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From the monthly archives:

October 2010

Hacker Trip / Blofeld to Mango Yellow!

by Dev Direct on October 18, 2010

 

 
Every year our design team makes the trek to Rodinghausen, Germany to visit one of our kitchen suppliers, Hacker. Hacker are always at the forefront of introducing new and innovative designs to the market and this year they certainly upped the ante and didn’t disappoint.
 
I was fairly excited at this year’s offerings after the catching a glimpse of the product line at this year’s Eurocucina in Milan and was glad to see that all the concept offerings in Milan will make it through to production.
 
I was fortunate to have the foresight to take photos of all the new products as our amiable hosts have the uncanny knack of plying us with barrels of German nectar over the two days leaving us a little weary and forgetful at the end of the trip!
 
What really stood out from the trip was the new Emotion range of modular ‘ ipod ‘ design stations- simple but extremely striking. The other single element that excited me was the futuristic glass vented ‘climber’ wall units.
 
The unit opens with a simple touch and all the individual glass vents move individually vertically and group at the top.(you’ll understand it when you see it !) I really can’t emphasis how sexy and James Bondy this unit is but all that seemed to be missing was the bald fella in the corner stroking his pussy cat!
 
I’ve ordered 3 for my studio so give us a couple of months and you can see it in the flesh. Some beautiful door finishes have also been introduced but the one that distinctly stands out is the new Basalt grey ceramic door ( yes – ceramic! )
 
From a design perspective this door opens up a whole new sharp yet discreet design possibilities for my design team as they also have introduced a matching worktop. So if you can imagine if we made the doors totally handle-less and topped it with the matching worktop then islands etc can virtually become like a minimal stone art form in an open plan living space – extremely strong statements can be achieved without being ‘trendy’.
 
Not everything Hacker do is flawless and although they got very excited about 2 of their new doors, I felt they had missed the mark with their high gloss lilac and mango yellow doors. Maybe more suited to some high street kitchen sheds but discerning clients looking for sharp German classic contemporary design won’t give it the time of day.
 
I always promise not to eat and drink so much on these trips but these Germans are oh so persuasive ! Thanks to Stephen Fass and his team for looking after us so well !
 

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Hacker Climber Kitchen Unit Video

by Dev Direct on October 12, 2010

 

So many manufacturers bring out new products that we all get very excited about, but this one really takes the biscuit!
 
In our design circle, there really isn’t a sexier kitchen unit in existence!!

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Kitchen Designs From East to West

by Dev Direct on October 3, 2010

Being based in Edinburgh, UK and working with my local market for 11years, it has been apparent that geography really is quite predictable when it comes to kitchen styles and customer’s choices.
 
I frequently go on design trips with fellow designers from all over the UK and it always amazes me how certain kitchens sell so much more than others depending on the geographic region.
 
You might think this seems obvious with country kitchens outselling contemporary kitchens in places like York and Windsor and vice versa in cities like London and Edinburgh but this isn’t always the case in other continents.
 
I was commissioned to do some kitchen projects in Hong Kong and the Middle East and looking at the city-slick local markets, you would assume that contemporary kitchens would be the main stay and highly in demand. Not so it turned out. English traditional kitchens in Hong Kong were all the rave and all my clients wouldn’t look past them, turning their noses up at anything handle-less or high-gloss lacquered.
 
The same could be said of my Middle East clients. On all occasions I was quietly amused as I designed traditional kitchen furniture into cutting edge apartments- much as I felt it contradicted the architectural design of the buildings and it going against my design principal, the clients were absolutely elated !
 
Looking back on it, I truly believe that the influence of TV and Celeb magazines in foreign countries portray this fairytale picture book of ‘English living’, making people want a wee piece of it.
 
The amount of times I have been given a kitchen from a Hollywood movie to replicate is quite astonishing. ( Jack Nicholson’s ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ being the most requested )
 
As a designer, you always pride yourself into being able to predict a client’s kitchen style without even entering conversation with them – it’s always good to be proved wrong once in a while. Not all clients can be put into nice little stereotypical boxes – that’s what makes design so enjoyable !
 

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