K & B Designers deliver in 2021

K & B Designers deliver in 2021

Australia’s finest designers have done it again!

With the year that was, we weren’t sure what to expect with the 2021 KBDi Designer Awards program. With lockdowns, supply issues and a grant-fuelled building boom, we didn’t expect to beat our best year (2020), but boy – did we come close!

We’re very proud to say that we have a healthy competition in most states and a bundle of beautiful projects to prepare for our judges. We’re now busy batching and badging the entries for distribution to the panel and are itching to see which projects come out the other side.

In the meantime, here’s a summary of our top three Awards stats:

The State Race
Long-time members will know that Victoria has led the nation with the highest number of entries for many years. New South Wales made a serious play last year, tying for first spot, and in 2021 they’ve taken the lead, accounting for 37% of all submissions! Despite a year filled with challenges, our Victorian cohort still delivered, submitting 24% of all entries. And the Wildflower State must be flourishing – our Western Australia crew have taken third place this year with 19% of all entries.

The Category Clean Ups
In 2020, the Small Bathroom category was our biggest field. The challenge of small spaces continues this year, with 18% of entries slotting into the Small Kitchens zone. The always-popular Large Kitchens category was an equal tie, and Small Bathrooms came in at number three with 17%.

The New Faces
Almost one third of entrants (30%, to be precise) are new to the KBDi Designer Awards arena, and our First Time Entrant Award will be a must-watch.

Huge congratulations to each and every entrant for taking the plunge. Entering an Awards program can be time-consuming and almost overwhelming, but by putting yourself in the race, you’re already a winner.

We’ll be announcing finalists towards the end of July. Keep an eye on your inbox (make sure we’re in your trusted list), and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, too.

Pattern Play

Pattern Play

From simple gingham-style checks to complex motif repeats, patterns have been a feature of design and decoration for centuries. New technologies in tile manufacturing, combined with the practical attributes of this decorative finish, make tiles an exciting choice for designers and homeowners. In this feature, we’re sharing five of our favourite tile applications, as seen in the KBDi Designer Awards of 2020.

A pretty patterned tile takes pride of place in this vibrant kitchen (below) designed by Perth’s Shelley Fynn (Kitchen Capital WA). The lively repeat is balanced by the soothing colour of Dulux Lakelike and White on White cabinetry, and makes a delightful contribution to this joyful space.

The magnificent marble tiles are the hero of this bathroom (below) designed by Melbourne’s Frank Iaria (Mint Kitchens). The oval shape and natural stone composition create a striking backdrop to the shower recess, and the copper-coloured tapware adds just the right amount of bling.

Sydney designer, Dean Welsh (Thinkdzine), went all out with these vintage decor patterned tiles. The striking design makes a big impact in this small bathroom, and the traditional patterning complements the Mediterranean styling of the home.

This timeless black and white kitchen was given a burst of colour and a geometric twist by designers Garrett Hebden and Matthew James of Better Bathrooms & Kitchens (Melbourne). The tiled splashback adds a sense of energy and movement to the space, balanced by the lovely teal tones.

Brisbane designer Estelle Cameron (Designtank) paid tribute to the architecture of this 1930s cottage, selecting a sweet little floor tile to suit the bones of the home. The diamond patterning of the finished lay mirrors the original leadlight window, creating a timeless result.

Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Mark Bruce

Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Mark Bruce

Tuesday | 1 June 2021 | 4pm AEST

In the third and final interview of our ‘Meet the Panel’ series, KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson, will be talking with Mark Bruce.

Based in Cambridge, New Zealand, Mark holds dual qualifications of a trade certificate (cabinetry) and Diploma in Kitchen Design. With his practical experience and theoretical design expertise, the Certified Kitchen Designer has accumulated over 35 NZ design awards. His commitment to the ongoing improvement of the industry is evident in his current position as NKBA Vice President and past board member of the Certified Designers Society. And with repeated stints judging NKBA, Master Joiner and Kitchen Studio Awards, Mark brings a wealth of experience and well-rounded knowledge to the panel.

