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Kitchen, bedroom & bathroom show

Kbb LDN is part of the May Design Series, taking place at London’s ExCel from 19-21 May 2013

It’s in the ‘design capital of the world,’ so expect all the sectors’ major players to put in an appearance – after all, there’s a lot of ensuite hotel rooms out there in the world, and someone’s got to fit them out

Having been taken on by event organiser UBM’s brand director to co-ordinate not only this year’s kitchen, bedroom and bathroom show, but the Arc lighting show, DX for technology and Interiors LDN as part of its May Design Series, architect Ab Rogers will probably need a bed himself. He’ll unite the four shows, which take place concurrently at London’s ExCel, under a ‘single creative vision’. Since it’s Richard Rogers’ son, expect all three primary colours for the signage, plus black or white. kbb LDN might trendily appear in lower case, but it’s in the ‘design capital of the world,’ so expect all the sectors’ major players to put in an appearance – after all, there’s a lot of ensuite hotel rooms out there in the world, and someone’s got to fit them out. 

Aside from the numerous exhibitors, one of the attractions for the kbb LDN event is the Innovation Centre, which claims to be ‘the place to see the most pioneering developments this sector has to offer’. It will also run its Innovation Awards for the second year, celebrating the most ground-breaking advancements across the kitchen and bathroom industries – selected from products launched between May 2012 and May 2013. Martin Allen-Smith, editor of Designer Kitchens and Bathrooms magazine, will chair the judging panel which will select 20 shortlisted products from which three winners will eventually go forward to claim the ‘Judges’, ‘Visitors’, and ‘Online’ prizes. Winners and shortlisted designs will all be showcased at the event.

The organisers’ big marketing dollar this year is that signing up for one of the shows gets you into all the others, turning the whole of the 100,000m2 venue into an interiors stomping ground. The event is also being backed by the Society of British Interior Designers founder Vanessa Brady, who has helped shape the format of the show. Here, you’ll be able to peruse the latest in lighting, home technology and high-end furniture, all under one roof. Take my advice, and leave the bedroom show for last: walking around all day will have given you plenty of reason, particularly here, to try before you buy. In the event that there’s nothing that you’re convinced by, make a bee-line for the Ab Rogers-designed champagne bar. After all, there’s nowt so good as can’t look better with beer goggles on… 

PIP takes a look at a selection of products launching at this year’s show


In a ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ take on kitchen design, kitchen manufacturer Leicht has turned to slats to create a kitchen storage system that appears and disappears before your very eyes. An illuminated aluminium shelving system sits behind wide slats that come together seamlessly to create the impression of a solid wall until they are raised. Claiming the design as an industry first, Leicht claims the design forces a rethink of the traditional relationship of unit to niche to wall unit, creating opportunities for constantly changing colours and configurations.

Linear Flair by Abode

In what looks like a high-end offering, faucet designer Abode is launching two new tap ranges at this year’s show. It’s strange how kitchen taps seem to be able to break all the rules for tap conformity within a house, and this peculiarly tall offering is a case in point. Ultra slim and orthogonal, the monobloc mixertap is a leaning, dual lever design available in chrome and brushed nickel. Paddle handles are placed at the base of the stem and the spout is complete with an aerator.

Quartz and marble by Compac

Spanish surfaces company Compac is revealing its 2013 line of ‘technological’ quartz and marble. Since 1975 the firm has been developing a stone surface range with a variety of colours and finishes ideal for bathroom, kitchen counter tops, flooring and tiling. Mixing raw material with pigments and resins gives the range a natural beauty with outstanding durability. The firm has recently developed a range of facade cladding materials suitable for external use.

Movento by Blum UK

‘A bell is a cup until it is struck’; so went the title of post-punk prog band Wire’s 1988 concept album. Posited as a meditation on looks and authenticity, Blum UK might well be trying to state the same point in a different guise, with its new ‘Movento’ concealed runner system for sliding drawers. Anyone who has experienced the joy of cheap kitchen unit drawers that initially perform but rapidly fail, leaving only oceans of pain ahead, may be interested by Movento’s synchronised motion, feather-light glide and heavy load bearing capacities.