Show Report: ISH Kitchen and Bathroom; Light Middle East;Garden, Landscaping and Outdoor Living

The exhibition provided plenty of inspiration and opportunities for commercial interior designers with ISH Kitchen and Bathroom; Light Middle East and the Garden, Landscaping & Outdoor Living shows all running parallel to one another.

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By  Charlotte Butterfield Published  June 1, 2006

The exhibition provided plenty of inspiration and opportunities for commercial interior designers with ISH Kitchen and Bathroom; Light Middle East and the Garden, Landscaping & Outdoor Living shows all running parallel to one another. Over 250 leading brands participated in what was one of the world’s largest kitchen and bathroom exhibitions. International exhibitors flocked to the show from countries including the UK, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Netherlands and USA. Many cutting-edge kitchen designs were on show from brands such as Siematic, Alno and Allmilmo. Poggenpohl showcased their latest laminate and mineral composite worktops — a new innovation in kitchen design. With organisation a key issue, Nolte featured Gulwing, a draw system that elegantly slides open its sides for small accessories. Leading kitchen company Teka drew large crowds to cooking points positioned throughout the venue. In the bathroom sector, the use of technology was a major feature. Danube launched the Appollo whirlpool bath, which comes fitted as standard with a DVD, TV, radio, fridge and vibrating massage jets. Mesma also showcased some highly exciting new technology-led products, such as Anthropos, developed by Italian company Glas. This multi functional shower cabinet includes integrated hydromassage, steam bath, aromatherapy, chromotherapy (the use of coloured lights for a healing effect on your body), radio and heated compartments for the ultimate shower experience. George Abboud, regional manager, Mesma, explains this new trend for technology in the bathroom: “People are making more money now and increasingly looking for more luxury and comfort. If you work hard all day, your bathroom is your haven. Technology is key in making the experience as luxurious as possible.” Branded designs also appear to have become popular in the bathroom sector, with designer lines such as F1 by FA Porsche and Joop! also making a big impact at the show. Light Middle East offered an array of innovative architectural lighting solutions for both internal and external spaces. Key players in the industry exhibiting included German brand Osram, Italian manufacturer Ing. Castaldi Illuminazione and Philips Lighting. The trend for LED lighting was highly prevalent. Local company BeLight — part of the Al Aqili group — displayed colour changing LED panels. “It’s an updated version of what is currently being used at the Fairmont and at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel pool bar,” says sales manager, Vikas Sareen. “LEDs are so popular right now because everybody loves colour. With the LED panels you can choose whatever colour you want. And compared to ordinary lights the life of LEDs is really long — they have a recommended life of 100,000 hours.” Another new launch was the innovative ‘stretch ceiling’ from Venezia Display Solutions. Created from a vinyl sheet which is heated to 50 degrees and stretched over a wall or ceiling, the material can be lit up from behind with LEDs. The product has already been commissioned for the Burj Dubai Sales Office and Venezia hopes it will make a big impact in commercial spaces around the region. Abensal introduced some new designs including the ‘Joy’ light from Italian company Alt Lucialternative designed by Paolo de Lucchi and Giorgia Paganini. Created from polycarbonate, the light effect expands across its beehive structure. The design forms a combination of sophisticated construction technology and glamour appeal. Another innovative launch came from German company Vertigo Systems. ‘Living Surface’ is an interactive wall or floor. Images are projected onto a surface, which reacts to movement of people. So far a big success in Europe, Uli Lechner from Vertigo Systems is confident that the product will go down well in Dubai: “There are many clubs and bars here and it is also popular for shopping malls so it should be a great success.” A highlight of the show was the Light Middle East conference. World-renowned lighting experts came to speak including Jonathan Speirs and Mark Major from Speirs & Major Associates, UK. As the only exhibition in the Middle East dedicated to outdoor products, the Garden, Landscaping and Outdoor Living show was a highly anticipated event. The diverse range of products on display pointed to a strong trend for natural materials in outdoor design such as various types of wood including pine and teak. Chris Campbell from 2nd Nature said: “Timber is the most popular material in outdoor design in this region. A few years ago it wasn’t so popular as it was invariably bad quality — it would fracture and crack in the heat. These days people are importing from New Zealand and Australia. It’s stronger and more durable.” However, the use of some slightly more unusual materials was also in evidence. Yalsa launched a new range of planters by Edelweiss. Designed for commercial use, the planters are handmade from aluminium, painted in car polish and finished in a chemical resistant coating. “Aluminium is becoming a very popular material in outdoor design. It is ideal for this region as it is light, does not rust, is easy to move and is 100% locally produced. The increase in its demand is reflected in the price — there has been a 60% increase in the past year,” says Huraiz Al Huraiz, director of Edelweiss. Making its first foray into the Middle Eastern market was Italian company Pircher, distributed through Lunico. The company blends natural materials with the use of metals such as iron and steel for a modern edge. It came to the exhibition to showcase its unique treated pinewood designs. New launches include the innovative Kuba Pergola, ideal for commercial spaces. Khalad Nayed, general manager of Lunico explains the attraction of the Middle East, “with all these projects happening here, it is first nature that you have to consider coming to the Gulf. Being a high-end first-class product, you need to follow where first-class high-end customers are. I believe there is a market here, as a businessman you can smell the excitement in the air. If everyone else is coming here you know you should too — it is almost a must rather than a conscious choice.”

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