KBB Birmingham is the UK’s largest trade exhibition of international kitchen, bathroom and bedroom brands. Held at the NEC in Birmingham between 6 and 9 March 2016, the show is the meeting place for the KBB industry to source the best in kitchen, bathroom and bedroom products and to see the latest innovations from within the industry.
As well as being a guest speaker at the KBB Retail and Design Conference held during the show, TREND-MONITOR’s director, Jane Blakeborough, went trend-watching throughout the exhibition. Here are some of her findings …
Instant Hot Water Taps
The instant boiling water tap was given centre stage on many of the kitchen brassware stands, with Abode, AEG, Franke and Neff to name but a few of the manufacturers taking the opportunity to highlight this latest addition to their range.
As a nation, the UK drinks 165 million cups of tea a day and with sales of kettles falling, the boiling water tap looks like it has come out of the ‘luxury/desirable’ kitchen category and into the ‘must-have’ list for a new kitchen.
Slide and Hide Oven Doors
When The Great British Bake-off chose the Neff Slide&Hide oven for the contestants’ kitchens in the latest hit series, the manufacturers must have been ecstatic. The programme is well known for boosting sales of it’s featured products and the Slide&Hide oven is no exception, with a reported sales increase of 183% since August 2015.
This innovative oven has a door which fits smoothly under the oven to giving plenty of room as well as better access to the oven’s interior, tying in with the trend for well-designed, space saving products for the home
Natural Chalky Colours
Bathroom trends have a habit of following closely behind kitchen trends and the colour trend for bathroom furniture for 2016 is no exception .
Soft natural chalky colours have been popular with kitchen cabinets for some time now and we are now seeing these light greys, soft clays, sage greens and pale aquas coming through into bathroom furniture.
As kitchen colours start moving into the richer hues of dark greys, forest greens and royal blues, we can expect bathrooms colours to take a step in that directions over the next couple of years.
TREND-MONITOR is a big fan of the Houzz website, a leading platform for home renovation and design, so we were very interested in the presentation by Ffion Francis of Houzz which discussed the results of their recent survey into how UK homeowners are upgrading their kitchens in 2016.
As TREND-MONITOR has already identified, there is a strong trend for homeowners looking to maximise their available space by the use of well-designed, space-saving products, and this trend was substantiated when Ffion revealed that the kitchen corner storage unit above was one of the most ‘saved’ images by users of their website looking to upgrade their kitchens.
Smooth gloss is steadily giving way to more textured finishes in both the kitchen and the bathroom, enabling a mix and match approach to surface design.
Interest and individuality are being incorporated into a number of different product categories. This is done by either using materials such as real wood finishes which allows the natural grain to show through, or by creating texture as part of the design and manufacturing process as shown here with these lightly-textured shower trays by Fiora
Designer Extractor Hoods
Extractor hoods used to be the workhorse of the kitchen, tucked away out of sight, but now they are coming out from behind the panelling and making a design statement of their own.
Sleek, efficient and, most importantly, quiet to operate, these designer extractor hoods top the UK homeowners wish-list of new appliances when updating their kitchen, according to the Houzz UK Kitchen Study 2016.