Today we chat with kitchen & bathroom specialist Richard Hibbet, award winning designer & the new head of KSLSudbury. Richard spills the beans on his plans for the future as he takes over at the healm of the well astablished family business...
1/ So tell us how it all started for you in the bathroom/kitchen industry?
I was a chef in the local area and my dad ran and owned a Kitchen & Bathroom showroom in Sudbury Suffolk. I was coming to the end of my college life and was given the opportunity to head chef at a nice little restaurant where I was working. At the same time my Dad needed to take on a staff member and he would love that to be me. I decided I didn’t want his hard work to end at retirement and so choose to join the family business. I started at the bottom as well as attending the Kitchen & Bathroom Academy for design training and worked my way through to now taking over the company in March this year.
2/ What key advice would you give to someones looking to design a new bathroom or kitchen
Buying a new kitchen or bathroom is one of the largest purchases we can make for our home. I think it’s important to use a local company who gives you confidence in their services. But also important that you do a bit of homework 1st so you understand what you like and what you don’t! There are lots of good magazines about, search the internet and visit some showrooms. You will not only start to understand your own style but be able to see the quality of the products you like or require.
3/ What makes you stand out from your competitors do you think?
I think it’s the fact that we expect high standard from ourselves, suppliers and installers, which means our customers not only get great design, but great service, product and installation. We pride ourselves on our whole process which includes full project management, service and after sales. Also the fact that we are a really friendly team and that our customers are payment protected by our Association with The KBSA (kitchen, bedroom, Bathroom specialist association).
4/ What is your personal design taste & does this influence your designs?
I personally love minimal contemporary design and would have no problem putting that to every customer. However I have to adapt my style and designs to suit the customers requirement. Most of our customers would like our designers to use their own flair and come up with a suitable scheme, but it helps to know a bit about the customer so we can tailor this to their tastes.
5/ What designers inspire you?
To be honest I am more inspired by designers who work around me and Architects than anyone else. I love bouncing ideas off real people and coming up with exciting and innovative solutions.
6/ Have you got any favourite products you incorporate into your spaces?
In bathrooms I love wet rooms as they are stylish, clean and minimal. I have 2 examples on display and love to incorporate this into my designs. Customers seem to love the look too which helps:-) Within kitchens its gadgets at the moment. Gadgets that make a difference like the Quooker hot tap which delivers 100˚C water instantly and the Neff hide and slide oven where the door slide back into the oven cavity meaning the oven is easily accessible and helps with small kitchen designs and safety.
7/ What would be your perfect bathroom space if money was no object & the perfect kitchen space?
I am quite a simple person and love minimal design so a lovely wet room bathroom with quality products and the luxury of audio, lighting and under floor heating would be my perfect bathroom. Within the kitchen I would like a decent size with Corian work surfaces, Miele appliances and again all the gadgets:-)
8/What are your plans for the future?
At the moment the plan is to become a interior specialist and not just kitchens and bathrooms. The additions of Audio and Bedrooms later in the year will open our portfolio, but we can really take on any interior project from home bars to home office.