Design This

Design This




Some of Australia’s leading kitchen and bathroom designers talk exclusively to Luxury Home Design about winning awards, their key styles, inspirations and favourite products.


bathroom designs


Occupation: Designer
State: NSW
Company: Concepts by Gavin Hepper

What was your inspiration for the winning kitchen?
The natural setting and surrounds of the outdoor space became the inspiration. It was also the client’s desire to fully embrace the concept of outdoor living and maximise the use of the outside area. This project demonstrates that the style, quality and functionality of an indoor kitchen can be extended to the outdoor environment. Describe the overall style of the kitchen. It’s a stylish and functional kitchen that is fully sustainable for the outdoor environment. It reflects simplicity and innovation and enhances the natural setting and the clients’ lifestyle.

Were any challenges faced before, during or after the design?
There were a number of challenges that were taken into account when creating the design for this project. The area designated for the kitchen was a gazebo-style structure on a suspended deck built around a large tree. The clients wanted a fully functional kitchen independent from the interior kitchen but for it not to dominate the outdoor living space. Flow of traffic was important, as was making sure the design allowed sufficient storage in the space allocated, concealment of “services” (plumbing, electrical) and incorporation of sufficient refrigeration beyond a basic beverage centre. The final design overcame all of these challenges and full kitchen functionality was facilitated with the inclusion of a barbecue, side burner, fridge, dishwasher, sink, washdown tap and filtration boiler system. The design incorporated the integration of all appliances to enhance the overall appearance. A customised fridge suitable for food and beverages with ample space was commissioned as part of the project. The motor was mounted under the deck to maximise internal fridge space and eliminate any noise. A cupboard to house the various controls and switches was included.

What products do you enjoy using in your projects?
1. Acrylics I enjoy using acrylics for the consistency of colour and reflective high-gloss surface that creates an illusion of depth. Acrylics are 100 per cent recyclable and offer an environmentally friendly alternate to glass in many applications. The finish achieved is modern and the colour palettes are diverse, so the use of acrylic can become a feature or point of interest in a project. 2. Modern hardware components As a designer, the advances in hardware in hinge, pull-out and lift-up systems and various integrated systems facilitates my ability to combine style and function. Taking full advantage of the available space and concealment of large storage areas enables modern contemporary design and ease of operation for the client. These products make full customisation of any indoor or outdoor kitchen project possible and maximises creativity. For more information, contact 02 4284 0771 or visit

Occupation: Certified kitchen designer
State: Victoria
Company: Mint Kitchens By Lifestyle About Design09

What was your inspiration for the winning kitchen?
In this HIA and KBDI award-winning kitchen, designer Lindsay Williams of Mint Kitchens By Lifestyle was immediately inspired by the magnificent views of this 12thfloor docklands apartment. By reflecting Melbourne’s day and night skyline in the design and materials, the kitchen has maximised the apartment’s city living feel. Describe the overall style of the kitchen. This design combines the best of contemporary styling with neutral tones, creating a look that is both modern and classic. By effective use of lighting and reflective surfaces, this kitchen gives atmosphere to the living space as well as having great functionality.

Were any challenges faced before, during or after the design?
The original kitchen in the living area of this apartment lacked style and storage space, its black laminate finish did little for the open-plan living area. Some storage space was gained by removing a dark veneer panel that hid a support column. By encasing the column in plaster and painting it in the wall finish we opened the space and removed the dark, heavy element.

What products do you enjoy using in your projects?
I like using reconstituted quartz for benchtops and occasionally for splashbacks because of its high durability, its wide range of colours and its sleek look. Drawers, drawers and more drawers! Filling a kitchen with drawers that are tailored to suit the items they store increases the functionality of the space threefold, which is highly desirable in most kitchens where storage space is at a premium.

