Kitchens and Bathrooms News December 2022

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Why the company chose to refocus, rebrand and expand in two years WORKTOPS How sustainability is playing a greater role in material choice
CEO Jan-Peter Tewes discusses future factors affecting bathroom design and specification
NO 175 VOL 16 DECEMBER 2022 K&BNEWS DECEMBER 3 contents BUSINESS 28Reader profile Hootan Tayebi, owner of Huma Kitchens, talks about refocusing his business, rebranding and opening a second showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea 30Company matters SME advice covering marketing, financial and management issues, as well as personal development 33Last word CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association Tom Reynolds outlines what a mandatory water label will mean to retailers  5First word Editor’s comment 6News Round-up of industry headlines 9Analysis Founder and director of JKMR Jayne Barber asks has the number of kitchen retail showrooms reached capacity? 10People Promotions and appointments 11Inbox Reader feedback 15 18 26 KITCHENS 15Worktops Sustainability is playing an ever-greater role in kitchen specification, impacting choice of worktop materials 18Just out Latest kitchen products BATHROOMS 20Special feature Joint chief executive officer at Ideal Standard International Jan-Peter Tewes discusses how timeless design, sustainability and globalisation will impact bathroom design and specification 22Bathroom suites Simplifying bathroom specification may speed up and even open up purchasing processes, which could be important if the economy tightens further 24Just out Latest bathroom products 26Mirrors and mirrored cabinets Sell mirrors and mirrored cabinets as part of a complete bathroom sale, industry experts advise

Green for go!

It wasn’t so long ago sustainability would be a page turning topic, for all the wrong reasons! Despite kitchens and bathrooms being energy and water-hungry rooms, there just didn’t seem to be a real appetite for efficiency. Of course, manufacturers had invested in energy and water efficient technology in product design – there just seemed to be a disconnect at retail and consumer level. Bathroom retailers reported consumers didn’t want to use less water in the bathroom – they wanted more water flow - and energy efficiency as a purchasing factor for kitchen appliances wasn’t as important as price. It’s not that retailers were averse to selling ‘green’ products and projects, there just wasn’t a mainstream consumer base for sustainability.

But it seems we are now on the cusp of change. Speaking at the recent Kbsa Kitchen & Bathroom Conference, retail futurist Kate Ancketill said it was only five years’ ago she was first asked about sustainability but over the last last two years it is at the top of everyone’s agenda.

While kitchen and bathroom manufacturers have continued to focus on material choice, reducing resource use, and considering end of life, sustainability is now playing a greater role in retail. Perhaps driven by the pandemic, consumers are begining to understand a need for planet friendly products. And retailers are starting to embrace sustainability as a core value of their business. They are selecting suppliers based on their ‘green’ credentials, providing customers with charging points for electrical vehicles at their showrooms, and reducing waste

going to landfill.

Retailers are turning their back on single use plastics, reducing their use of paper by emailing clients project images and contracts, and collaborating with used kitchen resellers.

In fact, used kitchen resellers are becoming more familiar to the high street. They allow retailers to sell off stock at the same time as encouraging clients, to remove their kitchen for financial incentive. This service is now being expanded to the bathroom sector, providing a second life for viable products and reducing bathroom industry landfill. And KBB retailers are now even considering how to communicate sustainability instore. Day True is set to hold an event to demonstrate how water efficiency can be communicated effectively in high-end showroom environments.

In fact, such has been the turnaround, leading kitchen and bathroom specialists taking part in a debate at the Kbsa conference welcomed legislation on sustainability. They believe it will help drive the agenda further, educating both consumers and business. And with the Unified Water Label set to be mandatory, for water-using products, the aim is to do exactly that. With such a move, KBB retailers haven’t been given a green light but a go ahead directive to promote, inform and educate about sustainability in 2023.


…manufacturers are investing in the UK, with HPP funding in-house production and Hansgrohe spending more than £5million to double its business in the country


…to hear some Stoves, Belling and New World gas range cookers require a safety fix but hopes the issue can be sorted as quickly as possible. Read more at


…to congratulate all the winners of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association Sustainability Awards. Find out about the winners at

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■ The Society of British and International Design (SBID) announced the winners of its annual awards at the Intercontinental on Park Lane, London. Spanning Interior Design Awards, Product Design Awards and Fit Out Awards, honours were presented across 29 categories, including KBB Design and KBB Product. Read about all the winners at

■ The Passmore Group – a family-run home improvement business established for over 50 years – is the latest retailer to join trade association, the Kbsa. Established in 1965, the Yorkshire-based Passmore Group is home to More Bathrooms, More Ability, More Kitchens, More Bedrooms and More Build. View the whole story at

■ Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corporation reports its Q3 financial results have been impacted by short-term macro economic headwinds but states it is well positioned for the future. Net sales of Q3 2022 declined by 12.8% on a year-onyear basis, impacted by lower volume as a result of slowing demand, which Whirlpool states was partially offset by “favourable” product price/mix. On a year-on-year basis, sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa region fell from $1,256million in Q3 2021 to $903million in 2022. Read more at

Head office, employee numbers and UK product roadmap

Hansgrohe invests £5m in UK subsidiary

As part of a five-year growth plan to double the size of its business, brassware manufacturer

Hansgrohe is investing more than £5m into its UK subsidiary.

The investment will focus on increasing employee numbers across all functions, enhancing marketing programmes, and developing UK specific product.

It will also culminate in the creation of a purpose-built head office in Warwickshire.

Having outgrown its existing facilities in Esher, Surrey, Hansgrohe UKwill move to Tournament Fields development.

The head office is in excess of 40,000 square ft and more than double the size of its existing facilities.

It is expected to be fully operational from July 2023.

The new Hansgrohe UK HQ will boast a 5,000sqft showroom to showcase its showers, taps and accessories, plus training facility, with customer services and stock under one roof.

‘Water Studio’ in Clerkenwell, central London, will remain for designers and specifiers.

Managing director of Hansgrohe UK Jay Phillips

commented: “We have ambitious plans to take Hansgrohe forward in the coming years, and the investment in this state-of-the-art new head office is a vital part of making this a success.” Read more at

Investment for business growth Private equity firm invests in Uform

Cardinal Ireland Partners, the Irish private equity growth fund managed by Cardinal Capital Group, has invested in kitchen manufacturer Uform, with plans to scale the business.

Founded in 1993 by Eamon and Paul Donnelly, alongside their late father Eddie, Uform employs 415 people at facilities in Co. Antrim and Co. Donegal.

It delivers more than 1,500 kitchens per week to a customer base throughout the UK and Ireland and, according to Uform, its annual growth rate of 40% over the last three years has continued this year.

Eamon and Paul Donnelly will remain as “significant” shareholders in the business, alongside Cardinal and BGF, a UKbased investment company.

Associate director at Cardinal Capital Group Paul Doody said: “Uform has the potential to scale significantly and become a market leader over the next four years.

“We have looked at many

companies in the wider kitchen, bedroom and bathroom space and the quality of the Uform offering, its competitive positioning and the management team, stand out as being best in class.

“Uform’s market–leading position in Ireland, coupled with a well–established, and fast–growing presence in the larger, highly fragmented UK market, is very attractive to us.”

Alongside Mike Maloney of Cardinal, Paul Doody will join the Uform board

Group CEO of Uform Simon Oliphant commented: “Uform has always had the ambition and the ability to grow.

“We see considerable

opportunity in both the Irish and UK markets. This investment by Cardinal will allow us to realise that potential.”

Co-founders of Uform Eamon and Paul Donnelly added: “We chose to partner with Cardinal based on its knowledge, shared culture, ambition and willingness to invest and support the strategic plan and its excellent track record helping businesses scale.”

The investment by Cardinal will be used to expand Uform’s operating capacity at its 225,000 sq. ft. facility in Toomebridge, Co. Antrim.

It will also be used to bolster Uform’s capability and capacity in paint-to-order products and increase capacity at Uform’s sister company, Andoras.

Based in Donegal, Andoras produces luxury made-to-order kitchen furniture under the Novelle by Aisling brand.

The transaction is subject to clearance from the Competition Authority.


Impact of challenging economy on KBB retail Mid-market KBB retail will face biggest squeeze, finds poll

The mid-market will be the kbb retail sector most impacted by economic challenges, according to a recent LinkedIn poll.

