Having made several trips overseas to various international kitchen and bathroom shows and with extensive experience contributing regularly to a range of industry and consumer publications and websites, Simon Hodgson and Melanie Gardener decided to create The Kitchen and Bathroom Blog to provide a facility whereby they can share interesting information – including product launches, showroom openings, new designs, award winners and so much more – in one, easy-to-reach location.
Simon has more than 35 years experience across the kitchen and bathroom industry including wholesale and retail appliances, manufacture and installation of kitchens and bathrooms, design and industry training. His previous two roles were as Sales and Marketing Director for Nouvelle Designer Kitchens and prior to that, a Director of Impala Kitchens.
For the past seven years he has run his own consultancy business, Direct Representation, which provides a range of services including private business consulting, personal product endorsement and appraisal, as well as dispute management. Simon is regularly asked to speak at functions in Australia and overseas on various industry issues to both consumer and industry groups and for the past three years has led groups of designers to the major European shows, Eurocucina and Interzum.
Simon has served various sectors of the housing and design industry in the capacities of National Chair of Housing Industry Association (HIA) Kitchens and Bathrooms, Member of HIA National Policy Congress, Chair of HIA Kitchens and Bathrooms in NSW and a Committee Member of HIA NSW Regional Executive. He recently stood down as a Director of the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi), having served on the board for five years since the organisation’s inception.
Melanie has worked in the publishing industry for the past 14 years, most recently as the Managing Editor of the highly successful Kitchens & Bathrooms Group of titles published by Universal Magazines. She is now a freelance editor and writer working both in the publishing sector as well as within the kitchen and bathroom industry. Melanie has a background in Marketing and also provides writing and PR/marketing services to the industry, including work for various industry associations.
Melanie has regularly attended kitchen and bathroom shows both in Australia and overseas and often undertakes public speaking engagements with both consumer and industry audiences to report on the latest designs, ideas and innovations. She has also spoken at specific industry events about marketing and PR within this highly-specialised sector.
In May 2015, they led a group of Australian designers to Interzum under the study-tour company Australian International Design Tours (AIDT). The 2016 Tour to iSalone which included visits to Blum in Austria, and Cosentino in Spain was a huge success and sold out within 6 weeks of being launched. The 2017 Tour to Interzum saw attendees spending time in Cologne as well as visits to SCM Group in Italy, Ligna in Hanover, and Hansgrohe in Schiltach. The 2018 Tour to iSalone was launched in September and will take place from 16-27 April 2018 with visits to major sponsor Smeg and sponsor Gollinucci (courtesy Lincoln Sentry).
Both Melanie and Simon are independent contractors to the kitchen and bathroom sector in Australia. From time to time, articles may appear on this blog where either one or both are contracted to the company featured in the article.