headache.
Some decisions have seemed perfectly reasonable; the stamp duty holiday for example. However, as someone who remembers the damage MIRAS did to the housing market back in the 80s, I have concerns about what will happen when stamp duty comes back into play. If you're too young to know what I'm talking about, Mortgage Interest Relief At Source enabled sharers to pool resources and buy property in an affordable way since both parties could claim tax relief on their mortgage payments. The announcement that the scheme was to end led to a rush on the market as sharers sought to secure a property in time to qualify for the scheme. Prices skyrocketed! My flat, bought just before the announcement, rose in value by 60% over a matter of weeks, before dropping back down overnight to slightly more than I'd paid for it, once the deadline came. The scheme's withdrawal plunged those who'd bought at inflated prices into 'negative equity', which for thousands, lasted years and in many cases led to repossessions. If you're planning to get on the housing ladder over the next few months, do be very careful.
Announced at around the same time as the stamp duty holiday was the Green Homes Grant, through which homeowners can apply for a £5000 voucher to make their homes more energy-efficient. I loved this scheme, believing it would kick-start the home improvement market, massively reduce our nation's energy and water consumption and help refill the Government's coffers with all that VAT and extra income tax being paid. Sadly though, this is another idea that hasn't been thought through properly, since the details, published this week, reveal that a couple of the 'biggies' - double glazing and water-saving fittings - aren't covered!
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association's chief executive, Tom Reynolds, is as disappointed as I am. "The Government's advisors on climate change found last year that heating water for showers and hot taps is the second largest source of household greenhouse gas emissions," he says. "With growing water scarcity, measures to reduce wasted water have a double-whammy benefit of reducing carbon and protecting vital water resources, so it's disappointing to see water efficiency not covered by this new Grant."
Can we as an industry get the Government to rethink this one, I wonder?
This Week's News
The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association have partnered with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the North American authority on all things residential kitchens and bathrooms, on its NKBA Global Connect Alliance Programme.
This international strategic collaboration connects associations and organisations serving the kitchen and bathroom marketplace to encourage a global exchange of current and forward-thinking insights and information.
Schmidt is now offering up to three different colours of materials on each cabinet, at no extra charge. Kitchen designers will be able to mix yellow and black for that bumble-bee look, or wood and white for a more subdued finish.
The new Pebble Beach model from Keller Kitchens embraces Scandinavian style with soft pebble tones and combines it with brighter contemporary trends to offer homeowners a chic, modern kitchen.
This bank holiday as record numbers of people stayed at home, Water UK and water efficiency expert Waterwise joined forces to call for more to be done to educate the public about their water use.
The Potteries Mechanics Institute Trust Fund is offering a bursary for learners wishing to complete the Bathroom Academy's online courses. The bursary will fully cover the academy fees of up to 10 students.
The Bathroom Academy is an entirely web-based learning platform, with content written by industry experts.
BC Designs, which several weeks ago brought back 100% of its employees from furlough to support international expansion, has strengthened its freestanding bath offering with the launch of the Chalice Minor bath.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has welcomed four more new members in the last few weeks, continuing the rise in membership, with 12 new showrooms joining the Association in the last five months.
The fact that next125 not only creates sophisticated kitchens combining design and function in spacious loft architectures, but also devises elegant and fully equipped kitchen designs on compact floor plans, speaks for its high degree of versatility and planning competence.
The premium brand of Schüller Möbelwerk KG integrates its carefully considered design-space miracles under the label ‘Tiny Kitchen’.
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home and the recent lockdown has seen people spending more and more time in this space; socialising in a family bubble, cooking, home schooling, crafting - the list goes on. People have had time to imagine their perfect kitchen and enquiries to retailers are strong.
Hotpoint has introduced a freestanding, American-style, stainless steel fridge freezer, with four doors that open to reveal three compartments (fridge, freezer and convertible zone) offering smart, flexible storage. Technologies inside the appliance create the ideal storage conditions, helping to keep food and drinks fresh for longer.
Screwfix is to open 40 stores this year, creating around 400 new jobs in local communities. The new openings demonstrate continued growth of the business and a growing demand for convenience, despite the challenges of Covid-19.
Quartz is one of the hardest natural substances; its high quality durability makes it the perfect choice for worktop surfaces. The KönigQuartz range from high-grade surface manufacturer, Königstone, has been engineered with this in mind and the allure of its impressive range of colour options is designed to excite all kitchen design schemes.
Whirlpool UK Appliances, parent company to Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid, announces the new appointment of Tim Buszka as head of brand and digital, UK & Ireland. Additionally, Kimberley Garner has been promoted to the new position of Hotpoint brand manager, while Charmaine Warner, Whirlpool brand manager, takes on the additional role of Indesit brand manager too.
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