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Textured Worktops Like Nothing Else

Textured Worktops Like Nothing Else

This time we're taking a look at one of our exciting new worktop ranges from Egger, known as the Egger Premium range.

These are one of the new additions to the HPP worktop collection, and one that are going down a storm with our customers!

The premium range of worktops are unique in the market, as they offer a more realistic texture and visual appearance than previously available laminated worktops, making them a real hit for those who want the look and feel of real materials, but the benefits of a maintenance free laminate.

Here's a run down of what's available.

Key Features

Offering premium wood grain, stone and ceramic effects, Egger worktops allow consumers to select a style and finish that looks at the very top end of the market, without actually breaking the bank to achieve it.

Materials such as solid wood or granite can quite often go well beyond peoples budgets, which is where these worktops come into their own, thanks to still being at a more accessible price.

The woodgrain range from Egger Premium are great for a wide range of kitchens, and are virtually indistinguishable from solid wood, but with all the hardwearing, hygienic and easy to care for benefits of laminate. They come in a square edge at 38mm thickness.

Customers are given the choice of both rustic and exotic wood grains, as well as cool stones and urban finishes; all of which help to add a truly custom feel to any kitchen design. Available in 25mm and 38mm square edge.

Installation

Installation for these worktops is exactly the same as any other standard laminate worktop, meaning that kitchen installers existing tools will work perfectly on the range, and keep installation time, costs and lead-time down to a minimum.

What's in the range…

The range features some stunning wood grains, cool stones and urban finishes. These include:

  • Natural Halifax Oak
  • Sand Gladstone Oak
  • Tobacco Gladstone Oak
  • Tobacco Halifax Oak
  • Ceramic Chalk
  • Ceramic Anthracite
  • Cosmic Grey
  • Cosmic White
  • Pegasus Anthracite
  • Pegasus White
  • Black
  • Premium White

The Finishing Touches

To complete the edge grain look with this range, Egger have created a superb end grain edging product, giving a realistic end grain appearance to the edge of any cut worktop, meaning the quality look and feel won't be compromised at any stage!

Tantalising Textures for Every Taste

Registered Embossed Woodgrain Surface

We all know that consumer trends are moving towards a warmer, more tactile finish, but as this shift is taking place, we're also seeing a fantastic movement in the materials manufacturing market, developing products to a newer and more innovative route with textures and finishes that not only get the industry excited, but get consumers' minds working overtime too.

In the last two years alone, we've seen some stunning new products, ranging from highly textured surfaces, ultra smooth, mirror gloss, matt and everything in between; so we thought we'd outline some of the most popular products in the industry at present and illustrate the differences of each.

Gloss Finishes

Since the introduction of the contemporary gloss white kitchen, we've seen some real developments in this area to provide consumers with even better, more stunning gloss finishes that are durable and scratch resistant.

Now available as acrylic or PVC gloss finishes, consumers can select from a wide range of popular colours from leading brands such as Kronospan, Finsa, Pfleiderer, Egger and Décor Panels. With new colours and tones available, gloss is now not only appealing to the contemporary market, but also to those leaning more towards a traditional look and feel too, giving it a wider, all-round appeal.

Gloss is great for creating a sense of openness and flow, and helps to create the illusion of more space in smaller kitchen designs. It also helps to bounce light around the room, making the most of any natural daylight that is available.

Maintenance is easy with these products too, but fingerprints do show up more easily than non-gloss alternatives, so this is always worth baring in mind when designing for a busy family home.

Matt Finishes

As an increasingly popular alternative to gloss finishes, consumers are starting to demand more in terms of texture and feel, which is where a matt finish is coming into its own within the industry.

Whilst not currently as popular as gloss, demand for matt finishes is without doubt increasing, and becoming a more popular choice for those wanting something more innovative and unique for their kitchens and bedrooms.

Usually manufactured with a polyurethane painted surface, matt finish furniture generates an extremely smooth yet hardwearing surface that has a certain air of quality and sophistication to it.

The décor is relatively new to the market and appears to be very popular and certainly in demand. This looks set to continue for the longer term.

Registered Embossed

Registered embossed materials provide a sophisticated feel that is perfect for creating a high value and elegant look. Materials generate life-like knots, blemishes and grains in wood patterns to give a premium feel, and are perfectly suited to both mid-market and high-end installations.

