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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th January 2012


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

International News

Designer predicts bathroom trends for 2012

As 2012 fast approaches, Ideal Standard International designer Robin Levien gives his bathroom predictions for next year:

Vintage 2012

We are living through uncertain times once again and this creates insecurity. This insecurity translates into nostalgia for a supposedly better time. This time is usually the 'vintage era' of the mid-20th century and will impact the bathroom through optimistic splashes of colour or fabrics and even bold geometric patterns to brighten up bathrooms.

Is this Britain's oldest working fridge?

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Made in England around the time of WWII, this remarkable fridge, owned by Jim Williamson of Hope Valley, Derbyshire, has been in constant use keeping food fresh ever since.

Bohle presents exciting new glass surface protection product

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There are many different surface protection products for glass and glazed ceramics available in the market, offering various degrees of protection. In reality, not all live up to the durable protective effect they promise. Moreover, application is often complicated and care problematical. With its new BriteGuard surface protection system, Manchester-based Bohle, is taking the first step in offering a new range of surface coating systems, setting what it says are completely new standards as far as application and durability are concerned.

Ellis Furniture celebrates new business gains

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Ellis Furniture is celebrating yet another round of successes after securing new kitchen furniture accounts including Napier Bathrooms and Interiors in Edinburgh, Marlin Interiors in Amesbury, Simply Bathrooms in Ripon and Basin Bath & Beyond of Chester, to name just four. The wins, which are a combination of new accounts and development of existing bathroom retailers into kitchens, come hot on the heels of a period of significant investment from the manufacturer.

IDS expands UK coverage with brand new showroom and warehouse at Norwich

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Surface materials distributor IDS has expanded its national network and opened the doors on its brand new Norwich showroom two weeks ago. With 224 sq m of floorspace, it is now one of the company's largest showrooms in the UK (it's located on Arms Park Road, Union Park, Norwich and the former site at Eversley Road has been closed).

IDS has had a showroom presence in the Norwich area for six years, servicing a varied customer base in the Norfolk area. Strong business growth, coupled with an expanding customer base and product portfolio, resulted in IDS looking for a larger site for the next stage in its development . The new site boasts a superb geographical location facilitating easy access for trade customers to visit, as well as fast road access for prompt deliveries in line with IDS's policy of 24-48 hours from stock.

Welcome to the

The Christmas and New Year holidays were not ambushed by the snowy and icy weather that had threatened  - well - in my neck of the woods anyway, so I took advantage of mild days and an extended break from producing KBZine to do some much needed clearing out in my home and garden.

This resulted in numerous trips to the British Heart Foundation shop (which takes furniture and electrical goods) and other charity shops, as well as frequent visits to the local dump.

I was not the only one making changes at home and the dump was fairly busy.

On each trip I was dismayed to see skips full of clearly reusable items, from household and office furniture of all types to toys and garden items - much of it newer and in seemingly better condition than that which I have at home. The charity shops could have had a field day with that lot!

And while I know that there's a thriving scrap metal industry (in more ways than one!) I couldn't help but wonder whether better use could be put to the rows of fridges, freezers, cookers, hobs, extractors etc, which were lined up like soldiers in seemingly endless rows.

Looking at them, it occurred to me that the KBB sector had done pretty well in my area with lots of refurbishments taking place over the holidays, so something good had come from their disposal.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Soapbox: Graham Ball discusses National Training Group

Graham Ball, Acting Chair, KBB National Training Group discusses some misconceptions regarding the role of the National Training Group in the KBB sector

There appears to be a lack of knowledge amongst some blogtwitbookers about the role of the NTG in today's KBB markets, so let me give them some relevant facts.

Glimmers of hope for remodelling in the US in 2012

* lira_2011_q4_fullsize.jpgAfter a slow start, home improvement spending is expected to trend up later this year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released this week by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. If this momentum continues to build during the second half of the year, remodelling activity is on course to end 2012 on a positive note.

"We're beginning to see some hopeful signs in the economy, and the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery," says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. "That should prove helpful for home improvement spending as the year progresses."

Furniture retail quality group publishes Flammability Best Practice Guide

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new best practice guide for flammability testing of upholstery on behalf of the Furniture Retail Quality Group, the technical committee representing all major UK furniture retailers.

The new guide - FIRA-FRQG F001: 2011 - has been developed by FRQG to fulfil four major functions:

Deva Lace and Adore with Enviro-Klick help reduce water consumption

* Deva-Lace-Mono-Enviro-Klick-Methven.jpgWith water saving increasingly front of mind, Methven UK is expanding the Deva Contemporary Collection of tapware with the addition of the Lace and Adore mono basin mixers with Enviro-Klick. These stylish and worthy additions to any modern bathroom - Lace with its ergonomic looped handle and Adore with its sleek, flat lever handle - can help reduce water wastage with their clever flow reduction technology.

Enviro-Klick technology can achieve a substantial reduction in water consumption, compared with a standard tap. From the off position, the lever handle is moved to the 'reduced flow' mode, which delivers 80% less water than a standard tap cartridge. This equates to just 1.8 litres a minute at 0.5 bar, offering the greatest savings of all similar technology currently available.

PJH Group announces major new distributor partnership with Franke

PJH has become Franke's newest UK national distributor, supplying the entire Franke range of over 700 products, from stock, from 1st February 2012.

