Quality and Innovation - 2 reasons to choose a Ballerina Kitchen
Ever since I opened the doors to DISCOVER kitchen interior design I had been looking forward to visiting the Ballerina Kitchen showroom and factory in Germany. So when the chance arose recently, I was first in line!
In my opinion you can never know too much about the products you are selling so trips like this are an excellent opportunity for me to keep my product knowledge up-to-date. By knowing the Ballerina German kitchen furniture inside out I know that I can produce better kitchen designs for my customers – ones that will both look great and work well in the available space.
Ballerina are perhaps not that well known in the UK (although they are certainly growing in reputation) but they are definitely a manufacturer of real quality. In fact, they have been voted the number one manufacturer by specialist German kitchen retailers for the last six years*.
Now I know how fussy and hard to please independent kitchen retailers can be, so achieving this award is no mean feat! It demonstrates their commitment to quality, and the excellent customer service they offer to kitchen designers like me. And if they respond quickly to any queries and problems I have, it means I can respond quickly to my customers.
The trip kicked off with a visit to the manufacturing centre where Ballerina produce about 130 kitchens a day. That’s quite a small operation compared to some – the largest German manufacturers turn out over 3,300 kitchens a day – but it does mean they keep tight control over production.
Looking around the factory the level of automation was clear to see with the CNC machines at work constantly.
It was also good to visit the department where bespoke, special items are made. This is staffed by real craftsmen, who produce the individualised pieces that designers like myself specify. And it is here that they also train their apprentices, investing in the craftsmen and women of the future.
When planning their new kitchen, customers quite rightly, think a lot about the colour and quality of the door. Less consideration is often given to the carcase but it’s essential that this is hard wearing and high quality as well.
In this respect Ballerina really excel. Their carcases are of the highest quality; I’m prepared to say the best I have seen in my 15+ years in the industry.
It's the details that I really like. For instance, their 8mm back panels (thicker than your average German-made kitchen) which are screw-fixed for extra stability. Or their 19mm shelves which are designed for stability and to be resistant to damage.
And then there is the selection of carcase colours. Whilst most manufacturers will offer a choice of colours for the outside of the carcase and the edge trim, Ballerina also colour matches the interior of the carcase and the shelves. They offer a staggering 26 different colours which means that your kitchen will look seamless and beautiful with matching interior and exterior décor.
It’s a good quality carcase that ensures your kitchen gives years of service. Which is why Ballerina kitchens score so highly for me. They are definitely built to last.
Innovation and Design
It’s not just the build quality that makes me a big fan of the Ballerina range of furniture, but their innovation and design ideas too, so the next part of the trip, a visit around their showroom was sure to be interesting.
As a designer myself it’s great to see that Ballerina have won awards for their design and innovation, being crowned a German Design Award winner in the kitchen category for 2018 and 2020.
The 2020 award was for their TakeAway concept which is series of portable pull outs. I know how important storage is in any kitchen design, and this innovative feature offers another useful option for my customers.
Ballerina also provide a huge range of unit heights. Look at this photo below that I took in the showroom. It shows just how versatile I can be when specifying a design for a client and how I can make the most of all your available space.
The visit was also a good opportunity to see what Ballerina thought the trends for 2020 were going to be. There is a definite move towards natural looking materials like wood, marble and sandstone, and I've already been introducing these finishes into some of my designs.
Finally, I noticed that Ballerina are increasing their range of furniture that can be used beyond the kitchen, in dining, living and study spaces. With the continued popularity of open-plan living this is a natural extension.
By using furniture that has been designed in conjunction with the kitchen furniture you can create a seamless look throughout your open plan space. I know that this is of particular interest to interior designers I work with and I'll be writing more about this in a forthcoming blog.
Get in touch
If you would like to find out more about Ballerina kitchens and my kitchen design service, please get in touch.
The showroom is open by appointment. To arrange a convenient time to visit, call me on 07946 069420, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or click on 'Contact' in the menu.
*Markt intern - independent consumer journal, overall winner of the Service Performance prize Kitchens 2012/13, 2014/15, 2016/17, 2018/2019