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Category Archives: board

Dress it up a little

Stone Grey Dakar 'Shaker' Doors

We've seen a boom over the last year in consumer demand for a more natural, country style look through the use of painted oak effect doors and wood grain textured finishes, but one thing consumers aren't looking to do is compromise on the integrity of the design, and it's links back to the traditional style, but with a more modern flavour.

Modern country style is quite different to what it used to be, as consumers are now creating streamlined, sophisticated kitchens which have the characteristics and rustic charm of a country style kitchen, but with all the modern conveniences, detail and material specs to make it something truly amazing.

The heart of any country style kitchen from the past has to be the traditional country dresser, but modern tastes are seeing this become re-invented, and I have to say some of the results are outstanding.

The first and most important element seems to be that country dressers are now becoming a much more integral part of the kitchen design as we see them being made up of the same materials and accessories as the main kitchen units themselves. This helps to achieve a fluid design, and adds a feeling of quality and substance to the overall effect of the design.

We also often see kitchen dressers being integrated into the run of units themselves as opposed to the traditional freestanding dressers, which again harp back to the olden days of traditional country style.

For those aiming to achieve this more rustic, traditional look, there are some great ideas out in the market too. We've seen some of our installers take a couple of old country dressers (distressed and beaten to say the least), cut them down, re-purpose them slightly, and turn them into the most magnificent centre islands with a matching worktop to compliment the rest of the kitchen design. This is a great way of re-using existing materials, whilst also making a fairly substantial design statement with something that can't really be bought anywhere else.

The traditional Irish dresser is probably the most popular design for consumers at this moment in time, and adds a feeling of elegance to any room. Key to the design is the distinctive plate rack and cupboard storage, both of which add a level of practicality whilst maintaining a strong visual appeal.

Consumers have started to create some variation in this design however to better cater to modern living. This is often achieve by using additional drawers which are perfect for storing away smaller items that would otherwise clutter the look of the kitchen, and glass doors which can be back-lit to enhance and showcase the contents of the cabinet.

If you're thinking of installing a kitchen dresser in your next kitchen install, why not talk to us about ideas of how best to create something that's unique, stunning and practical. We've got some fantastic products that are perfect for the country style look, from board and doors, right down to the handles, lighting and fittings that are needed.

Made in Britain - Quality at the heart of Manufacturing

Manufacturing at HPP

Anyone who watches the news or reads the papers can clearly see that consumer demand for UK manufactured products has risen significantly in recent years. Over the last three years alone, UK consumers have been more willing to pay a premium for UK manufactured products, a figure that has more than tripled during that period, and the demand from other European countries for UK manufactured goods is also on the rise too.

So why are consumers moving to UK manufacturing after so many years of sourcing from foreign countries?

Well, the first and most important reason has to be down to the rising cost of fuel and labour in countries like China. Costs of sourcing items from these historically cheaper areas have risen significantly, closing the price gap in many cases to just 10 - 15%, a difference in price that often doesn't reflect the difference in quality.

There are also concerns from consumers that anything that is manufactured outside of the UK may be substandard, unsafe or unreliable, therefore putting emphasis on the quality of UK manufacturers', their safety methods and their adherence to UK regulations and legislation.

But it goes much deeper than that. Simply put, there's a feeling of increased 'Britishness' from the public in recent years. From the Olympics to the Royal Wedding, and everything in between, typical UK consumers have an increased pride in their country and are therefore buying more British to support what they believe in. The recession has also helped consumers realise that buying British can help improve their own financial situations by helping others within the UK.

Buying British also satisfies a number of other consumer demands that have become more prominent more recently. Our way of life is much faster paced than ever before, which places higher demands on retailers and distributors to supply products quickly and efficiently. Manufacturing in the UK means this is possible, with lead times often being a small fraction of what you would expect when importing from a country such as China. This is certainly true in the KBB market, as consumers often want to order their kitchens and have an installer fitting it within a matter of days or weeks, something that couldn't be provided if manufacturing were to be outsourced to foreign countries.

Concerns over the environmental impact manufacturing in foreign countries has is also prevalent in UK consumers, with many indicating that producing closer to home will help to reduce damage done to the environment and improve our overall way of life through reduced pollution.

Whilst labour costs in the UK are still higher than that in developing countries, the UK sees much more automation in its manufacturing processes, which in itself helps to set the playing field a little more level in terms of price and cost per unit. The UK also holds stock on the shelf, and can manufacture and deliver goods quickly in order to fulfill an order, without having to wait for lengthy shipping arrivals.

