PHPD’s Kieran Nee talks kitchens with Chris Gallagher, Sales Director for Key Accounts & Projects for Franke.
Are homebuyers looking for high quality kitchens in the homes they buy?
Homebuyers aspire to higher quality but don’t necessarily understand that it means higher upgrade costs. That’s why it’s important housebuilders look to invest a bit more in their standard kitchen offer than they might have done in the past. A show-home with a great kitchen sticks in the mind of a potential buyer and one of the successful rules of retail is that people buy what they see.
Kitchens are the beating heart of every home, never more so than now where they are showing their important role as a multi-functional space to fulfil our practical and emotional needs.
What are some of the latest trends that builders should be paying attention to?
Mixtures of texture and materials are very important – whether that’s on kitchen doors, sink or worksurfaces, down to details such as the handles or the finish on a kitchen tap. Consumers want something that elevates their kitchen from the ordinary, whilst at the same time not deviating too far from safe design principles.
A consequence of the pandemic is how we can adapt the kitchen space to make it work harder and be even more multi-purpose to include an office work-space. That means well thought-out design and choice of products that optimise the space and make it a pleasure to cook, eat, work and relax in.
That translates into quiet and efficient appliances, more storage space, waste disposal products and clever solutions in important workspaces such as the sink area – all of which allow the kitchen to transition easily through the different living modes required of it, and make life at home easy and happy.
Conversely, what are some of the age-old principles that will always hold true no matter what?
There’s always going to be a place for white kitchen doors and neutral design. Whilst over time homebuyers might want to put their own design stamp on their kitchen, in the first instance if the kitchen design is clean and modern with good functionality and adequate cabinet space for storage, most homebuyers will be happy. Guarantees and warranties are also important – our sinks carry a 50 year warranty for example. Brands in the kitchen matter, they indicate quality but also offer peace of mind for homebuyers.
Apartment living is becoming more common, as are smaller plot sizes in general. Is it possible to create really great kitchens with less space?
Yes it is and at Franke it’s been a real focus for us in recent years. Just because you have to compromise on space doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality. If anything, having less space is an opportunity to introduce products with great design and functionality that will elevate the kitchen environment. A perfect example of this would be the Franke Box Center sink, it’s beautiful, yet functional, saves space and reduces clutter on the worktop, whilst at the same time operating as a multi-purpose workstation.
Why should our readers turn to Franke when designing their next kitchen?
Franke stands for innovation, attention to detail, and above all of that, a passion for great kitchens going back over 100 years. Whatever your product or cost requirement we have a wide range of options that reflect market trends and consumer needs.
And we love taking a consultative approach with builders and developers to really listen to your needs but also at the same time sharing with you solutions that we know work. Service is in our DNA – whether that’s dealing with our sales team, the supply of product through our nationwide distribution network, all the way to our dedicated consumer service technicians who will solve any problems should they arise. That’s my promise to you all – that dealing with Franke will be a wonderful experience.