The survey of kitchen and bathroom followers revealed most (46%) thought the mid-market would be affected.

However, just under that figure (43%) believed the low-end of the kitchen and bathroom retail market would be at most risk from a softening of the market.

Only 11% of the 81 voters

thought top-end kitchen and bathroom retail would be affected.

MD of MHK-UK Marcel Crezee offered his opinion on what sector of society would be most impacted by the economy: “The ones with a low/average salary feel the pain the most and they have to be very careful with their expenses.”

His views were supported by owner of Hart Home Interiors Derek Aaronson who said: “At the top end, customers with big budgets won’t be affected. There

Group sales director promotion Moores names CEO

Yorkshire-based kitchen manufacturer Moores has named Mike Barrett as its chief executive officer and he will assume the role in the New Year.

Barrett succeeds current CEO Steve Parkin who will move into the role of company chairman.

Group sales director at Moores, Barrett has been promoted to the role of CEO after spending the last five years leading the sales and commercial team.

He will build on his established track record, which has seen the business hit record sales in July as well as ‘significant’ growth in the years pre-COVID.

Commenting on his appointment Mike Barrett said: “Our focus remains on developing partnerships within our core markets, and we will be continuing to evolve our service and product proposition to support our longer term growth plans.”

“While we plan to evolve and diversify our ranges, we also want to continue providing the very best service to our customers, making any interaction as easy as possible.

“Quality and attention to detail through our products and service proposition will always be paramount to our success.”

Barrett continued: “I’m delighted to have the support of the wider management team, our investors, and of course, Steve, who has been, and will continue to be, a constant source of motivation for us all.

“Working alongside him as company chairman, we will be going on the next stage of our journey together, with Steve continuing to be a part of our ongoing success.”

will be more customers moving from mid-market to the lower end looking for more affordable prices.”

He conceded there could be some downward movement from consumers in the top-end sector looking for a more cost-effective kitchen or bathroom, but it would be less than from middle to lower.

Director of Gainsborough Kitchens Alex Jenman agreed the mid-market may face the toughest time when the market softens: “The mid market may slow down as

people delay or postpone until things seem to settle, although interest rate rises may help those with savings. I have to say we’ve not seen a slow down yet. We must be doing something right!”

Fisher & Paykel UK MD departs

Appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel UK MD David Woolcott has left the company after five years in charge of the business.

The company is now led by executive vice president business development, Laurence Mawhinney, while it is in the process of appointing a new managing director.

Mawhinney has been global executive and board member for Fisher & Paykel UK, Ireland & European operations for several years, and has over 30 years’ experience at the company.

He thanked David Woolcott for

his work as managing director, “David has brought inspiring leadership while transforming the UK, Ireland and Europe and delivered many successes for the market during his time with Fisher & Paykel.

David Woollcott commented: “Fisher & Paykel is the most extraordinary company I have ever had the pleasure of working for.

“In five short years, we trebled the size of our team and have a depth of talent and belief, which any leader would be proud of and happy to serve. K&BNEWS DECEMBER 7
Woolcott leaves UK for Australia


■ Installing pantries adds 5% to the value of a home, a UK study into pantry use, by storage brand Kilner has found.

Collaborating with property valuation experts, Mortgageable, Kilner found a pantry room conversion can add on average £14,150 to a home, at time of calculation. This figure is based on the value after an estimated added value of £6,000, but deducting the estimated average cost of works, approximately £10,000.  Read more at

■ National kitchen retailer Magnet has started to roll out its new “immersive” concept store programme. Following the launch of its first revamped store in Stockton-on-Tees, Magnet has now refurbished its South Wimbledon showroom in London and Sale in Manchester. Read more at

■ Glazed titanium steel bathroom product manufacturer Bette is aiming for 50% of baths, shower trays and basins to be made from carbon neutral or green steel by 2024. The company has been using green steel since 2021 and reports over 59,000 of its bathroom products have been made from it and has added a counter to its website. Read more at

Management team bolsters stock capacity

Lakes makes stock and service investment

Manufacturer of enclosures and bath screens Lakes Showering Spaces has undertaken a series of “significant” investments in the business, to enhance availability and customer service.

To provide customers with assured supply, Lakes Showering Spaces has increased its stock availability to overcome global supply chain issues.

Bolstering its investment in stock capacity, Lakes appointed a new board of directors and implemented a management structure to accelerate and sustain its growth.

Bev Brown, who joined the Gloucestershire-based brand over 10 years ago as finance director and fulfilled the role of managing director, now occupies the dual

role of finance director and chairman.

Managing director Mike Gahir and sales director Darren Bedford have been joined by supply chain director Chris Thain. A general manager for Lakes’ subsidiary factory has also been appointed.

Mike Gahir commented: “The team at Lakes have been a key part of the development of the company over the years, and the board changes are designed to enable us to continue to build on the fantastic results already achieved.

“As a manufacturer, we are glad to share our strong industry position and continue to invest in areas that are important to our customers. They rely on our high levels of stock availability, and it provides them

with confidence when they are making their buying decisions.”

Speaking about stock availability, Chris Thain added: “During the last 12 months, our stock availability has been running at more than 99% on a consistent basis, a level we will now continue to operate at.

“We have been able to maintain delivery lead times despite the wider challenges in global supply chains.

“At Lakes we believe having high levels of product availability will help customers battle the ongoing supply chain issues many businesses have faced following the pandemic.”

UK manufacturing adds to European suppliers HPP bolsters in-house manufacturing

Distributor Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) has opted to extend a European kitchen door collection with models manufactured in-house.

The doors will be part of HPP’s Avanti off-the-shelf collection and will be a range of skinny shakers called Juno.

Commenting on the decision, HPP’s marketing and business development director Dan Mounsey said: “We’ve had Brexit, the pandemic and now the state of the economy, which makes the exchange rate between sterling and the Euro unfavourable.

“Add in logistics, the cost of fuel, lead times, and the availability of materials; bringing in doors from the continent ticks a lot of the wrong boxes.

“Taking into the account those

pressures; we’ve decided to manufacture in-house.”

Each range will be available in approximately 60 SKUs, including doors, drawer fronts, end panels, cornices, plinths and filler panels in a variety of sizes, and all available to order online.

Dan adds: “Because we’re manufacturing in-house, there will be a made-to-measure option as well, which will make this range unique.

“So, for example, customers could order 90% of what they need off the shelf and then have the rest made-to-measure. Overall, it creates great versatility.”

Sales manager of HPP Chris Essex added: “This will continue the growth for the Avanti range, which has been a great success since we launched it in 2011.

“It makes a significant contribution to the business and always has done.”

@kandbnews W

Reaching saturation point

Historically the number of kitchen retailers has expanded during periods of market up-turn, which in turn resulted in the number of UK households per retail outlet decreasing. Once the ratio of households to retail outlets reached a critical level – from the 1980s up to early 2000 of around 3,900 households to every store – then the market was at over-capacity. At this point, the market was saturated and aggressive price competition set in, with a knock-on effect on margins for retailers and suppliers, which – if economic conditions worsened – tended to trigger a period of difficult trading and market exits.

Critical store level

The ‘critical’ level occurred again in the early/mid-2000s and had all multiples carried on their ambitious store expansion programmes of the time, then the number of households per outlet would have potentially fallen to untenably low levels. However, a slow-down in store openings by most major players, along with now rapidly rising household numbers, put market capacity back at manageable, although not ideal, levels by 2008.

Healthy store numbers

With the collapse of MFI and Moben the ratio then rose quickly, insulating the remaining retail base from a recession that was decimating potential purchaser numbers. By 2011 the households per store ratio had grown to over 4,400 which, in the past, would qualify as extremely healthy. The next few years saw a buoyant market, leading to expansion in the independent retailer base and store opening programs by Howdens and Wren. However, store closures by B&Q and Homebase, plus still rapidly growing household numbers, enabled the ratio to largely keep above the ‘healthy’ 4,400 figure even as market growth began to slow.

More recently, the number of households per buying point has risen to a new peak of 4,800, and current projections imply it will rise further over the next few years. A prime factor will be household numbers continuing to increase; but JKMR considers it likely more challenging trading conditions over the next 1224 months will force a reduction in independent ‘bricks and mortar’ kitchen stores, although Howden, Wren and others intend to maintain store openings.

Impact of etail

As e-retail increases, the relationship between potential customers and physical buying points is becoming more complex, since e-buying cannot be defined as a single ‘buying point’. The view of JKMR the ‘’critical’’ level for retail outlet capacity now needs to be set at 4,900 (ie under 4,900 households per buying point will signify a more competitive market), as ever greater numbers of potential clients eschew ‘store based’ buying altogether, plus the fact an increasing proportion of households will not be in the market for a kitchen at all, since they will be in rental properties. On this basis, should the opening programs announced by various multiples for the next few years be realised, then the outlook is ‘fair’ but not outstanding and the retail base may well find itself once more reaching saturation.

■ JKMR provides in-depth B2B research for the fitted kitchen industry. Its reports include indepth analysis of how retailing, housing, and social trends affect kitchen market development. For further details contact Jayne Barber on 07507 612816

Founder and director of JKMR
Jayne Barber asks has the number of kitchen retail showrooms reached capacity? She provides the evidence and what it means for retailers.

Position filled

Appointments and promotions across the industry


Designer and distributor of kitchen and bathroom brassware, Abode has appointed Annette Wensley and Victoria Hatton as area sales managers. Wensley will operate in London and the South East of England and has a wealth of experience within the brassware and bathroom manufacturing industry. She has previously held roles at British tap manufacturer Samuel Heath, luxury hardware and

wiring accessories manufacturer M. Marcus Ltd, as well as Swadling Brassware and Hurlingham.

Hatton, who will cover the North of England and Scotland, has a background in sales and bathroom design. Prior to joining Abode, she worked at City Plumbing and opened a new showroom and trade counter during lockdown. Both area sales managers will be responsible for maxmising sales.


InSinkErator has appointed Amber Sheppard to the role of key account manager, responsible for South West England and the Midlands. She will support independent kitchen retailers and plumbing and heating merchants in these regions. Bringing six years of experience to the role, having most recently worked at Swift as an area sales manager, Sheppard is familiar with the market.


British kitchen manufacturer Omega PLC has appointed Andrew Kite as national sales contract manager. In his new role, Kite will lead a national team of contract managers and kitchen fitting teams, servicing Omega’s house build customers. He has worked in the industry for over 10 years, including for brands such as House of Rohl and Franke, and boasts a wealth of experience in contract and luxury kitchen industries.


Sinks, taps and accessories manufacturer, Reginox UK has promoted one of its longest serving members of staff to the position of area sales manager. Vicky Allmann has worked for the company for eight years and has been promoted from purchasing and stock control manager to area sales manager across the Midlands region. The new role will see her grow and develop Reginox UK’s client base across the region.


Family-owned supplier Harrison Bathrooms has appointed Peter Woodward as marketing manager. He has 24 years of marketing experience, including roles in the KBB sector having worked at companies including JT Ellis and Jacuzzi UK. Woodward joins Harrison Bathrooms from UK and Ireland business products distributor VOW Wholesale, where he was product marketing manager.


Kitchen furniture, appliance, sink and tap supplier Caple has appointed Gemma Rees as marketing manager. Working across Caple and Maurice Lay, Rees will be responsible for leading brand and product marketing. With more than 14 years’ marketing experience in retail and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sectors, with roles at Mars and Newell, Rees has covered B2B and consumer interests.


Simon Brown has been promoted to head of projects at bathroom manufacturer Duravit UK. Former projects manager, Brown will be responsible for the strategy and growth of Duravit’s project sector within the UK and Ireland. This includes managing project development of Duravit’s project partners, and positioning Duravit as the leading bathroom supplier within the A&D community.


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Used Kitchen Exchange is investing £15k into a Black Friday marketing campaign to boost sales of used and exdisplay kitchens, slow moving stock and stock returns.

Helen Lord

Delighted to say we have now added bathrooms to our offering as well.

Michael Sammon Fabulous concept

Kitchens & Bathrooms News

Family-run supplier Harrison Bathrooms has appointed Peter Woodward to the role of marketing manager

Peter Woodward

Thanks Kitchens & Bathrooms News. Looking forward to the new role, starting with the Scudo bathroom book launch next month

Logan Loveday Welcome to the team


Here’s some #Mondaymotivation and #bathroominspiration from senior bathroom designer Andrew Hewson at @dobsons_home. He recently scooped the @kbsahomespecialists Bathroom Designer of the Year Award for his stunning 20sqm project.

Victoria_albert_baths Stunning! dobsons_home Thanks for sharing

Furniture Group has named Mike Barrett as its new CEO Richard Fitzmaurice

Well done Michael. I remember the days back in QMH when you were smashing through designs and quotes like a machine.

Ian Penney

Amazing news Michael Barrett so well deserved

Steve Parkin

Congratulations Michael. So proud of your well-earned promotion. I look forward to supporting you and your team and delivering your strategy.

Tony Hampson

Congratulations Mike Jake Fraser

Congratulations Mike. Exciting times!

Mark Euesden

Kitchens & Bathrooms News

Kbb industry urged action over apprenticeships to help solve the skills gap crisis and showcase the sector as a rewarding career.

Thank you for sharing Kitchens & Bathrooms News and to Compusoft Group for hosting.

Jordan Burns

Thank you for sharing Kitchens & Bathrooms News

Kitchens & Bathrooms News

Rising interest rates and increasing costs, is now the time to start planning for when business softens? MD of MHK Holding UK LTD Marcel Crezee says YES!

Marcel Crezee Thanks for posting!

Congratulations Mike!

Gavin Ferguson

Huge congrats Mike. Best of luck in the new role.

Norrie Macleod

Could not think of a better bloke to lead this business. Well done Mike and all the best with the new role ahead.

Nigel Lester

Congratulations Mike. Great news and all the best in your new role. K&BNEWS DECEMBER 11 YOUR THOUGHTS NEWS & VIEWS
us, write to us or contact us through any of our social media channels. Get involved, as we want to hear your views
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Simon Acres

Sustainable surfacing

When the topic of eco-friendly worktop used to be discussed, it would inevitably focus on niche materials. Think recycled yoghurt pots or bamboo. And it would be for an equally select consumer base. But sustainability has now become part of mainstream conversation, particularly in home design, and is now impacting worktop choices. Business development manager for worktops at IDS Jason Neve comments: “The retail channel, both bricks and mortar and online, is the area most influenced by sustainability. Retailers are dealing directly with end consumers who are increasingly tuned into the topic and are making informed choices about their purchasing decisions.” And commercial director of Brandt Design Julia Steadman says she is finding consumers are more interested in sustainable surfacing: “Over the past two years, we have been finding that our customers are increasingly well-versed in sustainability and are keen to learn about new developments, such as madeto-measure quartz surfaces which mimic the look and feel of marble.”

Sustainable worktop materials

And there are a range of sustainable materials

consumers can choose from. Jason Neve of IDS points out: “In the worktop markets, we are seeing brands adopting more sustainable manufacturing methods across all types of material. But wood worktops have been a torch bearer for sustainability for a long time.” He points to its Tuscan Solid Wood Worksurface range with FSC and PEFC certification, which guarantees the timber is harvested from managed forests.

Whereas, Julia Steadman of Brandt Design states quartz is popular as it has a smaller carbon footprint than granite. In fact, Cosentino recently introduced Hybriq technology to create its Silestone Ethereal collection, which uses a minimum of 20% recycled material and is produced using 100% renewable energy and 99% reused water. This is on top of its first carbon neutral Silestone collection Sunlit Days and Dekton which has achieved carbon neutrally for its entire lifespan.

Longevity reduces waste

Interestingly, it’s not simply the type of material and production which deems a worktop to be sustainable but the longevity of the surfacing which reduces the need for replacement from


Ethereal is a collection of marble-effect patterns made using HybriQ+ technology. It means each surface has a minimum of 20% recycled materials and produced using 99% reused water and 100% renewable energy. Watch the video at

2. IDS

The Tuscan Solid Wood Worksurface range features Oak, Walnut, Ash and Beech, all of which are FSC and PEFC certified timbers, and Iroko complying with EU Timber Regulations. Download a brochure at

Sustainability is playing an ever-greater role in kitchen specification and impacting choice of worktop materials


Part of the Metropolitan Collection of quartz worktops, 4033 Rugged Concrete features gradients of grey with a white haze pantina and a textured finish. Request a sample at

damage. Marketing manager at Cosentino UK Laura Davie states: “When it comes to choosing surfacing for a kitchen or bathroom – be that worktops, cabinetry, splashback, flooring –homebuyers are looking to materials with great sustainability credentials and extensive warranties – as this will reflect the longevity of the product. For example our hero surfaces Silestone and Dekton both come with a 25-year warranty.”

