{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Housing industry insights Economics Data & forecasts Tailored research and analysis Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2024 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

A labour of love

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Interior designer Kesha Pillay of Art of Kitchens talks about her love for creating personalised kitchens.

Passion is a strong word reserved for feelings of intensity, and it’s the most appropriate word to use when describing the way Kesha Pillay of Art of Kitchens talks about her profession. Pouring her heart and creative ingenuity into every design, she works hard to create kitchens that serve as the ultimate family hub.

Q: How did you know kitchen designing was for you?

KP: While I was studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in interior design, I worked for a tile company and then a bathroom company but I wasn’t too fond of those. My idea was to just get as much experience as I could in each industry and then go onto designing larger projects. But kitchen design was my third job and I have stayed there ever since. I don’t think I will be going anywhere, I love it.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

KP: A lot of my inspiration comes from my clients and the house that they’re renovating. The kitchen for me is a central part of the home, and you want that space to be attractive and functional. A new kitchen design needs to tie into the rest of the home, suit the client’s style, and remain functional for everyday use. But I also work hard to make it look appealing. When I’m designing a kitchen I often think of my mum. She has the ability to turn something simple into a work of art, and I try to channel that energy into my work.

Q: How would you describe your design style?

KP: I wouldn’t say I’m a traditionalist but I do lean more towards a classic style, I really like including detailing in doors and various textures. However, the end design will come down to the home you’re designing for, you have to maintain a harmonious feel. For example, lighting in the space will determine what colours you’ll be using. I tend to do a lot of white kitchens as a lot of people find it safe, however depending on the home, soft or muted blue and green shades can lift a space, just like a white kitchen can. Colour can add great personality and interest in the kitchen, so it gives me great enjoyment whenever I get the opportunity to step outside the box.

Q: What do you love most about being a designer? 

KP: Being able to satisfy the customer’s needs and wants. I think every designer walks away from the job happy if they can do that. Homes are quite personal so it’s a privilege for us to be invited into a client’s home and have the opportunity to draw a design for them. And if they decide to go ahead with you it’s even more rewarding because they trust you. Even though it’s usually an 8–10 week job you get to know your clients and that’s the nice thing about it – I get to make new friends and make them happy. When I get that call from a client after the kitchen has been installed, saying ‘Kesha, I really love the space! I really enjoy working in my new kitchen’, that’s when I know I’ve done my job right.

Q: What advice would you like to pass on to other emerging designers?

KP: One of the most important things is clarity when you are presenting a design to your clients. It’s easy for a designer to know exactly what it’s going to look like but it’s often hard for the consumer to understand. So you’ve got to be patient and clear. At Art of Kitchens we use 3D images. This allows us to be transparent and give the clients a really good idea of what we’re trying to achieve.

At the end of the day, as a designer you want to ensure you’re giving the clients the best possible design for the space because they’re the ones living there. Designers are there as a guide and we need to be clear if something won’t work, and give them other possible options that might be even better. If you do this people will often take your expertise on board.


When I’m designing a kitchen I often think of my mum. She has the ability to turn something simple into a work of art, and I try to channel that energy into my work.


Q: What does the future hold?

KP: When I first started, I designed a kitchen for a lovely lady in a wheelchair. I would love to do more specialised kitchens like that because, with the knowledge I have now, I feel I could offer more in the way of creating a captivating design for accessible living. I would just love to help all different types of people use the space so that they can appreciate their kitchen just like everyone else. I’m lucky that I’ve found my passion in designing kitchens and that each job is unique. I never know what’s coming up next, what the job or design brief is going to be – but I like the challenge! 

Outside the lines

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

KP: I love spending time with my family and shopping. I actually get disappointed when I walk out of the shop without purchasing anything. 

Q: What’s guaranteed to make you laugh?

KP: It sounds really corny but my husband. He tells the worst jokes and I’m probably the only one who’d laugh at them!

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?

KP: Chocolate. That’s every girl’s greatest pleasure, isn’t it? I specifically love Nutella.

You might also like:

President's report Strategic planning
Gold Coast and Northern Rivers Chair's report
As Committee Chair, I reflect on housing excellence, advocacy, and industry growth, highlighting the region's commitment to skill development and community engagement.
May 24
2 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
President's report Construction Awards
Hunter President's report
Two Hunter members were recently acknowledged for their significant contribution to our industry, members, and HIA.
Apr 24
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Apprentice Kitchens People
Be the good
A passionate perfectionist, Kristy Francis of Lathams Kitchens is embarking on her 25th year in the building industry. An integral part of several HIA committees, she reveals her talent and what keeps her motivated.
Apr 24
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
President's report Safety Licence Building Women
WA President's report
Although the year has started at a positive pace, we continue to face population growth, increasing demand and labour shortages.
Apr 24
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Business and digital Payment Trends
Resources - autumn 2024
Looking for technical information or design inspiration? Here are the latest tools to narrow your search and advance your knowledge.
Apr 24
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Construction Inspiration People
From the torrent
Lismore builder and businessman Joel Jensen experienced the catastrophic floods in summer 2022, but his close bond with the community left a lasting effect.
Apr 24
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Apprentice People Timber
Ever evolving
Described by past clients as ‘artistically gifted’ and ‘a lateral thinker’, home builder and carpenter Kane Harrison treats every project as a labour of love.
Apr 24
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Residential Projects Construction Inspiration
Pushing boundaries
When a South Australian firm constructed an Adelaide home during the pandemic, they managed to incorporate distinctive elements that tested their problem-solving abilities.
Apr 24
3 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Apprentice Awards Business and digital Residential
A building franchise with a difference
Personal, collaborative, supportive, flexible and user-friendly: not always words we might associate with franchises. But these words capture the spirit of the national building franchise Integrity New Homes.
Apr 24
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Bathroom Design Inspiration Kitchens
Peachy keen
Imbued with warmth and modern elegance, Peach Fuzz is the go-to tone when designing, developing or revitalising an interior.
Mar 24
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Apprentice Business and digital Education Networking
Jumping-off point
To give apprentices the tools to stay on the job longer, they can learn from the best in the building industry. HIA Apprentices offers various initiatives, including its targeted BuildHer and LAHC programs.
Mar 24
7 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Projects Design Inspiration
How to introduce Peach Fuzz
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the prestigious Pantone Colour of the Year program, a global expression of mood and attitude. Its current Colour of the Year, Peach Fuzz, brings a sense of serenity and positivity to any spa...
Mar 24
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight