After less than 2 years in business, in 2016 we were offered an amazing opportunity to take a major stand at the Grand Designs Exhibition being held at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London. Keen to rise to the challenge, we partnered with Warendorf Kitchens from Germany (one of our major suppliers) and got straight to work designing two kitchens from scratch.
It was a fantastic chance to introduce ourselves to thousands of potential customers and hundreds of suppliers and businesses also involved in the home and kitchen trade. We got to meet designers, architects, installers, builders, electricians and many more. It was an amazing way to build a list of great contacts.
Being in the front of the Grand Kitchens section, we wanted to showcase a stand-out kitchen that emphasised “GRAND”. We believe that, with our founder's engineering skills we are the innovators of the "floating kitchen" concept (come and visit our London showroom to see what we mean) and wanted to display exactly this.
Our main feature kitchen at Grand Designs utilised a floating island and dining table combination spanning more than 3 metres with a hidden steel framework. This framework had to be engineered precisely to fit within standard size kitchen units and could carry more than 3 tonnes (if required). With no weight limits, we used Corian as a worktop to avoid the need for any joint lines (usually, you must introduce a joint line every 3 meters with most work surfaces apart from Corian).
The breakfast bar was made of ceramic porcelain from Neolith. The colours and textures of the two work surfaces complemented each other perfectly and the end result was a real show stopper of a kitchen in the middle of the exhibition.
The colours of the cabinetry were dark wood laminate on the island and aluminium finish for the kitchen run. These two finishes are the most popular in the Warendorf kitchen range at the moment. Visitors to the stand were surprised to discover that the dark wood was a laminate as opposed to real wood.
Our second display kitchen mounted behind the main piece was a relatively simple design but demonstrated that kitchen styles and budgets can be varied to meet the customers needs. We designed a stylish, modern, white galley kitchen with the latest modern look matt lacquer finish. The worktop and splashback were both made from Neolith Calaccatta, allowing the veins from the worktop to continue into the splashback to stunning effect. We designed a handless ring around the fridge area to showcase something simple but effective.
We had an amazing few days at the show, met lots of potential new customers and made plenty of contacts and friends. It was a real baptism of fire for us in our evolution as a young, innovative kitchen design company and we truly loved it. Our show kitchens have found permanent homes after the show (view a similar floating island kitchen in this gallery) and we have gone on to design dozens of new, innovative kitchens as a result.