Space Saving With Blum
BY HAYLEY GILBERT
Back in July this year, I was lucky enough to visit the Blum HQ in Austria. As well as having a behind the scenes tour of a few of their eight – yes eight – plants, I also got to check out their amazingly innovative design centre, where something wonderful was happening….
Blum has embraced the trend for urban living, where compact houses and apartments are the norm in cities and built-up areas. Such small spaces benefit hugely from open-plan layouts, with living, dining and kitchen areas planned and configurated within one space. At Blum’s HQ, there is an example of such a home, where every inch matters and you can investigate all the nooks and crannies that come complete with all sorts of Blum storage solutions that not only make life easier but also more ergonomic, too.
Blum has spent many years researching real homes, revealing how consumers use their kitchens and how space can be optimised on every level – literally. “We know that by using drawers and pull-outs, customers can achieve up to 55% more storage space than when using doors and fixed shelves,” says Lisa Robinson, Marketing Manager at Blum UK. “But that’s only half the story. Each cabinet needs to have a specific function, almost like an appliance does. There is no point in having a unit with five shallow drawers, only to wish you could fit your pots and pans into that exact unit. We encourage kitchen designers to plan each cabinet with a specific function in mind, as this will mean the cabinet almost configures itself.”
“Usability is another important consideration when fitting out a small kitchen,” continues Robinson. “Every cabinet has to work as hard as it can and that means full extension drawers so there is no wasted space at the back. It also means all the contents of the drawer are immediately visible and accessible. Our SPACE TOWER unit is a fantastic larder solution – with five internal pull-out drawers it comes in a huge variety of widths and depths, so using as much of the floor space as necessary. The drawer sides are different heights (one shallow and four high), so can accommodate anything from packets and tins to cereal boxes and large bottles of water. Plus, the internal pull-outs mean that contents are accessible on three sides with no void necessary above to lift the products out.”
But don’t worry, there’s no need to book your flight to Austria just yet. At Blum’s Experience Centre in Milton Keynes there are two kitchens – one with standard doors and fixed shelves and one with drawers and pull-outs. “Both store similar amounts of product,” confirms Robinson, “but the big difference is that the second kitchen has only one wall unit. This has a cost implication and also allows a small urban kitchen to feel more spacious without losing valuable storage space.”
Designers, retailers and consumers are welcome to check out the Blum Experience Centre for themselves, just call 0800 917 5550 to arrange a visit.