KBDi Design Symposium 2016 – Bookings Now Open!

Image_Blog_Symposium_May2016Melbourne, here we come…!

We are hugely excited to launch this year’s Design Symposium & Gala Awards event, and invite you to be a part of this very special two day program.  We know you’ll be inspired by the agenda below, and encourage you to book quickly (see the button at the bottom) – places for the Symposium are STRICTLY LIMITED!

Day 1 (Friday, 16 September) kicks off at Pullman Melbourne on the Park, where a luxury coach will take you to the stunning showroom of Urban Edge Ceramics.  You’ll enjoy morning tea here, along with your first symposium session:  Tile Trends: Here & There.  Presenter Justin van Nierop will floor you with all you need to know about overseas tile trends, and how they translate to the Australian market.

The next stop is Smeg’s Collingwood Showroom, where you’ll be treated to Smeg’s famous hospitality, and your second symposium session.  Emily and Todd, from renowned architectural firm, Make Architecture, will discuss how the home owner’s evolving desire for cutting edge design influences their practice’s approach to kitchen and bathroom design.

Our third symposium session will be hosted by E & S Trading. Rob Sinclair is sure to get you motivated with an intensive presentation about growing your K & B business.  As the co-owner of one of Australia’s oldest family-owned specialist kitchen, bathroom and laundry retailers, Rob knows a thing or two about the industry, and is passionate about sharing his knowledge.

After this jam-packed itinerary, we will wrap up Day 1 with ‘Symposium Drinks’.

KBDi Accredited Designers are invited to attend an exclusive breakfast event early Saturday morning (17 September), where a program of professional development seminars will be delivered.  (Big thanks to Pytha Partners Australia for their support of this Forum – we know they’re planning a forum session that you will NOT want to miss!)  Details regarding the forum will be sent to all Accredited Designers, along with Designer Members with current accreditation applications, under separate cover.

 Day 2 of the Symposium will commence at 9.30am on Saturday, with our Albedor coaches departing Pullman on the Park and heading to Albedor Industries.  Your hosts will welcome you with a champagne brunch, and the planned ‘Shop Talk‘ is a not-to-be-missed event for designers, and a great opportunity to get some ‘factory facts’.

The Yarra Wine Valley is our final destination: enjoy a special wine tasting at Dominique Portet, before travelling to Rochford Winery for another. You’ll then settle in for lunch (courtesy of Symposium sponsor, Blum) and a truly inspirational presentation by Graham Jones: this building designer/artist/musician/Jack of All Trades will have you laughing, crying and most likely flabbergasted, and we know you’ll enjoy every minute.  When lunch wraps up, we’ll head back to the Pullman Melbourne, with time to get ready for THE GALA EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Australia’s Finest kitchen and bathroom designers will be celebrated and rewarded at this glittering gala event, to be held in the superb ballroom of Pullman Melbourne on the Park.  Kick off your evening with our traditional ‘Welcome Drinks’, proudly sponsored by Smeg, before enjoying a delicious meal, fantastic company and an evening of laughter and entertainment.

The generous support of our Symposium and Award sponsors (see below), has allowed us to offer this AMAZING event at an INCREDIBLE price:  you’ll be fed and watered, wined and dined, inspired and educated AND enjoy a FABULOUS night at the KBDi Designer Awards Gala for  only $495 per person!  Please note that this Symposium offer is open to Members only, and PLACES ARE STRICTLY LIMITED.  You don’t want to miss out, so CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Picture Perfect: Photographing Kitchens & Bathrooms

Image_eNews_KBDi_Photography_May2016If a picture says a thousand words, then a perfect photograph could tell a lot about your work as a designer. Documenting your work shouldn’t be something you do only for awards – it should be a critical part of your everyday promotion. Smartphones allow you to be ‘snap happy’, but are the photographs you’re taking really doing the projects justice?  How many photos make it from your phones to your websites or brochures and promotional materials?  If the answer is ‘not many’, are you missing opportunities to sell your style?