And Caesarstone has recently introduced a third party verified Declare Label for its worktops, which states the quality of the materials used in the production of its surfaces. In addition, the manufacturer also provides a lifetime warranty across its range of quartz and porcelain surfaces.

VP marketing of Caesarstone Jonathan Stanley agrees consumers are buying more consciously,


Created in collaboration with interior designer Nina Magon, Dekton by Cosentino has introduced Onirika which has been inspired by marble patterns. View the eight-strong palette at

choosing products with quality in mind, adding: “As we see this continued movement towards making more environmentally conscious choices, we have seen a growing interest in our Lifetime Warranty, offered on all our indoor residential worktops.”

Greater retail profits

However, does this mean sustainable worktops command a price premium and will that benefit kitchen retailers by offering a higher profit margin?

Jason Neve of IDS says price premiums tend to be based on material choice, not the sustainability credentials, Jonathan Stanley adds sustainability requires research and investment in technologies and people “so there can be a price premium but it needn’t be excessive.” While Julia Steadman

explains sustainability can offer retailers higher margins but if the worktops are from a trusted brand: “There can be potential for a higher profit margin as consumers are reassured by brand names they know and trust, in combination with tried and trusted warranties. This makes it easier for a big-ticket purchase to be regarded as both excellent value for money over time and reflecting well on a brand’s eco-credentials in terms of its use of materials to create a long-lasting product.”

But now with the UK heading towards a prolonged period of recession, as warned by the Bank of England, will it mean the pillars of sustainability, quality and longevity, will take a back seat to price? Jonathan Stanley of Caesarstone says no: “When economic concern is high, consumers want to know that the choices they are making will be a wise investment. This current economy and environmental concerns are pushing the flight to quality products in the specialist kitchen and bathroom market.” And his view is echoed by head of sales at Formica and Wex Trade Ryan Smith, who adds: “Sustainable materials can be more expensive, but by focusing on the durability of the worktop, you can ultimately become more sustainable. As a distributor and manufacturer, this means we are well placed to be able to get across how making an investment in the longevity of our worksurface will result in improved durability and overall life cycle.”

Meeting all budgets

With worktop manufacturers placing more emphasis on sustainability and distributors choosing suppliers with sustainability as part of their criteria, what does it mean for the market?

Jonathan Stanley says it a journey for a brand, explaining: “Sustainability is not a short-term strategy and no brand is ever likely to be ‘done’. It’s an ongoing process of improvement. Within the kitchen and bathroom specialist sector, we all need to be supporting and promoting those brands that are genuinely interested in this.”


While, entrenched in the premium worktop sector, is it likely that sustainability will become a core value for all sales? Julia Steadman is hopeful that sustainability will become a greater focus, regardless of budgets: “Going forwards, I imagine that the conversation about sustainability will become even more nuanced as consumers demand increasing transparency in terms of provenance and production. Given the industry’s commitment to innovation and new technology, I would like to think sustainable worktops and kitchen products, in general, will become even more widely available at all price points in the next two years.”

3 5
De Terra solid wood worktops are made using oak, prime oak, walnut and iroko harvested from sustainable forests. They are available in a range of sizes, choice of thicknesses from 22mm to 40mm and held in stock. View the entire range at


just out 2

Scandinavian appliance brand Asko has unveiled a refrigeration range, following its return to the UK market. The trio of appliances include the Refrigerator (R31831I), Refrigerator Freezer (RF31831I) and Freezer (FN31831I). The refrigeration appliances monitor and record the appliance use and adapt the temperature. While the no-frost Refrigeration Freezer and Freezer (FN31831I) have a Fast Freeze switch. Read more at


British manufacturer Masterclass Kitchens has announced the launch of two ranges, Amalfi and Padstow, as well as an addition to its painted colour palette. Amalfi is a smooth, silk lacquered door available in two colour options – Sunset and Onyx – which can be combined to create a mix-andmatch scheme. Padstow is a 5-piece matt shaker, with small v-joint detail, which comes in a choice of five colour options. View the brochure at


Reflecting ongoing demand for black finishes in kitchen design, Franke has added an Industrial Black PVD colour to its Atlas Neo Sensor taps. It joins the stainless steel finish already available in Atlas Neo Sensor’s Swivel Spout and Pull-Out Nozzle models. Featuring touch-free technology, Franke’s Atlas Neo Sensor taps dispense 2.5 litres of water with a wave of the hand or can be operated using the single lever. Watch the video at


Sink and tap manufacturer Reginox has extended its New York sink range following demand. The New York range is manufactured from stainless steel with a matt inox finish and is now available in Copper, Gold and Gunmetal. Boasting 10mm radius, New York sinks come in a range of bowl sizes and can be fitted as an undermounted model, flush with the worktop or inset. See the variety of models at

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Kitchen furniture manufacturer Uform has introduced its ‘Think Finishes’ product launch campaign, including additional paint and exstock colours, as well as new handles. Uform has introduced seven exstock colour additions for four of its existing timber painted and foil ranges and added two colours to its Paint to Order palette. Completing its product launch, Uform has introduced 94 handles, taking its overall collection to 210 options. See the full story at

6. TKC

Designed to optimise storage and provide a solution for inconvenient room layouts, TKC has introduced a diagonal corner larder unit available across every door range. The D-shaped, walk-in corner larder is available from stock, in a choice of five colour options of White, Ivory, Light Grey, Dust Grey and Oak. Measuing 1970mm high, 1144 x 1144mm wide and 560mm deep, the larder features eight fixed shelves and a full height integrated wine rack is included as standard. Read more at

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The future of the bathroom sector


When it comes to design trends, one of the biggest changes we are seeing is the evolution of the bathroom as an area that is more connected with the rest of an interior’s design –as well as a space that showcases creativity and expression. Therefore, it is vital for collections to offer flexibility and variety to consumers and specifiers, as well as allowing for different options to work together, as this provides the opportunity for almost limitless combinations for a design that is truly bespoke.

Tying into this unique design ethos, at this year’s Salone del Mobile, we continued to see a resurgence of colour, both with ceramics and fittings. This incorporation of a wider colour palette not only helps designers to further connect the bathroom with wider interior aesthetics but offers the chance to create memorable spaces that truly challenge our typical view of what a bathroom should be. Moving forward, it is important for designers and companies to understand and embrace changing trends and the impact they have, not only on bathroom design, but the wider design of a property.

Backwards look

Heritage was also front and centre at Salone del Mobile, with designers across different disciplines looking to the past to create new and exciting products that can serve a modern purpose. Ultimately, by paying homage to key moments in a brand’s design heritage, it’s possible to create pieces that will evoke true emotion with a potential consumer. By utilising and evolving the designs of the past,

collections can be produced that surpass current trends – Created in partnership with Palomba Serafini Associati (PS+A), the Linda X collection is a tribute to the 1997 Linda suite created by Achille Castiglioni. Read more at
Jan-Peter Tewes, joint chief executive officer at Ideal Standard International, discusses how timeless design, sustainability and globalisation will impact bathroom design and specification 2. IDEAL STANDARD INTERNATIONAL CEO Jan-Peter Tewes

they become timeless.

Manufacturing excellence is equally important as design excellence, and quality is the mark of a truly great design. With modern manufacturing processes, designs can be improved from a function and practical aspect too – finally bringing visionary work, that was originally ahead of its time, to life.

This connection with the past is something we are exploring through our premium Atelier Collections – created in partnership with Palomba Serafini Associati (PS+A) whose cofounder, Roberto Palomba, is also our chief design officer. By creating products that take inspiration from the past, as well as look to the future, designers can create interconnected threads that link collections throughout time.

Easing specification

With companies creating enduring collections, architects will have greater access to more quality options than ever before, and this means a new approach to specification is needed to provide specifiers with choices and inspire their designs. Our Singular approach addresses exactly that, offering cross-category solutions that look to inspire designers.

