Established by husband and wife team Bec and David Hilder, DLH is the culmination of hard work, determination and innovation. Award winning, Australian owned and family operated, DLH Designs has achieved incredible milestones in a short few years.
Self-confessed serial home builders and renovators, Bec and David were renovating their latest residential project whilst managing a stressful schedule. “At that time we had three young children and were struggling with the work/life balance,” says Bec. “I was working as a restaurant manager doing 60 to 70 hours a week with split shifts and late nights. Meanwhile my husband was working in India in his role as an engineering project manager, and was often away for three weeks at a time. So the timing was right for us to find a life solution that was sustainable. David’s engineering background and experience in model making provided the ideal foundation for our business model, and gave us a unique advantage over other businesses in the concrete industry.”
Explains Bec, “During our renovation project I decided I really wanted a pizza oven, and I wanted it to sit on a concrete bench top. My husband, having the investigative mind that he does, decided to research how to manufacture it. The result was so amazing that the alfresco area became an outdoor kitchen. Inspired by the design, we made a concrete hearth for our lounge room and then friends started putting in orders for their homes – the rest is history.”
The complete DLH concrete collection is manufactured on site in their factory where they create their own moulds and models that are custom made and designed to suit market demand. They have the know-how and ability to make original moulds and in turn the finished product, all in-house. Replicating designs using their unique models has helped them to create a collection that can be ordered from their website, from concrete bench tops, splashbacks and panels, to basins, sinks and vanities.
However it’s the custom work that is really exciting for Bec and David and their team. “Because concrete can be cast in one piece we can create amazing angles and curves. The material itself is really versatile and can be formed to any shape. We have designed some stunning custom hearths and vanities with basin insets, and we have worked on some fascinating projects – like a measuring bench for a metallurgy lab we designed and manufactured for Melbourne University.”
DLH Designs works directly with clients via their website, and they work closely with architects, builders and designers for custom work. “We get great feedback about the durability and the way our concrete designs perform. We take a lot of care with our designs to make sure they wear well, and that the basins and sinks are easy to clean and drain properly. It’s about functionality as well as form, and that’s why we have established such a strong reputation.”
Bec has seen a real shift in basin and sink trends over the last few years. “There is a move away from stark, industrial shapes towards more organic, natural forms with curves rather than hard edges. Our biggest selling shape at the moment is the Round Basin. There are sixteen concrete colours to choose from offering customers a broad selection of shades. Interestingly the most popular colour is Sage. This grey/green tone makes a design statement without being too bold and it’s really easy to colour match with other materials and timber.”
There are plans for DLH Designs to introduce a higher end collection, giving the concrete designs a finer edge and finish. They also intend to design a range for those on a tight budget. Adds Bec, “Baths are very high on the incoming enquiry list, but we are really conscious of the weight and fragility of concrete baths that often crack and can cause damage to homes. So whilst they are beautiful, they are too much of a risk to develop at this stage. We are really focused on offering the best quality range of items that we know will stand the test of time in terms of durability and longevity. We are committed to staying at the forefront of the industry and are active members of several artisanal groups both in Australia and internationally.”
At KWD we love supporting local, innovative businesses who produce quality products that we believe will perform beautifully in our clients’ homes. Having the ability to select the ideal shape, texture and tone for a project and knowing that the item will be fit for purpose adds so much value to the work we do. And to have the facility for creating custom made designs, made locally, adds to the strength of DLH as a valued supply partner. Talk to our design team to learn more: 5974 1800