kbb 2024 – best in show


Last week Linda and I were thrilled to catch up with friends old and new at the hugely anticipated kbb show 2024 in Birmingham’s NEC. With hundreds of top kitchen brands all under one roof showcasing their new products and innovations, here’s a round-up of what we saw…


There was plenty to see on the House of Rohl stand, including the new Shaws of Darwen Hawkshaw sink, an apron-fronted double-bowl design with an offset dividing wall – handy for washing large baking trays – as well as a preview of the new Southbank bridge mixer tap from Perrin & Rowe, which is available from September.


There was plenty of opportunity to see Laminam’s porcelain surfaces up close and personal on Nolte, Rotpunkt, MHK, Elica and Bauformat stands. Also hugely impressive was the Kew Labs Wireless Charging stand, where we saw how its super-cool invisible wireless chargers can be installed directly under a 1.2cm worksurface.


Its first appearance at the show for 10 years, Rangemaster pulled out all the stops with the launch of its new Estel Deluxe and Edge Deluxe range cookers, six stunning new cooker colours – Pale Pink, Pale Cream, Misty Blue, Bordeaux, Mint and Heather – as well as more than 100 new sinks and taps including the Prato workstation and Cosmo sink with its unique brushed patterned drainer and Waverley, Hemlock and Igneous taps.


A host of innovative appliances were on show at Novy’s stand, including the Panorama collection of vented downdraft induction hobs and ultra-quiet recirculation hoods that feature the industrial-style Pureline Frame as well as the award-winning Phantom pendant hood. We also loved its touch-free gesture-controlled Designer lighting collection.


AGA exhibited at kbb for the first time, showcasing its brand-new ERA model, the first-ever glass AGA, which truly is stunning. We also saw the all-electric AGA eR7, which offers extremely fast heat-up times and full programmability to achieve the lowest running costs, as well as the new AGA colour – Raspberry. AGA Rayburn meanwhile showed the Rayburn Ranger with its eye-catching retro styling.


La Cornue also exhibited for the first time with its Grand Palais 180 cooker with canopy extraction, displayed alongside the brand’s ingenious Flamberge Rôtisserie, the small but perfectly formed Castel 60 and the competitively-priced range of Cornufé cookers.


With innovative solutions for flexible and compact spaces, Blum showed that being a Blum partner opens up more opportunities for a business than simply buying a hinge or drawer runner. Its three stands included the 22 sq m concept home with intelligent and space-saving storage that makes life easier and more ergonomic. These included the new REVEGO pocket door system and AMPEROS concept drawer with built-in power to charge or power small appliances and gadgets.


Caple’s demonstration kitchen featured an induction hob hidden within the worksurface and stylish sinks and taps while its four kitchen sets included the Classic, Sense and Sense Premium ovens, which use WiFi and can be operated from a mobile or tablet app. We also loved the brand new black glass finish across some of the appliances and the new Plasma air cleaning solution – a new E-filter that’s cost effective and sustainable.


We were excited to see Quooker’s two new finishes for its Flex and Fusion ranges – Rose Copper and Gunmetal – up close and personal, as well as try out the new Front tap, which offers new ways of operating with an ergonomic on-spout hot and cold-water lever.


Freshness was high on the agenda at the Liebherr stand, with a variety of its freestanding, integrated and under-counter appliances including the premium Monolith collection. We also loved the new BlackSteel interior with its unique vertical brushed texture for the back and inner door of the appliances, perfect for dark kitchen palettes.


If you thought BORA was all about cooking and extraction then think again, as kbb showed its refrigeration and freezing systems for the first time to a UK audience. We also loved the new QVac, a built-in vacuum sealer that keeps food fresh for up to three times longer, reducing food waste and saving money.


It was all about the ingenious Twist and Spray tap on the Clearwater stand, which transforms a standard tap into an industrial-style professional design with a simple twist thanks to the aerator that provides two flow types – aerated and needle jet. We also loved the Pioneer tap as well as a raft of new sinks and additional taps.


LochAnna Kitchens unveiled the brand-new Newbridge collection in Brigade and Taupe, one of two new ranges from its new sub-brand, LochAnna Handmade, which also includes the Lifford design. There were four roomsets to browse and we were also able to see the recently launched Kirkham collection alongside best sellers Strato and Durham.


There was a combination of new products on the Rotpunkt stand including its new partnership with Buster + Punch introducing a range of handle designs – Furniture Knob, T-Bar and Pull-Bar. There were stunning complete kitchens, a hidden utility room, dividing interior wall solutions and integrated smart lighting too, alongside a 900mm glass dresser in Smala Black, Fenix colours for cabinet fronts and worktops and lots more.


Over on the Westin stand, we saw the sleek new design of its Stratus Compact ceiling hood with temperature controlled and dimmable strip LED lighting and angled air intake that improves airflow and reduces turbulence. Other highlights included unique bespoke hoods and the Sirius range.


Konigstone revealed its new KönigCeramic range, a high-quality sintered surface with beautiful printed designs that replicate natural stone. Available in eight colours, the slabs are crafted using carefully-sourced natural minerals that are compacted to high density and fired to a temperature of over 1,200˚


We really enjoyed visiting The House of Ca’ Pietra, where we were treated to a preview of its spring/summer launches, which includes wood-effect slat tiles, a plaster-effect Stucco finish, a capsule collection of Moroccan stones, Victorian StyleÔ range as well as the click, no stick Minérale designs and a porcelain version of its best-selling terracotta.


Haier launched a brand new built-in range of appliances called the ID Series comprising ovens, warming drawers, fridge freezers and wine coolers along with a new premium collection of hobs, I-Pro Shine and Wash Lens dishwashers and built-in washer dryers. It also unveiled Bionicook with connected ovens and hobs that feature cameras that recognise food and automatically choose the ideal temperatures and times to suit.


Franke showed its complete Home Solutions portfolio for the first time at kbb with taps, vented hobs, extractors, ovens, coffee machines, wine coolers and premium accessories. Demos included energy and water saving benefits, intuitive cooking and high performance hoods alongside the new Water Hub instant boiling water tap range, which includes a stunning 6-in-1 design


AEG launched its new SaphirMatt induction hob, which will be available from April, as a 60cm single Flexibridge design, an 80cm double bridge model and 83cm double bridge with extraction, all made from ceramic glass that can withstand up to four times more scratches than standard ceramic hobs.


The new collection from Schüller extends from the kitchen into the entire living space, focusing on service and sustainability. There was the UK debut of its new Matera range made from 100% recyclable front materials and available in six colours, the new Newport range with handleless fronts in a Shaker style as well as a showstopping multifunctional breakfast cupboard. We also loved the next125 pocket system with its hidden bar. G&T anyone?

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert / hayleygilbertblog.wordpress.com

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert

  Website:  http://www.hayleygilbert.co.uk

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