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The Energy PR guide to choosing a new kitchen...

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verity barr

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My 2017 started with a bang. But rather than the fizzing of fireworks or the popping of corks, this bang was the sound of a sledgehammer hitting bricks … as the builders moved in and knocked down half my house.

With a new kitchen and bathroom on the horizon, I’ve spent the past few months immersed in the world of interiors and, as a result, I’m feeling pretty well positioned to offer a view on where a fairly average consumer goes for homewares inspiration. Herewith, my thoughts.

The word on the street is that magazines are a dying breed, but not when it comes to interiors. I’ve become an avid reader of homes mags, regularly swapping back issues with friends and cutting out pictures that catch my eye. I may not be the savviest of technology users, but I was totally drawn in by Houzz and Pinterest. I got lost in the world of ‘bathrooms with patterned floors’ and ‘kitchens with shelves’ and spent hours swiping my way through hundreds of photos of aspirational and inspirational rooms.

When it came to choosing the expensive stuff, I was prepared to travel 50 miles to visit a good kitchen appliance showroom. I wanted to see and touch before I bought and an independent showroom with real kitchen settings and knowledgeable, helpful staff sealed the deal for me.

Was it seeing the Neff ‘slide and hide’ oven on The Great British Bake Off that made me want one? I hate to admit it but I think the answer’s probably yes. Is it one of the cleverest designs I’ve ever seen? Yes. Will the novelty of the sliding door ever wear off? I fear not.

With so much focus on digital marketing, old fashioned things like paper brochures seem a bit passé now but I surprised myself when I found myself sitting in bed one evening reading the Neff appliance catalogue. The well designed, creatively styled brochure got the balance between aspirational brand positioning and techy product information just right. My mind was made up.

I could go on, but to distil my thoughts into five top tips:

  1. Don’t doubt the importance of simple, straightforward product placement in good old fashioned magazines.

  2. Inspirational room settings placed on interiors apps, websites and blogs will get you noticed.

  3. When it comes to making the investment purchases, showrooms are still important. It feels risky spending more than a couple of hundred pounds on something that you’ve only seen online.

  4. Interestingly, social media didn’t play any part in influencing my purchasing choices.

  5. A little bit of celeb endorsement won’t hurt. Roll on #GBBO series 8!
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