For more information, visit and

Occupation: Kitchen and bathroom designer
State: Victoria/Australia-wide
Company: Paul Hutchison Kitchen Bathroom Design Studios

What was your inspiration for the winning bathroom?
The clients wanted a luxurious bathroom that was spacious, warm and inviting, with fine fixtures and fittings. The owners wanted a retreat to escape to. Describe the overall style of the bathroom. A freestanding bath; double vanity bowls; towel storage; warm, relaxing tones; and a shower just like the one the owners had when they lived in Europe — all this made up the overall style of the bathroom. The floor was strengthened to cope with the extra weight of the composite stone bath and the walls were squared up and straightened to give a straight and true foundation for tiling. Paul met the clients’ needs by using a composite stone bath as a main focal point in the room and also to give the ensuite a feeling of luxury. With two matching composite stone basins used in the vanity, some drawers were fitted. The vanities were also made with open towel storage at the bottom for rolled towels. We created warm tones using the limestone almond Gris de Vaus tile used on the wall and floor, all broken up with the horizontal grained Avenue Ash tiles, placed cleverly to create balance and impact. The feature tile also tied in beautifully with the vanity cabinetry, painted in Dulux Candlebark. The CaesarStone benchtops then acted as a contrast to all of the tiling and the Candlebark door colour of the cabinetry. The benchtops were all mitred with 60mm edges. What products do you enjoy using in your projects? I love using glass and tiles in my projects. As a designer you want to be as creative as possible and both of these products provide an endless supply of colours and finishes. With glass you have a never-ending list of colours that can be used to create great vibrant looks and you can also create artwork within glass splashbacks. With tiles, I like the fact that they are constantly evolving. New trends come through constantly, giving us the opportunity to use them artistically. They often dictate colour trends, feature patterns and stop designers becoming stale. For more information, contact 0414 644 773 or visit

Occupation: Kitchen and bathroom designer
State: Tasmania
Company: find & design: kitchen & bathroom design

What was your inspiration for the winning kitchen?
The personality and style of the couple — they enjoyed entertaining and being active. They both liked colour, had a very bright miro-type painting to hang adjacent to the kitchen and they wanted something to stand out and make a statement. Describe the overall style of the kitchen. A contemporary and very functional kitchen with an efficient working area that looks absolutely fabulous and sharp. Urban materials of two-pack and quartz stone reflecting the couple’s city life were contrasted with the warmth and subtlety of timber to reflect their environs.

Were any challenges faced before, during or after the design?
The size of the area to work with was very small and the curved wall was a big challenge when it came to fitting all the appliances. There is so much glass in front of the kitchen, so we changed the gloss two-pack to a matt finish so the reflections wouldn’t be an issue. What products do you enjoy using in your projects? I enjoy using these two products: 1. Staron (benchtops and splashbacks) — It is totally seamless with no joins visible and is UV-resistant, so there’s no need to worry about direct sunlight. 2. Perspex — it’s great for feature doors and drawer fronts. It gives such a beautiful, stylish contrast and depth to the look and finish of any kitchen.
For more information, visit www.findANDdesign.

Occupation: Bathroom designer
State: Western Australia
Company: Design & Decorate WA

Client brief and solution Although only renovated two years earlier, this bathroom still looked very dated, so the current owners decided they wanted a complete re-design. The design brief was from the lady of the house who wanted a contemporary and minimalist bathroom, totally up to the minute, with no vanities or cupboards for storage. She also wanted to make it into an ensuite to the existing bedroom, as they had friends and relatives arriving from England and this would give them some independent space. She also wanted it to have more natural light, as it felt very “pokey”. It also had to serve a secondary function as the toilet and shower to the pool area, which is accessed via the back door. With the removal of the door and wall surround, I turned it into a minimalist ensuite with an open “walk-in’ shower, featuring both a ceiling and adjustable wall shower. The small toilet window was opened to floor level, and floor-toceiling glass blocks fitted.

What was your inspiration for the winning bathroom?
The goal was to be as cutting-edge as possible within the confines of a small space. Describe the overall style of the bathroom. It’s a totally contemporary and minimalist ensuite featuring an open-style walk-in shower with no door or hob, befitting the “less is more” design approach.