Places are limited (with priority allocation going to KBDi Designer Members). Register TODAY and we’ll confirm your spot via email.


Event registrations have now closed.

Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Dianne Bayley

Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Dianne Bayley

Tuesday | 18 May 2021 | 4pm AEST

In the second of our ‘Meet the Panel’ series, KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson, will be chatting with Melbourne’s Dianne Bayley.

Dianne holds a Bachelor of Interior Design and decades of hospitality and residential design experience. After many years working on resorts, condominiums, country clubs and hotels, Dianne honed her skills in the residential space. She became a registered building practitioner/building designer in the year 2000 and established her own design business, Pasco Design. She brings a wealth of interior and building knowledge to the panel, and we look forward to hearing what Dianne will be looking for in her judging experience.

Watch the recording

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Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Cherel Millist

Introducing the KBDi Designer Awards 2021 Judges: Cherel Millist

Tuesday | 4 May 2021 | 4 pm AEST

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to the KBDi Designer Awards Judging Panel of 2021. In the first of this series, KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson, will be chatting with Cherel Millist CKD Au, CBD Au.

Cherel is a long-time member of the KBDi and an avid contributor to the design industry. Through her Sydney-based practice, Brilliant Design Concepts, she has delivered a comprehensive range of design services to builders and homeowners for over twenty years. As a KBDi Certified Kitchen and Bathroom Designer – and previous judge on the KBDi Certified Designer Awards panel – Cherel has an excellent appreciation for the high levels of design and documentation expected from KBDi entrants.

Watch the recording

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Five FAQs at the five-week mark

Five FAQs at the five-week mark

As we count down to the closing date (1 June 2021), we thought we’d share five of the questions we’ve fielded from entrants in the last few weeks.

#1 Can I enter a project that was completed last year?

We get that you may need to ‘dig back a little deeper’ to find a project that’s made it to 100% completion. Accordingly, we’ve extended the project completion dates as follows:

​All designs submitted must be for projects undertaken within the Commonwealth of Australian and completed between 1 December 2019 and 1 June 2021. 

(Of course, you can’t enter a project that you’ve already entered into our program – no double dipping or second chances here!)

#2 My plans are all hand-drawn. Does this mean I won’t stand a chance?

Ah, absolutely NOT. Your method of drafting is not being judged; it’s the clarity and consistency of your work that’s under the microscope. If your hand-drawn drawings accurately represent your design intent (i.e. the judges can see precisely what you were aiming to achieve), you’re most definitely in with a chance.

#3 I don’t have a flash 3D rendering program. Will I lose points for this?

Again, that’s a big, fat no. You’ll note that our judging criteria (found in the Entry Pack) includes the following:

Concept presentation (i.e. computer-generated 3-D view, hand-drawn sketch and/or mood boards with rendered elevations) successfully communicates design intent.

The highlighted section of this statement is what we’re looking for. Our judges want to see how you communicated your ideas to your client. Over the years, we’ve seen some fabulous computer-generated 3Ds, and some equally impressive hand-drawn perspectives. We’ve seen quirkily-styled sketches and carefully rendered elevations, and beautiful mood boards, too. If you’ve developed a style in presenting that wows your clients AND gets the information across, we would love to see it.

#4 Do I need professional photographs for my entry?

If a picture says a thousand words, a high-quality, professionally composed image says about five thousand. We always recommend that you invest in professional photography in order to get the most out of the marketing opportunities that arise from entries. While the quality of the images doesn’t account for points in the criteria, they do help set the scene for the judging panel. If you absolutely can’t bet your professional pics before the closing date, use the tips for self-photography that we shared here. We will need your high res images before promos, though, so contact our office for the photo deadline extension.

#5 What is the difference between a design brief and a statement

Yes, still this question – we get it all the time! And we’ve covered the answer here.

As always, if you’ve any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact our office (1300 253 223).