Shades of grey with a touch of timber

Shades of grey with a touch of timber

Warm tones of timber alongside various shades of grey were popular combinations in the KBDi Designer Awards program of 2019. In this feature, we’re sharing just a few of our favourite grey and timber combos.

Timber, white and charcoal were combined to great effect in this stunning kitchen design (St James Whitting). White storm benchtops sit beautifully with charcoal-coloured cabinets, with the pairing brought together by a stunning Calacatta marble splashback. Charcoal-stained floors unify the interior, while oak veneer adds warmth and homeliness to this special space.

Sharp geometric details amidst a black and white scheme were a winner for Tasmanian designer, Lydia Maskiell. The almost-black cabinetry and white and grey-veined benchtop are balanced beautifully with a concrete-look floor, while Tasmanian Oak detailing adds interest and warmth.

Victoria’s Lindsay Williams CKD Au (Mint Kitchen Group) played with several shades of grey in this stunning kitchen design. A textured white splashback adds brightness to the room, while Tassie Oak tones add a homely appeal.

Victoria’s Sam Robinson CKD Au, CBD Au, took out the State title of KBDi Bathroom Designer of the Year VIC with this beautiful bathroom. We love the textural interest of the Grey Oak laminate, and the welcoming warmth of the well-planned lighting.

Perfectly organised waste separation

Perfectly organised waste separation

A message from our Silver Sponsor, Vauth-Sagel

Thanks to its VS ENVI range of waste separation systems, Vauth-Sagel has a modular product range in its delivery program that can be adapted to the lifestyle, household size and local disposal regulations with surprising ease. Everyday processes are significantly simplified, and it convinces in terms of hygiene, aesthetics, and sustainability. In the course of this, the kitchen design is not affected, since the systems all vanish behind the kitchen front, along with all required containers.

Optimally utilising available space, facilitating workflow sequences in the kitchen and utility room, maintaining the high design standards in the furniture’s interior – these are the foundations for Vauth-Sagel’s success. Every product which the family-owned company develops must meet these requirements. This also holds true for the waste separation systems from the VS ENVI series, which, thanks to their modular design, provide the right solution for every requirement. The VS ENVI components are available in a number of international standard sizes.

VS ENVI Space: enough space for

unused dishes, cutlery, cooking utensils and food to share storage space in the kitchen. However, waste needs space, too. Thanks to its varying volumes, this space-saving VS ENVI system provides the optimal solution. VS ENVI Space satisfies all the requirements of a modern waste separation system. Its full-extension front pull-out is impressive and includes damping, whereby all opening and closing processes can be performed with ease and almost silently. Furthermore, individual comfort is also offered by the large number of different vessel sizes that can be custom-configured in a total capacity of 20 to 91 litres per system. This way, the very different local disposal regulations or customer-specific depth varieties, which, e.g., allow the installation of instantaneous water heaters underneath the sink, can be configured from the modular system in the blink of an eye. The containers are made of high-quality plastic, and they are dishwasher and food safe. This way, e.g. stowing and storing pet food or food is extremely convenient. With a sturdy, double powder-coated metal lid that can be used as an additional shelf, the waste separation system is perfectly sealed.

The matching system for every kitchen

Hygiene, environmental awareness and sustainability are particularly important in every kitchen – especially when it comes to waste disposal. With the VS ENVI product range’s system solutions, different waste disposal requirements and kitchens sizes can be equipped without any problem. And, as you are already accustomed to at Vauth-Sagel, the collection also contains ergonomic components. Here, for example, a system for opening the base cabinet, which saves you having to bend down. A simple, gentle tap by foot opens the waste separation systems. “We increase comfort in people’s living spaces,” says Vauth-Sagel’s managing director, Claus Sagel. “We always have the basic idea of universal design in mind: our products are designed to ensure that people all over the world can experience the benefits – without having to make any adjustments. This also applies for the waste separation systems of the VS ENVI series.”

Elizabeth soars to new heights in inspiring design career

Elizabeth soars to new heights in inspiring design career

Earlier this month, founding KBDi Member, recently retired KBDi Board Member and long-time industry advocate, Elizabeth Luke, was recognised for her outstanding industry contribution with a KBDi Life Membership.

Elizabeth has enjoyed – and continues to enjoy – a wonderfully progressive journey in the field of design, and we’re sharing a ‘short version’ of her inspiring story here.

Elizabeth established Luke Interiors over thirty years ago, after a series of personal events set her out on a brave adventure in an all-new career.

Trained in early childhood education, Elizabeth was formerly a teacher. When she found herself on her own in the early eighties, with two very young children to support, she knew she would need greater opportunities (and slightly more income) than the teaching profession would allow.

Having always had an interest in home interiors, Elizabeth took on work in a local decorating business. She soon learned all the tricks of the trade in soft furnishings, but found herself increasingly frustrated playing with fluffy cushions and window coverings in a room that she innately knew needed a full redesign.

Study was the obvious answer, but correspondence courses were few and far between in Australia at that time. Determined to pursue further learning, Elizabeth commenced an interior design course with an institute based in London. In this pre-computer era, Elizabeth’s assessments were submitted via snail mail, and in a testament to her tenacity, she was a very proud graduate four years later.

With a qualification behind her, Elizabeth found work in commission-based bathroom design. She valued this opportunity, and considered it an apprenticeship of sorts as she worked her way through ‘real-life’ renovation projects.

