Designing with significant simplicity

Designing with significant simplicity

There’s a fine line between simplicity and monotony when it comes to interior design, but the following designers have nailed it!

In this feature, we’re looking at how these KBDi Members have used a ‘less is more’ approach to create simple but significant spaces.

A striking quartzite stone takes centre stage in this kitchen, much to the delight of the geologist homeowner. Melbourne designer, Rina Cohen CKD Au, complemented the organic colourings of the Cristalli quartzite with American oak veneer and shades of white and grey. The result is a simple palette with natural style.

Cardellino is the centrepiece of this luxurious space, carefully crafted by Victorian designer, Olivia Cirocco. Dulux ‘Blissful White’ cabinetry lives up to its name, adding a whole lot of bliss to this classy and uncomplicated kitchen.

Layers of white and grey sit stylishly alongside the featured Elba Marble in this kitchen designed by Melbourne’s, Olivia Cirocco. The muted palette allows the marble to sing, and the simplicity of the design is oh-so-sweet.

Such sweet simplicity in the layout of this kitchen designed by Melbourne’s Kia Howat.  Byron Blackbutt, Lexicon Quarter and a gorgeous grey benchtop sing serenity, and glossy green subways add an extra element to this simple, natural and inviting space.

Have a favourite of these four? Vote below, or send us a pic of your best example of a ‘simple but significant’ design. 

Feeling a little flat about your career?

Feeling a little flat about your career?

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 2020 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? Email 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 just 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.

Fuelling your inspiration

Fuelling your inspiration

A message from our Training Partner, Redman Training & Development

Fuel provides the ability to propel a car forward like inspiration can propel a person to achieve success.

Filling my car with fuel recently, my mind began wandering about various topics. I thought of a friend who has been dealing with major health concerns. Her resolve to not give in – to find ways to return to good health and in the process inspire others to look at life with optimism rather than pessimism, love instead of hate, forgiveness over revenge, joy in place of anger, gratitude rather than expectations – is certainly inspiring. My thoughts took me to realising how I can often be inspired by people or events.

Attending the KBDi Symposium in Melbourne this year, participating in the various presentations and tours, I couldn’t help but be inspired by what I observed and what I was informed about in various forms and topics of professional advice or opinion. I was also inspired by people who are excelling in their chosen field or specialisation of developed skills.

Allowing myself to listen to others who have this specialised experience in their fields opened my mind to possibilities not yet considered or, being totally honest, believed could be considered.

I was being inspired.

I realised I was especially inspired by those presenters who spoke with passion and clarity. Their enthusiasm was infectious in good ways. Enthusiasm can certainly be inspiring.

Other inspirations I had were through observing KBDi members interact. They came together with other members and partners with warm greetings, welcoming smiles, even excitement at the opportunity to reconnect. Some were meeting members who had become friends over years of participating at these events, others meeting for the first time. Interestingly, there was no sign of being competitors, being guarded and elusive. What I observed was an atmosphere of greeting and respect. Of community.

This experience was inspirational and in its own way inspires me to participate and find the next level of professionalism to bring to our industry.

Education through attending Industry Forums, KBDi Chapter Events, Exhibitions such as the AWISA Exhibition in Sydney 2020, the EuroCucina Exhibition in Milan Italy in 2020 as well as Professional & Personal Development Workshops all have the potential to provide inspiration.

There are times when we deny ourselves inspiration by naively believing we “know it all”. We have “been there, done that”. “What could that experience provide me”?

There are times when we believe we are just too busy. Yet denying fresh inspiration carries the risk of getting stale, out of date, no longer appealing to our potential customers.

Alternatively, it has been my experience to welcome fresh ideas, alternative options, and expand my education. These opportunities often give me a fresh perspective providing the inspiration to search even further, gather more resources and expand successfully on the outcome. Inspiration has often fuelled my inspiration.

Filling my car with fuel propelled me to my next destination.

Inspiration may well be propelling you to your next outstanding achievement.


The Right White

The Right White

‘I want to keep it simple.  I just want white.’

As designers, we’ve all heard this before – many, many times.  White is a popular colour (or reflection of light, to be technical) –it’s a safe option for the cautious and wary, a perfect partner for outstanding architecture, and a must-have for avid art collectors. But the selection of the ‘right white’ is rarely straightforward. In this feature, we’ll explore a range of whites and see some pearler examples. 

A pure white can be used to emphasise stunning architectural features with great effect, as demonstrated in the examples below. In both cases, the designers have used the ever-popular Dulux Vivid White on both cabinetry and walls.

In the wrong application, however, pure whites can have some drawbacks in interior applications. With its light-reflective properties, a pure white can be overwhelmingly bright, and a genuine need for sunglasses could compromise your best design intentions! A pure white can also lead to pricey painting touch-ups: when all trades have finished their fit offs and inevitably marked your crisp white walls, your painter will be working hard to get seamless coverage with a virtually un-tinted paint.

A tinted or ‘off-white’ tone, on the other hand, will help you avoid these dilemmas without losing the ‘all-white-vibe’. Following are a few tips for finding the right white for your client.

