Upping the ante in 2022

Upping the ante in 2022

Although you may love your line of work, few people can get through a long-term career without bouts of boredom creeping in at one stage or another. Whether you’re a devoted designer, a busy-as builder or a motivated manufacturer, we’ve put together five ways you can bust your boredom without leaving your bread-and-butter industry.

#1 Up the Ante
Consider taking your game to the next level with a new qualification or accreditation. Are there particular areas of study that have always been on your wish list? Is there a course you could enrol in in 2022 that will add another feather to your cap? Could a KBDi Accreditation give you an edge (and some added post-nominals)? (Like to learn more about KBDi Accreditation? Contact us today.)

#2 Share your stories
If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you may have plenty of stories to share that will inspire, inform or simply entertain your clients or peers. Start a business blog if you haven’t already, or share your stories with Selina, and we’ll take them to town.

#3 Take to the stage
If you’d rather talk than type, consider finding opportunities to speak to consumer groups or industry peers. Some of our Members are building incredible public profiles by taking advantage of the speaking opportunities that come their way, or seeking out special occasions to share their stories. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us and we’ll give you some tips.

#4 Mentor the next generation
While you may take for granted the long list of skills you’ve acquired throughout your career, a newbie to the industry may love the opportunity to tap into your knowledge and experience. If you don’t have staff or a team to mentor, but feel you’ve got something to share with up-and-coming peers, check out our mentoring program and let us know if you’d like to consider being part of our talented team.

#5 Get involved in the industry
If you love the field you work in and have high hopes for your industry, consider taking up a voluntary role in a relevant committee. KBDi counts on our local chapter committees to be the conduit between industry (Members) and us. If you’d like to express an interest in joining your local crew, or have aspirations to be a part of the KBDi Board, drop us a line and we’ll let you know how our committees and governance work.

And if you already have some ‘boredom buster’ ideas, we’d love you to share them below.

Asking the right questions in a kitchen design briefing

Asking the right questions in a kitchen design briefing

A keen eye for detail is an invaluable tool for a designer. With sharp observation, you’ll be able to discern a great deal about your client and the proposed design before you’ve even started conversations. There are, however, some important questions you may need to ask to ensure you don’t miss the mark. Before we share examples of some key briefing questions, it’s worthwhile revisiting the simple concept of open/closed questioning.

Open questions generally gather more useful answers during a client brief. They usually begin with what, why or how (or lead to that kind of questioning). You’re trying to garner your client’s opinion or feelings, so starters like ‘tell me’ or ‘describe’ are helpful.

A closed question, on the other hand, usually receives a single word or very short, factual answer. Closed questions are good for:

  • Confirming a point of view: ‘So, am I right in understanding that you’re not keen on a traditional style?’
  • Concluding a discussion or making a decision: ‘Now we know you hate green, can we agree to take this tile out of the selection?’
  • Frame setting: ‘Are you happy with the way this space works for you now?’


Be warned: a misplaced closed question can bring your conversation to an awkward halt, so use them only when you’re wrapping up or summarising a discussion.
The following are examples of some important briefing questions (both open and closed) that you’re likely to use in a kitchen design briefing.

Architectural Style and Influence

It’s essential to observe and note the architectural and aesthetic influences of the existing building style. After assessing the era or style of the house (along with neighbouring properties), you should probably ask:

In a renovation
How do you feel about the existing architectural style of this house? Do you love it or hate it? Should your new kitchen reflect the style or be in contrast to it?

In a new build
What are the building elements that you really love about your new home? (External cladding? Roofline? Ceiling details – raked, vaulted or square set?)? Would you like to duplicate these in your kitchen?

Family Makeup & Lifestyle

Who’ll be living in the home – immediately? In five years? In ten years?
How often do you entertain? Do you typically host big groups or have small gatherings?
How do you feel about cooking? Is it a chore or a pleasure?

Cooking Styles & Dietary Requirements

Do you prefer to bake, fry or steam?
Are there any dietary intolerances or allergies in the home?
Do you have preferences for regional cooking styles? (Italian, French, Spanish, Asian etc.)
Do your cultural or religious beliefs influence your cooking and eating habits? How so?

Appliance Preferences

Do you purchase meat and cold goods weekly or fortnightly?
Are you particular about wine storage?

Storage Requirements

Are you a daily/weekly shopper? Do you purchase goods in bulk?
Do you own (or wish to own):

  • an electric kettle or a cooktop kettle
  • a manual or automatic coffee machine
  • a coffee or spice grinder
  • a juicer or smoothie maker
  • one or more slow cookers/pressure cookers/multi-cookers
  • one or more food processors/food mixers
  • one or more deep fryers/air fryers
  • one or more electric woks/pans
  • one or more paella pans
  • one or more rice cookers
  • one or more sandwich press machines/jaffle makers/toasters
  • one or more dehydrators
  • kitchen scales
  • large platters or serving trays


Aesthetic Preferences

Discussing aesthetic preferences can be precarious: it’s important not to impress your own ideas upon the client before they’ve had the opportunity to put forward their own ‘loves and loathes’. Starting with the existing home is sometimes helpful – what does your client like or hate about their current kitchen? If this doesn’t help or isn’t applicable, have a digital or physical gallery of images to share, and encourage your client to determine what they like, love or hate about the interiors you’re showing them. You’ll soon see if they’re inclined to favour:

  • warm or cool? (They will tend to lean one way or the other.)
  • blue or green? (This can help with selecting undertones.)
  • glossy or matt?
  • timber or two-pac?
  • bright or dark?
  • showy or homely?

