When the Butler gets confused with the Scullery Maid

When the Butler gets confused with the Scullery Maid

A kitchen is rarely just a kitchen these days, with Clients expecting more and more from the hub of their home. A few weeks ago we looked at laundries in kitchens; today we’ll step into the ‘unseen quarters’ of today’s larger kitchens, and work out the difference between a Butler’s Pantry and a Scullery.

We’ll start with a step back in time to the Victorian Era, and look at the roles of the namesakes of today’s pantry extensions.

You’ll be greeted by Mr Butler

The upper-class houses of the Victorian era saw the Butler’s role rise from a simple cupbearer to a highly ranked servant. In his newly established position, the Butler added the more modern wine cellar (‘buttery’ or pantry) to his charge, alongside his dining room duties and front door attendance. In his day-to-day work, the Butler would greet and announce the arrival of guests, wait on the table at meal times, and clean and polish the household silver and knives.

His pantry space (the ‘Butler’s Pantry’) was a dedicated space for the cleaning, counting and polishing of the family silver, sets of china, serving dishes and so on. The Butler would keep this pantry locked in order to prevent the theft of the family heirlooms, and would sometimes even sleep in the space for added security!

But you won’t meet the Scullery Maid…

At the opposite end of the servant hierarchy was the lowest ranking female servant, the Scullery Maid. Scullery maids were very young girls employed to assist the cook. They were the first to wake in the morning and the last to go to bed. They rarely saw the outside of the Scullery, which was the small kitchen or room at the rear of a house used for washing dishes and other dirty household work.

So how do these historic roles determine what we call our kitchen extensions today?

If your client is looking for a dry storage space to house the overflow of their pantry-ware, it’s likely they’re after a Butler’s Pantry.

If they’re asking you for an unseen wash-up area, and need cooking quarters and sinks and suds in their kitchen extension, you’ll be designing a scullery.

Of course, both areas need good design, and as the potential ‘work-horses’ behind a show pony kitchen, they need plenty of attention in the design stage. We’ve taken this into account in our new-and-improved Awards program, and will be excited to share our new categories with you soon. Watch this space!


Vauth-Sagel win AWISA Award

Vauth-Sagel win AWISA Award

The AWISA trade show is Australia’s most important woodworking and furniture industry event. One of the biennial event’s highlights is the industry magazine’s presentation of its sought-after “Gold” awards within the scope of the international trade show in recognition of outstanding products. This year, a Vauth-Sagel product was one of the winners: the company was one of only six to receive a Gold Star Award Honourable Mention for its innovative corner cabinet solution CORNERSTONE MAXX in the attractive Planero design. The industry magazine’s expert jury awards this prize in recognition of innovative technologies, services or manufacturing methods. It carefully examined all of the products shown by the in total 120 exhibitors.

With CORNERSTONE MAXX in the Planero design, which was presented at the AWISA with a cohesive stand concept that matched Vauth-Sagel’s new CI, a product that addresses one of the key challenges of interior design caught the jury’s attention. The corner cabinet solution is unparalleled when it comes to making optimum use of difficult to reach spaces. It not only creates additional usable space but is also comfortable to use and easy to install. “CORNERSTONE MAXX is the perfect embodiment of our mission,” says Claus Sagel, the Vauth-Sagel CEO. “We are extremely delighted about the award. It confirms that our approach is right.” The Gold Star Award Honourable Mention is the most recent award which the traditional owner-managed company has won for its work: this year alone, CORNERSTONE MAXX and VS ENVI Toolbox have won a German Design Award 2018 as well as an iF Design Award. The two products were also amongst the prize winners in the UNIVERSAL DESIGN Competition 2018.

Undermount rangehood all glass and class

Undermount rangehood all glass and class

Undermount rangehoods have revolutionised the way we look at modern kitchen design. This innovative style of rangehood has gained attention by kitchen designers alongside the increasing popularity of overhead cabinetry. Schweigen continues to impress by delivering on the high demands for the ultimate undermount rangehood to compliment a stunning kitchen design.

The KLS-9GLASS from the Schweigen IN. range is most popular amongst architects and designers. This is not only due to its superior design, but by capturing the ultimate harmonious kitchen by its silent extraction. The sleek glass finish comes in both black or white glass to suit every kitchen. Due to its quality, this particular finish only requires a micro-cloth to wipe down the perimeter of the appliance to bring it back to life.

