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HPM November 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com SPECIALREPORT Tapping into the latest trends a must At a time where competition to win business is great, understanding the impact that simple design choices, such as the kitchen or bathroom tap, can have is crucial to increasing that value added service, says Mark Stratford, new product development manager at Bristan... With interior design tastes becoming increasingly sophisticated, installers are being asked for information that goes beyond the technical details and into the creative Against a growing appetite for personalisation, homeowners are increasingly looking to mix and match different styles in the kitchen and bathroom alike, which reflect their individuality and own personal style. Not only does the plethora of TV makeover shows and home design magazines mean that household decision makers can be more easily influenced, it has also resulted in interior design tastes becoming increasingly sophisticated. The result is that installers are being asked for information that goes beyond the technical details, and into the creative. To make the most of this opportunity, installers should get to know the latest trends, and have a back pocket full of style suggestions. KEY LEGISLATIVE CHANGES Of course, it is important they stay abreast of key legislative changes and innovations in energy efficiency, but as homeowners continue to refresh rather than completely refurbish, they need to become savvy to modern bathroom trends to offer a more complete service. The good news is that one easy way they can do this is by investing a small amount of time into exploring the latest bathroom and kitchen trends. By working closely with customers to understand their design aspirations, installers can easily help them to select products that tick all the right boxes. A recent survey has shown that the bathroom for one is now the favourite area for home improvement with it estimated that 44% of Brits are spending money on bathroom upgrades this year. And, while sometimes their impact is underestimated, bathroom taps are one of the first things to catch the eye when entering a bathroom. Therefore, something as simple as replacing tired bathroom taps with new, striking models can instantly transform the look of a room. Better still, this can be done without the need to remove any bathroom tiles or furniture, reducing the amount of labour on the job and the cost to the customer. A MORE PERIOD LOOK There are also a whole variety of styles and finishes available today, giving installers plenty of choice when helping customers to choose a new tap design. Alternatively for customers wanting to recreate a more period look, the traditional tap market is equally expansive. Amid the burgeoning trend for dining in, the modern kitchen has evolved to become more than a place to cook, but an area to entertain and socialise. People are willing to invest their money in making it more attractive and stylish, creating a welcoming ambience. The opportunity here lies in the likelihood that if a homeowner is investing in new kitchen units and worktops, they will undoubtedly choose to also upgrade their sink and taps. And so, once again, installers must seek to widen their product offering with a good range of kitchen taps. For the contemporary-minded consumer, the mixer tap, either single or double lever, continues to dominate the market, offering a neat, discreet finish so aligned to minimalistic trends. As a contrast, a more traditional aesthetic can be achieved with two-handle mixer taps, which offer a more lavish approach. From the Victoriana years through to French boudoir, again periodic taps designed to replicate the opulence of past decades, typically found in brass, will instantly add that look of luxury to even the simplest kitchen design concept. HEIGHT OF FUNCTIONALITY Times are changing and, amid an increasingly style-savvy consumer profile, installers must take the time to stay abreast of new and emerging design trends in order to provide a holistic customer service. In this way, by making a concerted effort to help customers create a unique look in their kitchen and bathroom, installers can offer a comprehensive level of service that will enable them to be a one stop shop for both design and installation. 48 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 136


HPM November 2015
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