In this article, we look at some key elements of successful interior photography, and throw out a challenge to members to start sharing their work with the world…

Top Five Tips for Perfect Pics

  1. Get the Gear

A smartphone helps to make photography convenient, and the spontaneous nature of a phone-captured snap is often perfect for a social media platform. When you’re collating a website gallery, however, you’ll need to up the ante. If engaging a professional photographer for every project is out of the question, investing in a decent camera will be money well spent.  You’ll need a camera that will allow you to control exposure, and a good quality wide angle lens to capture the overall interior.  A tripod is a must-have, too: no matter how steady a hand you think you have, you don’t, and you’ll end up with blurry images without this handy tool.

  1. Lighten Up

The human eye is capable of adjusting to almost any light temperature, whether it’s the warm yellow of a halogen, the crisp white of a cool LED, or the dull green of a fluorescent.  A camera, on the other hand, is not so clever.  When it comes to interior photography, natural light is the best option, so as a general rule – turn all the lights off!  If the light coming through the window is insufficient, slow down the shutter speed to allow for a long exposure (this is when a tripod will come in particularly handy) – your camera will be able to pick up whatever light exists in the room, and you will be able to avoid using artificial light or your camera’s flash, which often has ghastly results.

It should be noted that direct sunlight can be too harsh – ambient light is what you’re after.  If necessary, use blinds or curtains to diffuse the light.

  1. Consider the Outcome

What story are you hoping to tell with your photographs?  What is it you are trying to capture, or what is the emotion you are trying to evoke?  What do you want to tell viewers about your design style, and how can you best showcase it?  Knowing the intention or outcome of your photos will help you when it comes to staging the room and choosing the best angles and perspective.

  1. Set the Scene

When staging a room for photographing, remember that you want the interior to look lived in – not vacant (nothing says vacant like an empty fridge cavity!), but not cluttered (exposed waste baskets, telephones excessive cords etc are distracting).  Tasteful accent pieces – a proportionately sized floral arrangement, a cheese platter and/or semi-filled wine glass – will add to the feeling of the room without grabbing attention for all the wrong reasons.  In bedrooms, remove clutter from bedside tables (a lamp and book are sufficient) and ensure the bed is perfectly made.  In the bathroom, be wary of what is reflected in the mirror, and avoid showing off the toilet!  Ensure shower screens are perfectly clean and towels are complementary in colour.

  1. Angles & Perspective

Consider the room you are photographing from all angles.  If you need to move items to get the best angle (furniture, pot plants etc) – do so!  If you need to photograph the room from an adjoining room – through a door or opening – no one will know but you.  Take photos of the overall space, and zoom in for vignette style details.

If you’re already handy with a camera, you may have some other tips to share…?  If you do, feel free to add your two cents’ worth below – your fellow designers will appreciate it!

Fashion Trends & Furniture: How the Two Relate

Image_eNews_KBDi_Fashion_May2016If you’ve ever followed fashion, you’ll know that runway designs are more wearable artwork than functional every day pieces. Very few of the truly ‘wacky’ designs are meant to be worn; fashion designers spend enormous amounts of money to show off clothing they don’t expect anyone to buy, but the publicity, prestige and the overall feel of a designer’s collection are most definitely up for grabs. Every seasonal collection has a theme — rustic, Victorian, gingham, nautical — that is later translated into more every day, wearable items to be sold in boutiques and department stores. The colors, fabrics and overall aesthetic will remain true to the collection, but the more bizarre features will disappear.

The same could be said for furniture expos and interior design ‘fashion statements’.  If you attended the most recent KBDi events, you’ll have noted some of the ‘out there’ displays that designers on this year’s KBDi Designers International Tour took note of.  Large scale origami installations, random geometrical patterns and intentionally mis-aligned cabinets were just three of the trends pointed out.  KBDi Tour leader, Lee Hardcastle, noted that whilst the more outlandish forms would be unlikely to take a hold here, subtle translations will most definitely begin to make their way in to Australian kitchen and bathroom designs.

