KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
2nd December 2016
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Amica's Platinum Design features a choice of two compact ovens. Both provide a 38-litre combination of oven with built-in microwave and grill and both offer touch control LED clock and time. Five power levels for the oven and three for the grill feature on the AMMB44E1GI which also features a 1000W power combi oven with a 1500W grill.
The models have been updated with the addition of a refined new oven door-handle and the introduction of a new fascia panel, which proved a huge hit on the Delphi platform.
This 183 mm bowl is large and deep, and its uniquely slanted shape provides excellent space for washing up large saucepans and baking trays. Alongside the main bowl, there is an additional one with an integrated stainless steel colander and a large drainer area making this a truly multi-functional sink.
What do you think of kitchen islands?
As a retailer, do you like them and do your customers... Do they try to shoehorn them into too tiny a space or is it a case of 'take them or leave them'? Or as a manufacturer, are you happy about producing kitchen islands or are sales not really adequate to justify the extra costs and other considerations of manufacture and distribution.
And what about fitters? Do islands enhance your role in the supply chain or are they a pain in the rear to get just right? What do you think of the clients who buy kitchen islands? Do they seem 'decent'?
I ask because a friend has emailed me an article from today's MailOnline, in which kitchen islands - and those who have them - aren't spoken of very highly. Indeed the headline reads: 'Why you should NEVER get a kitchen island: interiors experts reveal the many reasons you should steer clear of the middle-class status symbol'. I wonder why?
Reading the article, I learned that while in theory islands add space and functionality to a kitchen that may not otherwise have much workspace, they are perhaps not as useful as people think. They have also, apparently, become a status symbol for the middle classes.
The publication has enlisted the help of a handful of interiors experts to back up these claims... One says they're impractical, preventing those using the kitchen from navigating their way around it and keeping sink, fridge and other useful appliances out of reach. Another said they're uncomfortable to sit at and compared eating at one to eating in the office canteen, calling them 'clinical'.
One referred to them as 'the kitchen island mistake' and said that the accompanying lighting is often 'a disaster', while a couple suggested that the island will become a dumping ground for people's things. Another said that because the island acts as a natural hub, it becomes virtually impossible for whoever's tasked with the cooking, to open drawers and cupboards or use the workspace.
Not very complimentary then... Scanning through the readers' comments though, I became aware of another angle. Consumers appear to love them, provided they have the space. I wonder if this is where the 'middle class' idea takes hold, as middle classes are, perhaps, more likely to have a decent sized kitchen than those of limited means. Wish my kitchen was big enough!
This Week's News
Robin Craddock, chairman of Lakes Bathrooms, passed away on 24th November 2016, aged 51. He lost his short battle with cancer, but went peacefully, surrounded by his family. Greatly respected and a friend to many in the industry, Robin was a larger than life personality; known for his inimitable style and boundless sense of humour. Together with his father, Alan, he launched Lakes Bathrooms 30 years ago and had just celebrated this milestone anniversary.
The latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, published today, reports improved order books, alongside resilient client confidence and strong demand for residential projects. Housebuilding activity remained the best performing category of construction output during November, despite the pace of expansion slipping to a three-month low.
November data indicated that the UK construction sector continued to rebound from the weak patch recorded on average during the third quarter of 2016. Business activity and incoming new work increased at the strongest pace since March, although both rates of expansion remained much softer than the peaks achieved at the start of 2014. Greater workloads underpinned a further solid rise in employment levels and input buying among construction firms.
CRL is proud to be launching a stunning new range of surfaces crafted from porcelain. The perfect complement to the company's existing quartz offering, the brand new collection - Ceralsio Porcelain Surfaces - is available in 26 colours and a choice of finishes, making it an ideal option for any space.
Drawing on its 20 years' expertise in the stone industry and responding head-on to current trends in worksurface design, Ceralsio surfaces from CRL tap into the huge move towards ceramic worktops coming out of Europe.
A new report on the UK bathroom market from MTW Research indicates that sales have remained resilient for most bathroom products in 2016 with consumer spending set to remain strong in 2017, despite a recent 'Brexit Blip'.
Forward ordering of currencies and clear strategic planning has offset the impact of a weakening Sterling for most bathroom suppliers in 2016 according to the report, though MTW indicates that average prices are now exhibiting some upward momentum. However, the research found that the uplift in prices is related to healthy demand in the higher value bathroom sector as well as the low value of Sterling across low-mid value price points.
York-based Counter Interiors is run by Luke Counter. A kitchen fitter by trade, he ran his business successfully from home using the ArtiCAD design software on a laptop - until he hurt his back. This demanded a change of lifestyle - and the opening of his first showroom in partnership with his wife just over two years ago.
The company now employs three designers using the ArtiCAD software for both kitchens and bedrooms. Typically Counter Interiors installs about eight kitchens each month.
The Premium Partners spent the first day at Blum's impressive HQ in Milton Keynes where they were able to immerse themselves in the fittings manufacturer's state of the art facilities. Key topics covered included product innovation, technology and the company's brand heritage.
Water-based systems essentially use warm water from the central heating system and pump it through pipe circuits underneath the floor.
Taking place at in-toto Mere Green, the Kitchen Design Studio was the perfect setting for Steven to teach Lucy what it takes to be a true MasterChef. Using the studio's working in-toto kitchen, competition winner Lucy was treated to a VIP baking experience with the celebrity chef as he shared the recipes for his delicious panna cotta and legendary honey cake - the recipe that won Steven the title of MasterChef in 2013!
Faith Furniture Company, manufacturer of kitchen furniture brand LochAnna Kitchens, tells us it is delighted that one of its employees bravely tackled Britain's highest peak to raise £140 for charity.
Smeg has announced the appointment of Keith Hayes (North West & West Midlands) and Daniel Heath (North East, Yorkshire, East Midlands) as regional sales managers across the independent retail channel.
With over 20 years' experience in a variety of regional, national and key account management roles, Keith joins Smeg from Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. Formerly Keith has worked for many years at Armour Home Electronics and the Guardian Media Group.
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