With a huge shift in consumer demand for UK manufactured goods, and increasing demand from European countries too, it is likely that demand for UK goods will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, which is great news for our consumers, and for our economy as a whole.

The British reputation for quality and innovation is likely to also see improvements too, as revenues brought into the country begin to be re-invested to further improve the UK's profile as a leading innovator whilst strengthening our currently weaker than average jobs market.

The UK should also see an increase in skilled and semi-skilled workers, with higher employer demand for craftsmen and machine operatives which would have otherwise been uncalled for if we were still exporting at the same rates as in previous years to foreign countries.

In summary, it is clear that the heart of British Manufacturing still beats strongly, something that HPP has believed in and thrived from for over 20 years. It's great to see more manufacturing coming back to the UK, and it looks likely that our industrial heritage may once be brought back to a similar strength to what it once was.

Textures Gaining Pace

Kitchen trends have been changing over the last few years, and thanks to the introduction of new and innovative materials, finishes and production processes, there is a much wider range of choice than ever before.

Changes in consumer living, tastes and lifestyles have brought about demand for more unique surfaces and finishes, which has brought texture back into the mix for both modern and traditional kitchen designs.

The introduction of wood grain effect, acrylic, and matt doors has given consumers a chance to create an opportunity to create a one-off, personalised kitchen design that feels bespoke and personal to them.

Textures are now seen as important a factor as colour scheme, so ignore it at your peril! Whether the look you’re trying to achieve is sleek and modern, or warm and traditional, you’ll be able to find a texture that fits the bill.

An innovative new range of wood grain MFC board allows both traditional and modern kitchen designs to achieve a truly tactile, natural look and feel that is stylish, visually appealing, durable and cosy.

For those wanting a cleaner, more minimalist look, high definition gloss acrylic doors and matt finished doors are likely to appeal, as these lend themselves to a slab fronted, contemporary design which can be styled in almost any colour and effect.

To find out more about our range of textured board and doors, click here to view our full range

Bedroom Furniture Focus

Bedroom Furniture Focus

We’ve had the pleasure of working with a huge variety of bedroom manufacturers, fitters and installers over the years, and the trend for fitted bedroom furniture appears to be increasing year on year!

This is great news for the industry, and great news for our customers too.

The reason for this rise in demand seems to be due to a massive change in lifestyle and the way the British public use their homes. As we live in a house over a period of time, our lifestyles get busier and our families grow, creating a greater need for clever and useful storage ideas, and usually this starts in the bedroom.

Fitted bedroom furniture has developed quickly in recent years, and now offers some real innovation in storage and design. This allows for every last inch of space to be used to its fullest, whilst also enhancing the look and feel of the living space.

Well thought out and well fitted bedroom furniture can create a luxurious, relaxing retreat for consumers to come back to at the end of a busy day, and can be totally customised to suit each individual’s needs. We’ve seen projects installed with cinema screens, surround sound systems, hidden bathrooms and much more.

Some helpful tips to get your ideas flowing are shown below, all of which can be seen, tried and testing in our trade counter, and also bought online!

Board – This is usually the starting point for any bedroom furniture project. Selecting the perfect materials that meet your project brief is crucial. This could be anything from elegant textured wood grain, to sleek, contemporary high definition PVC edged acrylic.

Doors – The size, style and finish of doors is paramount to how the space looks, feels and works. HPP offer a vast range of custom made doors to suit any need, from our newly launched Glide sliding door range, through to duo and vinyl wrapped doors.

Wirework – Wirework is growing considerably, and for good reason too. It offers clever and easy to install storage solutions that help meet customer demands, whilst also making the most of available space. From tie and shoe racks to drawer units and side mounted pullouts, there’s a solution to meet any requirement.

Fixtures and fittings – Often overlooked are the fixtures and fittings of a project. These offer a touch of quality to bedroom installations, as clever soft close opening and closing systems make each use a pleasure. This often comes in the form of handle-less opening and closing systems, and concealed wardrobe panels and even hidden bathrooms!

Glazing –Mirrors create a sense of light and space ideal for small rooms, whilst also adding an element of practicality and quality. Glazing can be incorporated into almost any style of door, and can be made to custom designs and specifications.

Lighting – Creating the perfect ambiance adds a whole new dimension to the functionality of a bedroom, whether it’s for task lighting, or creating a mood, there’s a wide range of lighting products such as LED and halogen that can be utilised to create the perfect setting.

For more information and advice about our bedroom products, why not call in to our trade counter, or call us on 0161 628 6100.

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