She was soon collecting awards for her work, and with a growing reputation as a talented designer, was invited to participate in some committees. It was at this time that she learned of the value in industry accreditation, and ventured full steam ahead into a certification program, becoming a Certified Kitchen and Bathroom Designer.

This well-earned industry respect didn’t always stretch to the building site, however, and Elizabeth sometimes found herself being quietly belittled by builders and trades. Determined to level the playing field, she committed to a building course, adding a building licence to her growing list of achievements.

It was around this time that Elizabeth began working with a small group of visionaries determined to create an industry group that would support the kitchen and bathroom design niche. In 2006, she became a founding member of the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia.

With her children now grown and spread out across the countryside, Elizabeth decided to fulfil her lifelong dream of living on the land, purchasing a farm in western New South Wales and settling into rural life. She didn’t give away her designing, though, shifting her focus to working with rural and regional clients across the state, and furthering her commitment to the industry with even more vigour.

As logistically isolated clients yearned for full house renovations, Elizabeth knew a greater understanding of building design would be helpful. Earlier this year she was very proud to complete a Diploma of Building Design, and is relishing the challenges associated with ‘big picture’ design.

With her widespread clients, she’s driving many hundreds of kilometres each month. Given what you’ve read above, you won’t be surprised to learn that Elizabeth is now looking for a solution to this problem, and is enrolled in pilot training!

Elizabeth Luke is truly an inspiration to our industry, and a well-deserved recipient of KBDi Life Membership. On behalf of all of our Members, we thank Elizabeth for her service and commitment, and look forward to sharing future adventures as she soars to new heights in her design career.

Appreciating Australia’s Architecture

Appreciating Australia’s Architecture

With more than 40 books to his name and a contagious passion for design, Stephen Crafti is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Australian architecture.

Stephen shared his expertise at this year’s KBDi Design Symposium, taking delegates on a tantalising tour through Toorak, Prahran and South Yarra. With his commentary entertaining us as we weaved through the leafy suburbs, Stephen shared gems like the ones below before generously (bravely?) opening his own doors to 80 eager designers.

Wood Marsh Architecture designed this truly breath-taking Toorak residence. Spanning three street frontages, the home’s raw concrete walls curve in and around featured trees and lush landscaping, providing privacy and intrigue. An ‘out of world’ disc-shaped roof floats above the walls, strategically positioned to play with light and shade internally and externally.

Husband and wife team, John and Helen Holgar, established their architectural firm in 1957. The practice – Holgar and Holgar – was renowned for its high-end residential projects, and we were privileged to see their Modernist style up-close and personal during Stephen’s tour. The couple’s signature arc motif was evident in these glamorous abodes, and we were all left to wonder what design delights would be hidden inside!

Stephen’s own home in South Yarra is an outstanding example of ‘old meets new’. Designed by Robert Simeoni Architects, the house is an exquisite reconfiguration of a 1930s duplex. Ground floor and first-floor apartments, each with their own external access, were cleverly combined into a single residence. An extension added an impressive volume to the internal space, with the new materials (glass and steelwork) adding a striking contrast to the heritage exterior. The bathrooms were of great interest to our group: the selection of materials, colours and shapes were a respectful nod to the 1930s architecture of the original residence.

Our final tour stop was an exclusive visit to the home of renowned Melbourne-based architect, Stephen Jolson. The Prahran residence is a perfect execution of an industrial re-invention: the former confectionery factory façade hides a contemporary interior spilling with light, luxury and a surprising sense of warmth. We couldn’t take photographs of the home’s interior, but there’s no doubt we were all awed and inspired.

Huge thanks to Stephen Crafti for this wonderful experience, and to the session sponsor, Hettich, whose generous contribution allowed us this great opportunity.

What did our Members have to say about this tour? Here’s some feedback – straight copy and paste – from this year’s Symposium guests:

Loved it and gained a greater appreciation of the value of architecture. Also it was great to see how those that participated appreciated the experience.


What a great day this was. Getting into both of those homes and speaking with the architects involved was fantastic. His knowledge of architecture was amazing and his witty humour made it all so much more interesting.


2 very different houses, both inspirational, I was speechless after the Jolson House, and Ive been to Falling Water!


One of my favourite parts of the weekend. Really appreciate Melbourne architecture.


This took everybody out of their comfort zone and showed then that design is total, it is not just about our small areas. It also inspired us to think about time and great design.


I always love visiting houses and seeing different styles, and how people live in them. Certainly a good conversation piece with clients, with lots of ideas.



To learn more about Stephen’s architectural tours, email him directly at

(Images above courtesy of Darren Genner CKD Au.) 

Beautiful bathroom spaces with easy maintenance

Beautiful bathroom spaces with easy maintenance

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Use Staron®to create a thermoformed bathtub that will feature as an art-like structure in the bathroom. Continue Staron®to the bath surrounds for an integrated look that is easy to maintain. Combined with a Staron®vanity top, this high use wet area will be totally renewable. With a large selection of colours to choose from, Staron®will suit any taste. Non-porous in nature, no stain can penetrate into the material – providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing surface.

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Photo: Staron Solid surface custom vanity extends to the benchtop surface and clad to the cabinetry front and sides in one monolithic surface.