Lee also noted the links between the fashion houses of Milan and the interior trends showcased at Eurocucina.  Intricate old world and Aztec style patterns were found in fashion details in the high end boutiques, and again in tile features, splashbacks and handpainted basins at the interior design fair.  Colours were also linked: although greys and timber-tones were dominant at iSalone, when feature colours were used, the same colours were showcased in Milan’s fashion shopfronts.

If you attended iSalone, or perhaps enjoyed a KBDi presentation this month, let us know which trends you’re looking forward to seeing here in Australia…

Get a Handle on… Handles! With Lincoln Sentry

Image_eNews_Lincoln Sentry_May2016Lincoln Sentry’s selected handle range is inspired by function, and with a wide variation of styles, can add great personality to your design space. Not limited to the kitchens alone, these handle designs will complement your office, retail, furniture and commercial projects, providing simplistic and timeless designer accents.

The Lincoln Sentry handle collection includes Modern, Profile, Comfort, Designer and Provincial ranges.


The Modern range encapsulates fashionable and functional design, featuring soft square lines in varied finishes.


The Profile range is streamlined and functional in design, allowing your space to have a clean handle-free look while still being practical and easy to use. Check out the brand new GoLine handle profile, available in black, stainless steel look and clear anodized finishes. 


The Comfort range evokes the free-flowing design trend that is organic and pure in its functional simplicity.


The Designer range promotes culture and personality with high quality manufactured materials and finishes, making a statement with their baroque style. Check out the range of German designed and made handles.


The Provincial range extends from antiquity styling, achieving a timeless rustic look with contemporary influences.

Take a look through the key design trends for this year and see how the Lincoln Sentry range of handles, hardware and accessories can add character and a finishing touch to your designs.

For more information, contact the Lincoln Sentry National Customer Service Centre on 1300 551 919 or visit www.lincolnsentry.com.au

Made to Measure with Barazza

Image_eNews_Abey_May2016For more than 40 years, Barazza in Italy has been at the cutting-edge of kitchen design. Working with the finest quality AISI 304 stainless steel, Barazza has the unique ability to incorporate hobs, sinks and accessories into one seamless worktop.

The designer has the ultimate freedom to create a functional piece which boasts clean lines, an unrivalled minimalist elegance and a more ergonomic and hygienic finish.

Highly qualified staff and exceptionally flexible production allows the Barazza team to follow the entire project manufacturing process in-house in Italy. Design development, laser cutting, pressing and welding, all quality checks and even special shipping packaging are internally designed and managed.

For more information about the Barazza range, contact Abey Australia on 1800 809 143, or visit www.abey.com.au

Maximise Access with iMove by KESSEBÖHMER

Image_eNews_Hafele_May2016Häfele’s iMove sets new standards in overhead cabinet storage design. The product allows easy accessibility to storage, a clear overview of the cupboard contents and hassle-free access, minimising wasted space and maximising practicality.

The continuing trend of increased ceiling heights in Australian homes has lead to a desire/need for taller cabinets.  While the visual effect is impressive, the inevitable consequence is an increase in out-of-reach storage space.

iMove’s innovative pull out system corrects this dilemma, and makes good use of this previously lost space. The product turns a classic overhead cabinet into an ergonomically practical storage system. In a single, effortless movement, the iMove and all of its contents are pulled downwards and outwards, bringing unreachable objects within an easy to reach area.

The iMove is built on proven Kesseböhmer technology and is made of high quality materials. It offers both the maximum in operating comfort and function, and is sure to impress your clients.

For more information regarding Häfele’s iMove, phone 1300 659 728, or visit www.hafele.com.au

Extend the Kitchen Space to Outdoor Living with Staron®


The durable and non-porous nature of Staron® makes it the perfect solution for any room in the home, and a practical option for outdoor rooms too! Selected Staron® colours have a 10 year limited warranty for outdoor applications (contact your Austaron representative for a list of the selected colours), enabling you to design seamlessly flowing indoor/outdoor applications.

