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Exhibitor Spotlight - Matt Phillips, Rotpunkt


We spoke with kbb Birmingham exhibitor Matt Phillips, Head of UK Operations, Rotpunkt, to get his insights on the KBB sector, the latest trends and to ask him what’s he’s looking forward to at kbb Birmingham 2024.


What are the biggest challenges ahead for KBB manufacturers this year?

The only constant is change as we continue to adapt and respond to our ever-changing global landscape, and I anticipate that visionary manufacturers, retailers and designers will continue to explore the power of possibilities across the consumer and contract market.

With the post-pandemic global market readjusting to new challenges like inflation and the energy crisis, we anticipate that property will remain a mainstay of the UK economy moving forwards. In fact, the ONS reports that the UK population is projected to rise to 69.2 million by mid-2030 and to 71.0 million by mid-2045, meaning there are even more opportunities for manufacturers to serve the new build market. 

My feeling is that everyone in our industry has a vital part to play as the kitchen concept continues to evolve and integrate new technologies. The future is already here in terms of how consumers are adapting to smart home technology and enjoying even greater ease and utility in the home. Trends are accelerating at lightning speed through the market so I think kitchen professionals need to be ready to go to the next level as multi-passionate all-rounders who can anticipate the end users’ future needs with confidence. 

What do consumers want from their kitchens in 2023?

As we continue to navigate the global economy, one thing remains clear: the home represents the ‘centre of life’ for many. With hybrid work patterns, multigenerational households, and a focus on eco ergonomics, the latest furniture designs in 2023 are built for multi-purpose, presenting a cross-section of styles, shapes, and materials, which are serving more than one room in the home. In fact, we are experiencing an exciting era of conscious interior design where ergonomic, sustainable product solutions are catering to the wellness lifestyle and providing the UK homeowner with a more positive, self-serving home environment. Now, the market is primed to deliver even more transparency on the benefits of quality raw materials, ethical production, and carbon off-setting, given our research continues to show that concerns about sustainability resonate at every price-point.

What are the key KBB sector trends this year?

From kitchen to utility, through to the home office and dressing room, we feel the following trends are breaking new ground this year:

STYLE - Internatural: Delivering an inspired blend of natural materials met with different cultures from around the world, the latest furniture trends are taking an internatural approach to styling the UK home and kitchen. Contemporary, modular furniture is pared back and linear by design, with generous island units dominating the kitchen and more recently, dressing room with a lifestyle-oriented workstation. Look out for furniture that offers more than just storage space as lifestyle friendly features such as extra-tall, double stacked storage units, deep drawers, and automated hide and slide pocket doors will add form and function without impacting on the overall look and feel.

COLOUR - Raw: 2023 will embrace botanical shades of nature with gentle grey, fresh white, and green blue colour palettes combined with different species of solid and veneered wood in varying degrees of texture – from rough sawn and brushed, through to fine grain and grooved surfaces. In fact, oak is the wood of choice this year able to take on virtually any hue like light beige, dark brown and even whitewashed. Although the introduction of colour is somewhat neutral in 2023, high contrast schemes will continue to dominate the contemporary home where two or more opposing colours, finishes or materials such as glass or wood, come together to create one complete scheme.

LAYOUT - Integrated: Open plan living continues to dictate the ground floor layout in 2023, with new focus being placed on the level of integration that can be achieved in the kitchen, home office, laundry, and bedroom space. Space-making solutions are therefore top priority and have completely transformed the idea of open plan, as custom storage helps to save time and energy, as well as create multi-use areas designed for work and play. This means the ‘hidden room’ will come to the fore this year and champion new door designs which are enabling the relocation of food storage, laundry appliances and utility area into existing open plan spaces without impact.

MANUFACTURE - Climate Friendly: Shopping with a conscience has become the norm for many consumers this year as in general, investing in the home while supporting climate-friendly initiatives is now part of the design conversation: whether that be sourcing and production, through to packaging and delivery.

Second generation materials which are recycled or similarly, ‘imitation from concept’ are providing a great alternative for achieving the latest kitchen designs without harming the environment. Laminate solutions are perfect for this, with metal and timber effects becoming the most versatile options when going green in the home. It also makes sense to enhance energy efficiency in the kitchen living space as much as possible with smart-enabled integrated lighting which can be operated by voice command, via a digital assistant, rather than physically switching it on and off.

As we move into the age of universal kitchen design to reflect our changing lifestyles and accommodate the multi-generational family, I believe that all elements of the kitchen will become more sustainable throughout the market. In my opinion, there is a strong selection already available in the middle market and this will only continue to grow as more and more naturalistic and synchronous pore laminates hit the mainstream, as the trend for low maintenance industrial-inspired mixed materials continues to evolve.  

Has the increasing importance of sustainability had an impact on your manufacturing processes / company values?

Sustainability is increasingly becoming embedded in the specialist kitchen retail channel and as a result, we are seeing new possibilities with recycled materials.

All Rotpunkt furniture is designed and created under the company’s award-winning Together to Zero climate strategy to reduce carbon emissions at every stage of manufacture. Crafted from Greenline BioBoard Gen2, Rotpunkt furniture is the sustainable, green and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional chipboards, and consists of up to 90% recycled wood. 

Rotpunkt pride itself on responding to the needs of the market in real time, with the ability to present greener design solutions that serve the modern home and lifestyle. In addition to Greenline BioBoard Gen2, 95% of all Rotpunkt kitchens are FSC® Certified. The gold standard of eco-friendly kitchen design, all design elements by the company offer a greener alternative for the UK homeowner and answer the call for longer lasting products that optimise a materials value to prevent waste.

Our latest furniture solutions are a mark of the company’s continued product development and brand evolution year-on-year, all underpinned by our ongoing mission to achieve zero emission. Featuring a series of debut products, the latest collections take the brand into new room categories so we can empower the UK homeowner to make greener choices without compromising on style or quality. Every day Rotpunkt moves a little closer towards climate neutrality and we invite everyone in the industry to join us on this planet-changing journey – one mission to zero emission.

Additionally, 95% of Rotpunkt kitchen furniture is Forest Stewardship Council-certified and the company only uses wood from sustainable forests in Germany, Austria and France where working conditions are fair and human rights are respected. This ensures that Rotpunkt is being socially and environmentally responsible, helping to protect people and trees. The Forest Stewardship Council is a well-respected international organisation that promotes the conservation and responsible management of forests worldwide.

Sustainability is a key issue for manufacturers. How much education is needed when it comes to talking to consumers about sustainability?

I think that a bigger picture approach is needed when we consider this question and the industry as a whole, needs to be collaborating to reduce waste, minimise our carbon footprint and show consumers how sustainable choices can have a positive effect in their own homes, as well as the planet. In my opinion, consistently demonstrating how sustainability affects us all on an individual level, within our family units is a great way to personalise the issue and spark vital conversations that will ultimately make you, the retailer, an authoritative voice among your customers.

Kbb Birmingham Q&A

•  What are you most looking forward to at Kbb Birmingham 2024? We believe that the modern homeowner wants the very best in style and sustainability, and visitors to Kbb Birmingham continue to echo this sentiment, embracing our latest furniture ranges which are designed to emphasise longevity, adaptability and high design for the contemporary kitchen and laundry space.

•  What innovations can we expect to see at Kbb Birmingham 2024? Our extensive market research means we’re able to distil the latest lifestyle and product trends and present them to our retail network every year so that we can continue to be a foundational part of the interior design community and global response to climate change. It’s fair to say that over the last few years the market has continued to play with the idea of what a room should be, and as needs change and boundaries continue to blur, our furniture is no longer room specific, but lifestyle specific.

Broadening the scope of our 2023 ‘Welcome Home’ concept, which serves almost every room in the home, 2024 will see us continue to expand our furniture into the kitchen, utility, laundry, home office, and dressing room with a series of new collections, doors, colours, finish options, furniture heights and modular storage solutions.

The rise of whole-house interior trends where one brand is now expected to serve almost every room in the home is showing an amalgamation of styles, which continue to blur the boundaries between room function and individual lifestyle preferences – and this will be reflected throughout our entire 2024 collection on display at Kbb Birmingham next year. Our one aim is to offer a greener alternative for both home and planet without foregoing the very latest contemporary designs and styles, so we can’t wait to reveal our 2024 innovations and be amongst our retail customers once again! 

What are the benefits of exhibiting at Kbb Birmingham?

Throughout the show, our stand is always a hive of activity with visitors able to experience our latest innovations and lifestyle design concepts. We love having the opportunity to catch up with our established network of dealers in person, as well as welcome a host of new retailers to the fold who are able to harness the best of our expertise, ‘Together to Zero’ climate strategy and latest product offering going forwards.


Want to keep your finger on the pulse for KBB industry trends and new launches? kbb Birmingham will be back next year from 3-6 March 2024 at the NEC Birmingham. It is the ideal destination to discover the latest product innovations and trends and network with the KBB industry. We look forward to seeing you there next year!

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