When we meet with our clients to discuss their renovation or new build, it’s often at the conceptual stage. In many cases our clients are not quite sure where to start and their journey can seem quite daunting and complicated. Our role in making their design dream become a reality involves developing a look that matches their brief and exceeds their expectations, in terms of specifying, sourcing and supplying the required hard finishes for the project.
However by engaging KWD, our clients also get access to an incredible bank of trades who come with a tried and tested resume of skill and expertise. So instead of having to search for a reputable painter, electrician, tiler, landscaper or flooring specialist, and getting quotes from at least three or four different businesses, KWD can put them in touch with the best operators in these fields. Our clients can trust their prices, their service, their knowledge and their integrity.
The trades that we recommend are separate successful businesses in their own right. We do not employ them for projects ourselves, they are engaged by the client and any exchange of contract or invoice is directly between the client and the said business. We only recommend trades who have shown us their work ethic, their flawless craftsmanship, their attention to detail and immense pride in their work. And they also offer great value.
All of these factors are particularly important when you are working with hard finishes which form the foundation of the design aesthetic for any project. It’s vital that the trades who lay your tiles or your timber flooring, who work on the electrics, who landscape your garden and who paint the interior or exterior of your home, do an exceptional job and get it right first time. There’s no point in choosing the best paint colour if the finish isn’t perfect, or selecting the most expensive marble tiles if they aren’t laid by an expert.
So we thought we’d introduce you to some of KWD’s favourite trades – those we believe are the best in their field, and who have always operated with integrity in every project that we have collaborated on:
Rodney King of King Brown Contractors has worked with KWD for a number of years on both residential and commercial projects all over Melbourne. The team of five are experts when it comes to all things flooring from replacing tiled floors and laying over concrete slabs or creating beautiful timber flooring. “Engineered oak flooring is a favourite,” says Rodney, “both visually and for durability. It looks spectacular in a herringbone pattern. It takes great patience to lay a herringbone floor.”
There is a lot to consider when choosing a floor material. Explains Rodney, “When selecting your new timber floor, the visual impact will vary depending on the colour, the finish and the width of the floorboard. Working with a designer like KWD is really helpful because they understand how materials work, how durable they are and how they will wear or age over time, and they understand the issues involved in doing a perfect installation.”
When it comes to tiling, we always recommend Henry Kaderoglu of Master Tiling. He is an old school gentleman who takes such pride in his work. He’s been a certified tiler for over 22 years and has never changed his business name or phone number, so that his clients can remain in contact with him if they ever have any issues – but they never do of course. He works on interior and exterior tiling with all sorts of materials from porcelain and marble to granite and travertine.
“My sole aim is to have very happy clients,” says Henry. “You have to be very patient to be a tiler and take great pride in your work to ensure every detail is perfect, that nothing gets broken and that everything is clean and neat. There’s no point in having the most beautiful tiles if they are not perfectly laid.”
“Kate understands tiles and tiling, she has worked in the business for so long. She knows my work and she knows I care about quality and customer satisfaction. If the installation isn’t perfect there will be so many issues, and replacing tiles is a very expensive exercise. A tiler has to get it right first time.”
Grant Perry of Melbourne House Painters has six teams of paint professionals who work on high end residential properties all around Melbourne. Says Grant, “Kate actually consulted on my own home in Mt Eliza some years ago, designing and selecting the colours, tiles, flooring and finishes. I was very impressed, so we began collaborating on a number of projects. Working with a designer like KWD definitely helps with the paint selection process in terms of colour and finish. It’s more exciting to be a bit more adventurous, knowing that the client feels comfortable with the choices that the designer has made. It’s also much more fun to work with innovative colour palettes and clients are often more experimental when they have the endorsement of a designer. The end result can be the difference between the home looking nice or being extraordinary.”
As Grant explains, there’s a lot more to a achieving an excellent paint result than one would think. It’s not a simple trade – you need the right tradesman who has skills in preparation and finish. “It’s important to take into account the age of the house, the materials used, how they will weather and what natural elements they will face. Paint brands are good at promoting themselves and they all have some amazing products, but there’s no one brand that has the best product for every situation. A master painter knows which paint to choose for what purpose, which finishes will work best be it matte, satin or gloss, and which paint will ensure the owner is happy for years to come. We guarantee all of our work with confidence.”
When it comes to electrics, ensuring you have a professional electrician is so important. You can’t see their work, it’s all hidden behind walls and in ceilings or floors, so you only know there’s an issue when it’s too late, and reparation can be time consuming and expensive. James O’Halloran of O’Halloran Electrics and his team of professionals take pride in all they do. However whilst general electric work forms a part of their portfolio, it’s home automation in high end homes on the Mornington Peninsula where the O’Halloran team excels.
Says James, “We are specialists in the home automation field, integrating multiple products in to the one interface. We can retro fit automation into older homes but our focus is on new builds where we design bespoke automated systems. We get a brief from a client and get a strong understanding of what they are hoping to achieve. Everybody’s different and everyone has different needs, from key-less entry to remote controlling anything that has a motor – garage doors, blinds, louvres, as well as automation of lighting controls, access, security, cctv – all voice controlled and all integrated. We also set up audio visual systems and cinema fit outs. We really have found a specialised niche that requires electrical experts like ourselves as home automation can be in excess of $100,000 and has to be set up perfectly for maximum enjoyment that is worry free.”
The exterior of a home is so important. Landscaping completes the picture and provides a setting for a home from the moment you step onto a property. KWD’s resident gardener, Jamie Hills of Always Greener, has collaborated with KWD on many projects on the Mornington Peninsula. He understands plants and how they work in a variety on conditions.
Self taught, Jamie has a passion for and an innate understanding of plants, having worked in production nurseries for a number of years growing, producing and propagating plants.
“I love being outside, “ says Jamie. “I enjoy the freedom of working in the outdoors and of creating a garden specifically to suit a client’s needs. It’s great to work with a client, to talk about their ideas and what they want to achieve, and to find the ideal garden design and plants species that will work best for their home. It’s quite often a meeting of minds, combining their vision with my knowledge to create something that will stand the test of time, and the rigours of the natural environment.
As Jamie explains, “It’s important to consider what plants will work in which areas and the surroundings of the garden, for example in coastal areas you wouldn’t want to choose plants that don’t tolerate salt or winds. You need to take into account the type of soil, and how light and shade works in the various areas of the garden, and the size of the plants as well. Think about what the plant is destined to be, it’s natural height, width and longevity, and if and when it will flower. Hedges and borders and controlling the natural shape of plants calls for high maintenance so think about how much effort you want to put into your garden.”
At KWD we love sharing our knowledge, supporting our partners and creating the best possible results for our clients. If you would like more information, contact the KWD: www.katewalkerdesign.com.au
KING BROWN CONTRACTORS:
Rodney King (0409 423 038)
James O’Halloran (0409 256 000)
MELBOURNE HOUSE PAINTERS:
Grant Perry (0401 147 146)
ALWAYS GREENER LANDSCAPING:
Jamie Hills (0411 715 169)
Henry Kaderoglu (0407 840 883)
Images: Brent Lukey