Through Singular, they will be able to pick and choose from across our product portfolio, with design threads that run across collections. The latest product in our Atelier range, Solos, incorporates cutting-edge technology that

allows us to combine mixer and basin, with only the spout and control knob visible above the ceramic, and no need for an escutcheon ring. Solos is indicative of the need for companies to keep pushing the boundary of what is possible from a creative point of view.


Sustainability touches all areas of our business, from product design to manufacturing. Whether it is reducing the number of materials being used, ensuring products are built to minimise water wastage, or lowering carbon emissions. Improving sustainability across our business is critical for us, and it is something that we are very much focused on, particularly around how decarbonisation and the circular economy are connected to the products we produce.

By investing in more energy efficient technology, and converting to renewable energy where possible, like installing solar campuses to power our production sites, we are looking to minimise the environmental impacts of our production processes. As we continue to look towards the future, we are also making changes to our packaging operations and plan to remove all single-use plastics from ceramics and fittings in 2023.

We are also always looking to manage the natural resources we use in the most responsible way and have removed all virgin timber in our bathtub production, replacing it


The latest addition to its Atelier range, Solos combines mixer and basin, with no need for an escutcheon ring. Find out more at

with bagasse, a by-product of the sugar production process. We also source 100% of timber used in our products from sustainably managed forests to further minimise any environmental impact and cut back on wastage.

We showcased our new RimLS+ solution at Salone, which creates more hygienic WCs that save on water usage. We also displayed our new Ceraplan iX basin mixer, which combines the flexibility and control of a single lever mixer with the hygiene and water-saving benefits of a touchless tap.

Global and local

Innovations like these are going to be key to the future of the bathroom and washroom sector, not only adding further customisation and flexibility options for customers, but also offering a more sustainable future. Investment in environmentally-friendly manufacturing practices needs, to be front of mind, but also changing how these products are made and where the energy comes from to make these.

It is impossible to ignore the continued globalisation of business. It is something that shows no sign of slowing down and brands must adopt their approach accordingly. It is no longer a case of simply responding to the needs of one market, but also considering the wider need of all regions.


Tipo-Z is a reimagination of the Zeta basin, designed by Gio Ponti in 1954, and cast in one piece. Watch the video at

Multinational companies need to respond to macro trends, while providing individual regions and territories with flexibility and versatility, helping to suit the needs of end-users. By offering a wide portfolio of products, across all sectors we serve, we aim to inspire our customers to create and specify individual spaces that are bespoke to each project. K&BNEWS DECEMBER 21

Simple pleasures

With a declining economy and the biggest increase in borrowing costs in three decades, a need to break through the barriers of bathroom refurbishments may be on the cards. Making the process simpler, to speed up the purchasing decision, and perhaps offering more costeffective bathroom suites, may help boost business for retailers in what could be tough trading conditions ahead.

Simplifying choice

With a greater focus on home interiors, than ever before, it has seen a greater variety of bathroom products spanning styles and finishes. However marketing manager of Harrison Bathrooms Peter Woodward adds: “Too much choice in bathroom design can be overwhelming for consumers.” He says: “A simplified bathroom offer can work for both the newbuild market and retailers.”

Bathroom collections to create a holistic look for the room are nothing new to aid specification. Design manager of Abode Paul Ililngworth states: “We offer complete bathroom solutions including basin mixers, bath fillers and showering solutions, as well as matching wastes.” But manufacturers have also looked to simplify choice across their ranges.

Looking to the use of technology, Grohe provides a Perfect Match online selector to help end users choose complementary ceramics and accessories based on tap choice or vice versa. While Acquabella introduced a virtual tour and 3D planner to help designers create a bathroom with a cohesive look. Ideal Standard recently opted to enhance its customer service and introduced Singular, which provides one point of contact for designers across ceramics, furniture, bathing, showering and accessories, to help speed up specification.

Design manager of Abode Paul Ililngworth comments: “Simplicity is coming to the fore as premium brands look to clearly communicate how product families work together to create perfectly co-ordinated bathroom spaces to make both the customer journey and installation process ever more efficient and straightforward. Clarity is king so that end users can make quicker decisions and designers can get blueprints underway.”

Retail bundles

And suppliers have looked to further simplify the bathroom design process, with cost-effective bundles. Similarly to kitchen sink and tap packs, bathroom manufacturers have created WC packages. Geberit has introduced WC bundles for the retail market which include the ceramic and flushplate, while Grohe provides an all-inone pack for wall-hung WCs, which additionally features a complementary frame.

Paul Bailey, category specialist UK LIXIL


Designed in collaboration with Palomba Serafini Associati, the bathroom collection is available through its Singular specification, project and design service with one point of contact. Find out more at

EMENA, explains why the company has chosen to offer a WC package: “It’s inevitable that consumer demand will be impacted by the rising

Simplifying bathroom specification may speed up and even open up purchasing decisions, which could be important if the economy tightens further


Expanding its retail offer, Geberit offers two retail bundle product packs –Sigma wall-hung and Delta back-to-wall packages, –include complementary products. Read the full story at


The Solido All-in-One bundle concept includes a WC and installation components in one box and consumers can choose from classic or modern styles, in basic or luxurious budgets. View all the details at

cost of living, with many consumers likely to be facing significantly reduced disposable income levels, we expect to see many consumers who are looking to renovate to be seeking better value and quality assurance from their product choices and priorising purchases based on affordability above style and trends. From this shift in priorities, money-saving bundles and convenience, quality and best value become leading purchasing decisions.”

And simplified suite choice could be good business for retailers too, explains Peter Woodward of Harrison Bathrooms: “Choosing a simplified bathroom suite can lead to higher profit margins by removing all the complexities.”

Suiting all markets

However, this doesn’t mean simplified bathroom suite sales should only be for the cost-effective end of the market. Peter Woodward of Harrison Bathrooms says: “We don’t believe that simplified bathroom choice should be low, middle or top-end and should be available as standard.” And export area manager UK for Acquabella Robert Heredia agrees: “We believe the simplified purchase should be universal, and high-end consumers who are looking to remodel their bathroom are not looking for a complicated journey. In this context simple does not mean plain, boring or cheap but is part of a design process which can be altogether superior.”

Indeed, Grohe already offers bundles for its premium showers. Paul Bailey adds: “We offer co-ordinated bathroom solutions for simplified choice and installation across our entire portfolio, from matching brassware fittings to Perfect Match Ceramics. At the top of our range, our most popular shower model continues to be concealed shower bundles, where consumers receive all-in-one solutions for their shower set.”

Giving back time

But does a pre-designed bathroom pack de-skill, or worse, devalue the role of a bathroom designer? Paul Illingworth of Abode counters this argument, stating it could become necessary for time pressured consumers: “Given the amount of information consumers are processing every day at work, life and play and the increased mental load we are all experiencing in the light of the global economy, it seems to me that making any aspect of buying a new bathroom suite easier is a wise move regardless of your client’s budget.”

He concludes: “In my experience, the most precious commodity is time and having a ‘done for you’ product selection often proves attractive to consumers who have limited time for browsing and want a distinctive look for their bathroom or ensuite.” K&BNEWS DECEMBER 23
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just out

1. PJH

As part of its Bathrooms to Love brand, PJH has introduced Texture, premium fitted furniture featuring a soft fluted door and drawerdesign. Responding to the trend for adding more textures and finishes to the bathroom, Texture comes in two super matt shades, Matt White or Matt Graphite Grey. It is also available with a choice of three handles in Matt Black, Brushed Brass or Chrome to coordinate with brassware, shower enclosures, mirrors and lighting. View the range at


In response to the trend for marble effects, Cubico has introduced the Charlie hex tile collection made from porcelain. Measuring 290 x 258mm, the marble veined tiles are available in three shades of brown, blue and black. Suitable for use on walls, floors and even outdoors, the tiles feature a matt finish which provides anti-slip properties. View the online brochure at


Strengthening its traditional bath collection, BC Designs has unveiled the Megane slipper bath. It comes in white as standard but is shown here in the Dulux colour of 2023 Wild Wonder and can be painted in any colour as an optional extra. Measuring 1700mm in length and 740mm wide, Megane is 785mm at its highest point. Download a brochure at



Adding to its Reframe bathroom accessories range, Danish manufacturer Unidrain has now introduced a soap dispenser. It features an angled nozzle, designed so the soap lands in the user’s hand rather than on the washbasin, and a non-slip base. Available in two formats, as a countertop or a wall-mounted model, the soap dispenser comes in a choice of five finishes.