The addition of the 700+ Franke product portfolio to PJH's kitchen sink and tap range presents customers with a partnership of market leading excellence.

Gender differences using technology highlighted by survey

Amica-Platinum-combi-steam-oven-blue-display.jpgMen are baffled by washing machines while women can't get their heads around smart phone, research revealed this month.

A study of 2,000 adults found while most blokes can comfortably 'drive' a string of household electrical gadgets a few of them regularly prove to be a step too far. A quarter of men admitted they had no idea how to use their washing machine and a similar number were clueless when it came to using the grill or oven.

Duke of Gloucester meets Ellis Furniture apprentice

* HRH-Duke-of-Gloucester-Ellis-Furniture-Apprentice Chris Mattimoe.jpgAn apprentice from Huddersfield-based manufacturer Ellis Furniture, Chris Mattimoe, recently had the honour of meeting The Duke of Gloucester during his official visit to Leeds College of Building, the UK's only specialist construction college.

Whilst on official engagements in Yorkshire, The Duke, a former architect who now represents The Queen at royal engagements, requested a visit to the college after learning of numerous national and international accolades the students have secured.

KitchenAid introduces downdraft hood

KCDD9010-Down-draft-hood_KitchenAid.jpgAs cooker hoods have assumed almost iconic status as fashion statements in the kitchen, so the choices in style and methods of extraction have increased accordingly. For those who want to create the maximum amount of space, the discreet downdraft hood is the perfect choice.

Rather than sitting above the hob, the KitchenAid retractable KCDD 9010 downdraft hood is installed behind it. Suitable for any kind of hob, it slides up into position only when needed, resting invisibly below the worksurface at other times. This design innovation creates a new sense of space in the kitchen, giving users the freedom to achieve the state-of-the-art interior they desire.

MX DuraStone shower trays - leading the way in shower tray technology

Warehouse_MX.jpgShower tray manufacturer MX Group has launched its new range of DuraStone shower trays.

DuraStone shower trays incorporate all the benefits of the latest materials and technologies in producing probably the most sophisticated and versatile low profile shower tray in today's market. The tray's construction consists of a 2.2mm ABS acrylic capped shell that is filled with a mineral stone resin mix. The monocoque construction is then completed with a 2mm ABS embossed base that helps adhesion when installing.

The DuraStone shower tray incorporates the added benefit of torsion beams, creating rigidity to the overall tray structure. At 60% lighter than a traditional stone resin tray, DuraStone complies with the HSE regulations for a one-man lift. Manufactured to BS EN14527:2006, these trays are made using WRAS approved Phthalate free materials.

We have mail: training dates

Hi Jan,

I am pleased to confirm the following dates and venues for my Sales and Customer care courses Jan-April 2012. I do hope that companies will send their delegates along to these courses as the benefit will be increased profitable sales for their organisations.

Over the last five years, I have trained over 770 KBB delegates on my courses and helped them improve their skills in delivering exceptional customer care (thereby ensuring prompt payments and extra referral business) and increase their business in a very competitive market.

V-Zug joins KBSA as corporate member

Kevin-John_142.jpgSwiss premium appliances company V-ZUG is pleased to announce it has joined the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, which gives consumers confidence when purchasing a new appliance. The KBSA trademark assures the consumer they are using a reputable retailer.

As a member, V- Zug agrees to adhere to the association's strict guidelines, which is to ensure a high level of service in the areas of design, supply and installation. The KBSA has more than 300 fully accredited, independent kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and home office retailers across the UK.

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.

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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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Recent News

New project will give boost to manufacturing

A new Foresight project investigating the future of manufacturing out to 2050 was launched this week by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Soapbox: The demand is there but the will to invest is not

Steve Macdonald, marketing director of Hoover Candy, shares his views on the pent-up consumer. He argues that the will and need for consumers to invest in new kitchens is there but unless the industry can make it comfortable to pay for their investment, they will remain 'pent -up'.

Mayor unveils strategy to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs for London

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There was great news for the KBB industry this week, when the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, unveiled ambitious plans to deliver 55,000 new affordable homes by 2015 with the potential to create over 100,000 jobs over the next four years.

UK mums dream of a white goods Christmas!

UK mums are dreaming of a white goods Christmas, according to money-saving site ILoveCashback.com

Top 10 Christmas searches at Britain's popular shopping site that combines price comparison, voucher codes and cashback, include the ever-helpful 'dishwasher', 'microwave' and even the good old 'refrigerator'!

Design takes centre stage in Government's drive for innovation and growth

Design is to play a central role in the Government's new Innovation & Research Strategy for Growth - unveiled recently by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills.

Hoover cooks up Britain's Best Dish

Hoover's ovens are proving to be a hit with a chef on Britain's Best Dish as he claimed the oven is as good as a professional oven when producing a winning meal on the programme.

Three new retailers join KBSA

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that three new quality retailers have joined as members. Bank Interiors with a showroom in Kenilworth, Osborne Interiors of Chiswick and S&T Kitchens in Berkshire.


Symphony pledges support for retailers with New Year deal

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Furniture manufacturer Symphony is to launch a major price promotion in a bid to help retailers battle the recession.


Amica launches brand new built-in catalogue

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Amica has launched a shiny new catalogue, which showcases its revitalised line-up of built-in ovens, hobs, hoods, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigeration appliances for the UK and Ireland in 2012.

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