Helping you cope with intense demand
Welcome to the 4th edition of View from Blum and thank you for taking the time to read our thoughts and insights from the KBB wider industry.
I don't think anyone could have predicted the pace and strength that our industry has responded to the earlier lockdown period. On one level this is fantastic news for all of us within the industry but has undoubtedly caused many challenges that continue to complicate the trading environment.
I have written to all our customers this week apologising for the current supply issues that we are experiencing but asking for understanding that unfortunately the present demand picture and its intensity could not have been reasonably predicted when we all sat in our offices in May of this year.
We will continue to work to minimise the effect on your business as much as possible and we truly appreciate your patience during this time.
I hope you enjoy the content that we have prepared for you in this edition and let's hope that the present positive trading environment continues over the next period.
Watch our video guide to the Technical Services portal on our website...
new dimension in assembly
EASYSTICK is the new automatic stop system that makes it easy to set up the drilling and insertion machines. The entire assembly process is streamlined, saving time and giving you a fast error-free system with perfect results.
Get in touch with our technical team at email@example.com or call on 0800 230 0898.
First site in the UK goes live
Partridge Kitchens became the first kitchen manufacturer to use the full power of the EASYSTICK.
Owner of Partridge Kitchens, Kevin Partridge says about his recent experience with EASYSTICK:
“A fence, and much more. As a company that offers bespoke kitchens, this addition to our current MINIPRESS machine has come into its own, offering accuracy and increasing efficiency to our growing business.” see their website
Introducing Technical Services...
The new hub for technical information and support on blum.com. Here to offer you help with Blum products, wherever in the creative process you are, be that Manufacturing, Distribution, Retail, Installation or Homeowner.
Here you can find additional information and our latest services. We are here to support you and our partners to bring more value to you and your business. This includes, in-house training, installation support, a full platform of E-SERVICES, and much more.
Matthew Glanfield is the Technical team manager and has been with the company for nearly 3 years. Matt has a passion for learning and all things Blum. His fun fact is when he’s not working, Matt loves nothing more than a camping trip with roaring fire.
Blum UK main phone: 01908 285700
Technical Support hotline: 0800 2300 898
Technical Services web link
Stay at the ‘desktop’ of your game
If new normal means same old office space (with at least eight hours a day, five days a week stuck behind a desk) you probably ought to think about an exercise regime.
Several studies have found that the sedentary office lifestyle might be harmful to our health. So as many of us head back to the workplace, it is certainly a good idea to consider new ways to keep moving and keep fit.
Lots of ailments such as weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions can be attributed to sitting still for long periods of time. Most worrying is the fact that one piece of research suggests that people who sit all day have a 40% increased risk of dying early!
It’s very important to decrease the amount of time we spend sitting, since the average adult spends more than 90% of their leisure time sitting down.
Getting back to great...
Trusted kitchen specialist Moores operate in three channels; Private Development, Retail and Public Sector. Since the 2008 recession they have been on a journey to get back to great again, & in the last 2 years have enjoyed a tremendous 65% growth in sales. In 2017 a MBO took place supported by Hilco Capital. Moores also received a prestigious TRI Award for ‘Turnaround of the Year 2019’.
Obviously 2020 has thrown up unprecedented challenges, but Moores have faced these setbacks with real determination to be ‘great’ again, held true to their mission and continue to be very positive about the remainder of 2020 (with some exciting projects in the pipeline to focus on for 2021).
They have ensured steady progress in spite of this year's crisis through heavy investment in a focussed customer service proposition. In essence Moores describe this as “keeping in touch with our customers priorities, what’s important to them in a kitchen supplier and how we perform”. They have worked in partnership with customers to be there to support them through these testing times. An approach which is paying off for the business.
Across their brands: Roux, Definitive, Affinity they aim to offer something to suit all tastes and budgets – as well as always looking to find ways to make customers’ lives easy.
“Moores are working with great partners, and Blum are up there as one of the best.”
CEO Steve Parkin
The Roux brand, much like a meal in a Michelin star restaurant, is all about blending the finest ingredients to prepare an exquisite experience for buyers. Moores are keen to stress that Blum components have been a crucial part of that mix! The attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into a Roux kitchen is what sets it apart, and Michel himself has been instrumental in the design process. He’s passionate about working with British manufacturers and made a special visit to the factory last year (where he even sprayed doors and lent a hand building some Roux cabinets!)
by Linda Parker
We’re looking ahead to Autumn, and starting to feel the colours coming through as we re-set our imaginations to look at darker, seasonal shades. We can’t help but be influenced by the colours around us, whether we’re designing a new colour scheme for a kitchen or browsing on-line for tile ideas. So, as it’s mid-September already, this seems to be the perfect time to look at some seasonal colour themes that will sit comfortably with forthcoming trends. At the moment our minds are firmly on restful deep greens and comforting yet vibrant russets and browns…
The future is green, demonstrated beautifully here with the in Malmo kitchen from Burbidge in bespoke Pantone Quetzal Green, alongside their Gloss Light Grey standard colour. Open shelves on wall and island are absolutely on-trend too. Find out more about the full Burbidge collections here.
Green works with black, ivory, white, bronze, gold …as well as rose gold, pink and blush shades. Illustrated beautifully here in a dark Teal and Fawn combination from Wren Kitchens. Design notes: creating a shelf or ledge as an upstand adds interest, matching splashback tile colour to top cabinets looks elegant and streamlined.