View the online brochure at


Following their launch at Cersaie, Spanish bathroom brand Acquabella has introduced its nature-inspired Halo Slate tray and Icon Slate basin to the UK. The Halo Slate tray has a microtextured cornice which runs across the frame, becoming more defined as it joins the perimeter drainage system. While the Icon Slate Totem is a floorstanding basin, with a contrasting texture to highlight the shape.

Download a brochure at


Brassware manufacturer Aqualla has unveiled the Hanna collection, which spans a variety of mixers and shower valves in a choice of finishes. The modern collection features a spout with soft, rounded edges and elevated handle and comes in Gunmetal Grey, Brushed Brass, Matt Black and Chrome. Hanna offers a selection of taps including basin monos, wall-mounted bath fillers and freestanding bath/shower mixers. Discover the range at K&BNEWS DECEMBER 25

Reflect on this

Sell mirrors and mirrored cabinets as part of a complete bathroom sale, industry experts advise

No matter the size or style of project, one thing all bathrooms have in common is the inclusion of a mirror or mirrored cabinet. On top of their role to provide image reflection for grooming, they provide light, create the illusion of space and offer storage. Marketing manager of Harrison Bathrooms Peter Woodward comments: “When you step into a new bathroom, a mirror is probably the first thing you see. So it’s important to factor this into the design. Every bathroom needs to have the perfect mirror to create a focal point.”

And there are a wide variety of mirrors which designers can now choose to suit all interior aesthetics. Think round, square, pill-shaped, in a choice of sizes and styles. Dimitri Pappas from My Furniture advises: “An out of the ordinary mirror can finish off a bathroom design.”

Rise of circular

Mereway Bathrooms reports a rectangular, frontlit mirror – Winchester - which can be hung in portrait or landscape is its most popular model. However, national sales and development manager Ed Norris points out “Circular mirrors are also rising in sales as they provide a soft feel to the room without the hardness of corners.” Such is the popularity of round mirrors Utopia bathrooms has added a trio of circular models to its furniture collection.

And Peter Woodward of Harrison Bathrooms points out round mirrors are popular in its Scudo collection. “A circular mirror tends to have more surface area than other shapes, which means that it reflects more light naturally around the bathroom. Our most popular mirror design, at present, is the Macie 600 LED mirror with demister pad.”

Mirror technology

Certainly. technology plays its part in both mirrors and mirrored cabinet specification. As the bathroom has become more focused on embracing a spa-like ambiance, there is a greater focus on lighting and music. Heated pads to prevent condensation on mirrored surfaces and tunable lighting from daylight to warm light have become features on mirrors and mirrored cabinets. Managing director of Duravit UK Martin Carroll states: “Mirrors and any accompanying bathroom lighting need to harmonise with each other, they should be easy


On the icon version of the XViu mirror, the heating is switched on and off using a symbol on the operating panel. On other models, it is connected to the light. Discover more details at

2. HIB

The Sound cabinet features integrated lights, heat pad, speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to stream music, as well as enabling them to charge devices using USB or two-pin sockets. Watch the video at

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to operate and where possible avoid glare and mist.” And these can be operated by sensors or even smart app controls.

To complement the lighting, selected mirrored cabinet models come complete with music streaming, using Bluetooth technology and integrated speakers. HiB has added to its mirrored cabinet collection with the launch of the Sound Cabinet. It not only allows users to steam music from connected devices but also provides charging through USB connections and two pin sockets.

Gaining share

But how can bathroom retailers ensure consumers buy mirrors and mirrored cabinets through bricks and mortar showrooms, rather than lifestyle stores or online? Peter Woodward suggests designers should incorporate them into the bathroom project, alongside accessories to create a complete look. And Ed Norris of Mereway Bathrooms agrees: “Link the mirrors with accessories e.g, rim of mirror to link with taps and handles. These sort of accessory packages could help simplify sales.”

The Salience 2022 UK Bathroom Report in July stated the best performing key words were

black toilet roll holder with 6,600 monthly searches and black towel rail with 5,400 monthly searches. And Ed Norris of Mereway Bathrooms adds: “Black framed mirrors are rising in sales to complement black taps and handles.” So consider the mirror, along with complementary accessories, as part of the overall bathroom aesthetic and sale.


The Beron wall mirror features a brass surround and comes complete with a brown leather strap. Find out more at


As part of a three-strong circular mirror range, Luma features a frosted, illuminated halo boosting natural light. Read more about the range at

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Flying high

Hootan Tayebi, owner of Huma Kitchens which is named after a mythical bird, talks about refocusing his business, rebranding and opening a second showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea.

It’s been a busy time for architectural designer Hootan Tayebi who launched a residential design practice, refocused and rebranded the company as a kitchen retail operation, and has now opened a second showroom. All this is particularly impressive given it has been over a two-year period and during a global pandemic. Having signed the lease of his first showroom just two weeks before lockdown, the six-strong employee business now boasts two studios and is expanding its private client base to include interior designers, architects and developers.

Arenas to kitchens

Having worked for a global architectural firm Populous, which creates stadiums and entertainment arenas, how did Hootan end up in kitchen design? He explains he was involved in the creation of hospitality spaces within the large architectural projects. Hootan expands: “We were working closely with interior designers, creating joinery drawings and interior packages and that was the thing I really enjoyed.”

Wanting to launch his own business, Hootan took the step of opening his own design practice –Unreal Studio. He picks up on the story: “I thought I would rent a shop front because I wanted to attract passing customers and show we do small, residential design projects.” He installed a kitchen in the shop, as

an example of joinery work, but had clients asking specifically for kitchen projects. In fact, he adds: “We ended up doing more kitchens than residential projects”, and so Hootan decided to refocus his business.

Along with the refocus, he decided to rebrand the business as Huma Kitchens. It has been named after a Persian mythical bird, Huma, which if it looks at you gives good luck and prosperity. Chosen as it offers meaning, and connects to Hootan and his Iranian heritage, it was also selected as it is an accessible word, which could be easily understood and used across any language.

Flexible budgets

Hootan first worked with a variety of kitchen manufacturers, spanning British, Italian and German brands, before he was introduced to Italian furniture manufacturer LineaQuattro. After working with the company on a small interiors project, Huma Kitchens now exclusively supplies the furniture brand. “The price was right, the lead times were right and the communication was far better than any other company we were dealing with, at the time”, says Hootan. Talking about working with the company exclusively, he adds: “Customers appreciate the fact that we are in daily contact with the manufacturer.”

Huma Kitchens offers a bespoke service,


Architectural designer Hootan Tayebi started the business in 2020, just prior to the first COVID lockdown


The showroom space was designed by Hootan Tayebi in partnership with Antonio Lanzillo & Partners, employed by LineaQuattro


Opening its second showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea, London, the business is aiming to attract interior designers and architects

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tailoring projects to suit budgets from £25,000£30,000. Hootan explains: “Our average order is around £50,000-£60,000 but we do a lot of smaller projects as well. We get customers coming in and asking ‘what is your starting price?’ and we answer ‘It depends on how many units you have and what’s the finish?” He adds: “We’ve sold projects at £200,000-£250,000, that we had to prototype a specific door to show them. It really depends on what they want.”

Crediting the adaptability of LineaQuattro, with its wide range of finishes, Hootan says it allows the business to be accommodating to meet a range of budgets from a “standard” to a truly bespoke design. And with the fluctuating economy, he says it’s beneficial to have that flexability, to help people update and renovate. He adds it’s particularly helpful when attracting interior designers, who may have clients with a range of budgets.

Showroom network

Further enhancing its appeal to interior designers, Huma Kitchens has also recently opened a showroom in the Design Centre in Chelsea, London. Hootan explains its Wandsworth-based showroom is limited for space and can only accommodate one kitchen display. Although able to design and specify kitchens from the showroom, he wanted a space where customers could touch and see a wider variety of product.

Initially Huma Kitchens was seeking a bigger showroom on the high street but a chance meeting in the Design Centre, which hosts interior design companies and an interior design school, saw Hootan take a 120sqm unit. It has now become a flagship showroom for LineaQuattro. “It instinctively felt right”, says Hootan, adding it allows consumers from his first store to visit and see more at the new location. He also admits the location gives the business added kudos in the interior design community.

