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Category Archives: kitchens

Focus On... 'A Unique Choice': The Aspects Range

Focus On... 'A Unique Choice': The Aspects Range

It's now been a few months since we launched our 'A Unique Choice' brand, at the heart of which are the visually stunning and informative kitchen and bedroom brochures.

The new brand has been developed to give you inspirational imagery, exciting rooms sets and innovative design concepts that will help show your customers what you can deliver, and to what standards too.

To help you learn a little more about each of the ranges, we're going to be focusing on one kitchen and one bedroom range each month, giving you some juicy insights that might just help encourage your next customer to make that final purchase decision.

If you've not seen a brochure yet, it's easy to request physical copies or download PDF versions by logging into your trade account here: www.hpponline.co.uk/a-unique-choice or call our Sales team on 0161 620 5656.

In this first instalment of these features on the 'A Unique Choice' brand, we're going to focus on the extensive spectrum of options available from the Aspects Bedroom and Kitchen Doors range: a premium, bespoke, made to measure door range that is bang on-trend and bursting with innovative lines that boasts over 100 décors ranging from rustic wood grain textures right through to cutting edge gloss finishes, and pretty much everything in between.

The Aspects Collection is split into five unique ranges: Signature, Shades, Reflections, PerfectSense and Impressions.

Here's a little more about each…

Signature

If high-end texture and luxury is key to your customer, this might just be the range for them. The Aspects Signature range delivers some of the most tactile and visually pleasing materials on the market to date, with highly precise manufacturing processes that deliver texture, quality and finishes like no other.

With each door being made to measure, and available in 24 décors, these lend themselves perfectly to a wide range of styles, tastes, and room shapes and come with a reassuring 6-year guarantee.

Shades

Not unlike 50 shades, there are some décors and finishes in this range sure to get your customers hearts racing, as the Aspects Shades collection delivers premium high gloss acrylic door components that have superior scratch resistance and a choice of matching or contrasting PVC edging.

Each Aspects Shades door is made to measure exactly how you need it, and is available on quick turnaround times with hinge hole drilling available, making the install an easier one for you whilst out on site. And of course, this range also comes with our 6-year guarantee, giving you and your customers total peace of mind.

Reflections

If fun and vibrant is part of your next project's brief, Aspects Reflections might just be what you should direct your clients to look at. This stimulating range of doors brings a wealth of premium bold and unique gloss décors, that deliver highly contemporary and on-trend finishes that are exceptionally glossy, setting them apart from many competitors within the market.

The range has 20 décors to choose from, with everything from vivid Lime Grass and Marmara Blue, right through to smooth and sophisticated Ceylon Macassar and Havana mirror gloss. Each door comes with a 6-year guarantee.

PerfectSense

A perfectly formed collection of Aspects is the PerfectSense range of lacquered doors, which are much more than just your conventional door thanks to a completely new finishing process. The special coating method with UV paint technology enhances the surface look and feel, which was previously only available in certain high-end products.

PerfectSense has an exclusive range of 13 colours to choose from (7 gloss and 6 matt finishes), with each door being made to measure to exacting standards.

The PerfectSense Gloss range offers some truly premium and striking options: the luxurious finish creates a flawless surface that reflects light and makes spaces look larger. By contrast but by no means a lesser option, is the PerfectSense Matt range. Driven by market demand for muted yet high quality décors, the finish is velvety-smooth and its special No-Fingerprint coating ensures smudges and smears are a thing of the past.

Impressions

If your next kitchen project is all about texture, woodgrain and tactile features, then Impressions is going to do just what you need, and more! The range is packed with realistic woodgrain and grained paint-effect décors, all of which help to build a premium look and feel without the need for a huge budget.

Available in over 35 décors, spanning a wide range of popular timber finishes, Aspects Impressions delivers in terms of quality, reliability and budget, whilst also allowing for inspiring designs and finishes to be achieved, all of which is backed by our 6-year guarantee.

The choice offered by the entire Aspects Doors collection is remarkable: there's a décor finish for every installation style, any client requirement, any budget. Matt, gloss, woodgrain patterned or textured, the range is staggering. The range of door décors, coupled with the HPP 6-year guarantee, makes for a winning combination that should enable you, our trade customers, to seal the sales deal with your clients.

Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

In this month's HPP Blog, Tina Crossley introduces us to music and light, in one compact unit...

If you're looking to create an ambience in your next kitchen project and create a clutter-free environment for your customers, the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light might just be what you're looking for.

With a 334 lumen LED light and 85dB speaker integrated into one stylish unit, this practical device turns the kitchen into the perfect place to cook or entertain without the need for endless wires, docking stations and separate lighting solutions, as it all ties perfectly into one.

Key Features

Playing your favourite tunes through the speakers is quick and easy. Simply pair the device with a smartphone via Bluetooth and the wireless connection works its magic, allowing your customers to listen to their music and have a clear kitchen counter at the same time.

With an operational range of up to 10m and the ability to pair any smartphone up to two SensioSound speakers means that even if you have the largest of kitchens, these discreet and handy devices are suitable and easy to install.

The frosted lens gives the speaker a diffused light output to add an ambient atmosphere to any kitchen. There is a choice between either cool or warm white LED, and at 12V, it works at a low voltage too, keeping energy consumption at an all-time low.

Installation and maintenance

Installation is a total doddle, simply comprising three screws beneath the outer steel casing, which makes it compatible with any kitchen décor or layout. The unit is mains powered, which means you'll need a 240V supply, but if existing lighting is already in place, these drivers easily connect to a 5A circuit.

At a competitive offer price of just £35.50, a 13-year lamp life and 35,000-hour playback time, the SensioSound is built to last and will make your customers love their kitchens even more!

For full details on the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light click here.

What's Cooking In 2016 - Kitchen Trends From The KBB Market

XyloCleaf Dark Lady Tranche

Let's start 2016 with some good news, consumer spending is on the increase, there's a rising demand for new homes, and people are increasingly recognising the value of updating their homes in order to sell them - all positive news for the kitchen trade and retail industry.

The key kitchen trends for 2016 are strong colours, the use of different materials - merging contemporary with traditional styles, 'zones' divided by statement pieces, smart storage, bespoke designs, and personalisation. One big trend for 2016 will be the increase in the use of technology and advanced appliances to create clever storage solutions and smart, integrated 'zonal' living spaces that make kitchens the hub of the home.

Colour

Let's begin with colours and materials. The now well-loved grey and associated muted tones will continue to be a popular choice this year following its popularity in 2015, but we will also see darker grey tones and possibly muted shades of blue and green introduced.

The use of warmer metals like zinc, brass, copper, and bronze will build steadily as an alternative to cooler metals like silver and stainless steel.

As for worktops, technological developments mean that man-made alternatives to granite and marble such as quartz and gemstone worktops are now becoming increasingly popular; especially now that there is a wider variety of colours, textures, and patterns available on the market.

Solid oak worktops will also play a key part for those wanting to achieve either contemporary or traditional looks, thanks to such a wide range of finishes and profiles. Check out our kitchen worktop range here to see our new range, launched at the start of this year.

Bespoke and customised kitchens including flexible sizing and colour matching services are increasingly expected as standard, with the momentum to continue in 2016. Customers want to be able to choose and personalise the colour of their units. Our custom painted door service allows customers to choose colours from popular manufacturers like Farrow and Ball, helping achieve the exact look they require that is unique and personal to them.

Materials

Also predicted to be popular during 2016 is the use of different materials for merging both contemporary and traditional styles. A sleek matt finish kitchen with handleless doors (using Blum's TIP-ON for doors which allow them to be opened with a light touch), combined with a Nordic-style walnut worktop or even a natural oak worktop centre island will combine modern and natural materials well.

Layout

Dividing rooms into 'zones' seems to be the buzzword for 2016 – going beyond the now, well-known concept of open-plan living. Varying materials, styles, and colours can be used to distinguish different zones within the home and kitchen space, but other interesting trends are the use of statement pieces such as islands, metal range hoods, freestanding units, and open shelving – all great for this type of new layout as they can act as room dividers without making the space feel small or crowded. Curved edges on units, larders, and islands create smooth transitions between zones, giving them a more fluid and natural feel, helping to achieve a more flexible living space.

