NEWS | Round-up VIEWPOINT ‘It makes you look at

things with fresh eyes...’ Continuing her monthly series, Natalie Peters of Kitchens Etc in Norfolk describes her experiences during the final year of her Foundation Degree in kitchen design at Bucks New University

Häfele and Regal Kitchens host workshop for design students

HÄFELE HAS teamed up for the second time with Chelmsford-based kitchen studio Regal Kitchens to host a workshop for design students from University Centre South Essex.

The event, hosted by Regal Kitchens – a Häfele Studio Partner – educated the group on how lighting can change the look of textures and colours used in a kitchen before being set a brief to design a fresh, bright kitchen in a space with limited daylight.

I’M FINDING the project-management module very beneficial, even though the three-week deadlines are quite stressful and full-on. I’ve been involved in project-management for many years within our company, but we know what we are doing and have our own ways of doing it – and it works for us.

However, it’s been a real eye-opener to learn new

protocols and I’ve already implemented some of them back in the business. One simple example is preparing a written design brief. I hate to think how many design briefs we have taken from clients over the past 30 years, but incredibly we have never turned them into a formal written design brief to work from. I had to produce a very comprehensive one for our first assignment and it took a lot of time and compilation, but it’s something that we will now do in the business going forward. This course makes you look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes and suggests ways that you can improve your existing processes. We have just completed the research assignment for the Community Kitchen project. This has been my biggest research project by far, spending a huge amount of time looking at many forms

of schemes for

This has been my biggest research project by far


initiatives from developer- led


to people-led initiatives for co-housing, co-working, co-locating and co-creating. I also looked at projects aimed at bringing people together through

food and social

eating, such as the Big Lunch by the Eden Project and the Brighton and Hove food community. I gathered statistics and information on loneliness and the social and physical impact of this on people’s health and well-being, the cost of disconnected communities to our economy as well as the huge well- being benefit that goes with being better connected. Johnny Grey recommended the book ‘The Great Good Place’ by Ray Oldenburg, who explains the importance of ‘places’ to our lives and well-being. The first place is home, the second is work, the third is the anchor of community and creative life. In his writings about ‘The Knowledge Economy – towards the Fourth Place’, Arnault Morrison talks about the emergence of the fourth place, where the first, second and third places cross over and people look to co-live, co-work and co-mingle in one space. It’s been very interesting and I feel ready to progress to the next stage of creating the design brief for our own community project – another perfect example of looking at kitchens in a different way, opening your mind and challenging your ideas.

• Natalie is sponsored on her course by Franke 16

The workshop, which was led by Matthew Lissaman, Häfele’s regional sales manager, and Darren Bull, Häfele’s local area sales manager, introduced the company’s Loox lighting range and considered how various shades of white light ranging from 3000°K to 5000°K impact on different materials and finishes.

The students explored the importance of

lighting design and how plug-and-play LED systems like Loox by Häfele can be used to enhance textures.

They also learnt about how to maximise space using intelligent storage solutions from Häfele such as Vauth Sagel. Armed

with their new knowledge, the

students were tasked to design a full kitchen, including cabinetry, lighting, worktops, tiles and splashbacks, which was then presented to a panel from Häfele and Regal and a winner was then chosen. Emma Mcloughlin, business development manager at Regal Kitchens, said: “We were extremely impressed with the designs. The student’s presentations were amazing and it’s

easy to see that they are all going to do brilliantly well in whatever career they choose after their course finishes.”

Lissaman added: “The standard of work was incredibly high, and it made choosing a winning concept very difficult. “However, the winning team managed to

follow the brief to the letter, showed a very good use of light and incorporated AluSplash, an innovative splashback solution from Häfele into their design. “Lighting can often be overlooked when designing a kitchen, but it was clear from the day’s presentations that the students really grasped the concept and we hope they’ll take what they’ve learnt forward as they develop their careers.”

LochAnna celebrates its fifth birthday

LOCHANNA KITCHENS is celebrating five years of manufacturing and selling British kitchens from its base at Bradley Fold, near Bolton. Launched in 2014, the company has gone from selling 20 door options to offering more than 269 choices across three kitchen brands: LochAnna, Evo Collection and Form. Managing director Paul Jenkinson said: “This month marks five years of trading and I’m pleased to say that business is good. Since launching with a relatively small and straightforward 20 door options in 2014, we have evolved into a well-known kitchen brand across independent retailers, who value us for our fantastic, British heritage, and beautifully designed kitchens. “We now have 269 across

choices our three

kitchen brands, so our customers really are spoilt for choice. From humble beginnings opening the doors with the help of 20 staff, today we’re a team of 39 and have a network of more than 150 retailer partners.”

Over the past year, there have been many develop- ments in the company, including new doors and collections and the company is preparing to

exhibit for the first time at kbb Birmingham in March 2020. Jenkinson added: “We’re dedicated to going the extra mile for our customers and offer some of the shortest lead times in the industry, thanks to our agile business approach. We guarantee a weekly delivery service anywhere within the UK – from Cornwall to Inverness. “I am a firm believer that growing LochAnna into a profitable, well-respected kitchen furniture company would not have been possible without the help of our strong, dedicated team. Every staff member and retail partner is incredibly valued.”

kbbreview · January 2020

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