PYTHA 3D CAD is a powerful tool for retail designer

PYTHA 3D CAD is a powerful tool for retail designer

PYTHA 3D CAD has been an invaluable tool for retail and fitout designer, Shannon Ireland. The creative director of Emagine Design has been using the software for fifteen years, and says the powerful rendering capabilities of the program make a huge difference to his processes and selling potential.

From noodle bars to fashion stores, Shannon has designed a wide range of fitouts in retail and commercial markets in regional and urban areas across Australia. The incredible customisation of PYTHA 3D CAD makes these ‘out of the box’ projects a dream to create: designing and modelling simultaneously in 3D allows Shannon to work smoothly and efficiently, with high confidence in the proportions and practicality of the space.

It’s the photorealistic rendering that wins over the clients, though: Shannon’s presentations give the clients the highest confidence in his concepts, leaving little room for uncertainty and a crystal-ball look at the finished design.

Of course, it’s not all pretty pictures: Shannon’s working drawings (all produced in PYTHA 3D CAD), combined with his 3D models and renders, ensure that the manufacturers and trades costing each fitout have a clear understanding of precisely what’s required where. This comprehensive documentation allows quoting and construction to proceed with the greatest cost and time efficiencies, meaning the clients will always get value from concept to completion.

Like to learn how PYTHA 3D CAD can help you and your design business? Visit, and contact Pytha Partners today.

Tips and tricks for a sweat-free site survey

Tips and tricks for a sweat-free site survey

A comprehensive site survey – combined with a detailed client brief – is an essential cog in the wheel of an efficient and effective design process.

While many won’t admit it, there are few designers who haven’t experienced the distress caused by a missing dimension or overlooked detail: hours of design time can be lost scouring through photos, analysing scribble and playing the detective in an attempt to work out what was missed in the measure up.

In this feature, we’ll share some tips and tricks for avoiding this dilemma, and a seventeen-step checklist that will ensure your site surveys are complete.

Top Tips for a Sweat-free Site Survey
Click like crazy

Ask your client for permission to take a stack of photos. They may feel a little insecure about exposing their cabinet innards, but assure them you’ve seen worse (because you probably have!), and take photos of all the information you know will be handy down the track. Remember to take a good photo of the overall space so you’ll have an excellent before and after to share in your folio when the job’s done.

Give your client a time-out

You’ve probably spent the last hour discussing your clients wish list, and you may have even mediated some marital conflicts, too. When it comes time to measure, though, it’s a good idea to suggest your clients feel free to get on with their day while you do your thing. When the tape measure is out, you won’t want to be talking: concentration is key to catching all the details. If your client insists on helping, make sure you’re at the heavy end of the tape, and don’t trust them to read you the correct dimensions.

Love your list

Checklists are fantastic tools for foggy minds. Develop a checklist template to take to every project. Highlight the items you’re most likely to forget, and run through the list before you leave the property. The following checklist will be a good start, but you may find you need to adjust it to suit your measure up methods.

Seventeen Steps to a Comprehensive Site Survey
  1. Take photographs: overall shot + each individual wall + waste pipes/exits + cornice detail + reminders as required.
  2. Check orientation (which way is North?).
  3. Measure the overall length and width of space.
  4. Record the length of each wall.
  5. Record ceiling height and cornice detail.
  6. Note the width and height of each entry/door (recording door swing direction + adjoining rooms/spaces).
  7. Record width and height of each window (noting distance from floor to bottom of architrave and/or bottom of opening + opening type/direction + outlook/aspect from each window).
  8. Note architrave detail (width of frames + profile).
  9. Record fixed architectural elements (fireplaces, built-in shelving etc.)
  10. Note the location of electrical power outlets.
  11. Note position of light switches and existing switching pattern.
  12. Note plumbing outlets.
  13. Note heating/cooling fixtures.
  14. Document and photograph existing furniture to be retained in the space (note dimensions, door swings etc.)
  15. Document and photograph existing appliances/fixtures to be used (note dimensions, door swings etc.).
  16. Note existing flooring details.
  17. Document existing paint colours (if relevant).

By following the above, you’ll be sure to have all you need to get to work as soon as you’re back in the studio.

Surveys and Existing Floor Plans

If you’ve already read through this year’s KBDi Designer Awards Entry Pack (kudos to you!), you’ll know that we’ve added a new requirement for entries in 2019.

When reviewing your kitchens and bathrooms, judges have often noted that an ‘existing plan’ would give them a greater perspective on the challenges set out for the designer, along with their resolutions of such challenges and improvements of an existing space.

If your project is a new build, this entry requirement will be satisfied with a copy of the plan originally issued to you by the builder/building designer/architect.

If your entry is a renovated space, a comprehensive site survey (covering the elements above) will do the trick.

Learn more about the KBDi Designer Awards here.

Why mentoring makes sense

Why mentoring makes sense

A number of Members have made the most of an all-new membership benefit in 2019, scheduling mentoring sessions with our industry experts about a range of topics.

