talking trades

KWD’s introduction to our clients can be at varying stages of the project process of their new build or renovation, however we find we mostly meet clients at the conceptual stage. This is of course the most preferable place to start so we can be involved in the all important space planning. 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 is to help make the journey as smooth and exciting as possible. We achieve this by developing a look that matches their brief and by specifying, sourcing and supplying the very best 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 clients in touch with the best operators in these fields who can be trusted in terms of price, service, knowledge, reliability and integrity.

The trades that we recommend are separate successful businesses in their own right.  KWD does not engage these professionals for projects we work on – 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.”

It’s so important to have talented and reliable trades to work on our projects so we know the beautiful materials we specify are treated with respect. The installation of hard finishes is just as important as the specification and can be the difference between a project looking at its finest or being underwhelming. King Brown Contractors always do a fabulous job laying our KWD & Co. European Oak flooring. Whether it be wide board, standard board or herringbone, their attention to detail is second to none.

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.”

Painting a home beautifully takes a master craftsman, so KWD recommends Terry Morgan of Morgans Painters & Decorators. “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.”

There’s a lot more to 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. 

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.”

Whilst KWD specialises in all things hard finishes for interiors, landscaping design is increasingly becoming a significant part of the complete project design. Explains Kate, “The landscaping of the property is so important. I feel really strongly about bringing the outside in, and I always recommend that our clients leave money in their budget for their landscaping design. For me, the house starts at the front fence, not at the front door, and people get a feeling, even from the nature strip, about what they are going to experience when they come in to your home.  The outdoors is an extension of the indoors.”

It has been our pleasure to work closely with Heath Blair of Plume Studio. He and his team have worked on the most extraordinary landscape projects all over Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Says Heath,“Good landscaping creates a connectivity between indoor and outdoor and activates the whole site. Every part of a landscaped space creates a context that speaks to the occupants of the property be it a family or an individual, and also provides an immediate visual identity.

“The Plume Studio team works in a way that is very site and brief specific. The narrative of the client and what they want to achieve is paramount to the design and we love going along on the journey with them. Working to achieve our client’s vision and being nimble and adaptable to get the right result is only possible by working side by side in a very collaborative way.”

“Landscape design at the moment sees an emphasis on stone with a very monolithic approach. In terms of planting, very stylised, textural rambunctious forms are popular – moving away from the more clean, traditional look. A seasonal approach to landscape design is definitely favoured.”

For more information on recommendations for other professionals, including architects, draftsmen and builders, please contact the KWD office on 5974 1800.

Rodney King  (0409 423 038)


James O’Halloran  (0409 256 000)


Terry Morgan (0400 801 271)


Henry Kaderoglu  (0407 840 883)


Heath Blair (0422 041 225)


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