The benefits of entering industry Awards

The benefits of entering industry Awards

You know you’re a good designer. You get a thrill out of transforming your clients’ homes, and they love what you do enough to tell their friends. You’re proud of your work, and would love the opportunity to show it off. But who has time for entering awards, and would the time spent be worthwhile?

Yes, entering business or industry awards takes time and resources. You’re putting yourself, your business and your designs under scrutiny, so you need a fair bit of courage, too. In this article, we explore seven benefits of entering industry awards in an attempt to prove that the potential ‘pain’ is well worth the gain!

#1 Benchmarking
By comparing yourself to your competitors, you’ll soon begin to identify areas you need to develop – from a design or business perspective. Alternatively, or at the same time, you may gain faith and confidence in the skills and attributes you already possess. A benchmark is a ‘standard from which quality or excellence is measured’. Award-winning designers are setting the benchmark for your industry and profession: are you exceeding these standards, or are you on par? What is the benchmark of your business? Are you and your team meeting your full potential?

#2 Team Morale / Self-Motivation
Do your team members need a boost in morale? Do you need a little motivation yourself? Frederick Herzberg (American psychologist and business management guru) once said, ‘If you want people motivated to do a good job, give them a good job to do’. Acknowledge the talent in your staff and/or yourself; throw down the challenge for a successful design entry – and see what happens!

#3 Marketing & Exposure
This is the most obvious benefit to your business: the free marketing attained by media exposure for award finalists is both rewarding and measurable. Any accolades should be used in all business promotion – on signage, literature and of course, your website and social media. Be sure to brag – being shortlisted in an awards program (particularly KBDi’s program which draws incredible talent from across the nation) is certainly something to be proud of.

#4 Respect & Credibility
What do consumers (potential clients) see in your media exposure? They see a business that is at the peak of its game, offering quality and credibility. You will have gained their trust and respect even before you’ve entered their home. Likewise, suppliers and other associates will recognise your achievements – this could open new doors to securing contracts, better prices and potential new industry contacts.

#5 Differentiating You from Your Competitors
We are in a competitive industry, and it’s not uncommon to be contending for design. Will your award recognition put you ahead of your competition? Could it be the deciding factor for a quality client? Highly likely! Stand out from the crowd with your accolades.

#6 Staff Recruitment
Who doesn’t want to be part of a winning team? Attract new talent – those who aspire to ‘be the best’ will be looking to join like-minded professionals. Your award participation will let future team members know you’re a goal setter, and you’ll attract motivated employees to your business.

#7 Big Picture Perspective: Benefits to the Industry
By recognising and celebrating the high standards that exist in our industry, we encourage others to ‘lift their game’, and we provide the media – and potential new customers/clients – with case studies of excellent design practices. Be proud of your profession and industry, and know you’re paving the way for those who’ll follow…

Entries for the KBDi Designer Awards 2019 are now officially open – learn more and download your entry pack here.

Playing with the principles of design

Playing with the principles of design

While a site survey checklist and client design brief are consistently referred to in the design process, experienced designers are unlikely to be consciously ticking off the principles and elements of design when developing a concept. The fundamental learning of these ‘tricks of the trade’ is invaluable, but applying the elements and principles simply becomes second nature to intuitive designers, and they rarely need a checklist to make sure they’ve got them covered.

From a judging point of view, however, we believe the principles are worthy of noting. After a decade of scrutinising Australia’s finest kitchens and bathrooms in the KBDi Awards program, we know that it’s the intuitive application (or clever manipulation) of these ‘design rules’ that sets the winners apart from the rest. In this feature, we’re breaking down the principles that are included in the judging criteria for our ‘crème de la crème’ (Certified Designers) and sharing some of our favourite examples of excellent execution.


Balance creates a feeling of equilibrium in design. It can be formed in the physical layout of the space (with a bilateral or approximate sense of symmetry), and through the careful selection of finishes (with colour, pattern and texture).

Bilateral (or formal/traditional) symmetry is the most effortless style to identify: it occurs when similar parts are arranged on opposite sides of a median axis in identical (or almost identical) ‘mirror’ images.

This striking design by KBDi’s Australian Bathroom Designer of the Year 2018, Olivia Cirocco (GIA Kitchens and Bathrooms), is an excellent example of formal symmetry.

KBDi Australian Certified Designer of the Year HC, Tania Kloester CKD Au (TK Design), used both formal and radial symmetry in this outstanding design.

Approximate symmetry can achieve the same sense of balance with the use of similar compositional units on either side of a central axis, while the clever use of asymmetry can see different forms carefully balanced with some visual trickery.

Darren Genner CKD Au (Minsoa) achieved a great sense of balance with this asymmetrical design. The visual weight (and interest) of the bookshelves to the left, along with the carefully positioned chair, balance the heavier weight of the island’s stone façade and rear wall tall cabinetry to the right.

Proportion and Scale

Proportion is the ratio between the size of one design element to another, and scale represents the way in which the size of one object relates to another or to the space in which it is placed.

Tasmanian designer, Lydia Maskiell (Lydia Maskiell Interiors), has applied perfect proportions in this stunning small bathroom. From the patterned floor tile to the sanitaryware selections, all of the elements in this design are ever-so-carefully scaled to the size of the room. The beautiful glossy black subway tiles provide just enough contrast to add interest and drama, too.

