Tough competition in Traditional Category

Tough competition in Traditional Category

The competition was strong in the 2021 KBDi Designer Awards Traditional category, and the battle for first place was tight. Accordingly, the judges nominated a winner and a high commendation. In this feature, we’re celebrating both.

On behalf of KBDi and the category award sponsor, Cav’Art Designer Stone, we extend our huge congratulations to the category winner, Sydney’s Jacquelyn Carroll from Degabriele Kitchens.

About Jacquelyn’s entry

This spectacular space has all the bells and whistles from a cooking point of view, and decorative delights from every angle. From the profiled panels to the custom corbels, from the blues to golds and timber tones, the designer has had a hand in every square foot of this traditional space.

And kudos and congrats to Adelaide’s Tania Kloester CKD Au (TK Design). Tania was awarded a High Commendation with this high-class kitchen.

About Tania’s entry

A Georgian-themed display home required a suitably styled kitchen, and this designer delivered! With a stunning selection of fixtures, fittings and finishes and a well-planned layout, the kitchen captures the feel of a bygone era while cleverly showcasing the builder’s exacting standards and high-end inclusions.

Congratulations once again to Jacquelyn and Tania, and huge thanks to Cav’Art Designer Stone for their much-valued support.

Introducing the KBDi Australian Bathroom Designer of the Year 2021

Introducing the KBDi Australian Bathroom Designer of the Year 2021

We’ve seen some truly beautiful bathrooms in our Awards program over the years, but the 2021 entries were above and beyond. The bathroom categories, proudly sponsored by E & S, were jam-packed with exquisitely detailed spaces. One, in particular, stood out from the rest, earning its designer one of the three top national awards.

At our virtual gala on Friday, 20 August, we were thrilled to announce the KBDi Australian Bathroom Designer of the Year 2021 – Darren Genner CKD Au.

Darren Genner CKD Au needs little introduction to the KBDi community. He has stood on the podium (real and virtual) many times over the last few years, holding a firm position as one of Australia’s Finest. With his equally talented partner, Simona Castagna, Darren leads the hugely successful Sydney design firm, Minosa.

Darren started in the industry as a fresh-faced teenager in the late eighties, after leaving school and receiving a stern warning to find a job within six months or join the army. With little desire to ‘don the khaki greens, Darren took the first apprenticeship that came his way. He turned out many kitchens in his wood machining trade before moving to bespoke joinery and beginning his love affair with making extraordinary things. Darren soon progressed through the ranks to programming, project management, contract management and administering projects. And through seeing the work of other designers, he developed a great curiosity for design.

Darren and Simona are huge advocates of ongoing learning, and they continue to seek and share design inspiration each and every day. This highly coveted title – paired with the enormous success of their business – is sweet reward for their efforts.

On behalf of KBDi and our generous award sponsors, E & S, we congratulate Darren on his continued success. Your passion and commitment to the industry are enormously inspirational, Darren, and we’re delighted to see this accolade added to your impressive collection of awards.

About Darren’s project

Darren’s Large Bathroom project blew away the KBDi Judges. They loved the pared-back, sophisticated elegance of Darren’s beautiful bathroom design. Exceptional space planning allowed multiple zones in a moderately-sized space – from the his-and-hers vanity to the luxuriously positioned tub, the floor plan was superbly executed. A comprehensive specification detailed the high-end fixtures, fittings and finishes, and the judges deemed the end design to be both balanced and luxurious.

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.

Remember places are limited and reserved for KBDi financial members and partners only. Register today to secure your spot.


Event registrations have now closed.

A deep dive into this year’s winning Design Space

A deep dive into this year’s winning Design Space

Tuesday | 7 September 2021 | 4 pm AEST

In this session, we’ll have an up-close look at the entry of KBDi Designer Awards Design Space winner, Cate Liedtke. Cate will walk us through her submission and share the back story behind this beautiful space (and its equally stunning surroundings). 

Remember places are limited and reserved for KBDi financial members and partners only. Register today to secure your spot.


Event registrations have now closed.

This exquisitely detailed space was an overwhelming favourite for the judging panel. The former bedroom was transformed into a luxurious dressing and make up room. This beautiful boudoir is feminine and functional, and an excellent example of innovative design.

Introducing KBDi Australian Certified Designer of the Year 2021

Introducing KBDi Australian Certified Designer of the Year 2021

The award for KBDi Certified Designer of the Year is a hard-earned accolade. The winning designer needs to demonstrate exponential design thinking and present their solution through the highest standard of documentation.