Shell transformation

Starting with a shell, a six-figure sum saw it transformed into an environment which reflects living space. The showroom required floor and ceiling treatments, installation of stud walls and crittall doors and was completed in just two to three months. Even within this tight deadline, it features the latest LineaQuattro kitchen furniture from Salone del Mobile. Hootan explains the entire design and production team worked day and night to open in time for London Design Week: “We thought if we’re going to do it, we need to be open for Focus”.

Designed in collaboration with an architect employed by the kitchen furniture manufacturer, Hootan continues: “We wanted a home-like


feeling. We chose five finishes to suit the trends and market in the UK and explained the feeling we wanted the showroom to have. We also wanted a large, collaborative workspace.” Working with Antonio Lanzillo & Partners reflects the approach and intent of the company to work in partnership with professional designers. And it has reaped rewards by creating a showroom which, together with lighting supplier Italamp, echoes the warmth of a home. Alike the kitchen furniture, the decorative lighting can be adapted or pieces can be made to order.

Building reputation

So what is next for Huma Kitchens, following its busy first two years of business? Although Hootan says there is some uncertainty in the

market, with a reduced volume of sales compared to the past couple of years, the value of projects has remained. And he believes inflation, which has caused some people to pause their house extensions, will create a backlog of kitchen sales.

But for now, the company is concentrating on building its reputation as a trusted kitchen supplier, starting in South West London. It has plans to spread coverage, having worked as far afield as St Albans in Hertfordshire, but is currently focused on building foundations.

Hootan explains his architectural background will be instrumental stating: “We speak the same language. We know the troubles they go through, we can help them and be a good design partner.” K&BNEWS DECEMBER 29
Huma Kitchens exclusively supplies furniture from LineaQuattro and its new showroom features its latest launch from Salone del Mobile

Company matters

Offering support for independent kitchen and bathroom firms because your business is our business

social media platform, it’s also pointless. Those followers you just paid for are not real people. They are a bunch of mobiles, plugged into a server. They will never buy from you, refer you to a friend or engage with your content. Bought followers are a vanity metric, and very easy to spot. It’s best to be squeaky clean!


5 commonly asked questions

There’s no such thing as a daft question, especially in the fast-paced world of social media. Here are a few of the most common questions businesses ask me.

1. Is it ever okay to buy followers?

The simple answer is NO. Never. Aside from it being against the terms and conditions of every


Managing cash flow

The pandemic has caused widespread panic and the war between Russia and Ukraine is throwing the world into further uncertainty. Both will have far-reaching consequences for years to come, which is why it’s vital that small business owners take charge of their cash flow now.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. When cash flow is positive, the business thrives. When it’s negative, for a prolonged period of time, the business struggles or may even fail. In this uncertain geopolitical climate, it’s more important than ever for business owners to manage their cash flow effectively. Let’s examine how to do just that.

Why cash flow matters

Small business owners need to be acutely aware of their cash flow situation at all times. Cash flow is not simply a matter of accounting; it’s a measure of how healthy your business is. In good times, a positive cash flow means you have the resources to invest in your company and grow it. In bad times, a negative cash flow may mean you will struggle to cover your expenses. Your cash flow is also a key indicator of your company’s financial health. A positive

2. How do you create a good social media strategy?

Unless you’re experienced in writing a strategy, it’s going to be a long and arduous task. That’s why so many firms ask me to do it for them! However, a strategy isn’t the same as a content calendar. A content calendar is a schedule of what and when you will post and to where. A strategy looks at your business goals and chosen KPIs, your target market, competition, hashtag and keyword research and the goals of your social media accounts. A strong strategy

will adapt as your data comes in and you can see what works and what doesn’t.

3. How does it differ from content?

As part of your strategy, you will have been able to discover and decide on your content pillars. These are the topics around which you will create all your content. It will cover more than products and your team. Think about what your customers want. Nobody wants a hole in the wall, they want a drill that makes it easy. They don’t want a fancy tap; they want a tap that they can use with arthritis. Once you have your content pillars you can create multi form content on these topics.

4. How do you calculate engagement rate?

This is probably the only bit of my GCSE maths that I use regularly. To calculate the engagement rate on a post you add up all the comments and reactions then divide this number by the number

you experience a negative cash flow period. This is especially important during uncertain times when the future is unpredictable. You don’t want to be forced to take out a highinterest loan or use your credit cards to cover expenses. If you have financing in place, you’ll be able to weather the storm without putting yourself in debt.

cash flow means you’re making money and a negative cash flow means you’re losing money. This can be due to several factors, including slow sales, high overhead costs, or paying too much for inventory.

It’s also important to remember that a positive cash flow doesn’t always mean you’re making money. It simply means you have more cash coming in than going out. Likewise, a negative cash flow doesn’t mean you’re losing money. It could simply mean your expenses are greater than your revenue. Now that we’ve established that, let’s dive into how you can better manage your cash flow during periods of uncertainty.

Put financing in place

It’s always a good idea to have financing in place BEFORE you need it. This means having a line of credit or loan available so you can cover your expenses in case business slows down or

There are several types of financing available, so business owners should research their options and find one that best suits their needs. Ask your accountant if they can help you find a loan or line of credit that meets your specific needs.

Shift stock and supplies

One way to conserve cash is to shift your inventory and supplies. This means selling products that are slow moving or discontinuing products that are no longer profitable. It also means buying supplies in bulk when they’re on sale, so you can get a better price. The key is to be proactive and make these changes before you’re forced to do so. This will help you avoid any major disruptions in your business operations.

Reduce overhead costs now

Another way to conserve cash is to reduce your overhead costs. This means cutting back on


of followers. Then multiply that number by 100. A high engagement rate is usually between 3.48% and 6.67%. Anything from between 0 and 1.64% is low engagement. The median engagement rate is 1.73% on Instagram, 0.046% on Twitter and 0.16% on Facebook across all industries.

5. How do you grow a following, quickly?

You can’t is the simple answer to this one. Social media marketing takes time, lots of time and lots of energy. And consistency. The best way to build a following is through a combination of regular posting, and daily commenting on other posts Always make sure you reply to the comments on your own posts as well! Therefore, social media marketing isn’t an admin job, or something you tack on to a job description. It’s a full time, fast paced role with a multitude of challenges.

EXPERT: Anna Rump or #thesocialmedialady

COMPANY: Amelia Rose Media

BACKGROUND: Social media consultant Anna Rump of Amelia Rose Media works with lifestyle brands to help boost their income. She has recently taken engagement on social media, for one company, from under 1% to over 20% in three months and brought in sales worth over £50,000. Anna Rump achieved this in under 90 posts across three platforms.


expenses that are not essential to your business operations. For example, you may want to reduce travel expenses or warehouse rental costs. Now is the time to take a close look at your budget and see where you can cut back. Even small reductions in overhead can make a big difference in your cash flow.

Streamline and automate processes

You can also conserve cash by streamlining your processes and automating where possible. This means eliminating any unnecessary steps in your process and automating timeconsuming manual tasks. For example, you may want to automate your invoicing or use software to manage your inventory. Streamlining your processes will help you to save time and money whilst increasing productivity.

With uncertain times ahead, it’s more important than ever for business owners to manage their cash flow wisely. By taking the steps listed above, you can conserve cash and ensure your business is prepared for whatever the future may hold.

EXPERT: Kevin Bannister FCCA


The Accurate Accountant

BACKGROUND: Qualified accountant and managing director of The Accurate Accountant, Kevin Bannister works with KBB business owners to help them maximise their income and be as tax efficient as possible. All of which while ensuring full compliance with HMRC.



Company culture starts with you

Let’s be honest, if you work at a company where bad behaviour and bad managers are tolerated, then no amount of ping pong, free breakfasts or in-office massages will make it okay. As Mark Twain once said, “An organisation, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it.” In fact, getting away from a toxic culture or bad leadership style are typically the reasons we’re given by jobseekers who are in the market for a new position.

If you don’t recognise the value of your workforce, then they will begin to work individually and perhaps, start to blame others for their mistakes – if not already. The days of the corporate clone and the ‘one size fits all’ package are long gone, so businesses need to take a more intuitive approach when supporting their staff and company culture. This includes factoring-in extra provision for staff in high-pressure situations to ensure they have the support available.

