Want some ideas for new building and renovation products? Check out my fave finds from the HIA and Sunday Mail Brisbane Home Show.
Last week, I attended the Sunday Mail Home Show in Brisbane. It’s held twice every year, and I love it as an opportunity to see new building and renovation products, finishes and fixtures available on the market.
To be honest, it didn’t seem as big or exciting as May’s event. If you want kitchens or kitchen appliances, this was your show … but as for showing a real variety of products and innovation, it fell a little flat.
Still, there were some great new building and renovation products on show, and I enjoyed chatting to their sales reps or creators. Here are my favourite finds.
Gorgeous basins and freestanding baths
Luxe by Design website >>> Click here [These are the Australian supplier of Victoria + Albert]
Victoria + Albert website >>> Click here
This range of gorgeous basins and freestanding baths took my eye purely due to their shape and the splash of colour on the outside of the vanity basins. And then I touched them … and they felt lovely!
Volcanic limestone is crushed with resin to create a ridiculously durable finish and product with a 25 year warranty. You can get custom paint finishes, etching and other choices for the exteriors of the basins or baths. So many possibilities.
The freestanding baths are around the $6,000 mark, and the basins (with custom colour) around $1,200 – so this is not a budget buy. If you’re building or renovating your forever home though, and want to know you’ll be happily getting wet and washed in these fixtures for many years to come, then it may be an investment you’re happy to make.
Aluminium and Steel screens
Decorative Screens Direct website >>> Click here
Using laser cut aluminium or steel (stainless, coreten or mild steel), these screens can be custom made to your design, or with a standard selection … or a customisation of a standard design (all the options!)
They come with various edge details – so you can fix them to existing or new structure, or get them with a folded edge so they’re self-supporting. This means you can use it as screening, shade structures, fencing, gates, doors … the mind boggles.
Colours from Dulux powdercoat range … use them individually, or layer them together for a great effect. Maximum sheet size is 1500mm x 3000mm.
Composite wood decking and cladding
Rubicab website >>> Click here
There were a few composite wood products on show, however these guys stood out to me at Rubicab Projects: ECW (Eco Composite-Wood).
Eco Composite Wood is a combo of 55% wood and 35% recycled plastic (sourced from Shang-hai).
Available in decking, cladding, fencing, tile decking … it’s intended as a low (very low) maintenance alternative to timber. With a 10 year warranty, this product really just has to be cleaned every so often and you’re good. Compare that with timber that has to be oiled, stained or refinished every 12 – 18 months.
It does appear ‘plasticky’ compared to timber though. So I don’t think I’d ever choose a timber-colour for this product. There are some gorgeous greys and charcoals which create a great looking deck or cladding result, and don’t pretend to look like timber.
Easy to install with clip systems that are concealed (so you don’t see fixings in the face), you don’t have to worry about termites, rotting, finishing, wearing or age. Scratches can be sanded out easily.
I’m keen to try out their cladding product soon … so much so I took a sample. I love the glossiness of the shadow joint (which you can do in two different widths with the same boards) compared to the flat ‘mattness’ of the board’s face … $55/m2 supply price.
Something new in kitchen benchtops – porcelain
Maximum website >>> Click here
I hunted these guys down after a UA Client had mentioned using it for her kitchen in a reno we’re currently working on together. Their product has been available in Sydney for a while, but only recently arrived in Queensland.
If you’re over stone kitchen benchtops, and looking for something different, this may be for you. It’s made from porcelain … so super durable, stable and stain resistant. But here’s the kicker … it’s 6mm thick.
Compared to reconstituted stone slabs (like Caesarstone), which is 20mm thick, this 6mm product creates a very fine look and aesthetic. It does have to be mounted on a substrate (like MDF), but it can overhang 20mm on its own. This means you can create a shadow effect between your benchtop and cupboard doors, and then get the thin edge of your benchtop.
Finishes are printed on this product with an inkjet printer that actually embeds the finish into the surface. They have a range to choose from and they’re stunning. It feels gorgeous too (which given how much you touch a kitchen bench, that’s important!!) It’s more expensive than reconstituted stone, but not as expensive (and far more durable and reliable) than natural stone.
Keeping my fingers crossed it will be in budget for my UA Client – I’d love to see it in her kitchen.
Need New Gutters?
Eaves Water System website >>> Click here
To be honest, I’ve really downplayed the significance of good guttering until we moved to the Byron Hinterland … and live solely on rainwater. Trust me, when you have 3 kids who like long showers (and their mum does too), you want every drop of rain to hit those big tanks for later enjoyment!
This gutter is an Australian designed and made product by a Gold Coast based company. Formed as one element, it basically is a gutter with a lid. Water runs over the lid (from the roof run off), into a grown along the face of the gutter and then into the gutter. This removes leaf litter, prevents gutters from overflowing back into your eaves, and carries it away quickly and effectively.
Cost is $70/lineal metre supply and install, and they can help you anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. Every Colorbond colour available, with custom-made joining pieces so the system is complete.
Polished concrete floors with a difference
Pangaea Floors website >>> Click here
This one was exciting. I LOVE polished concrete floors, but they can be expensive to achieve, and really difficult to do in renos where you’re dealing with existing floors.
So check this out … a 10mm polished concrete veneer. Only 1cm thick! It’s a cement based topping that can go on any stable surface. It gets poured and troweled (apparently dry enough to walk on in a matter of hours), and then polished to reveal the aggregate.
There are a range of aggregates to choose from, as well as base cement colours. Of course, it can and will crack with hairlines … and it’s reliant on the stability of the surface you’re putting it over. It apparently can even go over timber, and they have a membrane they put down first (for an extra cost) that will deal with up to 3mm lateral (side-to-side, not up-and-down) movement to prevent cracking.
Where I see this being great is in covering garage slabs where you’re converting these into living spaces … or covering old tile floors to create a modern durable finish. It ranges from $200 – 300 per sqm depending on the area (the bigger the area, the lower the sqm rate).
Italian wardrobes and kitchens
WokaiDesign website >>> Click here
If you want to look at where kitchen and joinery design will be in Australia in a few years, look to Italy. It’s where a lot of our design direction comes from, particularly in high-end projects.
It can be SUPER expensive to source Italian designed and made joinery though. If you’ve ever ventured into a SPACE furniture store, and checked out the Poliform kitchen display, you may have also (like me) fallen over at the price tag … I haven’t done this for a couple of years, but the last time I did, the cheapest price I could see was $72,000.
So, how do you get that look, without the pricetag? Wokai Design may be a good place to start. If you’re SE Qld based, they have a showroom near Ikea where you can see their gear on display, or you can view on their website.
Their kitchens and robe fitouts are all designed here from Italian made products … and then manufactured in Italy and shipped here for installation at your place. Normally this would mean at least 4 months in lead time. However, they can turn it around in under 8 weeks. And for much more economical prices.So that’s my top finds from August 2015’s Brisbane Home Show.
The next one is in March 2016. If you’re building or renovating a home, these shows can be a great way to see new building and renovation products all in one place, that you can touch and test before you choose them for your place. It’s a great way to meet their makers too, and really understand their durability and suitability.
Remember your home lasts a long time … so choose materials and products that do too, or budget for having to replace them down the line.