Storage solutions are still an important part of good kitchen design and as we go into 2016, consumers are demanding that they be both cool and clever. Storage is now more 'on show' within the kitchen space, so needs to look good as well as be technically clever and functional. Blum LEGRABOX is an intelligent drawer system featuring the latest runner system technology that gives a smooth close, looks stylish, and has slim drawer sides on the inside and outside, meaning your customers gain the maximum amount of potential drawer space. AMBIA-LINE fits perfectly with LEGRABOX to give stylish, smart storage and organisation solutions where contents are always easy to find.

The merging of technology with the kitchen space is now more popular than ever. High-tech appliances and smart workstations are becoming the norm in many homes, including anything from built-in coffee makers, multi-purpose water taps, ice machines, and hidden charging stations for mobile phones and other devices, right through to automated lighting and smart ovens that can turn themselves on as and when needed.

Technology

There is a huge focus on convenience to meet the needs of the technically-advanced consumer, and we are seeing hidden and integrated appliances being used in designs. LED lighting and auto-controlled devices are also at the forefront of new kitchen design. The SensioSound spotlights go one step further by combining lighting with music played via Bluetooth. These dual-purpose intelligent spotlights are ideal for kitchen-diners and open-plan living spaces as they let you stream music while socialising and cooking; bringing entertainment to the hub of the home as well as providing energy efficient lighting.

It's clear that we'll see some exciting kitchen designs in 2016, using different materials to create a unique and customised look with technology playing a very vital role. Kitchens will continue to be both multi-functional and convenient as they increasingly become the place to eat, work, relax, and entertain within the home.

We've got the power!

SensioPod DATA

Give your customers’ kitchen the power with a SensioPod, which is a three-socket pull-up power solution that also comprises of several other smart, additional design features that make it more than your average retractable socket.

Key features

As well as the traditional power outlets, the SensioPod is also a USB charging station with two USB ports integrated into the product (maximum allowance 2100mA). The really clever thing, however, is that it can be fully retracted even with products still plugged in, which is ideal for keeping surfaces clutter-free from unsightly plugs and cables. Because the SensioPod is fitted within the worktop, it can really add value to spaces and is ideal for open plan living where it’s important to have wires and sockets hidden from view. A lot of our customers like to integrate these into centre islands and bar areas where people are likely to sit whilst using a mobile device or laptop.

SensioPod has a nice, sleek profile and an aluminium effect that gives it a modern, contemporary look. It’s also very user-friendly with a specially-designed, neat chrome handle that makes it easy to pull the fitting up, and a quick-release catch to ensure it will always close securely. A neon green control switch tells you whether appliances have been switched off when not in use.

Installation & Maintenance

There’s lots of flexibility over where the SensioPod can be fitted. Because it’s designed to use space efficiently, it can be installed in areas that are often under-used. This flexible space-saving product can be fitted within worktops, on kitchen islands, under cabinets (pull down) or fitted into desks. Plus, it’s IP54 rated and designed to withstand splashes too, so there is no need to worry about it being fitted too close to sinks or food prep areas.

Maintaining the SensioPod is easy too - fuses can be replaced without removing the plinth as they are built-in just below the on/off switch.

SensioPod Range

SensioPod+ pull-up socket has all the same features and benefits of the original but with a die cast metal top in a choice of three finishes; Chrome, Black Nickel or Stainless Steel.

SensioPod Eco is an economical option if customers do not require the ability to charge USB devices. This version has three power sockets only with a red neon on/off switch and a quick release catch, which has a plastic top in a matt black finish.

SensioPod DATA is a perfect solution for the home office that has two RJ45 ports for PC/Laptop connectivity. Even if wireless internet is not available, the SensioPod DATA means you can connect your laptop through a home internet router or network.

SensioPod Bluetooth has a built-in Bluetooth speaker that can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled audio device or 3.5mm headphone jack. It is ideal for open plan living with its multi-use functionality – power, Bluetooth and USB.

All the SensioPod product information can be found at https://www.hpponline.co.uk/cat/1119/sensiopod

Cluster Lighting for Kitchens

Cluster Ceiling Lights and Stone Grey Aspects Doors

Cluster lighting is fast becoming a staple of modern kitchen design, no matter which style the consumer chooses, be that traditional or contemporary, cluster lighting is certainly a popular option, and one that looks set to stay within the industry for the foreseeable future.