Available as Egger Feelwood and Kronospan Natural Touch, both ranges are becoming increasingly popular for consumers, as they want a more rustic, homely, warm feeling to their kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installations.

The registered embossed materials are a real step up from standard MFC products as they add a feeling of quality and prestige. They do cost a little more than the traditional MFC products, but are becoming somewhat of an industry standard for many trade customers as the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks.

Highly Textured Thermo-structured board

The next step up from registered embossed MFC is the premium XyloCleaf range of thermo-structured boards; currently available to buy as full sheet material and also as part of the HPP Aspects Doors Range

The product uses unique thermal manufacturing processes to generate extremely deep and intricate textures that are difficult to distinguish from the real material it is designed to mimic.

Available in a wide range of life-like wood grains, linens and other unique materials for both kitchen and bedroom applications, these are becoming a very popular choice within the industry thanks to the great finished effect that can be achieved and the sheer durability and chemical resistance of the product.

The range does come with a slightly higher price tag, which is more in line with the premium end of the market, but the end result more than compensates for this price difference as the material is very unique and individual to each design.

Mirror Finish Gloss

Created to add a little 'wow-factor' to any kitchen or bedroom design, the mirror gloss range, which is primarily available from the Kronospan range, offers a superior mirror gloss finish that gives a premium appearance, as well as an extremely hard wearing surface, making them not only great for the design of any kitchen or bedroom, but also highly practical for any situation.

These products are great for spaces large and small, as they bounce light around and help to create a true feeling of open plan, contemporary living. Maintenance is relatively hassle free with these products too, but as with the high gloss range, fingerprints do tend to show more quickly on these products in comparison to ranges such as the matt or textured products, so sometimes aren't the most suitable for busy family life.

See the full range of full sheet and cut and edged materials available from HPP here

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!

SensioSound: Integrating light and music in modern homes

SensioSound spotlights integrate seamlessly with modern devices via Bluetooth.

Music fans and people who like clutter-free surfaces will love the new SensioSound spotlights - intelligent under-cabinet LED spotlights that create a great ambience by combining lighting with music played via Bluetooth. These dual-purpose intelligent spotlights are ideal for kitchen-diners and open-plan living spaces because they allow for streaming of music while socialising and cooking; bringing entertainment to the hub of the home for your customers.

How it works

The really clever thing about SensioSound is that it's an LED spotlight with a Bluetooth audio speaker already built-in. All you have to do is search for 'SensioSound' on your mobile Bluetooth device and connect wirelessly. Once connected, you can then select any music of your choice (from music stored on the device, music online or even live radio), which can then be played via these stylish spotlights.

Key features

The audio function has not compromised lighting power; in fact, SensioSound spots are brighter than the average Sensio spotlights, with a high light output of 334 lm.

It has no visible wires or boxes as the Bluetooth speaker is integrated into the product, which means it's a neat and streamlined lighting option for any modern kitchen.

SensioSound has a stylish stainless steel finish too, with two LED colour options - cool and warm white. It's integrated heat-sync feature and frosted lens gives a soft light with a beam angle of 120° making this a contemporary must-have kitchen accessory for many consumers.

It's easy to use and very compatible with various devices as it works by using Bluetooth connectivity and can be controlled from up to 10m. Another big plus is that SensioSound can be paired (providing they are powered by individual drivers) so that two play at the same time - giving a room with an all-round stereo experience.

SensioSound can help create a tidy kitchen - there is no more need to have laptops, radios and other music devices cluttering up work surfaces.

This exciting multi-functional product has an extensive lamp life of 13 years and a low power consumption of only 8w (doing its bit for the environment). Using less power means, less energy and lower costs, helping consumers with their energy bills.

How to install

Installation is hassle-free via a service-mounted fixing. All you need is a SensioSound fitting, 12V driver and a mobile device with Bluetooth enabled.

SensioSound is a simple and smart piece of equipment that is perfect for consumers' modern way of living - great for socialising, entertaining and dining with friends and family.

Visit SensioSound at HPPOnline for more information and to order the new SensioSound product now!

Home office in the bedroom - making it work well!

Mirror Gloss Slate Grey with Pencil Line Light

Creating a home office within a bedroom space takes quite a lot of planning and consideration to get things absolutely right.

The first thing to consider is that the customer who's asking to have their home office situated within their bedroom space needs the room to act in a number of ways, not only as a functional home office, but most importantly, as a relaxing bedroom space to unwind and chill out in without the thought of work, bills or general office related stress.

