In 1939, Detremmerie was founded as a furniture manufacturer. Later, the range was expanded with kitchens and ultimately also bathroom furniture. With the latter, the Belgian company managed to surprise the market, always taking into account the wishes and needs of their clients in the Benelux. Innovative designs, materials and production methods are still key elements at Detremmerie, which now only offers bathroom furniture. To the question of how they continue to convince customers, distinguish themselves from the competition and how they manage to keep the entire production process in Belgium, the answer is simple: No Limit!
Koen Ducatteeuw has been working for Detremmerie for 25 years, starting as an employee in the showroom and working in import & export, eventually becoming sales manager, product manager and ultimately CEO. He is therefore the ideal person to tell us all about this company and to explain how it has been able to maintain its position as market leader after 80 years.How has the company evolved or changed over the years?
"Detremmerie has evolved from a pure production company, where service and quality were the key elements, to a company that invests in design and new products, without compromising on service and quality. Detremmerie has also become the real market leader and has developed its production methods making sure we can keep production in Belgium."What are your main pillars and how can you guarantee them permanently?
"Our most important pillars are quality, innovation and service. We can guarantee this permanently by continuously investing in the right people and machines. Quality is also guaranteed by the presence of our Quality Manager. Our machines are 'customer made' and here too we use the very latest techniques – at Detremmerie we have the largest automatic plate warehouse in European bathroom furniture production. We continuously innovate thanks to our in-house designers who know how to present new creations at the right time.
Because we are mainly active in the luxury segment, service is very important. We select our sales outlets carefully and have our own service managers in Belgium and the Netherlands to assist clients where necessary."
"Detremmerie has developed its production methods making sure we can keep production in Belgium."
Which of your products/styles/materials are most popular?
"It's not just one product, but our broad range obviously appeals to our clients. We have a large assortment of furniture in various finishes ranging from matte, imitation wood, imitation veneer and high-gloss lacquered in 48 trendy colours. This can be supplemented with wash basin tops made of various materials such as ceramic, artificial marble, top solid (matte) and mineral stone (imitation natural stone) and the latest trend now: marble and concrete. The cherry on top of a beautiful vanity is still a marble worktop, not the standard marble plates but a block of marble that is composed as a cabinet or sink. The concrete washbasin tops are new in the No Limit range and are aimed at customers who like a more sturdy or rugged look. A popular model in this range is the wide beveled basin."Which products are you most proud of?
"Detremmerie has long been known for its excellent high-gloss finishes. Our doors and cabinets are always finished glossy on both sides. At the moment we are also very proud of our marble and concrete worktops. Our designers managed to create a beautiful, sleek washbasin from a single block of marble, which is perfectly in line with the rest of our bathroom furniture collection."How do you deal with trends and technological innovations?
"As market leader, we are expected to introduce new trends, styles and materials to our range at the right time. Our team visits the biggest international fairs and travels a lot to get to know the new trends. We then look at which trends are applicable in our markets and translate this into a suitable design. Detremmerie consists of a young team that loves innovation. However, we take this very seriously and test everything out before it is put into production; we cannot afford to let our established reputation be tarnished. The new designs and materials undergo the strictest tests so that they can be introduced at the right time, taking into account the economic climate and customer demand."
"Detremmerie consists of a young team that loves innovation."
How does Detremmerie distinguishes itself from others in the same industry?
"Detremmerie always does it slightly different than its competitors – we often don't even know exactly what they do. We start from our own strength and listen to what our clients need. By actively participating in trade fairs such as VT Wonen & Design, Interieur in Kortrijk and Batibouw, we receive a lot of information from our clients, which we translate into new designs. Moreover, Detremmerie has been a reference for years and is often chosen for our bathroom furniture generation after generation. With us, every generation can choose from a contemporary collection."What innovations can we expect this autumn/winter?
"Early October we present a new VT Wonen collection, which we designed together with the stylists of VT Wonen. In addition to our No Limit range with marble and concrete worktops, we also present ‘Architect’, which starts where No Limit stops: washbasin tops, mirrors and base units with custom fittings in 48 colours and various finishes. You choose your integrated basin and you also choose where we incorporate it for you in a matte surface up to 300 cm wide."What is your vision for the future?
"Detremmerie will continue to listen to what the market demands. Our extensive automatization enables us to respond quickly to this. We are also ready to produce furniture for other countries, should the need arise. We are determined to continue to follow the market in sanitation facilities and to meet its needs in our own way in consultation with our loyal clients."
This interview was published in Imagicasa Magazine Winter 2018-2019.