Supplier spotlight: Blum New Zealand

We recently caught up with Marketing Manager, Kate Kapitonova from Blum New Zealand for her insights on kitchen trends to watch for in 2023.

Lighting, innovative living spaces, ergonomics, and sustainability (of course) are just a few things you can expect to see in 2023 according to the team from Blum, and we’re here for it! A beautiful, durable, clever kitchen, that makes the most of your space design, is at the forefront of every Green Home thanks to our top-quality suppliers like Blum.

So, put your dreaming cap on, get inspired, and design a kitchen that lasts generations, with Kate and the team at Blum.

1. What is the biggest trend you’ve noticed in Kiwi kitchens over the last few years?

Housing pressures and a more urban lifestyle in the main centres are leading New Zealanders to embrace apartment living in a way they never have before. DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids), empty nesters and those priced out of the freestanding housing market are now adopting apartment living to get their foot into the property market, or free up cash for other lifestyle ventures.

As you can imagine, with smaller apartments comes the need for innovative storage solutions which are both beautiful and practical. Not a single inch of space could be wasted – so Blum has come up with a number of cabinet applications to create storage in places you would never have thought of. Our well-thought-out cabinetry solutions, such as SPACE TOWER pantry, SPACE STEP plinth, and SPACE TWIN narrow cabinets are perfect for places where space is minimal to create maximum storage for a tidy home.

2. What trends do you expect to see in 2023 – anything new? Anything that excites you?

At Blum, we adore everything kitchen. Every second year, we take the opportunity to explore the latest innovations and preview upcoming design trends at Europe’s biggest kitchen trade show, EuroCucina during Milan Design Week in Italy.

The two most exciting trends we saw at EuroCucina last year were:

  • Merging living spaces – Kitchens and dining, living and working spaces are increasingly becoming one and the same environment, and shrinking urban living spaces call for new furniture solutions. Products like REVEGO, Blum’s unique pocket door system which allows you to open up complete living areas when you need them and conceal them again when they are not in use, will become paramount to creating multifunctional design combined with comfort and convenience.
  • Lighting – Another trend from Milan is to use lighting as a design accent. LED strips add horizontal and vertical lines to furniture designs whilst illuminating interior spaces and cabinets. Lighting concepts connect arrays of luminaires and put the focus on materials and forms. I know multiple designers have already started using lighting in their work in New Zealand and I believe we will see more of this trend in 2023.

3. What innovations have you seen in kitchen design in recent years?

Handle-less furniture is very much in vogue and minimalist looks put the spotlight on the functionality of furniture. At Blum, there are now four motion technologies for lift systems, doors and pull-outs which open up infinite possibilities for handle-less furniture. Specifically, SERVO-DRIVE, our electrical opening support system, is the ultimate in user convenience.

4. What advice would you give someone planning a new kitchen?

The kitchen you opt for will last you for 20 years or more. So put time and thought into your purchase – don’t just focus on aesthetics. It’s the cabinetry hardware that makes a kitchen practical. And if the well-thought cabinets, furniture applications and storage solutions are chosen at the beginning of the planning process, hardly any subsequent renovations are required.

As identified by Blum’s research department, the four essential requirements for a practical kitchen are:

  • Efficient workflow (ergonomics)
  • Optimum space utilisation (storage space)
  • Enhanced convenience (motion)
  • Freedom for your ideas (design)

5. Are you noticing a trend towards more sustainable design choices?

Absolutely! We’ve been noticing cabinet makers and specifiers opting for more sustainable products. But there is an interest which goes beyond just products. For example, we are constantly being asked how much of our packaging is recyclable! The industry is definitely moving in the right direction.

6. How does Blum introduce sustainability into the kitchen design process?

There’s nothing like planning your dream kitchen, the heart of a home. But even design-savvy homeowners can struggle to envision their 2D paper plans in a 3D space. How can you tell if you have the right amount of storage for a growing family, or enough bench space for making pancakes on a Sunday? That’s where we can help with the Kitchen Test Drive, a free service we offer at our Auckland and Christchurch showrooms.

Once you book the appointment and send through your kitchen plans, we will create a 1:1 mock-up of your space in our showroom and help answer any questions you may have. Opting for the Kitchen Test Drive will ensure that your kitchen includes an ergonomic and functional layout to minimise future renovations, and using high-quality hardware, which is only a fraction of the total costs, will help your kitchen last more than 20 years, creating less waste in the long run.

7. What design trend are you hoping to see more of in 2023?

The global western population is ageing, and with age comes changes in strength, flexibility, mobility, sight, hearing and cognitive processing. Most building authorities around the world recognise this and are now requiring Universal Design standards as part of their construction and building codes.

In New Zealand, Universal Design has been promoted by Lifemark® since 2008. Their system uses a set of voluntary user-based standards that will benefit 99.9% of people, rather than the current set of building standards that might not consider Universal Design.

As Lifemark®’s accredited and long-standing partner, we have been conducting long-term research to understand the needs of furniture users around the globe. Driven by the mission to improve the quality of living, we have been able to develop a range of universally designed products based on research insights around convenience and ergonomics.

We would love to see more and more suppliers partnering with designers wanting to serve the needs of older customers, whose requirements will increasingly drive specifications.

8. Where do you find inspiration?

The furniture users are the source of our inspiration. When developing Blum products, the focus is always on furniture users and their needs. We want to create functional solutions that generate real benefits and offer a range of advantages. Continuously optimising existing functions is another thing that drives us in our day-to-day work. That’s why we have a special team that is focused on real-life usage of our hardware day in, day out: the Blum Requirements Research team.

For many years now, we have been travelling the world as part of our requirements research to observe kitchen and furniture users as they go about their day-to-day lives. We analyse storage items, document processes and uncover unique requirements in different countries. The resulting findings form the basis for developing high-quality hardware and fittings that can provide enjoyment and satisfaction for the lifetime of the furniture.

To learn more about Blum New Zealand, head to