Whether you’re an all-out newbie or a long-time designer, a mentoring session may be just the tool you need to move yourself to the next destination in your design journey. In this feature, we’ll share some good reasons to seek out a mentor, and let you know what’s in it for us, too.

Sharing is (self) caring

Our industry can be full of colour and creativity, but it can be a bit crazy-making, too. With our heads down in design-and-documentation-mode day after day, it’s easy to get caught up inside our own thoughts, and a bit introspective about where we’re headed. Whether you have a design dilemma or a business bother, offloading your dramas to a neutral party can simply stop your ‘monkey mind’, and let your own brilliance bubble to the top.

One man’s mistake makes another man’s lesson

Our team of mentors has many, many (many) years of combined experience. This experience, of course, includes many mistakes, and there’s good a chance our errors can be your education. If you’ve made a mistake or think you’re about to, there’s a good chance one of us have been there before, and we may be able to help you see a way out.

A little push in the right direction

If you know exactly where you want to go, but have no idea which way to head, our industry know-how can help send you in the right direction. Whether you’re looking for formal training, career maneuvers or new client targets, we’re here to help you find the most efficient route to your destination.

Ready to meet a mentor? Check out our Mentors here and work out who’ll be the best fit for your session, then contact Bron or Tracey (1300 253 223) to tee up a time.

Pssst! It’s not all about you…

As an industry group, our primary goal is to help our Members move forward. We’re not all hearts and flowers, though, and we have our own agenda (gasp!): by engaging with our Members one-on-one as often as we can, we aim to get a better handle on what our Members (and the industry as a whole) really need from the organisation representing them. When we keep connected to each and every one of you, we don’t need to keep guessing what you want from KBDi, and can tailor-make content and benefits that will be genuinely helpful for Australia’s Finest kitchen and bathroom design professionals.

When you have tussles in your team…

When you have tussles in your team…

Employing staff is as much about managing personalities as it is work schedules. If you have some clashing types in your workplace, you’ll appreciate the advice offered by our Industry Partner, Employsure.

Employing staff isn’t always about allocating tasks and setting deadlines. Sometimes it’s about managing personalities. As many small business owners can attest, those personalities don’t always get along.

Resolving problems when employees are in conflict takes a skilful people manager who knows how to approach such situations with an open mind. Empathy is required to dissolve conflict because it is usually a product of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or fear.

So, what can you do about employee disputes?

Here are some quick tips to de-escalate workplace conflict:

Take control.

If employees are disrupting the productivity of the workplace, this needs to stop. As the employer, it’s your job to make sure the conflict does not escalate out of control, interfering with other employees and causing other problems for your business.

Also be wary, toxic employee relationships can be contagious. Stress spreads stress, and this can be detrimental to the culture of your workplace. Remain conscious and keep an eye out for disputes whether they are big or small.

Find the facts.

When employees are feuding employers need to fact-find. What was the dispute in relation to? Was it to do with workload or a particular work project? Getting to the bottom of the dispute can highlight immediately what needs to change in order to reach a satisfactory resolution.

Offer equal opportunity.

It is important to provide equal opportunity to each employee involved, and provide an opportunity for them to explain their view. Ensure that you invite each party to a meeting where they have an opportunity to recount the situation. While initiating such difficult conversations can be tricky and confronting, honesty is the first step towards resolving the issue.


Compromising and learning the reasons behind each person’s views can clear the air between the employees and help mend the relationship. Poor relations between employees can fester, with the potential to have a detrimental impact on the business, as well as the physical and mental welfare of all employees. Starting this process early is an important step in making sure matters to deteriorate beyond the point of repair.


Ask any witnesses to come forward. If the dispute involved significant wrongdoing, or if the dispute involved a breach in the employment contract or business policy, this is serious and could result in dismissal. Witnesses can help to add to the details of the dispute and, if required, build a case to support the dismissal. See this guide on dismissal and termination for more information.

Incident report.

Document every detail. Employers need to fill out an incident report for any wrongdoings. By putting the specifics of the dispute in writing, employers can support their actions and submit this as evidence if the need arises. In addition, should a dispute happen again or if the dispute is legally escalated, the employer will have supporting evidence to draw back on.

Coach and support.

Offer the feuding employees some development coaching – they will appreciate the investment you are making in them and hopefully the returns will be worth it to you and your business. The bonus is that the coaching will relieve you of all that time and energy you are spending to prevent future disputes.

Use HR professionals.

Get immediate advice from external and impartial HR experts such as an Employsure Consultant to help you avoid disputes escalating into bullying claims in your business. Experts will guide you to handle employee conflict and resolve employee complaints. If you can’t settle things between your feuding employees, ask Employsure for viable solutions.

In order to manage disputes in the workplace, every employer should show their commitment to policies and procedures in each and every incident. By doing so you can ensure your team dedicates themselves to meeting the expectations of your business free from the stress of workplace conflict.

KBDi has partnered with Employsure to help take the headache out of workplace relations. Contact our office today (phone 1300 253 223) to find out how your KBDi Membership will help you with HR solutions.

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Push, Pull and Slide by Hettich

A message from KBDi Silver Sponsor, Hettich

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