If you’re working with bespoke painted-to-order cabinetry and looking for paint shades, try Hunter Green from Benjamin Moore. Finishes include Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Satin/Pearl, Gloss/Semi-Gloss so it’s likely that whether you’re looking for a finish for cabinets, shelves, joinery or walls one of these will do the job
This sums up the current mid-century vibe for us… it’s a new shade, the gorgeous Bay by Cox & Cox. In their words, ‘Bay is a transforming home colour that offers a dynamic ingredient whilst still giving a cocooning effect’. In matt emulsion for walls and eggshell for interior wood.
Interesting handles and pulls can make or break a kitchen design… they don’t have to be used for every single cabinet, and can create a focal point for perhaps a bar area or breakfast cupboard. These are definitely on the ‘favourites’ list. Take a look at the Thor Leather Handles from Dowsing & Reynolds, in Black, Dark Tan and Light Tan with a choice of stud colours, including Antique Black and Raw Brass.
This timber-based scheme works perfectly, because of the contrast between the dark cabinetry and the lighter floor. It’s Raw Cotton Engineered Plank by Ted Todd, also available as Herringbone and Chevron formats. A perfect example of how natural materials and colours can add warmth to a very simple scheme.
Comforting shades of dark and light timber, gold and rust bring warmth and comfort to our homes…
It’s a roller blind! But imagine if that was the real view from the kitchen window… This is the Autumn Forest Woodland roller blind, made to order by Artylicious. There are similar ideas over at Wallsauce – full-wall size murals made to order, we think they could be an interesting addition to a long kitchen extension wall…
This enticing, warm shade is from the Color Preview collection by Benjamin Moore. It’s Mars Red (rather apt at the moment as we’re forging ahead with Netflix Away series about a mission to Mars!). Nonetheless is most definitely an accent colour for walls or cabinetry that will add positive vibes to a kitchen scheme
Soft furnishings are an important part of a kitchen-dining-family room project, but often get left until the last moment. If you’re involved with banquette seating, chair cushions or similar, take a look at the fabric collections from Sophie Allport. This is the gorgeous new Fetch fabric by the metre, from a host of kitchen-friendly animal designs.
The trend for large kitchen spaces to use very plain, pale porcelain floor tiles is likely to continue, but there’s a place for intensely patterned tiles too – whether as a focal point of colour and pattern in a splashback, or as a statement tiled floor. Two to check out are Andalucia hexagonal patterned wall and floor tiles (in a total of 24 surface designs plus plains) and Oxford Mix ceramic floor tiles, which are designed to replicate authentic encaustic tiles. Rather nice for a utility, boot room or hall as well as a traditionally styled kitchen, and both available from Tile Mountain.
Next Time: We’ll be looking at Black Kitchens
Recovery and riding the storm...
The charity, The Furniture Makers' Company is continuing to offer an open door to those who find themselves in financial hardship (especially as a result of the Covid crisis).
Here's a testimonial video from Toby, one of the beneficiaries who applied for and received a Personal Support Grant as part of the 'One Step at a Time' initiative.
You can also access a recording of a 20-minute webinar here and listen to Sue Dean, Welfare Officer, and George Cooper, Marketing & Communications Manager, discuss the financial aid available and answer some FAQs on how to access the charity’s support.
The Skills Shortage
The lack of availability of installers and an overall skills gap are being described as the most significant challenges facing our industry! The opportunity to capitalise on high demand for kitchens and bathrooms is being curtailed for retailers who simply can't deliver the final fitted solution.
…we'd like to know if and how this situation is impacting your business?
from Amanda at Blum Experience Centre
Like a lot of people recently, I’ve decided my home and kitchen needs an update. After spending 15 weeks working from my kitchen table, I finally cracked and realised the space no longer worked for me, my lifestyle or my family. Things needed to change, and over the next few issues, I wanted to share my top tips. My rules for making sure I get the kitchen of my dreams, inside and out.
Beauty's on the inside!
Everyone loves their finished kitchen. After all the colours have been picked, the sophisticated finishes chosen, and the latest appliances installed, its love at first sight. However, when those colours start to fade and the latest tech is no longer new, what will be left? Trends & styles will come and go, but the functionality is the one essential you will never tire of. I’m thinking about designing my space from the inside out. That way I’ll love it forever.
Don’t lean into the kitchen,
let the kitchen lean into you
Once your new kitchen is installed, it’s hard to change. Kitchens last on average about 20 years. Your kitchen should not only meet your current requirements, but also those of your future self and lifestyle. We open and close our cupboards up to 80 times a day, and for 50 of these we bend down at a lower level. Investing in drawers and lift systems at this will point will provide long-term ergonomic benefits that ensure it works just as well as it did when it and you were 20 years younger! Let the kitchen do the hard work, so you don’t have to. Ask your designer about ergonomics.
Storage, storage, storage!
Have you ever moved to a new house, and cleared out your loft or shed, only to find something that you thought was lost, or replaced years ago? It’s just as easily done in a kitchen. One of the most common
client requests is “More Storage”. A word of warning, think twice! We are natural hoarders and will fill a space with stuff, that’s infrequently used, can’t be found, or difficult to access. Proper planning, considering your lifestyle, shopping habits and household needs is essential in the early planning stages. Do not get carried away with just aesthetics. 3 key questions to ask when making decisions are is it functional? Accessible? Visible? Getting all this right will ensure long term success.
Look out for more tips next issue…
Blum UK, Mandeville Drive,
Kingston, Milton Keynes, MK10 0AW
Tel +44 1908 285700