Scullery design

Scullery design

With Clients expecting more and more from their kitchens – particularly after a year of at-home cooking – a hideaway space for cleaning and pantry storage overflow is almost always in the brief. In this feature, we’re taking a peek into butlers’ pantries and sculleries, and setting out our top ten considerations for these very important zones.

Butler’s Pantry or Scullery – what’s the difference?

While the names are often interchanged, a professional designer will want to know 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 mealtimes, and clean and polish the household silver and knives.

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

Image sourced from Learn more about the history of the Butler’s Pantry here.

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.

Image sourced from The Victorian Emporium. Learn more about the history of the scullery here.

So how do these historic roles determine what we call our kitchen extensions today?
If your client is looking for a predominantly dry storage space to house the overflow of their pantry ware, they’re likely after a butler’s pantry.  (A small singular sink – like the kind used to wash glassware – is sometimes found in the butler’s pantry.)
If your client wants a heavy duty (but unseen) wash-up area, or will be doing some hefty meal prep in their kitchen extension, you’ll be designing a scullery.
Of course, both areas need good design, and as the ‘work-horses’ behind a show pony kitchen, they need plenty of attention in the planning stage. Following are our top ten considerations for practical pantry and scullery design.
1. Workflow
If your butler’s pantry is the primary point of food storage, you’ll need to consider how traffic will flow to and from the space into the main kitchen area. If your client is a baker, step through the scenario of baking a basic cake – they’ll need to collect their dry goods (flour, baking powder, bi-carb and salt), juggle a couple of eggs and a bottle of vanilla, take some butter out of the fridge and set all ingredients out by a stand or hand mixer. Will this process be smooth and efficient in their new space? 
If you’re designing a scullery, you’ll need to consider the workflow both within the space and to/from the central kitchen. As above, determine the types of activities your client will carry out in the scullery and do a dry-run. If the scullery will be the primary (or only) clean up zone, assess the trip between the dining table and the dishwasher – with a stack of dirty dishes in arms, will they make it without a pit stop?
2. Ventilation
A well-vented pantry space will avoid the spoiling of food and cross-contamination of odours. If the pantry or scullery does not have an openable window, discuss mechanical air extraction with your clients. Keep in mind that it’s not only ovens that generate heat: in a confined space, the refrigerator or dishwasher could contribute some hot air, too.
3. Lighting 
Don’t overlook the lighting – a single luminaire in the centre of the room may not be sufficient. Directional or task lighting will make the small space much more user friendly.
4. Ergonomics
Not all budgets will accommodate banks of drawers in this out-of-sight space, and open shelves are often desirable. If the pantry will house bulk food stores (e.g. 5kg flour sacks for the keen bread maker), or heavy cast-iron Dutch ovens for the casserole kings and queens, you’ll need to plan out your shelving heights accordingly. 
5. Cleanliness
While on the topic of open shelves, consider the potential for dust collection. And if the room will house an often-used kettle or toaster, assess the space between these benchtop appliances and any shelving above. Will steam residue cause a potential mould issue down the track?
6. Power outlets
Make a list of the small appliances that will be used (a) on a regular basis and (b) at any one time and ensure you position power outlets in the most suitable places.
7. Plumbing
If the scullery is a full-service space, you may need to allow for more than just a kitchen sink. Will the dishwasher be located in this room? Is a water filter necessary? Would a multipurpose tap be more appropriate and practical? Will the ice-making fridge need plumbing? Ensure you’re leaving no stone unturned when mapping out the plumbing requirements, and keep your client wary of the budget implications.
8. Setdown spaces
As you would in the main kitchen area, consider the set down areas either side of your sink and to the opening side of a microwave oven. Think about the landing areas for bags of groceries, too – where will your client unload their shopping stash?
9. Refrigerator openings
If you’re cramming a large appliance like a refrigerator into a relatively small space, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the fridge door opening. Can the door be opened beyond 90º for the removal of crispers? And have you allowed the recommended ventilation space to the sides, rear and top of the unit?
10. Waste
Could this be the number one oversight in a scullery? If this space is designed to be the meal prep area, or if it’s a genuine cleanup zone, ensure you’ve allowed for landfill, recycling and compost disposal. 
Kitchen designed by Frank Iaria CKD Au (Mint Kitchen Group)

ABOVE: We love the hideaway butler’s pantry in this kitchen designed by Melbourne’s Frank Iaria CKD Au (Mint Kitchen Group).

