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Christchurch Gets a Kitchen Test Drive Facility

Designers and cabinetmakers in the South Island can now ‘test-drive’ kitchen design concepts with their clients — without building them for real or taking a trip to Auckland.

Blum’s new showroom and warehouse in Wigram incorporates a feature the company first introduced to New Zealand when it opened the equivalent facility in Auckland eight years ago. It’s a dedicated space where a hypothetical kitchen concept can be laid out in three dimensions, at 1:1 scale.

The concept is simple. Replica drawer units, appliances, workbenches, cupboards and other components of a spatial design are rolled out and arranged on the floor by Blum’s helpful team, in a configuration that mirrors the plan.

The goal is not to trial hardware or select materials — although the showroom does give buyers the chance to explore Blum’s range of soft-close systems and cabinetry hardware. Rather, the kitchen test drive is a space for design professionals to bring their spatial concepts to life, and help clients grasp how the proposed layout will work in everyday use.

Blum’s NZ Managing Director, Michael Hawkins, says the goal was always to build an inspirational space.

“We learned a lot from the kitchen test drive facility we built in Auckland, so we tried to take things to the next level when we opened our new facility in Christchurch,” he says. “There’s no sales pressure because Blum doesn’t sell directly to homeowners. It’s simply a shared space where designers and their clients can spend as much time as they need to explore different options.”

Architects Warren & Mahoney rose to the challenge, specifying a light-filled showroom with double-height ceilings and floor-to-roof glazing that offers stunning views to the Port Hills. There are meeting rooms, sofas and an espresso machine so that professionals, trades people and their clients will feel at home and ready to collaborate. And in the heart of the facility is the kitchen test drive.

It’s a hard-working space that somehow doesn’t feel like hard work.

Find out more at the new Blum showroom and warehouse at 16 Avenger Crescent in Wigram, Christchurch.

View more information on Blum, including contact details.
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