Designer Kitchen & Bathroom reaches its milestone 200th issue this month, having covered the industry over a 17-year period that has witnessed an incredible change in design trends, home technology, consumer expectations and lifestyles.
As consumers have become increasingly design savvy, the opportunities for designers to conceive highly creative schemes that really test their skills and abilities have grown. Features that were novel, premium options back in 2000 – such as soft close kitchen doors for example – have now become standard offerings, whilst add-ons that were solely for the very high-end (such as hot water taps) have become must-haves in the eyes of many potential kitchen purchasers.
Induction and steam cooking have moved from cutting edge but niche technology to standard kit for many new kitchens, and the range of finishes available for both kitchen and bathroom products have elevated the role of designer to something akin to an orchestra conductor, ensuring all the individual elements of the ensemble are in harmony to create just the right tune.
Designer Kitchen & Bathroom’s part in all this has been small but, we think, highly significant. Just as the industry as evolved since 2000, so too has the magazine. Throughout its 200 issues, Designer has sought out the very best, most innovative products and projects, bringing professional kitchen and bathroom designers a monthly update on the new innovations they should be aware of, as well as a regular stream of ideas to inform and inspire their future work.
Our editorial content has never been ‘design for design’s sake’ however. The approach has been to focus on the pure design element of the K&B sector, whilst remaining grounded in the parts of the industry’s creativity that actually facilitate sales and keep customers happy.
We know from the regular feedback that we receive that we have got the formula right far more often than not over the years, and we value tremendously the advice, support and encouragement we receive from readers, advertisers and our many various friends from the UK and around the world. Everyone on the magazine team looks forward to further developing our offering over the coming issues as we look to build on the huge achievements made up to now.
HOW TIMES CHANGE:
TOWARDS A DIGITAL FUTURE
Martin Allen-Smith, Editor, Designer Kitchen & Bathroom
“Whilst this magazine remains a print publication at heart, there have been some exciting developments in the way we communicate with readers as our online presence has grown steadily over the years. As the first in the K&B sector to publish a full digital edition of the magazine each month, our readers are by now
well used to the benefits of this complementary format to the print edition.
More recently, the offering has expanded to include a custom app edition of Designer. Available on the app store, this version of the magazine is specially compiled each month and includes additional content and video clips to bolster our already strong print content.
And a sign of Designer’s broader appeal
can be found in the social media sphere where the magazine has built a hugely influential reach over recent years. We have over 14,000 likes on Facebook, almost 11,000 members on our LinkedIn group, and a staggering 26,000 followers on Twitter, not to mention a steadily growing follower base on Instagram and Pinterest.
But we’re far from resting on our laurels. Designer will be playing a key part in the launch and ongoing development of the new kb-eye website which will be tapping
in to the steadily increasing emphasis on
all things online from the most progressive brands across the industry. We look forward to playing an even more important part than ever in keeping kitchen and bathroom design professionals fully equipped with the knowledge and ideas they need to deliver the very best for their clients.”
A FORWARD-THINKING OUTLOOK
Johnny Grey, Principal, Johnny Grey Studios
“Considering the speed of change it’s great to have a reliable source of design thinking that has survived so long. What I like about being a part of the design community is an implicit belief in the future and the way ethics are embedded into our mentality. When you design something it’s not for now – we rightly get judged by its emotional and practical durability. And it’s such a fascinating area of life to operate in.
“We need to keep on our toes to source the information to survive and innovate. These are challenges that Designer magazine helps us meet and has met itself.”
THE EVOLUTION OF CHOICE AND DESIGN
Robin Levien, Product Designer & Co-Founder,
“I have been designing bathroom products for Ideal Standard for over 35 years now. It was a big story when we launched Studio with 15 items in 1986, we launched Concept in 2008 with 100 items. This increase in choice is a huge change over that period.
“Another significant change is ‘Design
with a capital D’, and we should all be very grateful for this magazine that encourages and supports great design in our
kitchens and bathrooms.”
LEADING THE WAY
Mark Wilkinson OBE, OLM, Kitchen & Furniture Designer,
Mark Wilkinson Furniture
“Double Century – what an achievement. I seem to remember when Designer first came out, the general opinion was that it would be too difficult for a newcomer to break into an established market, so it wouldn’t last. How wrong we were; you got the model right.
You were the first to offer us an e-version of your magazine, at a time when none of us understood the web too well. You understood that the electronic version enhances readers’ enjoyment of the printed copy.
“It wasn’t the only lead you took. The Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards, which I have had the pleasure of speaking at and the privilege of receiving both a Special Achievement Award and perhaps the one that makes me most proud, the Design Classic Award for my Cooks Kitchen design. For your publication to have such understanding of the history and nuances of design in our industry, shows us that you have grown to become an integral part of the industry that Designer serves.”
EMBRACING MARKET CHANGES
Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez, Architects and Designers,
Matteo Thun & Partners
“Within the last decade we have been working with various companies that specialise in kitchen and bathroom products. Innovation and a timeless pure design have always determined these collaborations.
“Today, cooking and healthy food is much more prominent – companies and design
of kitchen products support this trend. It is all about technological innovation, and both industry and the consumer are interested in sustainable products that are designed to save resources and energy. Today, it is no longer just the form and colour that makes a product appealing, and for us, this is a very welcome shift.”