Determine the Undertone

All colours comprise a ‘mass tone’ and an ‘undertone’.  A mass tone is the colour that you see right away, while an undertone is the characteristic of a hue that is often concealed when the colour is viewed in isolation.  A true blue, for example, will have a mass colour of blue and an undertone very similar in hue.  A turquoise, on the other hand, will have a mass colour of blue and an undertone of green.  The same theory applies to off-whites – while the mass tone is white, the undertone could be red, orange, yellow or brown (warm), green (cool/warm), blue (cool) or black/grey (neutral).  When looking at a colour swatch on its own, it may certainly appear to be white.  Put the same colour alongside another, however, and the effect could be vastly different.  If the undertone of the white clashes with the undertones of hues around it, a ‘safe’ colour scheme can turn bad very quickly!  The easiest way to determine the undertone is to place the selected colour alongside a ‘real’ white (try your brightest copy paper).  You’ll immediately see a faint yellow, pink, blue or other colour, and you’ll have identified your undertone.

When you’ve established the undertone, you can work out which of the following categories the proposed selection fits into, and which will best suit your client’s overall scheme.

Warm Whites

Red, orange, yellow and brown-based whites are best for rooms that need ‘warming up’ (with a southern orientation, for example).  Warm whites sit well with earthy, natural hues, and as they are more inclined to ‘come forward’ in a room (remember warm colours come forward, cool colours recede), they help to create a cozy feel.

Perth designer, Maggie Milligan, nestled White Satin cabinetry amidst Dulux Antique White USA walls in this warm and homely kitchen.

Melbourne designer, Olivia Cirocca, combined the warmth of Dulux Dieskau cabinetry with Dulux Natural White walls in this classy kitchen.

Cool Whites

Blue undertones will make a white appear icy and cool – perfect for west or north-facing rooms that need ‘cooling down’.  They are generally described as ‘crisp and clean’, and suit contemporary styling and minimalistic schemes.

Dulux Lexicon Quarter was applied to the walls and cabinetry in this ultra-cool kitchen by Melbourne designer, Kia Howat.

Dulux Lexicon Quarter cabinetry is crisp and clean in this smart space, designed by Brisbane’s Estelle Cameron.

Neutral Whites

Grey-based whites are popular for their cool, architectural qualities.  When the undertone sits between grey and beige, a warmer effect is created.

Brisbane designer, Ashley Maddison, used Resene Alabaster in this award-winning beauty.

Warm/Cool – Chameleons

Green-based whites will often ‘morph’ with their surroundings.  The green undertone is made up of blue (cool) and yellow (warm), and the colours will change depending on light quality and/or surrounding furnishings.  Of course, a very yellow-green undertone will appear warmer, and a bluish-green undertone will appear cooler, but somewhere in the middle will prove popular for many.

Bonlex Classic White cabinetry sits sweetly alongside Dulux Snowy Mountain half walls in this stunning kitchen by Perth designer, Glenda Roff.

Do you have a favourite go-to white? Have you got a hot tip for finding the right white? Feel free to share your comments below.

Curvaceous Creations

Curvaceous Creations

An expression that’s often bumped around is ‘straight lines for duty; curved lines for beauty’. In kitchens and bathrooms, curving cabinets and details are certainly challenging from a construction point of view, but can add a special flow and energy to well-planned spaces. In this feature, we’ve found four examples where talented designers have ticked the boxes for beauty and duty with their curvaceous creations.

Eliesha Paiano’s clients were keen on curves, and the Sydney designer went to extraordinary efforts to implement some curvaceous details in this award-winning design. The impressive island unit is clad with rounded quads, adding a point of difference while at the same time softening the intensity of the teal-coloured cabinets (colour: Taubmans Ming Surprise). The corners of the island are cleverly curved, too, with the radius of the benchtop edges mirroring the quad detail.

This bathroom’s curvaceous nib wall and a knock-out curving bulkhead wowed the judges in this year’s KBDi Designer Awards. Perth designer, Kyle McGregor, turned a very ordinary space into an organically-inspired retreat. With its warm finishes, soft edges and truly unique appeal, the bathroom won Kyle the top gong and the title of KBDi Australian Bathroom Designer of the Year.

Adelaide designer, Nathan Wundersitz CKD Au, drew inspiration from outside in this stunning kitchen design. Curved stone walls in his client’s outdoor entertaining area inspired the gently curving island feature, adding a lovely flow to this warm and homely space.

Sydney designer, Darren Genner CKD Au, took great delight in duplicating architectural details in this beautiful kitchen design. The impressive arches within this heritage-listed home (circa 1900) inspired the gently curved joinery, reflecting the gentle geometry with style. Additionally, the design of unique island façade was sparked by the fluted base of a sewer breathing stack positioned by the front doors of this Mosman residence.

If you have a curvaceous creation you’d like to share with Australia, contact us today. Or drop a line in the comments below to let us know your take on the beauty or duty challenge. 

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.