Part of the appeal with cluster lighting is that it adds another dimension to the overall kitchen design, which helps not only to add a feeling of quality and thoughtfulness in design, but also helps to better define the zones whilst providing the added benefit of making them more practical too.

Cluster lighting is quite often used over centre islands, dining areas and reading areas to give good quality task lighting, as well as mood lighting too.

The key to achieving success is to position the lights intelligently, making sure they are positioned carefully to avoid accidents from low hanging lights, are suitably away from wet zones, and that the style of the light fittings being put in place are in keeping, and complementary to the rest of the kitchen design.

There's a plethora of styles available at the moment too, meaning consumers are really spoilt for choice. Blown glass, dimly lit light fittings lend themselves to both the more traditional and industrial looks, whereas metal shades or sleek smooth coloured class shades lend themselves nicely to apartment style kitchens and contemporary homes.

There is such a wide variety of cluster style lighting available to consumers at present that finding the right light for the job shouldn't be too hard, as there really is something for everyone; and better still, most of these lights are energy efficient too, using either LED technology or low voltage halogen bulbs.

The use of cluster lighting can really add an additional element to any kitchen design and helps to better define the zones, so it's an aspect that's certainly worth considering for any future kitchen project that lends itself to this type of design concept.

A look at the innovative new Blum LEGRABOX

Blum LEGRABOX M-Height Drawer with Ambia-Line organisation

We're excited about the fact that we now stock the new Blum LEGRABOX intelligent drawer system. It features the latest runner system technology that gives a really smooth, effortless and quality feel. They can be used in almost any setting, including kitchens, bedrooms, home offices, bathrooms and even dining areas, and its multipurpose function and stylish look means that installers and designers can see its obvious attraction.

How it works

LEGRABOX uses new runner system technology with cogs instead of ball bearings. The new motion technology is integrated into the roller carriage, which means that the opening and closing action is smooth and robust. A feature of LEGRABOX that we really like is the very clever BLUMOTION soft close that adapts to different weights and closing forces to give a close that is consistently silent.

Specification & benefits

One of the many other benefits of LEGRABOX is its ability to withstand heavy loads with an impressive carrying capacity of 40kg and 70kg. Even with this higher than average carrying capacity, increased stability along the length of the runner and a new front-fixing bracket guarantees a seamless running action.

LEGRABOX comes in five drawer heights - N - 66.5mm, M - 90.5 mm, K - 128.5mm, C - 177 mm and F - 241 mm. The five drawer heights mean they can be easily integrated into kitchens, bedrooms, home offices, bathrooms and dining areas, making it a really versatile product for your customers.

The LEGRABOX has very slim 12.7mm drawer sides on the inside and outside which means your customers can have the maximum amount of drawer space. That's really handy when you're working on projects where space is limited.

It's available in two colours - Orion gray and brushed stainless steel, contemporary shades that blend well with a diverse range of product styles and colours. The design has certainly not been compromised by the advanced technology and brilliant functionality of this product.

Organised, sleek and tidy drawers can be easily achieved using the AMBIA-LINE inner dividing system. AMBIA-LINE fits perfectly with LEGRABOX to give you smart and stylish storage and organisation solutions where contents are always easy to find.

The system can also be upgraded with the popular 'touch opening' feature and with its matching organisation options it can be implemented in more than one area of the home - ensuring the same style flows throughout the home space.

Installation & adjustment

Because LEGRABOX has fewer parts, it's surprisingly easy to order and assemble. The three-dimensional adjustment mechanism is fully integrated and modifications to the height, side and tilt can be made with one tool, a T20 TORX driver.

The entire LEGRABOX range is available on the HPP website, and selected items are on display in our trade counters. You can also see the range in action by watching the official Blum video here:

Take a look - you won't be disappointed!

Perfecting Open Plan Storage

Open Plan Kitchen Design

Open plan living just seems to keep on growing in popularity, and why not. It creates a more sociable space, a more flexible living environment and a much better way of introducing light into your home.

But with this open plan scheme comes some challenges, such as storage. Where walls once would have existed to house shelves and cupboards, open expanses are visible instead, so this has brought about the need for some rather intelligent and space efficient storage designs, as well as a raft of new storage products and solutions that are more space efficient than ever before.