Kitchen designed by Simona Castagna (Minosa)

ABOVE: The scullery in this kitchen (designed by Sydney’s Simona Castagna, Minosa) was carefully planned to accommodate the client’s beloved Thermomix. Note the dedicated ceiling cassettes positioned to capture the steam generated by this do-all appliance.

Kitchen designed by Mary Maksemos (Mary Maksemos Design)

ABOVE: Melbourne’s Mary Maksemos designed this beautiful butler’s pantry. Yes, it has a sink, but it’s more of a ‘cleaning glassware’ variety, and not the dedicated wash up or preparation zone you’d find in a scullery.

If you have a top tip or pet peeve when it comes to these kitchen add-ons, we’d love to hear it. Share your wisdom in the comments below.

Achromatic masterpieces

Achromatic masterpieces

The adjective ‘achromatic’ is taken directly from the French word ‘achromatique’, which in turn comes from the Greeks’ ‘a-‘ (without) and ‘khrōmatikos’ (deriving from ‘khrōma’, meaning colour). Put simply, achromatic means ‘without colour’.

And while a coloured scheme can cause all kind of headaches, a colour-free interior isn’t always black and white (haha). Pulling off a successful achromatic space takes talent and restraint, and we’ve found five fantastic examples where designers have nailed the greys.

A gorgeous Tundra Grey marble takes centre stage in this kitchen designed by Kia Howat (GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens). The Melbourne designer paired the stunning stone with Dulux Terrace White 2 pack cabinetry, and added contrast with a feature tower in Empire Oak Woodmatt. Sitting on French Oak floors, the kitchen is an excellent example of achromatic style.

New South Wales designer, Catherine Young, teamed with The Renovation Broker to create this clever kitchen space. Abundant natural light allowed the designer to play with a deeply toned achromatic palette: the flat matt Nero porcelain benchtops make a striking statement and work well with the charcoal cabinetry. Nordic Oak Woodmatt panels add warmth and contrast, while small hex mosaics inject texture and a bit of bling.

Backlit New York Marble is the highlight of this dynamic kitchen by Sydney’s Matt Michel (Matt Michel Design). Alpine Matte benchtops and a dark and moody Hamilton Plains veneer allow the heavily patterned stone to sing, and make the kitchen both balanced and beautiful.

Melbourne’s Alicia Jeffries (Mint Kitchen Group) made a major statement with this natural granite (Super White) island. The island top and waterfall ends wrap around Dulux Domino panels, creating a well-balanced feature in a remarkable space.

Essastone Luna Concrete is the centrepiece of this elegant kitchen designed by Tasmania’s Lydia Maskiell (Lydia Maskiell Interiors). Prime Oak Woodmatt detailing injects warmth and texture into the achromatic space, and white satin cabinets and panels reflect the glorious natural light spilling into the kitchen.

Have a favourite out of the five kitchens above? Share your feedback below.

Announcing the KBDi & KBQ People’s Choice Winners of 2020

Announcing the KBDi & KBQ People’s Choice Winners of 2020

KBDi and the Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly were delighted to once again join forces for the People’s Choice Award. With an extended voting period this year (#thanksCOVID), the KBQ and Complete Homes team were delighted with the voting response of consumers.

KBDi & KBQ People’s Choice Kitchen of the Year 2020

The ACT’s Maria Cerne (Studio Black Interiors) collected the most votes for this classy kitchen. Maria has earned the prize of an $8,000 Home Design Package including a full page brand advert, a double-page spread project editorial and plenty of social exposure! Congratulations, Maria!

KBDi & KBQ People’s Choice Bathroom of the Year 2020

Victorian designer, Teresa Kleeman (Embracing Space) is the winner of the Bathroom award. Like Maria, Teresa’s work will be splashed across the pages of a glossy magazine in a generous Home Design Package worth $8,000. Congratulations, Teresa!

KBDi & KBQ People’s Choice Design Space of the Year 2020

While in past years this competition has been for kitchen and bathroom categories only, KBQ and Complete Homes chose 2020 to share the Design Space Award and Traditional Categories, too. The winner of this collective was New South Wales’ Tameka Moffat. This lovely laundry has earned Tameka a full page spread in an upcoming edition of KBQ.

