Kitchen design through the decades (cont.)

Kitchen design through the decades (cont.)

Tuesday | 30 November 2021 | 4 pm ADST

*Note: Australian Daylight Saving Time (ADST) applies to NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and ACT only. In Queensland, this session will commence at 3pm (AEST), and WA should clock in at 1pm (AWST). SA guests should note a 3.30pm (ACDT) start.

Join us as KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson CKD Au, continues his tour of kitchen design through the decades. Past KBDi President, kitchen historian and famous storyteller, Rex Hirst CKD Au, will be joining us, too, so you’re sure to take away some terrific tidbits and kitchen trivia.

Watch the recording

The video conference recording will be available for KBDi Members soon.

Tutti Frutti design takes the cake

Tutti Frutti design takes the cake

KBDi Australian Certified Designer of the Year 2021, Tania Kloester CKD Au, and her terrific team mates Steph and Bronte, have delivered the winning design in the Interiors Australia and Denfair Design Challenge.

This fabulous fifties-inspired space will come to life at the Melbourne fair in February next year, in an all-new and extremely exciting ‘activation zone’. The TK Design team ticked all the boxes in their creative submission: the ‘Tutti Frutti’ design will showcase the selected suppliers wares in spectacular fashion, and the full-of-fun space will no doubt draw the crowds desperate for some colour and vibe after two long years of fair-deprivation.

Turn up your sound and take a tour of the winning space:

Kitchen design through the decades

Kitchen design through the decades

Tuesday | 23 November 2021 | 4 pm ADST

Join us as KBDi Executive Director, Royston Wilson CKD Au, takes us on a tour of kitchen design through the decades. We’ll start in the 1920s and move through to the fabulous fifties, enjoying some awesome images and quirky clips.

Registrations have now closed.

Watch the recording

The video conference recording will be available for KBDi Members soon.

People’s choice winners of 2021

People’s choice winners of 2021

KBDi and Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly by Universal Media Co were delighted to collaborate once again to present the People’s Choice Award of 2021.

All finalists for the KBDi Designer Awards kitchen and bathroom categories were showcased on the Complete Homes website. Over 18,000 votes were received, and we’re delighted to announce the winners below.

WINNER: KBDi and KBQ People’s Choice Award – Kitchen Design

Kate Anderson | Kate Anderson Design

WINNER: KBDi and KBQ People’s Choice Award – Bathroom Design

Ioanna Lennox | Ioanna Lennox Interiors

Huge congratulations to both Kate and Ioanna. They’ve each earned themselves an incredible marketing package (a whopping $8,000 in value) with Universal Magazines, and we look forward to seeing their fabulous projects on the glossy pages of our favourite magazines.

Big thanks, too, to Kitchens and Bathrooms Quarterly by Universal Media Co. Your ongoing support is enormously appreciated.

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.

Making stone the hero of the home

Making stone the hero of the home

We’ve seen some truly stunning applications of natural stone in Australian kitchens and bathrooms this year. In this feature, we’ve collaborated with KBDi Corporate PLUS Partner, The Stone Ambassador, to share five ways you can feature their stone in your next kitchen design.

#1 Splashing out on the splashback

Many clients opt for safe and neutral cabinets in the kitchen: if they intend to sell their home, they’re sometimes less inclined to step outside the boundaries. However, they can often be convinced to inject some personality into the splashback, and there’s no better way to do this than with a striking piece of stone. A heavily patterned stone like this Superwhite (Vasari) looks spectacular against a simple, elegant and always-safe all-white kitchen.

#2 Adding luxe with light

LED strip lighting combined with dark and deep-coloured stones is an ideal solution for a moody interior. Atlantis Smoke (Vasari) stone is extra-luxurious when highlighted with the warm glow of carefully placed luminaires. Of course, the ‘less is more’ philosophy applies, so keep your lighting minimal and straightforward for the best effect.

#3 Make your sink a statement

Engineered stone and porcelain offer unique opportunities to design stunning integrated sinks. This sink featuring Stone Ambassador’s ‘Sierra Leone’ sings in this spectacular sink setup.

#4 Create with curves

The inherently natural nature of stone lends itself to organic curves. KBDi Member Karen Kunst (KJK Interiors) demonstrated this perfectly in this all-class curvaceous kitchen island design.

#5 Creating contrast

With black appliances becoming increasingly popular, why not play with the element of contrast? Pair your black cookers and hoods (and tapware, too) with classic light stones like this Sub Zero (Vasari). Choose stones with a subtle vein detail to ensure the simple contrast is the hero.

The team at Stone Ambassador will be highlighting the above and outlining the practical design considerations at our upcoming videoconference. Learn more about this session and register here.

For more information on Stone Ambassador’s engineered stone and Vasari Italian Surfaces ranges, click here.