If you don’t know already that I was recently in Cologne for BlogourCGN….where have you been? Just kidding! It was the most amazing trip and I learnt so much out there and made so many new blogger friends. But one of the other things that I like most about BlogTour is getting to know the sponsors and getting a really good insight into the company and into their design philosophy.
I write about products all the time here on The Design Sheppard and where possible I try to interview the designers as it is the story behind the product, the inspiration and the motivation that really fascinates me. With a small company it’s quite easy to unearth the story but when it comes to the giants of an industry that isn’t always the case as the wheels of the corporate machine turn pretty fast. However, the sponsors of BlogTour realise the importance of spending time with us bloggers and letting us get to know them a little better. They also take the time to really show us their product ranges and explain them to us and that is exactly what happened with BLANCO.
The BLANCO team went out of its way to welcome us and ensure that we had all the information we needed about their products. Consequently, I discovered some really great products that I may have otherwise walked straight past whilst I was meandering through LivingKitchen. Needless to say, not all good design is eye catching, scream-it-from-the-roof-tops, all-dancing, all-singing, with bells on brilliant. There is also a category of great design that is understated, unassuming, subtle and its brilliance is unspoken. The latter is the category that I would place BLANCO in. I think the only way you will understand what I’m bleating on about here is if I show you some of the products that we saw at the show.
The Alta Compact tap by BLANCO has an extendable pull-out design with a dual spray feature making it especially suitable for compact sinks or work areas. The spout can also be swiveled through 128° for greater coverage. I personally really like the contemporary style of this tap and the fact that it is not made entirely from metal. Instead it is made in SILGRANIT® II and it comes in a number of colour finishes including Anthracite, Biscotti, Café Brown, Cinder, Truffle and White. Having strolled around LivingKitchen and having seen the general trend towards muted greys and beige in the kitchen I think these taps are going to do very well.
The Modex sink was another BLANCO product that wouldn’t necessarily have caught my attention, but once it was explained to me the beauty of it revealed itself. You see Modex is an architectural kitchen sink workstation, which has a raised profile, innovative dual draining system and modern cubic design. The sink actually won a much-coveted Red Dot International Design Award in 2012 for its high design standards. Say no more! But one of the things I liked most about it is the integrated walnut cutting board that adds an extra level of functionality and space-saving convenience to the sink, not to mention a generous amount of usable surface space. Plus the extra durable sink is resistant to heat, chips, scratches, and food acids as well as being impervious to bacteria and dirt thanks to its Hygienic+Plus shield.
However, my favourite product on the BLANCO stand was without doubt the Blancoeloscope-F II Monobloc mixer tap with rise and fall spout feature. I love the clear and uncompromising design of this retractable tap, which has been especially designed for use in front of a window. Not being able to open your kitchen window as the tap gets in the way is more than a little annoying but with this fabulous design the tap can be retracted back into the surface and it can also be swivelled 360 degrees. Plus it only requires a gap of 3cm between the sink and the window. Novel huh? And it looks absolutely great with the BLANCOATTIKA sink seen above.
Another BLANCO tap that caught my eye at the show was the BLANCOSAGA and the reason why I liked this tap so much was the because of its functional design and the way that it is operated. The L-shaped mixer tap is equipped with a new control that is integrated into the outlet and that is clearly recognisable thanks to the black contrasting sleeve. The water quantity is regulated by moving this sleeve forwards or backwards and by turning the sleeve either to the right or the left, the required temperature is set. I think this way of operating the tap is extremely functional and I can imagine that it would also be great for older people who perhaps have problems with their grip and find it difficult to operate standard kitchen taps. I’d like to see more taps like this moving forward!
All in all I was very impressed with the products that I saw on the BLANCO stand and I am very pleased that I was lucky enough to be introduced to them by the BLANCO team.