KBDi Designer Awards Certified Category judge, Rina Cohen CKD Au, summed up the intent of our program perfectly at our Virtual Gala. When addressing our finalists and special guests (through the power of Zoom), Rina shared the following:

“I am delighted to see that kitchen and bathroom design is alive and healthy. The designers and the designs we have applauded tonight are not just pretty pictures; they are real bathrooms and kitchens that affect and enhance the lifestyle of our clients. It is important to realise that our environment shapes and informs us all, especially at the moment as our homes are where we live, work and play. In saying this, I urge you to take a moment to consider how you might step up, add value and present yourself as a design professional by becoming a KBDi Certified Kitchen or Bathroom Designer.

This years KBDi Certified category entries displayed a quality aesthetic with a creative and practical approach to their respective design briefs. The judges focused on the precision of the documentation and the way it was referenced in accordance with the competition guidelines. The design, the material selection and the final images made for interesting discussion with regard to how these kitchens support lifestyle in 2021. The Certified Designer was definitely on trend with a design that was homely, enhanced the many aspects of collaborative living and nurtured the individual.”

So who was crowned the KBDi Australian Certified Designer of the Year in 2021?

Adelaide’s Tania Kloester CKD Au took out the title with this fabulous kitchen design.

The judges loved Tania’s response to a complex and challenging brief. With careful space planning, thoughtful product selection and a great appreciation for the ‘feel’ of the home, the designer created a collaborative, nurturing and ultra-appealing space. Combined with clear and comprehensive specifications and a cohesive plan set, the submission was an excellent example of the standard expected of a KBDi Certified Designer.

With a background in visual art and design and almost two decades of experience working with Adelaide’s leading joinery companies, Tania has a winning combination of aesthetic intelligence and practical manufacturing knowledge. She has an impressive list of awards to her name and was an esteemed member of the KBDi Designer Awards judging panel in 2019. We were delighted to see Tania on this side of the Awards program in 2021 and applaud her on this outstanding achievement.

Please join us in congratulating Tania in the comments below.

Workshops, wisdom, wining and dining | Sydney, August 2021

Workshops, wisdom, wining and dining | Sydney, August 2021

The Annual KBDi Design Symposium will be held in Sydney’s iconic Rocks District on Friday, 13 August 2021.

We’ve put together an inspiring line-up of workshops and, with the support of our Premier Partner, Multitap, an unforgettable evening on the world’s most beautiful harbour.

The day will kick off with registrations at our home base, The Shangri-La Hotel. KBDi Partners will be sharing their newest wares at the Product Expo, and you’ll have an excellent opportunity to connect with the industry’s best suppliers before workshop #1 commences.

Documenting the details with observational sketching
We’ve lined up former architect and now obsessive-urban sketcher, Liz Steel, to take us for a wander around The Rocks. Liz will share her well-honed skills in architectural observation and help you get your head around ‘what-you-see’ sketching. If hand-drawn perspectives scare the pants off you, don’t stress – Liz has a ‘pointless perspective’ strategy that could prove to be an invaluable communication skill. This workshop won’t see you packing away your CAD software, but it will sharpen your observation and add some on-the-spot sketching skills to your tool belt.

When you’ve packed away your pencils and enjoyed a fabulous lunch, you’ll get down to the serious business of designing accessible bathrooms.

Designing for all abilities: accessible bathroom design
If you can see the potential in learning how to design for all abilities, you won’t want to miss this intensive two-hour workshop. Sandi Lightfoot-Collins is an occupational therapist with decades of experience designing and modifying residential spaces to accommodate a range of needs. In this workshop, she’ll challenge you with a case study bathroom and comprehensive brief. You’ll learn what to consider when designing for varying abilities and get a greater understanding of reasonable and necessary criteria.

Online media is always a much-requested topic when we survey our members, and – with the support of our Corporate Partners, Blum – we’ve brought in the big guns for this social session.

The good, the bad and the ugly of online media
Proudly sponsored by KBDi Corporate Plus Partner, Blum
A presence on the web and social channels is an essential part of business today, but what do you do when things get ugly online? As a highly-regarded digital marketing expert and award-winning SEO trainer and coach, Sydney’s Kate Toon has the answers. In this session, members will learn how to handle (or avoid) an online attack and arm themselves with some valuable strategies for tactfully handling reviews and social media commentary.

And last but definitely not least, you’ll be enjoying the awe-inspiring lights of the Vivid Sydney festival while Premier Partner’s, Multitap, host an incredible dinner.

Sydney Harbour Boat Cruise
Proudly sponsored by KBDi Premier Partner, Multitap
We’ll be wrapping up your big day of learning with a luxurious cruise on the world’s finest harbour. Thanks to the incredibly generous support of KBDi Premier Partner, Multitap, you’ll be wined and dined on a fabulous Sydney Harbour Boat Cruise. You’ll also be the first to hear who has made their way to the next round of the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 when we announce the nation’s category winners.

Well, what are you waiting for? Learn more about pricing and virtual options here, and register today.