Please join us in congratulating the well-deserved winners above. Huge thanks, too, to Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly (and the Universal Media crew) for their incredible ongoing support.

Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

If you’ve been in or around the building and design industries for a while, you’ll know that some tight regulations bound the Architectural profession. Eligibility for registration, classes of registration and disciplinary proceedings for Architects are all heavily regulated and legislated under the Architect Registration Boards of each Australian State and Territory.
But did you know that the use of the word architect – in a variety of contexts – is also legislated? 
While it may be tempting to use descriptors like ‘architectural design‘ and ‘interior architecture‘ in your marketing, you could get yourself in all kinds of trouble if you’re misusing the terms in your jurisdiction.
While the following certainly can’t be deemed legal advice, it may help point you in the right direction to ensure you’re playing by the rules. If you require greater interpretation of any of the statements, we strongly recommend you seek advice from the relevant state Board of Architects or a legal practitioner.

New South Wales

The NSW Architects Registration Board investigates reports of person or entities illegally representing themselves or others as architects, as set out in Sections 9 and 10 of the Architects Act 2003. Examples of terms that fall under their definition of ‘representing as an architect’ include:
  • use of the title ‘architect’ or ‘registered architect’
  • use of the description architectural services, architectural design or architectural designer by an individual
  • use of any derivatives of the word ‘architect’ or ‘architectural’ by an individual or firm, and
  • use of the term ‘architectural design’ as a description of services provided by a firm that does not have a nominated architect
Learn more about the NSW Architects Registration Board and the relevant Act here:


The Board of Architects of Queensland sets out a long list of prescribed titles and words in the Architects Regulation 2019 (QLD). The Act declares that a person who is not a registered practising architect must not use ‘architectural services’, ‘architectural design services’ or ‘architectural design’ to advertise or otherwise promote their services. In addition, the Act outlines a very comprehensive list of additional titles and terms, including but not limited to:
  • architectural
  • architectural experience
  • architectural planning and design
  • interior architecture

South Australia

The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia states:
The title Architect is a valuable and prestigious one, earned only after demonstration of high levels of competence and knowledge. For that reason, use of the title is restricted by legislation. 
The Architectural Practice Act 2009 states that ‘a person must not, in the course of advertising or promoting a service that he or she, or a partnership in which he or she is a partner, provides, use a prescribed word, or its derivatives, to describe a person who is engaged in the provision of the service or the partnership if the person or partnership is not a registered architect or registered architectural business, as the case requires‘. 
[Note: according to the Act, prescribed word means (a) architect or (b) any other word or expression prescribed by the regulations.]
The act does not prohibit a person using the title of ‘landscape architect’, ‘naval architect’ or ‘computer systems architect’. With respect to interior architecture, the APBSA sets out the following FAQ and response in their Guidance Note:
Q: Can I use the title ‘Interior Architect’ if I have a Bachelor of Interior Architecture? 
A: No, this would be an offence against the Architectural Practice Act 2009. You can refer to yourself as an ‘Interior Designer’. 
You can read the full Guidance Note 2 (Use of the title “Architect” and its derivatives) here:



The Board of Architects of Tasmania makes their position very clear, stating:
Examples of titles and descriptions that should NOT be used by persons who are not registered as architects in accordance with the Act include:
  • “Architect”
  • Any other word or combination of letters that sounds or looks like the word “architect”.
  • Any derivative of that term such as “architecture” or “architectural” if used in a way that indicates or may indicate to the public that a person in respect of whom it is used is registered or entitled or qualified to be registered as an architect if that person is not so registered or qualified
  • “Graduate Architect” or “Architectural Graduate”
Learn more about this Board and its guidelines here:


In Victoria, the Architects Act 1991 (current as at 28 July 2020) states that a person must not represent himself or herself to be an architect and must not allow himself or herself to be represented as an architect unless he or she is registered as an architect under the same Act. It also sets out the following with respect to particular expressions:
Restriction on use of particular expressions 
(1)  A person or body (other than a person who is registered as an architect under this Act or an approved partnership or an approved company) must not use any of the terms “architectural services”, “architectural design services” or “architectural design” in relation to— 
(a)  the design of buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body; or 
(b)  the preparation of plans, drawings or specifications for buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body. 
The Act in its entirety can be viewed here:

