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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
3rd February 2012


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

International News

Glimmers of hope for remodelling in the US in 2012

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After 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.

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.

Gender differences using technology highlighted by survey

Men are baffled by washing machines while women can't get their heads around smart phone, research revealed this month.

Welcome to the

I write this wearing fingerless gloves... my hands are really feeling the cold this week and frozen fingers don't type very accurately! And of course Southern England isn't suffering so badly in this cold snap that seems to have hit most of Northern and Central Europe this week. The winds are really howling around my office but at least it's not -25 degrees!

Figures recently released show that the majority of accidents caused this time of year are by drivers setting off before they've cleared their windscreens, mirrors etc, properly.

That's not something I'm generally guilty of but I almost came a cropper this week when I drove off one evening with just a little wet on my windscreen, which didn't cause a problem on my driveway. Once I was on the main road , however, the other drivers' lights made it more difficult to see so I decided to clear it with my windscreen wipers.

cat-in-rad.jpgDespite not having used the water spray (before the blonde jokes start!) I was suddenly faced with a completely iced-up windscreen, which was worrying for me but probably even more so for the driver following me! Be warned...

The KBB industry relies heavily on people being out on the road for long hours: delivery drivers, fitters, joiners, salespeople etc. and while it's tiring and pressurised work at any time of the year, weather conditions such as those we're experiencing right now make things far worse, so if you're an employer, try & allow extra time for some warming tea breaks for your team!

One of my friends sent me this picture and it actually makes me feel warmer. I hope - if you're feeling the cold today - it does the same for you!




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Pseudomonas - we need more facts

* Pseudomonas.jpgBy Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association

The tragic baby deaths in Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital have shocked us all and investigations into how and where this killer bug, pseudomonas, thrived, need to be carried out quickly and accurately.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee: 60 years of Britain at work

(more productive, more prosperous, more unequal, more stressed, more workless)

In a special Work Audit report published yesterday to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development looks at how work in Britain has changed since 1952. The report finds:

Carron Phoenix has lots of surprises in store

* Carron-Phoenix-glass-sink.jpgKBB Birmingham 2012: Stand N110 Stand B80, Hall 18

Carron Phoenix will unveil a raft of exciting new sinks, taps, waste disposers and cooker hoods, continuing the company's drive for a comprehensive portfolio based on the principles of affordably good design and long-lasting quality. In addition to the new launches, the company will showcase all of the products launched in Summer 2011, further underlining the depth and breadth of what's on offer to retailers.

Pronorm shows off new products

* pronorm-curved-kitchen.jpgKBB 2012: Stand M125, Hall 18

With its sights on increasing UK business and expanding its 80-strong retailer base, Pronorm will be showcasing its distinctive brand of precision built rigid furniture together with superb new designs and product developments.

Bushboard : 'Sensational surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms'

* Bushboard-Glacier-White-worksurface-Encore-range.jpgKBB 2012: Stand M90, Hall 18

'Sensational surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms', is the new corporate strapline being displayed loud and proud by Bushboard on a stand which will be packed with yet more innovative and design-oriented new products for retailers and designers from the Encore solid surface, Omega and Prima laminate and Nuance bathroom surfacing brands.

The Encore range of solid surfacing is being extended with a brand new hybrid material which mirrors the look of real stone but has the fabrication ease and seamless appeal of solid surface. Available in four luxurious-looking designs, the material is exclusive to Bushboard and won't disappoint those who are used to clever and stylish solutions from this forward-thinking supplier.

SBID offers honorary membership to kbbreview award finalists

The Society of British Interior Designers is offering the finalists in the design categories of the kbbreview Awards the opportunity to become an honorary member for a year, usually worth more than £300.

Ellis Furniture launches the Brompton Natural Oak kitchen

* Ellis-Furniture-Brompton-Natural-Oak.jpgSleek and contemporary, the new Brompton Natural Oak Kitchen from Ellis Furniture brings warmth to the heart of the home with its smooth, lustrous finish - and when teamed with an impactful glass splashback in a sizzling orange and Inspire Gloss Black units, the result is a stylish, on trend kitchen space.

With 'Tangerine Tango' dubbed the colour for 2012 by the Pantone Colour Institute, this winning kitchen combination is sure to top the popularity stakes and make a stunning statement in many homes. Not only does this kitchen offer up to the minute striking styling, a host of versatile cabinet styles and sizes - the addition of sleek CDA appliances, a postformed worktop in Welsh slate, and chrome bar handles, creates an immensely practical space.

World record-breaking paralympic athlete champions independent living opportunity

* paralympic-athlete-independent-living.jpgIf anyone is an inspirational role model for illustrating the rewards in overcoming a disability, it's Jon-Allan Butterworth. The 25-year-old is considered one of the country's brightest hopefuls for the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the cycling category, having already broken numerous British and world records. The athlete has teamed up with independent living solutions provider AKW to demonstrate that having a disability does not mean you cannot be self-sufficient in the home.

160-year old kitchenwares firm goes for high-tech inventory management tool

A multi award-winning kitchen, dining and housewares supplier with a 160-year history has opted for a high-tech solution to boost already impressive availability targets.

New Abode for talented young technical designer

* Mark-Staweczny.jpgTalented 25 year old Mark Staweczny recently joined the award winning design team of Abode, the manufacturer of highly creative kitchen sinks and taps and bathroom brassware.

Vado announces 2012 catalogue collection

In preparation for what is set to be another busy year for brassware manufacturer Vado, the company has produced a range of 2012 catalogues tailored to the specific requirements of its customers, namely:

Vado Catalogue; contains the company's complete portfolio of taps, showers and accessories. The 2012 edition features five complete new product ranges and 60 product additions to popular lines. As well as a useful reference for showroom staff, this catalogue is also designed for the showroom's customers.

Franke appoints Annie for first class aftersales service

* Annie-Dwan.jpgKitchen system, sink and tap specialist, Franke, has appointed Annie Dwan to work in Customer Services.

Annie is well qualified in customer care and liaising with retailers and distributors from her previous roles within the airline industry and IT sector.

KBSA announces new corporate member

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has just announced a new Corporate Member, Keller Kitchens.

Keller is an established Dutch kitchen manufacturer with over 75 years' experience of producing contemporary, traditional and designer handless kitchens, and is one of the Europe`s largest kitchen furniture suppliers.

FIRA dramatically reduces its carbon footprint by working with Recycling Furniture

* FIRA-recylced.jpgThrough the help of Recycling Furniture, The Furniture Industry Research Association is now able to recycle a large proportion of the furniture it tests, rather than sending it to landfill.

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

Ultima Furniture Systems takes over Matchmaker Kitchens

Longstanding cabinet manufacturer Ultima Furniture Systems has today announced that it is taking over the Matchmaker Kitchen brand.

Retrofit 2012 conference finds that policymakers have yet to engage with human behaviour

The University of Salford Retrofit 2012 conference concluded yesterday with a detailed focus on the challenges of the large-scale behaviour change needed in the UK if the Government is to achieve its carbon reduction targets.

Belling announces centenary plans for 2012

Popular cooking appliance brand Belling, has announced a 12 month programme of activity to take place throughout 2012 to celebrate its centenary year.

Anna Ryder Richardson and Gerd Bulthaup to speak at kbb Birmingham

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The seminar programme for kbb Birmingham 2012 has been announced and it promises to equip visitors with the inspiration and knowledge for the year ahead, discussing the key issues facing the sector.


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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