The key to effective storage in an open plan living kitchen is a well thought out design that utilises the space well, whilst ensuring the finished look isn't detracted from.

Space planning really does come into its own here, as the golden triangle has to be optimised, along with the right distribution of items such as pots, pans, cutlery and food storage.

A good designer will always look at the needs of the end user, the way they live, cook and use the space around them. This in turn offers an insight into exactly what products need to be integrated into the design, and what items need to be prioritised over others.

Keeping your fridge and dry foods within easy reach of your cooker just makes good sense, as does having your sink handy for draining hot pans or washing salad, so this should be built into the design, whether that's by using specially manufactured pan drawers, chef's pantry's or tall larder units, or another similar solution.

Drawers provide a much more ordered and usable space than many cupboards, so these provide a perfect solution to lots of smaller, fiddly items. Pans, cutlery, plates and dishes can all be stored neatly within a drawer unit, making them easy to access, and easy to organise too.

Split drawers, also known as a drawer within a drawer, offer a great use of space, as what would quite often be a wasted space higher up in the unit, becomes a perfectly usable, well organised compartment for smaller items such as tea towels, oven gloves or cutlery.

More modern drawers are now made to carry larger weights too, as are wirework solutions such as tall larder units and corner units, so sitting a lot of tins, fresh veg or drinks in a unit of this type won't be a problem.

Due to open plan living having little wall space, we are seeing a surge in demand for taller storage units, which maximise the use of what wall space is available, making up for the loss of units which would have otherwise been fitted to an apposing wall.

This makes accessing dry foods and other items quick and easy, and ensures that everything sits neatly within one space, making the experience of using the kitchen much more pleasurable and enjoyable.

Whilst open plan living doesn't lend itself well to clutter, it does lend itself nicely to a few open units or shelves which can be used to display certain items.

Bookshelves are becoming a more popular choice for centre islands and breakfast bars as they offer a handy space for relaxing after a long day, and look great when presented properly.

If space is that little bit tighter than you'd like within an open plan design, free standing furniture also offers a great alternative, as wheels can be incorporated into the design that will bare the weight being placed upon them, whilst allowing the easy movement of that piece of furniture, as well as the contents inside.

Let classic and contemporary collide

Let classic and contemporary collide

Quite often in kitchen design we compartmentalise kitchen design as either classic or contemporary, but at HPP, we're really excited about some of the latest designs we've recently seen installed.

Designers are starting to challenge those traditional and well-rooted values as they blend classic and contemporary elements together seamlessly with each other to produce a finished result that not only looks great, but also looks like it was really meant to be.

Much of this progression has been down to the launch of innovative new materials, such as the XyloCleaf range of board from HPP.

XyloCleaf boards offer a staggering quality feel that looks, and really feels like the material it is replicating, so much so that it's difficult to actually tell the difference between that and the real thing! We're sure that alone will be a huge hit with consumers specifying a new kitchen.

These more innovative materials are starting to generate a true demand from consumers who are searching for a much more interesting board to be incorporated into their design, not only in the more classic or rustic kitchen designs, but also in the contemporary too, bringing into play materials that are highly modern and polished, alongside materials which add texture, interest and character to the design.

By blending the two materials, consumers are getting the best of both worlds.

The kitchen can be designed to be modern, with clean lines and a contemporary feel, whilst perfectly featuring materials that are more akin to that of the classic or rustic styling, offering an element of warmth and charm, helping to make the living space seem somewhat more relaxing and enjoyable.

Check out the XyloCleaf range of products here for inspiration and ideas by clicking Here

Worktop Profiles Explained

Worktop Profile Cross-sections

It's quite often thought that worktops come in only a few edge details, usually square edged or rounded edge, but the truth of the matter is that there are many options available, which can add that little extra design detail to your next kitchen project.

Depending on the worktop being chosen, you may have well over ten or fifteen options to choose from, so we thought we'd explain a few of these in more depth to show what's available, and what might work with a certain style for your next kitchen design or installation.

Square Edge - Quite popular with wooden worktops, the square edge option gives a solid look and feel, with clean and simple lines to suit almost any kitchen design. The style is also suitable for stone and composite worktops, where quite often a very subtle chamfer will be created to provide better durability for the worktop.