Western Australia

The Architects Board of Western Australia stipulates clear regulations with respect to the protection of the title ‘Architect’. Their Info Sheet 22 (dated 9 October 2019) states:
Restricted Words 
In WA, the words “architect”, “architects”, “architectural”, “architecture”, and any abbreviation or derivative of these words are restricted words under the Act. This means that only individuals registered by the Board, and corporations licensed by the Board, can use a restricted word as part of their title, business name or description. 
The Info Sheet is a clear and concise document that would be a valuable resource for designers keen to ensure their marketing is not misrepresentative in any way. View the full paper here:


The Architects Act 2004 (effective 10 December 2019) defines architectural service as ‘a service provided in connection with the design, planning or construction of buildings that is ordinarily provided by architects’. The Act sets out several offences, including (but not limited to):
Firm offering architectural services without nominee 
(1) A corporation must not offer an architectural service unless the corporation has a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units. 
(2) Each partner in a partnership commits an offence if— 
(a) the partnership offers an architectural service; and 
(b) the partnership does not have a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.
Unregistered individual advertising 
(1) An individual commits an offence if— 
(a) the individual advertises that the individual provides, or will provide, an architectural service; and 
(b) the individual is not registered. 
Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units. 
(2) An offence against this section is a strict liability offence.
Provision of architectural services by third party 
A person commits an offence if— 
(a) the person offers an architectural service to be provided by someone else; and 
(b) the provider of the service is not a registered architect; and 
(c) the person is reckless about whether the provider is a registered architect.
Learn more about the ACT Architects Board here:

As indicated above, this article should not be considered legal advice. If you’re unsure about how the relevant Act can be applied or legislated in your jurisdiction, we recommend you contact your State or Territory Board of Architects or a legal practitioner. 

Touch-base Tuesday | Alexandra Trigger

Touch-base Tuesday | Alexandra Trigger

Tuesday | 17 November 2020 | 2pm (ADST)

*Note: Australian Daylight Saving Time (ADST) applies to NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and ACT only. In Queensland, this session will commence at 1pm (AEST), and WA should clock in at 11am (AWST). SA guests should note a 1.30pm (ACDT) start.

Queensland designer, Alexandra Trigger, took out the title of KBDi Queensland Kitchen Designer of the Year 2020 in this year’s Awards. The judging panel was so impressed with the first-time entrants submission that they also gifted her the award of the same name. In this chat with KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson, Alex will share the backstory of this winning project, and discuss how she came to be where she is today.

Register below to secure your spot:


Event registrations have now closed.

Layering light with Adele Locke at Super Design

Layering light with Adele Locke at Super Design

Members who’ve joined Adele Locke at our live or digital events will know that this ‘lady of light’ is extremely generous with her luminaire knowledge. If you’ve missed our recent videoconferences, you can view the recordings at any time in your exclusive KBDi Member Portal. But if you’d like another chance to see the lady live, check out the special session scheduled for this year’s Super Design Festival.

The digital session features a conversation between Adele and About Space St. Kilda Showroom Manager, Jodie Meier. The two will talk all things lighting design and discuss how architects and interior designers can avoid flooding a space with light by using a layered approach. If you’re keen, secure your place here.

KBDi are proud to partner with Indesign for this year’s festival, and we encourage you to check out their full line up of events here.

Finding the right fridge

Finding the right fridge

Kitchen designers and clients will both have a long list of qualifiers when it comes to talking refrigerators. The size of the kitchen, the number of householders, the cooking styles and entertaining habits of clients will all influence their end decision. But we were interested to know – generally speaking – the kinds of refrigerators KBDi members are most often catering for in their designs, and the results of our survey follow.

French door (bottom mount freezer with a two-door fridge)

French door fridges are by far and away the most-often specified unit in the KBDi community, taking 63% of votes in our recent survey. Like all refrigerators, the French Door variety has pros and cons, including: 


  • Great accessibility – with the most-often accessed refrigeration zone sitting at eye-level, and lower level freezer storage housed in pull-out drawers, the French door fridge offers easily accessible storage.
  • Good storage capacity – a French door unit will offer between 360 litres and 480 litres of refrigeration storage, and anywhere from 150 litres to 230 litres in the freezer section.
  • Platter storage – the generous width of the overall unit means large platters, pizza boxes etc. can be easily accommodated. 
  • Additional features – ice and water dispensers and variable temperature zones are impressive options.