Were any challenges faced before, during or after the design?
• The brief was met first by removing the existing door and architrave between the bedroom and bathroom, and extending this opening to ceiling height to make it into an ensuite, with the slight difference in ceiling heights disguised by including a cornice to the ceiling in the bedroom.
• The plain back door was replaced with a wooden door that has a large 6mm toughened translucent glass panel and a square, designer handle set.
• The original small toilet window was removed, the wall cut open down to floor level and translucent glass blocks inserted into the space. This all increased the natural light of the room.
• The existing toilet was moved from beneath the small window to the adjacent wall.
• The original three sliding doors to the shower and the original hob were replaced with a walk-in-type open shower with a single 10mm toughened glass panel to ceiling height.
• A diverter shower mixer was installed, which operates both the in-ceiling “cloud cover” shower and the adjustable shower on the wall bar.
• A small wall niche with downlight and 10mm toughened glass shelves was inserted in line with the toilet to allow for small bottles/objets d’art etc.
• New electrical circuits were run to accommodate the polished stainless-steel ladder towel rail, low-level lights and wall niche downlight, with all transformers being hidden in the ceiling void.
• The plumbing wastes were re-run in the wall to hide the sink waste, which is a chrome bottle trap type by Rogerseller.
• The existing ceiling coving was removed to give the room a crisper look, with the large-format matt porcelain tiles continued to ceiling height.
• The Planar basin mixer was cut into the mirror above the basin. What products do you enjoy using in your projects? Quality products, such as the Fantini range from Rogerseller, because they are so are beautifully engineered, or the Omvivo range of washplanes and vessels because they are such stunning designs. High-quality Italian tiles, mostly porcelain, because they simply ooze class.
For more information, contact Design & Decorate WA on 08 9403 4716 or visit www.designdecorate.

Occupation: Manager and director, designer/estimator
State: South Australia
Company: Goolwa Kitchens & Wardrobes

What was your inspiration for the winning kitchen?
This kitchen was flooded with natural light and has a dark concrete floor, so we were able to use dark and bold colours.

Describe the overall style of the bathroom.
I’d describe this kitchen as vibrant, inventive and uplifting with a clever use of bright reds, natural timber veneer, metallic paint, stone benchtops and concrete floors.

Were any challenges faced before, during or after the design?
Our main challenge was the lack of space in the kitchen/dining area. We overcame this problem by incorporating the dining table as a raised adjoining breakfast bar. This saved on space and also allowed the views of the Murray River to be enjoyed from the table.

What products do you enjoy using in your projects?
Products that I most like to use are Blum Tandembox drawers because they work beautifully, are tested extensively and have lifetime warranty. I also like to use two-pack paint because it is so versatile and there are so many options for colours and finishes.

For more information, contact Goolwa Kitchens on 08 8555 3522 or visit

Occupation: International multi-awardwinning designer
State: Auckland, New Zealand
Company: Mal Corboy Design Ltd

What was your inspiration for the winning kitchen?
The inspiration for this contemporary kitchen came from the 2008 Milan Fair where designers were using a lot of stainless steel and timber veneers. As this was a new townhouse, it was very easy to build a kitchen that included materials such as stainless-steel appliances and timber veneers. I wanted the space to have distinctive elements, so I introduced lighting and glass into the design.

Describe the overall style of the kitchen.
One of the biggest challenges faced was cantilevering the oak timber-raised area of 10mm thick stainless steel. This took a lot of design work and helped a lot by a manufacturer who was willing to test the boundaries. Also, the island rangehood required early planning to get the ducting out.

What products do you enjoy using in your projects?
I loved using the stainless steel and wrapping it all the way around the island at 10mm thick. The Hettich hardware is always a favourite — its soft-close Innotech draws are the best.

For more information, contact Mal Corboy Design on +64 9521 7167 or visit