In this second part of our KBB Show Blog… we hear from Cassie who was at the show for the first time (though she’s a veteran of Milan Design!) and we have news of the Worktop Fabricators Federation launch, which was a very significant event for us, and especially for Andy Phillips who has been behind this new venture from the very beginning.
Cassie’s First KBB show
As a fashion graduate, Cassie is one of the most enthusiastic and insightful of us when it comes to innovation and design. Her enjoyment of the Milan Design Show a few years back was very obvious, and it was great that she was part of the full AG Sales’ team at the KBB. Here are her thoughts on this year’s show.
In the first pic, Cassie is seen admiring a back-lit slab of Cambria Skara Brae. The effect is achieved not only by backlighting but by reducing the thickness of the stone to 6mm to get that stunning translucence.
“This was my first year attending KBB. I have a great passion or upcoming trends and design innovation, so having the opportunity to go and witness all the newest product launches was extremely exciting.
“For me, one of my main highlights was seeing all the technology used within the industry, and the constant desire to make the customer journey and experience more visual and enjoyable. We saw several Virtual Reality planning experiences, to help in kitchen creation – the customer can view and walk around their new kitchen space!
“We looked at interactive appliances, including the amazing Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge Freezer. Here is a fridge that logs what is in it. You can even check in on it when you are in the supermarket – how much milk do we have left? Incredible!
“Finally, I was struck by some of the new materials from Neolith. The Spanish firm are one of the leaders in sintered particle technology for worktops – they make ceramic-type materials, with all the advantages of stain resistance and hardness that a ceramic brings. These tend to have their pattern printed on them – veins and marbling sit on the surface, and where we cut the stone for an edge or a polished cutout, this is all too painfully obvious. Neolith seem now to have cracked this, with genuinely full-bodied, marble-style sintered particle materials. Congratulations, Neolith!
“Technology is constantly evolving, and for me, it’s great to see how it can be applied within the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom market place.”
A quick slide show of some of our show highlights
Following a rather crazy train journey to the NEC, I arrived a bit flustered and travel weary, meeting my colleagues on the Cambria stand. Every company has its own ethos and “personality”. Some manufacturers make you feel that it is a great honour for you so much as to breathe near their stand. Cambria (and Granite Granite, who import the North American quartz into the UK) are the opposite of that. Before I had even been spotted by my own colleagues, Rodolfo, President and CEO of the entire company, had recognised me, showed me over the stand himself, discussed new products and (to the great relief of my back) suggested that I could leave my camera bag in their safe room until I needed it later. There are companies where you feel that the quality and customer service extends to everything they do; Cambria is one of them.
I had full camera kit with me – hence the heavy bag – because I was photographing the launch of the Worktop Fabricators Federation. We wrote about the plans for this new trade federation not long ago. The body is now live – with website, address, Facebook page and all. Launching at the KBB show meant that we had coverage in the news round ups of the event… see Kitchens and Bathrooms News and the KBB Review.
WFF Founding Fathers:
Andy Phillips, Affordable Granite; Mark Mills, Stone System of London
Mem Zekayi, Granite UK; Simon Souter, LBS
Aside from photographing the WFF guys, I enjoyed other aspects of the day. I am very struck by the development in sink design – our own suppliers at the 1810 Company seem to be producing ever more variations with bamboo inserts, champagne coolers and now a stainless steel butler sink – very much on trend.
We are Affordable Granite, the leading granite installer in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. We try to keep abreast of all that is latest and best in the world of kitchens. For advice and help on your stone worktop installation, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org/ .