KBDi Design Weekend

Recently we flew to the Gold coast for the annual KBDi Design Symposium & Awards Gala held at the stunning Sheraton Grand Mirage.

KBDi is the Kitchen & Bathroom Designers institute of Australia. We are members of this national organisation which provides networking opportunities for members, along with providing the general public whom are seeking designers with a database of specialist designers located all over Australia.

Day 1:

Day one began with a mouth-watering seafood buffet lunch at the Terraces Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Mirage. Simply perfect after a heavily turbulent flight.

Meanwhile in Wollongong Sarah was attending the Illawarra women in Business awards in Wollongong. Bringing home two awards; Young Business Woman of the Year and Highly Commended in Best Small Business.


The Grand Mirage

This was followed by two sessions.

Session 1: A Design Master class held by Lisa Chapman from Designer Training Australia. Her masterclass explored seeking inspiration in your everyday life. With a big focus on the organic beauty of nature, which we often take for granted in today’s society where we are exposed to a technology driven world where everything is at our fingertips.

For this workshop she instructed us to step back and appreciate nature. With this in mind we were to create a new Laminex design which can be used in kitchens and bathrooms as a feature. For this workshop we collaborated with peers, everyone having varied backgrounds in design, some with decades of industry experience under their belt and some fresh to the industry, like myself.

As a team we tackled the design brief through brainstorming, development and delivering the solution to the room of designers. With every team member bringing their input to the table. Our team was names ‘The butterfly effect’ with the design being composed of the zoomed in detail of butterfly wings. Our design was inspired by the intricate details and beauty of butterflies, the positive and negative space of barcodes and tranquillity.


Session 2: A very inspiring keynote by highly successful entrepreneur Rowdy McLean called ‘Play a Bigger Game’. Rowdy shared his life story, both the good and the bad and how he bounces back in life to be better in the game.

He shared with is the principles to live by.

1.       You are amazing

2.       Anything is possible

3.       The world is an incredible place

The end of the keynote resulted in the audience feeling highly inspired and even second thinking their approach to life.

Rowdy Mclean has a book and podcast. I 100% recommend it, he is very captivating and inspiring.

To conclude the day we were treated to welcome drinks and canapes at the Glass Dining & Lounge bar, Marina Mirage waterfront. Time for more networking and wine. Here Sarah was welcomed and congratulated on her two awards, just in time for bubbles.

Day 2:

Session 3: Day 2 began with the session ‘Looking back’ this session was run by two designers who shared there work from 70’s retro up until now. They put a spotlight on recurring trends along with things we now cringe at.

Session 4:  ‘The next ten’ was delivered by Kim Chadwich who shared her forecast of design for the next ten years. This was very informative, also scary to some degree as we will be see an exponential change in technology.  We are in an age now where technology is interactive and integrated and sitting is the new smoking.

The Robotic Kitchen;

Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025;

Session 5: Australian International design tours presented the session ‘Trends from the tour’ where they presented highlights from their recent tour to the design shows Eurocucina and Salon del Mobile. This was a great insight into the up and coming trends. Three big influences were shape and texture, technology and hidden kitchens.

Our favourite trend was Eclipse by Antoniolupi. This bath boasts elegance and functional design. The sophisticated egg shape is made from carrara marble, ergonomically designed to protects the body. We love the built-in shelf.


Session 6: We boarded coaches to our destination; Farmer Doors. Farmers doors is family run business who specialise in producing premium natural timber cabinetry. Here we had a guided tour of the impressive factory where we were in awe of the high quality of their products. This was followed by drinks and a delicious spread hosted by the Farmers Doors.



To end the day we frocked up for a spectacular evening of bubbly, a delicious three course meal and awards. We had 3 projects nominated however unfortunately didn’t come home with a winner. But there is always next year!


Sarah & Rachel from Birdblack Design along with Katie from Eat Bathe Live

As the symposium and awards drew to a close and we are back at home in Wollongong we are feeling very inspired and excited to continue to work passionately in an industry we love. And last of all we couldn’t do this without our fabulous clients, so thank you!