For this reason, it's important to try to make a bedroom home office as hidden as possible, allowing your customer to hide away work and enjoy the space as a home environment too.

This often entails hiding the office environment behind a set of wardrobe doors, whether that's through sliding, glass, wooden or acrylic wardrobe doors, you get the idea; it's best to tuck them away, giving your customers the separation they need from work and home.

The other thing to consider is that whilst the office is tucked away in a relatively small and somewhat cramped space, it still needs to work really well as a home office. This is where the selection of certain products, their placement and installation is key.

The first place to start is organisation. Without the proper shelving, desk area, keyboard and mouse platform, drawer, wirework and general storage for your computer tower, laptop and even printer, the home office won't work well.

Once the above storage issues are addressed, it's then a good idea to consider lighting as one of the next key issues to be tackled, as these types of home office often have areas where shadows are cast or dark spots unavoidable (or so people think!).

By fitting some bright and energy efficient LED self adhesive strip lights within the space, it will make the environment comfortable and also safe for continued use by your customer, without running costs going through the ceiling.

This LED lighting can provide task lighting within the main desk area of the space whilst also creating pleasant backlighting that helps to mimic the effect of having a window without any obstructions right in front of you.

Once all the above is addressed and completed, it's paramount to make sure you're using the right doors and door components.

Hinges that provide maximum accessibility are absolutely key, so it's a great idea to spec the best hinges for the job right at the beginning, and consider adding a few extra hinge holes to your door spec to ensure it's robust and capable of taking a lot of use on a daily basis.

By following the main steps above, you can be fairly confident your next bedroom home office customer will be more than satisfied with the outcome of the project. To find out more about suitable HPP products for this type of project, please check out our doors, wirework, lighting and accessories sections of our website.

Bedroom Trends 2015

Hacienda White PVC Edged Furniture

With bedrooms becoming a more important space within modern living, consumers are wanting to inject more colour, personality and interesting materials into their place of slumber, generating an environment that is warm, relaxing and able to serve multiple purposes, such as rest, leisure, work and much more.

With this in mind, we're finding that the bedroom trends of 2015 are looking equally as vast and varied as those ever changing consumer needs.

2014 saw a bit of a battle going on between contemporary and vintage styles, but this year we are seeing that the two can work seamlessly together, in a way that enhances the finished bedroom design and creates a stunning, unique space.

This integration of two styles strongly reflects the diversity of modern day living.

Take a neutral looking bedroom of 2013 for example; likely to comprise of safer colour schemes and flatter textures and materials, this still works well for some, but it may be lacking in personality, character and depth for others.

Those who are interested in staying current and in line with existing trends are more likely to want to create a fashion statement with the use of bolder materials, textures, colours and combinations of materials.

One way of achieving the perfect mix this year would be to incorporate innovative and highly textured materials such as the XyloCleaf range of boards, which offer interesting colours, patterns and textures that are tactile to the touch and very unique in their appearance.

This popular look tends to work well when mixed with both vintage style and clean-cut lines, incorporating bright glossy colours many might not think to usually include with a more vintage, timeless theme.

There are a variety of ways to inject some personality and colour successfully; whether this is done through vibrant wall décor, vinyl wrapped furnishings, sleek door panels, stylish handles, panelled walls or simple room accessories and soft furnishings.

Another trend to consider which has a cross over with vintage is the shabby chic look.

With its rustic feel, natural wood finishes that have a distressed or highly textured pattern easily compliment the whole shabby chic theme. Again, you don't have to commit wholly to a nature-centric style here as this design also works well with sparkling ornate light fittings and basic decoration such as floral or patterned wall décor. There is something very current about a bedroom that hosts a contrast between extravagance and nature.

Whilst your customer may want to achieve that timeless antique appearance, it's still paramount to integrate some modern luxuries to keep things practical and usable too.

With the hectic lifestyles of most British people, there is a growing need for organisation in the bedroom so that it can remain a relaxing and well-organised retreat.

This can be easily achieved with a behind the scenes storage system. For example, you could construct a wealth of contemporary wardrobe wirework but hide it behind visually pleasing door panels; complete with any combination of door handles to uphold the look your customer wants.

For more information and advice about our bedroom products, why not call in to our trade counter or check out our range online.

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.

HPP Online