Budget Parameters and Project Timing

More often than not, the budget is the ‘elephant in the room’. Presenting budgetary options as a range will sometimes help the clients be more forthcoming. For example, you may ask if they’re planning to spend:

  • up to $30,000
  • between $30k and $60k
  • between $60k and $100k
  • whatever it takes

Setting out the process of a kitchen design is helpful, too. When you outline the various stages (highlighting the relevant tradespeople involved), you’ll potentially get your client in a more realistic space. And as you explain the process from A to Z, you can begin to ascertain if the timing will be an issue. If your clients have been watching (so-called) reality renovation tv, they may have a skewed perception of turnarounds. Part of your role will be to formulate a realistic time frame that won’t put yourself, your clients or any suppliers or trades under pressure.

Including questions like those set out above – in both open and closed formats – in your briefing checklist will help you get all the information you need. If you have some staple Qs on your list, we’d love to hear them. Drop them in the comments below.

Insurance coverage review – stock, work in progress and customer goods

Insurance coverage review – stock, work in progress and customer goods

A message from KBDi Insurance Partner, Cabinet Makers Insurance Brokers
With COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions slowing or preventing installations, it has become apparent that many cabinetmaking businesses are holding increased volumes of stock, work in progress cabinetry combined with customers appliances awaiting installation and is potentially ballooning the value of insured stock that is typically held in their Business Premises.
Accordingly, it is imperative that cabinetmakers urgently review their current policies and requirements to ensure adequate coverage will exist if a loss is incurred. 

Risk Management associated with excessive storage should also be addressed. Manufacturers should consider: 

  • How the goods are being stored – fire can spread quickly with congestion, and warehouse managers should ensure goods are stored in designated areas of the factory away from flammables and other ignition sources.
  • Goods stored at increased heights can pose a falling risk and potentially injure employees or others.
  • If factories are left unoccupied for long periods of time, valuable items such as customers’ goods should be stored away from entry points and secured if possible. Alarm systems, security gates and windows should be checked to ensure reliability in case of break-in and theft.
Cabinet Makers Insurance Brokers strongly encourage KBDi Members to assess their risks and revisit their coverage today. To learn more about their policies and levels of cover, contact Cabinet Makers Insurance Brokers here.
The Ins and Outs of Insurance

The Ins and Outs of Insurance

Tuesday | 28 September 2021 | 4 pm AEST

In this videoconference, we’ll be joined by KBDi Partner, Cabinet Makers Insurance Brokers (CMIB). You’ll learn about the difference between professional liability and public liability insurance, and get a greater understanding of what may or may not fall under your policy cover. 

Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for Members only. If you have a Membership, please log in. If not, you can get access by becoming a KBDi Member here.

Strategies for staying strong

Strategies for staying strong

Tuesday | 14 September 2021 | 4 pm AEST

Life is full of challenges at the best of times: throw in a virus, some fear, a bunch of rules and restrictions and a tonne of uncertainty, and we can find that our boundaries are really stretched.

We know that some of our members are struggling, and others have been practising some great survival strategies. In this ‘Touch Base Tuesday’ session, we’ll share some of our own tried and trusted techniques for staying sane (or strong). And if you’ve got some tips and tricks for keeping your head above water, managing an unpredictable schedule or dealing with isolation, we’re keen to hear them, too.

Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for Members only. If you have a Membership, please log in. If not, you can get access by becoming a KBDi Member here.

Legal membership offer for KBDi Members

Legal membership offer for KBDi Members

Members enjoyed an entertaining and informative Legal Q & A session with our legal partner, Sprintlaw, on Tuesday afternoon. Sprintlaw Co-founder, Alex Solo, recapped and expanded his advice on referral partnerships and discussed a range of other topics relevant to k and b designers. From IP to PI, members were given some invaluable reminders about the small steps we can take to avoid more significant business headaches.

And in a much-appreciated move of support, the innovative, online law firm increased their discounts to all KBDi Members from 5% to 10% on any first fixed-fee legal project undertaken with Sprintlaw.

Additionally, they’ve offered a substantially discounted first-year rate for their new initiative – Sprintlaw Membership.

As a Sprintlaw Member, you’ll be entitled to unlimited 30-minute phone consultations with Sprintlaw lawyers (subject to a fair use policy), free updates to any documents they’ve prepared for you and a 15% discount on any further fixed-fee legal services for the very affordable rate of $599 + GST/year (a saving of $200). (Offer valid until the end of September 2021.)

(Please note that discounts do not apply to government fees or excluded services Sprintlaw can’t offer.)

If you’d like to learn more about this offer, complete the form below, and we’ll facilitate an introduction.

Expression of Interest: Sprintlaw Membership and Legal Services