Extended benchtops that continue from the kitchen to the alfresco area can be confidently achieved, with no open joins and a truly seamless appearance. Staron® can also be used to create outdoor furniture like dining tables, side and coffee tables, seating and more. If you can dream it, you can create it with Staron®.

The renewable nature of Staron® means that the surface can be buffed and reinvigorated when required, extending the life of your project and ensuring it always looks like new.

For more information, phone 02 9822 7055, or visit www.staron.com.au

Draw your way to Germany!

Image_eNews_Pytha_May2016The team at Pytha Partners Australia are heading to Germany later this year, and they’re looking for a Pytha Professional to take along for the ride!

Over 200 delegates will attend Pytha HQ’s biannual Worldwide User Meeting in Aschaffenburg, Germany in September.  A drawing competition is a highlight of the conference, and Pytha Partners Australia are encouraging Australian and New Zealand designers to showcase their talents on this international stage.

Users of the software are invited to submit PYTHA drawings that fit into one of three categories: best rendering (rendered image), best technical drawing (detailed shop drawings in PDF format) and best project (photos of a finished project originally designed with PYTHA).

One lucky local will be selected to represent the Anzac contributors at the German conference, with airfares and accommodation* being reward for their efforts.

To be in the draw for this fantastic prize, submissions must be received by close of business 15 June, 2016.

The overall drawing competition winners will be selected by Pytha GmbH, and will be announced at the User Meeting.

For more information (and terms and conditions), contact Michael today: phone 0434 268 002, or email mrowe@pythapartners.com.au.  To learn more about PYTHA, visit www.pythapartners.com.au.

* The Australian/New Zealand prize includes return economy airfare for one person from Australia to Frankfurt, along with 3 nights accommodation in Aschaffenburg, Germany.  All other costs associated with travel are the responsibility of the winner of the trip.  The winner of this prize is not necessarily the winner of the international drawing competition; winners of this competition will be selected by Pytha GmbH, and announced at the User Meeting.


2016 Shortlist revealed for the Emerging Architectural Practice Award


Blum’s sponsored Emerging Architectural Practice Award is aimed at supporting, recognising and rewarding Australia’s top emerging practices in residential projects.

Last year’s winners of the inaugural award were Archier Studio, who were a stand out to the jury for ‘immersing themselves in an idea without fear of failure, in the knowledge that the outcome may turn out better than expected’.

The Houses Awards saw a significant 30% increase in entries from last year, with the winner and commendations set to be announced at the Gala presentation on July 22 at Sydney’s Doltone House.  Eleven deserving practices have been shortlisted for the 2016 Emerging Architecture Practice Award.

Blum would like to congratulate the following finalists for their hard work in lead up to these coveted awards:

  1. 9point9 Architects
  2. Architecture Architecture
  3. Claire Scorpo Architects
  4. Clayton Orszaczky
  5. CM Studio
  6. MODO Architecture
  7. Nielsen Workshop and Morgan Jenkins Architecture
  8. Ola Studio
  9. Rob Kennon Architects
  10. Taylor Knights
  11. THOSE Architects

To view the gallery of all the short listed projects for the 2016 Awards, visit Architecture Media’s Houses Awards website: www.gallery.housesawards.com.au.

Join with hundreds of your peers to celebrate the announcement of the 2016 Houses Awards, from 6.00 pm, Friday 22 July at Doltone House, Hyde Park in Sydney. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale in June.

For more Information, contact your local Blum representative or visit www.blum.com.

WA Chapter Event – Wednesday, 25 May

WA_Smeg_250516_SMGWA members are invited to come along to this event to find out ‘what was hot’ at Salone del Mobile (including EuroCucina and the International Bathroom Exhibition), and learn about Vauth Sagel’s fantastic factory.

You’ll also enjoy a fantastic presentation by KBDi award winner, Alysia Pekel (Western Cabinets), about her winning kitchen design, get the latest update & insights from Smeg and more!

Register today:  events@kbdi.org.au