Blue Mountains Posts

Blue Mountains designer shines in nation-wide kitchen design competition

By Ping Chew
Archived 11 May 2021 - Posted: 12 Mar 2021
Blue mountains resident, Kylie Benedet, has been named first runner-up at the 2020 Ms&Mr Kitchens design competition, which attracted more than 1000 enquiries and 67 entries from aspiring designers all around Australia.

Kylie, a visual merchandiser at a prominent furniture franchise, and part-time interior design student at Billy Blue College of Design (Torrens University), took home $1300 cash plus material sample kits valued at $500 to kickstart her design consulting career.

“I entered the competition to challenge myself; to apply everything I’ve learnt into my very own kitchen design. I never thought I would win a prize,” said Kylie.

“It was a fantastic experience. I learnt so much as I worked through my concept and consulted with the materials experts to fully understand the finishes and their applications. I wanted to create a design which was functional for the user and aesthetically pleasing.”

Ms& Mr Kitchens Co-founder, Louie Liu, said the competition required participants to follow a real-life design process. “It’s exactly what a professional designer would do in presenting a client proposal,” he said, explaining that entries were judged by a diverse panel of experts for functionality; aesthetics; practicality to build; and meeting submission criteria.

Drawing inspiration from the aftermath of the devastating bushfires in early 2020, Kylie named her kitchen design Cinders, by combining the colours of rusted burnt metals with the warmth of natural wood.

“I made a statement by taking something that shook the country and turning it into something that is beautiful, sleek and sophisticated,” said Kylie.

“To me good design is really about understanding a problem and finding a solution; it’s about the journey it takes you to get to that solution while testing the boundaries along the way.”

“This win has given me the confidence to embark on new challenges and throw myself outside of my comfort zone.

Currently I want to learn as much as possible and the competition has given me that opportunity. I never thought I would archive this success; I am grateful for all the help and support I received from Ms&Mr Kitchen and all the suppliers involved. This experience is something I will never forget.”

Ms&Mr Kitchens design competition

Ms&Mr Kitchens specialises in kitchen design and manufacturing, with showrooms in Bentleigh, Blackburn, Camberwell and Chadstone in Victoria. After emerging from the COVID lockdown, it opened a fifth showroom in Hawthorn, with plans for more new openings and hires.

Co-founder Louie Liu explained that they created the design competition in 2019 after struggling to employ high calibre designers.

“We wanted this competition to be an awesome experience for participants. An opportunity to support up and coming designers while seeing their great work,” said Louie.

“A win-win situation because we get access to fresh talent, while they gain real industry practice, recognition and possibly a foot in the door into an extremely competitive sector.”

“We even created a library of resources to help participants with their entries, including webinars, online videos, guideline materials, email and telephone support.

The 2020 Ms&Mr Kitchens design competition was held in October during COVID lockdown. Sponsored by Laminex, Caesarstone, Blum, Casentino and E&S. And supported by University design schools across Australia. 

The winner took home $2000 cash, while two first runner-ups won $1300 each, and three second runner-ups won $800 each. All received full sets of sponsor sample kits valued at $500 to kickstart their design consulting careers.

 
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