  • The necessity to have to open two doors rather than one irks some designers and clients.
  • The overall size of the unit can be excessive for a smaller kitchen space.
  • A French door fridge won’t fit into everyone’s budget – they can get a little pricey depending on their features list. 

Kitchen designed by Wayne Havenaar (Wood Marble & White)

Bottom-mount (freezer beneath refrigerator)

The bottom-mount fridge (with the freezer down below) is the second most specified by KBDi designers. Pros and cons of this configuration include:


  • Practical accessibility – like the French door fridge, the refrigeration section of a bottom-mount unit is mounted at eye level.
  • Freezer storage is often provided with handy slide-out baskets/drawers.


  • The bottom-mount is marginally more expensive to run that its top-mount mate.
  • The unit can be slower to chill, particularly in the freezer section.

Kitchen designed by Garret Hebden & Matthew James (Better Bathrooms & Kitchens)

Side-by-side (fridge next to freezer in a single unit)

Side-by-side solutions (not to be confused with pigeon pairs) took third place in the KBDi member survey. Again, they have positive and negative traits, such as:


  • Space planning problem solver – with their slimmer door widths, the side-by-side fridges are great for galley kitchens or thoroughfares where a big, swinging door would be problematic.
  • Good accessibility – side-by-side fridges offer the best accessibility for wheelchair users.
  • Good storage – large families and/or frequent entertainers will get sufficient storage space from a side-by-side unit.


  • Ice makers and water chillers can eat up significant freezer space.
  • Large platters and pizza boxes will be a tight fit in the narrow-width fridge.
  • The large physical from of the fridge can rule it out in tight spaces.
    Temperatures may be inconsistent between the top and bottom of the unit.

Kitchen designed by Dean Welsh (ThinkDzine)

Top-mount (freezer on top)

The trusty top-mount freezer ticks all the boxes of price, range and efficiency, but isn’t seen so often in all-new kitchen renos.


  • The top-mount unit is generally the least expensive to purchase and run.
  • The storage space in both fridge and freezer compartments are fuss-free (no drawers or pull-outs) and usable.


  • With the freezer taking prime position at the top of the unit, you’ll need to bend a bit to access the refrigerator section – not always the best ergonomic option.

Kitchen designed by Patricia La Torre CKD Au (OUTSIDEINSIDE Building Elements)

Pigeon pair (separate but matching upright fridge and freezer)

Pigeon pairs are the least encountered by KBDi members, but they do offer positive attributes for some.


  • The units offer great storage capacity for bulk-buying families.
  • If required, units can be separated, with the less-used freezer being housed in a nearby laundry or garage.



  • If sitting side-by-side, the fridge and freezer combination can take up considerable space.

Kitchen designed by Shelley Fynn (Kitchen Capital WA Pty Ltd)

Have we missed a pro or con in the above list? Share your top tips below.

And if you want to learn all there is to know about integrated fridges, make sure you register for our upcoming videoconference here.

KBDi Kitchen Designer of the Year joins Super Design festival

KBDi Kitchen Designer of the Year joins Super Design festival

KBDi’s Australian Kitchen Designer of the Year 2020, Simona Castagna (Minosa) is joining a stellar line-up of speakers at this year’s all new Super Design festival.

Simona will sit alongside Meryl Hare (Hare & Klein), Joanne Lawless (Lawless & Meyerson) and Greg Natale (Greg Natale Design) in a digital design discussion proudly sponsored by Sub-Zero Wolf.

Under the banner of ‘The Rebirth of the Kitchen’, this super-talented panel will discuss the pivotal and changing role of the undisputed ‘heart of the home’. From sustainability to technological innovation, to family-friendly design and accommodating working from home, you’ll leave with plenty of pearls of wisdom sure to inspire you in the year ahead.

Learn more and register for this digital event here.

KBDi is proud to partner with Indesign in their new Super Design concept. Learn more about the full line up of events here.