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My beautiful laundry and other winning HIA designs


Smarter Bathrooms and Smarter Kitchens have come up trumps in the 2014 HIA Kitchen and Bathroom awards, taking first place in the Victorian Laundry of the Year category and second place in the Renovated Bathroom over $60,000 and Renovated Bathroom $30,000 to $60,000 categories.


In a big win against some very large companies, Smarter bathrooms and Smarter Kitchens was also a finalist in Customer Service for the Renovated Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000 category and Renovated Bathroom $30,000 to $60,000.


The renovation market is crowded and competitive, however this minnow set sail and the fearless crew led by Andrew Crawshaw took it up to the ‘major players’. It just goes to show that good customer service is recognised no matter how big or small your may be.


Of the six categories entered, Smarter Bathrooms and Smarter Kitchens won one category, placed in two and were a finalist in two more. Five out of six ain’t bad; in fact it’s very, very good.


The designer of the winning laundry is Vanessa Cook. Vanessa is no stranger to the HIA having won two awards previously and been a finalist in four others. She was ecstatic for this year’s win, but was quietly confident that the Morros laundry design had a great shot of winning.


“I think it won because the design of this laundry was such a transformation from what it used to be,” Vanessa says. “This laundry had limited space, so what we did was increase space by closing off a door to create an L-shaped storage space. We also built higher than normal, ceiling-height cabinets.”

Other standout features included symmetrical lines and a lime-green glass splashback, which gave the room some real definition.


The design took a week and a half and the renovation three and a half weeks in total. Vanessa says the win has really put Smarter Bathrooms and Smarter Kitchens on the map.


“We’ve arrived. From a consumer perspective, clients will know the quality of the work we are doing, whilst our peers will see us as a benchmark.”


Vanessa believes Smarter Bathrooms and Smarter Kitchens will only get better from here.

“I truly believe we have a lot of magic in this company and we can continue to set benchmarks and lead the way,” she says.


The Semmons renovation focused on creating space in the bathroom including a bath to stretch out in and a vanity that had ample storage. A sense of depth and light was also created.


The Suntinger project was a long narrow bathroom, which provided certain renovation difficulties. The room was solid brick and provided a technical approach to achieve the required tasks. Designet Susan Cleveland says the reason it finished up so well, is because it shows that even in a narrow space you can get great storage and a big shower. The family are lovers of pop art, so the bathroom was a reflection of that passion and was tinged with a ‘Warholesque’ orange colour which included the tapware.


Director Andrew Crawshaw says the success at this year’s awards is a solid result for the company.

“It’s nice to see the spread of our designers in the finals and winning awards. It shows we have a good team who listen to our clients. We are now looking forward to next year and we are confident that we can improve further with some excellent projects.”

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