KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
30th July 2020
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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 think I'm going stir crazy - not through working from home, which I've done for almost 20 years, but through having to work with all the neighbours about, many of whom seem to have been furloughed and appear to be noisily enjoying every last bit of it; forgetting that some of us have a living to make and many in our area are keyworkers who need sleep.
I called my daughter into my office to look at the picture of the freestanding wine rack Caple's just launched, thinking I might allude in the headline to how we've (not me; the nation!) turned to alcohol during lockdown. My daughter quipped: "It looks like a portal to another land. It probably is, if people drink that much!" I can see exactly where she's coming from and am pondering whether, if I had the chance, I'd take that step through it...
Yes, lockdown & everything it's entailed, the aftermath, the hard division between mask-wearers and the anti-mask/anti-vaccine protesters, the very strangeness of everything, has made its mark. And that's coming from someone who - I'm thankful to say - doesn't know a soul who's been seriously ill with Covid-19. The whole ongoing episode has caused us all to take stock, hasn't it?
The industry is starting to come out of enforced hibernation. What sort of general public is it likely to entertain? Many of us have adjusted our way of thinking; becoming more concerned for our environment and the sustainability of what we buy and what we enjoy. I can see in the future, more of us wanting to take responsibility for the amount of water we use and making a conscious effort to reduce waste. Likewise our kitchens. I've seen a lot of posts on local Facebook group pages, from people wishing to give things away. I've acquired a new fibreglass pond as well as a stationery cabinet in which we're planning to store all our craft things, acquired for our new hobbies (although oddly, no-one in my household has been furloughed - we've all been working but have managed to try new things). We've even made some garden furniture out of discarded pallets. A new kitchen next, I wonder...
A poll by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has revealed a strong appetite for bathroom refurbishment. The Used Kitchen Company is pushing an initiative that encourages not just a first recycling, but a second and possibly third recycling thereafter.
Things are starting to look good...
This Week's News
Following the temporary closure of our head office operation in March, and in response to the national Coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to continue the delivery of our service remotely.
Whilst we have proven that technology allowed for remote working, I know that our team are stronger together and as such I've been working on a phased plan to safely reopen our HQ operation. This phased return started in June and has been running successfully throughout, which has included adaption of our office environment to meet government directives.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is supporting a research project to assess and document the recovery of the kitchen and bathroom industry in terms of market demand and opportunities as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The project, which is being undertaken by market research companies Trend-Monitor and JKMR, will track demand from kitchen and bathroom retailers, up to the end of 2020, to provide valuable data on buying patterns.
It may not have been possible to gather in numbers, but the team at RAK Ceramics certainly had much to celebrate at a socially distanced viewing of BKU Awards 2020, held online for the first time. The champagne was flying when RAK Ceramics was declared the winner of not one but two prestigious industry awards, namely Best Tiling Brand and Best Sanitaryware Brand.
Nearly a third of UK adults are likely to undertake a partial or full bathroom refurbishment in the next 12 months, a poll has revealed. Opinium surveyed a nationally representative group of over 2,000 people between 14th and 17th July for the poll, which was commissioned by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.
The poll also indicated that, for all those indicating a propensity to undertake bathroom improvements, the average time to undertake the work is envisaged to be 19 months. In a surprising result, there are insignificant differences between UK homeowners and wider population in the length of time taken to complete work, suggesting an appetite among renters for home improvement.
Caple has created a new freestanding wine cabinet, the WF1550, with a thick stainless-steel frame for a more luxurious finish. This beautiful C-rated appliance can hold a maximum of 111 Bordeaux-style wine bottles (or 133 without the wine rack) and can even store Champagne.
What really sets this model apart is the fact it can fitted with a furniture surround as long as it's vented correctly or freestanding.
Colour and texture are key to this latest exciting new product launch. Reflecting the vital role colour plays in any environment and particularly in our bathrooms, seven new foil finishes are being introduced across several of Utopia's furniture collections, along with two stunning new colours to extend the colour palette for the heritage-inspired Roseberry painted timber collection.
A virtual workshop hosted by the Unified Water Label and its Italian partners was a resounding success, with more than 70 visitors from across the UK and Europe attending to discuss the commercial benefits of the UWL.
Paulo de Silva Lemos, policy officer at DG Environment and Alessandro Durante from the Italian trade body AVR (taps and valve association), were both guest speakers.
The Used Kitchen Company, the pioneer of kitchen recycling and its champion since 2005, has taken its groundbreaking 'Kitchen Passports' eco-initiative to the next level, as it sets another milestone for UK recycling and waste control.
Having previewed its unique TUKC 'Kitchen Passports' with huge success at KBB Birmingham 2020, TUKC has removed any excuse that the kitchen trade can make for not participating in an initiative that aims to reduce the impacts of continual resource-stripping from the planet.
Using Virtual Worlds as its main channel to market, Private Room manufactures distinctive shower trays and complementary fittings designed to transform ordinary bathrooms into spa-like sanctuaries.
It looks fantastic in contrast to the minimal lines of the kitchen units and adds style and glamour, making a dramatic focal point - perfect for over a dining or kitchen table and truly adding the wow factor here, over a kitchen island.
Utopia Bathrooms has introduced a striking new brochure to coincide with its Summer 2020 product launch. In pride of place on the front cover is the new Azure Blue finish, just one of 11 new door finishes introduced across several of its key ranges.
In keeping with Utopia's promise to offer an imaginative solution for any bathroom, no matter how small or awkwardly shaped, the 234-page brochure presents the entire collection of 11 ranges in a series of beautifully styled room sets, from the most spacious rooms complete with freestanding baths through to much more modestly proportioned bathrooms including en suites and cloakrooms.
Leading bath maker, BC Designs, has a piece of advice for retailers as the industry starts to reopen… A little-known fact that few people are aware of is that copper is actually a super metal when it comes to killing germs. While most viruses can last for days on steel and glass, they are killed within hours or sometimes minutes on copper!
So, for those tasked with designing bathrooms for customers, copper baths and basins not only look stunning and bring a touch of luxury into the home, they also provide a really important function in helping the room to stay germ free.
The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group has partnered with Virtual 360 Tours Glos. The partnership enables KBBG members to create a virtual tour of their showroom at a special discounted price. Virtual tours are an increasingly important tool as we continue to live and work in different ways as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Virtual 360 Tours Glos will help retailers capture their showroom from all angles and create an easy-to-navigate tour. Customers will be able to explore what is on offer, safely and remotely, should they be unable to physically visit the showroom.
In an effort to support those working on the front line of the pandemic, Whirlpool UK donated appliances including washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators to several NHS hospitals across the UK.
Washing machines, which were donated to hospitals in Peterborough and several other counties in the East of England, were provided to ensure that staff treating patients affected with Covid-19 are able to wash their uniforms on-site, eliminating the need to take them home to be cleaned.
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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is delighted to welcome BA, a major manufacturer of kitchens, bedrooms, doors and accessories, as its newest Corporate Sponsor.