Pencil Round - Pencil round is a very popular option for most kitchen worktops and is one of the most widely used styles currently on the market. This style is quite often referred to as quarter round or double quarter round and is clean in its appearance and not overly fussy, leaving the rest of the kitchen and materials to do the hard work.

Bull Nose - The bullnose, or rounded edge design is considerably more rounded than pencil round for example, and is rounded on either just the top edge or both top and bottom edges. The rounding over is usually around 25mm+ and creates almost a complete curve when used at the top and bottom of the worktop. Bullnose worktops are perfect for use on curved cabinets as they help create a more fluid design with softer edges, resulting in a look that runs seamlessly around the kitchen space.

Chamfered Edge - Chamfered edge worktops use a small bevel to either the top side or the top and bottom sides of the worktop to produce a sleek timeless look and feel that sits comfortably in both contemporary and traditional kitchen designs. The chamfered edge also adds a level of practicality due to the removal of sharp edges, which are often otherwise prone to chipping and day-to-day damage.

Ogee Bullnose - The ogee bullnose is quite a premium and classical look that offers chunky curved edges with a good level of detail to ensure the worktop makes an impression and acts as a design feature in its own right. The Ogee Bullnose is most popular in natural stone worktops.

Sharks Nose - The sharks nose edge detail offers a sleek rounded look that sees the underside of the worktop recess towards the cabinet to provide a striking overhang effect at the edge of the worktops. Sharks nose edge detail is quite often popular in granite and composite worktops and is becoming more widely used by the trade.

Single Imperial - Single imperial offers a subtle rebate above a half round-over to create a smooth and subtle edge detail to worktops that works well in both modern and traditional kitchen designs. The single imperial helps add a feeling of quality to the worktop design whilst not being so detailed that it detracts from the rest of the kitchen.

Waterfall - Less commonly used than many of the styles discussed above, the waterfall effect creates a subtle lip on the top edge of each worktop that is pleasing to the eye and works well with both modern and traditional designs.

Single Spanish - A timeless look that is well suited to more traditional and classical kitchen design, the single Spanish is a good option for those looking for detailed edging that adds a feature and element of craftsmanship to the overall design.

Single Ovolo - Very similar in style to the single Spanish edge detail, Single Ovolo is great for more traditional kitchen designs where softer, more subtle edges are required.

Designing The Right Worktop Theme

Designing The Right Worktop Theme

Worktops are a paramount part of any kitchen design and layout. They not only offer a practical function for the end user, but have significant aesthetic value that can often complete the overall kitchen design perfectly. When chosen poorly however, the wrong worktop in the wrong setting can often detract dramatically from the desired outcome or effect, so it's key to ensure the selection of the right worktop for the job.

With curved cabinetry becoming much more popular in recent years, worktops are becoming much more curved too, and with this new trend we are seeing the wider use of more interesting edge profiles such as shark nose profiles, waterfall profiles and everything in between.

Solid stone and many composite worktops are offered in a wide range of these profiles and can add value to the design when carried out properly, as well as adding a feeling of luxury and quality.

The use of the right profile with the right worktop choice adds an extra element that shows the process has been thoroughly thought through by the designer, and well executed by the installer.

But using the right profile for the right design and material is key.

The use of the well loved and more traditional ogee profile is commonly used with premium marble in traditional country style kitchens, a perfect combination most would agree, whereas the sleek sharks nose profile often lends itself better to more contemporary, curved kitchen designs.

The use of break-fronted furniture, integrated seamlessly with a solid stone, wooden or composite worktop adds a real feature to the kitchen space and allows for that portion of the kitchen to be a feature in its own right.

Combining worktop materials is also becoming a very popular choice for many consumers, which often sees more durable, easily maintainable materials such as granite, laminate or composites within the main work areas, and then more tactile materials such as oak or timber worktops in the breakfast bar, centre island or counter areas.

This combination of materials helps to create not only clearly defined zones within the kitchen space, but also design features that are pleasing to the eye too, adding value to the finished kitchen design.

If you're unsure of which combinations work best and what's possible, why not pop into one of our trade counters to see what's available and get some impartial advice on what might work well for your next project.

HPP Online