Rhythm and Repetition

Just as in a great musical composition, rhythm in design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest. Its purpose is to link one element to another, carrying the eye around the room on an exciting design journey.

KBDi’s NSW Bathroom Designer of the Year 2018, Gavin Hepper CKD Au (Concepts by Gavin Hepper), composed a gentle and calming rhythm in this curvaceous creation. The repetition of organic, oval shapes, combined with a sensitive application of natural finishes, made this bathroom a winner.


A room where all items and finishes get equal weight can seem boring or conversely, cluttered. A point of interest (or focal point) provides an anchor for the space, and becomes the emphasis of a stand-out design.

The striking black fireplace and spectacular artwork are fabulous focal points in this beautiful bathroom by Lydia Maskiell (Lydia Maskiell Interiors). The sense of drama is further enhanced with black ceilings and walls, making the overall scheme a show-stopper.

Unity and Harmony

Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony establishes a sense of restfulness and unity. In a room with great variety in forms (shape, size, texture), a single hue can add harmony and peace.

Brisbane designer, Lee Hardcastle CKD Au (Enigma Interiors) applied all of the principles to perfection in this kitchen design. The linear repetition (battened ceiling and vertically-grained veneer) creates movement and energy, while the strategic application of blackened cabinetry balances the room. The warm tones of the veneer are in perfect harmony with the floor tiles, cleverly unifying the overall space.

Of course, it could be argued that a pro knows how to break the rules. If you’ve got a great example of this, please share it with us for our next inspirational feature, or add your two cents’ worth in the comments below.

Schweigen silent Wallmount Rangehoods

Schweigen silent Wallmount Rangehoods

A message from KBDi Gold Sponsor, Schweigen

Schweigen silent Wallmount rangehoods have revolutionised the way we look at fixed canopy hoods today. Using the German engineered Isodrive® system, Schweigen silent Wallmount rangehoods deliver high performance, style and silent ventilation, so you can bring family conversations back into the kitchen.

The extensive Schweigen wallmount hood range caters for all kitchen makeovers including traditional style kitchens, modern kitchens, and custom kitchens. They also cater for all cooking types with the different Isodrive® motor options, and an automatic 15-minute delay shut-off timer, enabling you to enjoy family meals whilst all smells and odours are whisked away from the kitchen.

The DS3326-9S and DS3326B-9S is Schweigen’s ultra-modern and stylish black tempered glass fascia rangehood. Powered by the touch of a remote control or its digital display, this state of the art rangehood features Perimeter Aspiration Technology. This targets air extraction towards the perimeter of the rangehood, creating a smaller and more intense extraction area.

DS3326-9S and DS3326B-9S Isodrive® Motor Options:

  • S1 650: 650 m3/h airflow, 150mm flexi ducting (4m), install roof/wall
  • ST 900: 900m3/h airflow, 200mm flexi ducting (4m), install roof/wall
  • SP 1600: 1600 m3/h airflow, 200mm flexi ducting (6m), install roof/wall
  • SEL 1350: 1350m3/h airflow, 200mm flexi ducting (6m), install in-wall

Technical Data:


  • black powder coated S/S, black glass fascia
  • dimensions: (W x D) 898 x 500mm


  • stainless steel, black glass fascia
  • dimensions: (W x D) 898 x 500mm

Click here for the DS3326-9S & DS3326B-9S Specsheet

Click here for the DS3326-9S User Manual

Point Pod partners with Häfele to solve your power outlet predicaments

Point Pod partners with Häfele to solve your power outlet predicaments

A message from KBDi Silver Sponsor, Häfele.

Brisbane, Queensland – A new innovative product that solves your household power problems has teamed up with Australia and New Zealand’s large distributor to keep up with its growing demand.

Point Pod, which seamlessly blends power outlets and USB ports into your kitchen and bathroom bench tops, made its Australian market debut in August 2018.

It has now partnered with Häfele, Australia and New Zealand’s biggest distributor, to spread its reach into the Oceania market.

Point Pod was designed and developed by Brisbane builder, Cameron Singer, who was frustrated by the limited power solutions in the market.

“I developed Point Pod two years ago out of my own frustration of the limited options available,” says Mr Singer. “After renovating my own house, I was disappointed with what was available to improve access to power for my island bench. There were products online, but they looked so cheap and flimsy in a kitchen we’d spent a lot of money renovating.”

With a simple press, Point Pod’s power points and USB sockets emerge for use, but unlike other power options, it blends seamlessly into your bench top.

“I’m excited for Point Pod’s next phase, working alongside Häfele. Häfele’s commitment to innovation made them the number choice for our distribution partner,” Mr Singer says.  

“Our distribution agreement gives us access to a larger chunk of the market, but it also means we can focus on manufacturing and developing further products.”

Mr Singer says his customers will now have access to Häfele’s huge selection of cabinetmaking solutions. “Häfele is always bringing new innovative products to the market, so their customers are always on the cutting edge of what’s available, and we’re excited to be part of it.”

“Häfele also offers us the opportunity to showcase our product to its global Häfele subsidiaries, which will be doing at Interzum 2019 in Germany in May.”

Point Pod officially launched its first two products – Point Pod Multi and Point Pod Compact – on August 13, 2018.

Watch the Point Pod in action here.