Practical, welcoming kitchen designs which touch on 2017’s style trends will guide the four local kitchen organisations in this year’s Decorex Joburg Franke Kitchen Design Project featuring at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 9 to 13 August.
Themed ‘Simplicity in Design’, each of the kitchen installations will showcase a range of Franke SA’s leading kitchen appliances with the overall assessment of the final piece performed by representatives from Franke SA. The kitchen designs will be critiqued on a number of elements including overall appeal, utilisation of space, kitchen flow, user-friendliness and quality of materials used. Once the final decision has been made, the winner will be awarded R10 000 worth of Franke SA products as well as invaluable ongoing support following the event.
“Judging the Decorex Joburg Franke Kitchen Design Project is always an extremely enlightening, as well as challenging task, because the calibre of participants is always so high,” explained Franke SA’s National Sales Manager, Clinton Soutter. “To succeed in the kitchen industry in a city like Joburg, business owners must have a real understanding of what the market wants; keep up-to-date on all the latest designs and trends coming through as well as having the ability to tailor a kitchen to the needs of the individual while making it an appealing space aesthetically and functionally. I’m looking forward to seeing the vision of each contestant come to life.”
This year will see Eurofit Kitchens and Cupboards, Unique Kitchens, Micah Kitchens, and Universal Kitchens and Granite bringing their individual style to the installation.
Returning to the competition is the Decorex Joburg 2016 Franke Kitchen Design Project co-winner, Eurofit Kitchens and Cupboards. Established almost 20 years ago, the Szabo family-run business has cemented itself as a leading manufacturer of bespoke cabinetry and designer furniture.
“We are delighted to be invited by Franke SA to exhibit this year after the favourable response and success we enjoyed last year at Decorex Joburg,” said Ludi Szabo, Director of Eurofit Kitchens and Cupboards. “It is an honour and privilege for Eurofit Kitchens and Cupboards to be associated with the Franke SA brand as well as Decorex Joburg 2017 as a leading design platform of the year.”
Commenting on the organisation’s ongoing success, Carina Szabo, responsible for Sales and Marketing at Eurofit, said Ludi had a natural flair for design and technology.
“This is evident in the factory which boasts the latest technology in the kitchen industry,” said Carina Szabo. “It’s here that the cabinetry is perfectly engineered into bespoke cupboards. Together with Ludi’s hands-on approach, his unique designs, a keen eye for quality workmanship and superior finishes, ‘the perfect fit’ comes together!”
She said these elements, along with European influences and a hint of South African style, would be evident at the exhibition this year.
Touching on some of the prevailing trends working their way through the kitchen world, Ludi said: “From a colour and finish point of view, matt and satin finishes are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in hues of greys and whites. The softer shades of colour remain popular, matched with wood grain finishes.”
He said that, in terms of style, the industrial kitchen is this season’s trend. “Blended with stainless steel and concrete finishes, this minimalistic look is both practical and functional yet aesthetically pleasing on the eye.”
When considering all kitchen design factors, Ludi said the clients’ needs are still the primary focus. “My greatest joy lies in our clients’ positive responses when a project is completed. A job well done is what gets me up each morning.”
Working from a successful exhibition at Decorex Joburg in 2015, Unique Kitchens committed to participating in both the Cape Town and Joburg legs this year.
“We had a really overwhelmingly positive response so were excited to return to the Decorex platform,” said Gerhard Calitz of Unique Kitchens. “We also have a great working relationship with Franke SA and always come away grateful for the experience of exhibiting.”
Established in 1991 in the Western Cape, through dedicated service and quality craftsmanship, Unique Kitchens has grown into a leading kitchen manufacturer, extending its footprint into Midrand, Gauteng. Calitz said visitors to this year’s installation can expect to see the highest level of workmanship using quality materials that has become synonymous with the brand.
As first-time participants in the Franke Kitchen Design Project, Micah Kitchens will showcase exactly why the kitchen is the ‘heart of the home’.
“This is where families get together, where memories are made,” explained Matthew Dodd, Micah Kitchens’ General Manager. “It’s more than just a space to prepare a meal. The kitchen is no longer tucked away in its own separate room of the house, it has now become an extension of the living and entertainment areas.”
The family-owned business, which started 30 years ago, constantly strives for perfection, combining quality work with high-level customer service in every aspect of business. This dedication will come through as they give life to the ‘Simplicity in Design’ themed feature.
“We have created a space that showcases the latest design trends while still operating as a functional working space,” said Dodd. “Asymmetrical designing, along with the latest materials and state of-the-art appliances will turn one of Micah’s top designer’s creations into a reality.”
He said the urban loft feel is being reinvented to suite the more practical needs of homeowners, incorporating key elements such as steel beams, bare-brick walls, reclaimed lighting, combined with touches of copper or gold to create a practical cooking space.
“Unpolished concrete is also coming through, whether used as a flooring material, countertop surface or even a splash back. You now also have an abundance of choices when it comes to choosing a practical worktop for your kitchen, with 2017 opting for a sleeker, more streamlined quartz surface, as opposed to the heavy looking granite surfaces of yester-year.”
Forming a vital component of their marketing strategy, Universal Kitchens and Granite has participated in the Decorex exhibitions for the past six years and will return to compete in the Franke Kitchen Design Project this year as well as featuring in the Decorex SA Trend House.
Established by Managing Director, Clinton van Breda, as Universal Doors and Components in 2006, the success of the business precipitated the introduction of Universal Kitchens and Granite in 2012 to create the Universal Group of Companies. A factory showroom in Boksburg was opened in 2016 with another Pretoria-based showroom set to open in September this year.
Not giving too much away for their upcoming installation, Louis Kies of The Universal Kitchens Sales Team said they would be setting trends for the upcoming year with ‘innovative ideas’, however, he did emphasise the kitchen’s importance.
“The old saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home still rings so true,” he said. “A gathering place for family and friends needs to fit in perfectly with your needs and personality. More waking hours are spent in the kitchen than any other room so it should be your favourite room in the home.”
Commenting on some current preferences, Kies said the two-tone, high-gloss, handle-less kitchens were very favourable, although new trends were leaning towards the industrial and minimalist look.
Gloss and wood grain combinations have also been featuring as well as thin, 12mm tops or large 60mm build ups replacing the regular 20-30mm worktops.
To view these and other exciting new features, get to Decorex Joburg at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 9 to 13 August. Tickets are sold through www.ticketpros.co.za and at the door.
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