A main feature of the KLS-9GLASS is Perimeter Aspiration. This also keeps the filter concealed for an ultra-sleek and integrated look. Perimeter Aspiration uses an additional panel to create a venturi effect, which helps capture smoke, steam, grease and oil more effectively. Strip LED illumination also lights up the cooktop to allow for complete ambience for your cooking experience.

Combined with its features and benefits, this glass silent undermount rangehood is the perfect addition to compliment any integrated kitchen. Product dimensions are (W x D) 895 x 295mm and the unit is available in 4 different motor options.

Discover the entire Schweigen IN. range here or call 1300 881 693 to find out more.

DesignerPly adds decorative impact

DesignerPly adds decorative impact

DesignerPly is a decorative range of plywood specially selected to create a visual impact – from wall panelling, joinery and ceiling panels. The DesignerPly range offers an extensive range of products for many applications, with clear and feature veneers to pre-finished Powder Coated surfaces to achieve your desired designs. 

Studio Edwards has converted a trio of shipping containers into a weekend retreat overlooking the Otway Coast called House28. The interior, using DesignerPly for all surfaces, successfully creates a calm, tranquil atmosphere ensuring a relaxing holiday. 

About using DesignerPly in a kitchen, Architect Ben Edwards recommended using a thicker timber for the smaller panel sizes to ensure the natural product will not warp. Mentioning kitchen cabinets specifically, Ben recommends the 19mm sheet size. Speaking of DesignerPly Marine Ben said “With that being an A grade product as well, the thing is when you put the sheets next to each other they look continuous. There are no huge variations in the different colourings of grains.” 

The many options of powder coating mean any colour is available, with the ability to keep the natural beauty of plywood showing through should that be the desire. Clear and lime wash options have been the favourite option thus far, with black powder coating gaining popularity quickly. 

For more information, or to order samples, visit www.gunnersens.com.au, or phone 1300 088 066.

Selling value over price

Selling value over price

Are the prices (fees) you charge your clients commensurate with the value of service you’re providing? Do your clients really understand exactly how much work goes into a design project from beginning to end?

If you’re feeling nervous about presenting your initial design quotations, or are seriously thinking about stepping up your schedule of fees, we encourage you to work through this ‘three-step challenge’ to determine where you’d like your earnings to be.

Step 1: Break it down and add it up

Begin by breaking down the full scope of services you’re providing. You may have your own terminology for each phase, but all design projects can be basically be broken down into a ‘C.O.R.E’ order:

C: Collaborate and Collect
In the Design Survey stage, you’ll be collaborating with your client to determine their practical requirements for design, their aesthetic and style preferences, their budget and time expectations. You’ll also be collecting data: you’ll be measuring up the existing space, determining site parameters, locating existing services and assessing structural limitations. How long do you allow for this process?
O: Organise and Optimise
If you’re smart, you’ll collate the information you’ve gathered above within a few hours of your meeting. You’ll set out a clear and concise design brief, make sure you have all the information you need about the site (did you get all the measurements?), and send your client a summary of your findings to ensure you’re all on the same page. What is your procedure for this stage of the game? How long do you allow yourself to organise and optimise your brief?
R: Research and Review
Finding finishes, fixtures and fittings that meet your client brief can be a time-consuming exercise. Yes, it’s a part of your Concept Design/Design Development stage, but when you’re lost in a Google-vortex, are you keeping track of time?
E: Execute and Deliver
You’ve gathered your information, organised your findings and researched the best products for the project. Let the fun begin! How much time do you set aside for Design Development and Documentation? Is this the ‘heaviest’ component of your project, or is it relatively light work when you’ve laid out ‘C, O and R’ above?

Now’s the time to be brave: add up your hours, being brutally honest, and move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Deduct and divide

If you’ve set a pre-determined fee for your design service, divide it by the hours set out in Step 1 and determine your hourly charge out rate. Remember you’ll need to deduct your overheads from this figure (phones, office supplies, rent, insurance, electricity etc. – work out your monthly expenses and divide it by the number of hours you’ll be working).

Step 3: Reflect and Review

Are you happy with where you’re at? Is there room for growth in your fee schedule? Are you setting out your full scope of work when you send your potential clients a fee proposal?

When clients understand the ‘real’ extent of the service you’re offering, you’ll be better positioned to sell value over price. You’ll reinforce your professionalism, and let your clients know there’s more to design than picking pretty colours and keeping up with trends.

We’ve specifically structured our KBDi Design Consultancy Agreements to help you with the above. The document sets out all stages, from Design Survey to Project Consultancy/Management, and helps keep you and your client on the same page. If you haven’t seen the contract yet, contact us today and we’ll send you a copy.