Is your Kitchen up to Scratch?
As a stockist of kitchen brands, it’s important to keep up with the kinds of design that customers will be looking for. Matching the products from kitchen manufacturers with the trends coming through from design magazines and other trend leaders is a challenge that faces all intermediaries when choosing which lines to carry. It’s your role to make sure your customer has what they need at the price they can afford while ensuring you’re responsive to the new and emerging trends.
Driving factors in kitchen redesign
With the housing market stagnating and home-owners looking to refresh what they have, things are looking up for those who offer home improvements and redesign. However, the tight household budgets within which many are still managing means that style needs to be matched with value for money.
Bright whites and big sinks – two up and coming trends in kitchen design
Those who are choosing to invest are looking for stylish, modern kitchens that are built to last. Kitchen redesign is focusing on increasing convenience and use of space, with designs looking to conceal appliances, fit storage into previously dead space and make sure every nook and cranny is used to its best advantage. Spending money on a new kitchen needs to be an investment for the coming five to ten years, so quality and cost are important factors to balance.
Trends in 2013
With a focus on kitchens that are built to last, colour themes that are now emerging are warm and neutral. There’s a particular focus on the natural look, with warm wooden tones and soft greys to match natural-coloured kitchen cabinets, slate floors and granite work surfaces.
Working with a neutral palette on the fixtures such as floors and cabinets, accent colours are coming in to areas where changes can be more readily made. Dark door furniture and black worktop appliances can add a touch of sophistication to a light-coloured background while lighter accessories give space and airiness to the room and reflect natural light into the darker corners.
In keeping with the natural theme of design and colours, designers are bringing forward plans that look very much more like traditional kitchens with large trough sinks, Shaker-style cabinets and wood-finish work surfaces.
One feature that’s seeing a surge of interest this year is induction cooktops. More controllable and energy efficient, these surfaces fit with the modern drive for environmentally conscious consumption and convenience.
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With customers looking to upgrade their homes into a place they will live comfortably for a number of years rather than making cosmetic upgrades for quick sale of properties, the focus on quality is likely to rise. Advising customers on which brands in your range balance durability and hard-wearing finishes with affordability and value for money will play to the strengths in your range and keep customers happy.
Open plan and fresh, clean lines
When it comes to appliances, the one place where customers can be encouraged to invest as much as they can afford is on the cooker. The most important part of the kitchen, the cooker needs to be usable, beautiful and hard-working. The growth in induction cooking surfaces has changed the way cookers are integrated into kitchen designs and giving busy cooks or big families the chance to put a pan on any part of the surface or as many pans as needed (within reason!) is a huge selling point for both utility and innovation.
This year will be the year of the investment kitchen, and ensuring you’re fully geared up to meet the needs of your customers is important. Working with suppliers to secure ranges that tick all the right boxes for elegance, simplicity, durability and cost-conscious construction will set you up for a successful year of marketing to a customer base looking to enhance their homes.