Walking around the KBB Birmingham this year it is very apparent that the Germans have invaded the UK in respect of kitchens.
German engineering has dominated the car industry for decades and deservedly so, so it seems fitting that more than ever before, German engineering has now entered our homes with German built kitchens.
A kitchen is a big ticket item for any home, and like a car, there are a multitude of formats, a varied selection of brands, from the premium to the modest and a range of budgets to match. Whilst the UK kitchen industry has been shaped over the years by the likes of the now defunct Moben and Magnet brands, German Kitchens are becoming very popular amongst the discerning consumer that wants something a little more special. And as in any industry and despite Grand Designs Kevin McClouds` opinion, you do get what you pay for.
Kevin McCloud famously stated that there was negligible difference between a £5000 kitchen and a £50,000 kitchen.
Looking at some of the products showcased by some of the KBB Birmingham exhibitors it’s hard to see how you can get a granite sink unit, which on demand effortlessly slides out to reveal the sink, which then raises up out of a sunken recess on a £5000 modern kitchen budget. Such a feature would be at home in a Canary Wharf or downtown Manhattan penthouse and for the sink alone it would be hard to envisage change from £20-30,000, never mind the kitchen it goes in.
We won’t lambast poor Kevin anymore. Since he made those comments, he has been on the receiving end of some criticism but using a car industry analogy, his comments are likened to saying there isn’t much difference between the new (German built) Bentley-Continental GTC V8 Convertible, and the Top Gear favourite putdown, the Romanian built, Dacia Sandero. According to Kevin`s logic, the £140,000 plus difference in price is unjustified and there isn’t much to separate the two cars?
Whist they both have four wheels, a few doors, a petrol tank, and an engine amongst other things there are however some differences, despite McCloud logic.
Ask anyone about the specification, the build quality, the look and feel, the performance, and which one they would rather have plus ask Jeremy Clarkson which one will get Kristen Scott Thomas fired up, between the Bentley and the Sandero and we doubt many others than James May would say the latter.
With this in mind there are, as Kevin McCloud was perhaps trying to suggest, kitchen firms who charge Bentley prices for Dacia Sandero kitchens, but then there are genuine Bentley kitchen firms out there who have a lot more to offer than a couple of MDF kitchen cabinets.
And some of them which are showcasing some fantastic kitchens and kitchen products at KBB Birmingham will surely dominate the industry over the next few years.
KBB Birmingham has been running for 27 years now and it really does market itself as the meeting place for the industry to showcase their uber kitchens, ideas and new concepts. The Birmingham event is billed as the UK’s largest gathering of the world’s most exciting Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom brands, providing a platform for architects, interior designers, retailers, contractors, plumbers and developers alike to network, source and specify the latest kitchen, bedroom and bathroom products.
see www.kbb.co.uk for the latest happenings at this years KBB Birmingham