Collaborative work

Creating a positive culture takes time, it’s all about establishing a sense of belonging and a collaborative feeling. In doing so, it will inspire your staff to want to be an integral part of something bigger. As the latest Employee Experience report from Qualitrics highlights, today’s managers and leaders are also expected to be driving diversity and equitable outcomes for all at work, fostering a sense of belonging, supporting social justice issues, as well as understanding and supporting employees’ mental health.

Colleagues collaborating, having fun together and being creative will naturally breed a successfully environment, which over time will

EXPERT: Peter Jones

COMPANY: Foyne Jones

become infectious … in a good way! At a time when accountability is at an alltime high with many employees subjected to a hybrid work model that supports a in-office, remote, and onthe-go workers, you run the greater risk of distancing yourself from your team if your company culture is not clearly defined or being implemented.

People first

Marks and Spencer has just announced an initiative that puts their people first. From January 2023, more than 3,000 retail managers will have flexible working options such as spreading their hours over five days, working a four-day compressed week or nine-day compressed fortnight. Known as Worklife, the changes have been designed to help its workforce achieve a better work-life balance, in order to attract the best talent in the industry stating, “We want M&S to be a great place to work and shop – that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance.”

Changing habits

In an environment which is now increasingly driven by lifestyle – what matters to your staff?

Our sector needs to promote a culture of intrapreneurship, so that teams can explore and develop together. Make sure you create a strong foundation where every member of the team can become a brand advocate. If you want to attract the stars of the future, put a positive and vibrant culture at the front and centre of everything you do.

BACKGROUND: Peter Jones is founder and managing director of Foyne Jones, specialist recruitment agency for kbb retail, independent and national merchant and construction sales. He is also the host of podcast The Peter Jones Show, which covers recruitment and industry news and features guests who are leaders in the industry



We produce exclusive videos on interviewing business leaders and young people entering the industry. They cover industry-wide issues, retail initiatives and design trends. Plus, we’ve now added showroom tours. Here are our latest, just in case you’ve missed them.

Two-minute tour of Huma Kitchens, Chelsea, London

We take a two-minute tour of the new Huma Kitchens showroom, which has just opened in the Design Centre, Chelsea, London UK. The space, which has been created in collaboration with owner Hootan Tayebi and Italian furniture manufacturer Linea Quattro, has been created to have a homely, living area feel, which is accentuated by lighting from Italamp. www.kandbnews/rdrlink/KAK039

Kbsa Kitchen Designer of the Year (£50k and over)

Director of The Myers Touch Keith Myers talks about his Kbsa Kitchen Designer of the Year (£50k and over) award-winning project. It was created for a new development, where he changed the door and window positioning to improve flow in the kitchen. Myers also talks about his company’s overall approach to kitchen design. Watch the video at www.kandbnews/rdrlink/KAK040

Kbsa Young Designer of the Year

Designer at KC Design House Dominic Masserella talks us through the kitchen project that saw him win the Kbsa Young Designer of The Year. Designed for a new build home, where he influencd measurements, he created this kitchen which combines cooking, eating and socialising areas. Keep an eye out for the home bar. See what he has to say at www.kandbnews/rdrlink/KAK041

Kbsa Kitchen Concept of the Year

Senior designer of Kitchens by J.S.Geddis Felicity O’Hare explains how she approached the brief for a multigenerational household to win Kbsa Kitchen Concept of the Year. She talks about the award-winning project where she used a double island to create zones, and explains how empathy allowed her to create this kitchen scheme. Watch her interview at www.kandbnews/rdrlink/KAK042


Water efficiency: A mandatory approach?

Bathroom manufacturers recognise that reducing domestic water consumption is essential to address water scarcity, bringing more efficient and innovative products to market. Products such as cold start taps, recirculating showers, heat recovery showers, ‘bubble showers’ and forced-air toilets provide consumers with a ‘greener’ choice.

Research supports the fact homeowners trust the advice of a professional fitter when purchasing a new bathroom or individual products. The link between the manufacturer, therefore, and the fitter is critical. Suppose those on the front line of bathroom installation aren’t aware of these products and their water-reducing properties. In that case, customer choice will be limited, and efforts to reduce domestic water use will be even more challenging.

Retailers raise awareness

Awareness of how we, as consumers, can do our bit to reduce water use is vital. Defra’s recently released consultation on a UK-wide mandatory water efficiency label for products such as taps, toilets, and urinals is a step in the right direction. Still, if consumer confusion comes into play, the

role of the fitter will become even more critical, and they, too, will need to assess the right product for the right environment.

Under Defra’s proposals, suppliers must assess their products’ water efficiency rating and include the label with the product and in their marketing literature. However, crucially, retailers must make the label visible to the customer, including on showroom room sets, instore or via the internet and catalogues. Failure to do so could result in enforcement action from a national body.

The Defra consultation closed on November 25, and the BMA has been working with all stakeholders to present a response that will work for all involved.

Action policies required

While manufacturers, retailers, installers and customers can embark on this water-reduction journey, there are two policy areas that require immediate attention. The first would be an ambitious and comprehensive plan to bring forward investment in new water supply infrastructure and maintenance to cut supply pipe leakage. Consumers are all too aware of

substantial leaks, so they must be confident water companies are doing their bit too. We should be all ‘in this together’.

Secondly, the Government should hold a thorough education programme around water scarcity, promote water-efficient behaviours, like shorter showers, and how they should interpret the detail hosted on the water label to make the best choice.

Many manufacturers are already using the voluntary Unified Water Label (UWL) scheme run independently by the Unified Water Label Association. We believe with the UWL, suppliers and retailers could deliver ubiquitous labelling far quicker, as the infrastructure around the scheme already exists.

One thing is certain, regardless of the final decisions made by Defra and the outcome of this consultation. The entire supply chain must all come together to ensure a simple and effective water label results in the intended outcomes. With the addition of efforts from water companies to ensure a sustainable water supply and Government education around water scarcity, we can and must reverse a water crisis looming in the UK.

Mitigating water scarcity will require a fundamental shift in behaviour and our approach.
Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, outlines what a mandatory water label will mean to fitters and retailers

Top 3 website stories


Northern Irelandbased brassware manufacturer

Aqualla has created a sales team to increase its presence in the UK independent retail sector. Led by head of GB sales Pete Banham, the seven-strong team include Ben Kennedy who will cover north London and Home Counties, Nigel Restall is responsible for the Midlands region, while Sarah Jowsey will look after the north east. Completing the team, Ian Quigley will be responsible for the north west, Ed Thorn will take on the south east, Steven Sharp will look after Scotland and Shane Basset will be responsible for the south west. Read more at


National kitchen retailer Magnet has started to roll out its new “immersive” concept store programme. Following the launch of its first revamped store in Stockton-on-Tees, Magnet has refurbished its South Wimbledon showroom, with a third pilot store now open in Sale, Manchester. Alike the Stockton-on Tees showroom, South Wimbledon features a working kitchen to host cookery demonstrations, a style and materials area to select handles, finishes and materials. Read more at


As Unox Casa entered the UK and ahead of the unveiling of its SuperOven at Halcyon Interiors, director of Unox Casa Matteo De Lise explained what it means to kitchen retailers, interior designers and architects. The official launch took place on October 13, 2022 at Halcyon Interiors showroom, Wigmore Street, in London. Matteo De Lisa said: “London was the obvious choice for the start of the internationalisation of the Unox Casa brand, but we are already heading into the next phase of the expansion.” Read the entire interview at


Here is a useful summary of all the adverts that appear in this issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News. Each is listed with its page number and a direct URL that will get you straight to the relevant online information.

Blum UK..............................................................................(pages 12,13)

Cosentino UK............................................................................(page 14)

Crown Products..................................................................(back cover)

Franke UK Ltd............................................................................(page 19)

Geberit Ltd..............................................................(inside front cover)

HiB Ltd........................................................................................(page 27)

Ideal Standard UK Ltd................................................................(page 4)

InSinkErator..............................................................................(page 17)

KBSA..........................................................................(inside back cover)

Reginox UK Ltd..........................................................................(page11)

What has been driving Kitchens & Bathrooms News website traffic? Here are the three stories with the biggest hits in October on
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