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Phoenix Takes 5 With… Keyway’s Maurice Randello

Phoenix Takes 5 With… Keyway’s Maurice Randello

Phoenix Tapware
Phoenix Tapware
Articles & Features

As part of Phoenix Tapware’s new interview series with key designers, architects, builders and plumbers, we take five minutes with Maurice Randello, director at Keyway based in Melbourne, to chat about his career, inspiration and current design trends.

How did you get started in the property and construction industry?

My father was in the industry – he started in high rise construction and sometime in the 1990’s he decided to get his own builder’s licence and quickly went into luxury homes and developments. My older brother was also in the industry, so it was only natural I followed in the same footsteps.

After high school, I completed construction certificates and attained a Diploma in Building Design and Drafting. I worked as a draftsperson for four years prior to joining the family business.

Sixteen years on and I’m a registered Residential and Medium-Rise Commercial Builder.

Keyway projectPictured: Vivid Slimline Pull Out Sink Mixer in Chrome

What does a typical day look like for you?

I can confidently say that every day brings about new challenges, which may just be the best part of my job. New challenges means each day is always different and never dull.

But a typical day involves overseeing client relations, contract administration and consultants. Lots of phone calls, emails and meetings with the occasional site-visit.

I draw upon my CAD knowledge each day. I prepare detailed shop drawings and concrete set-out layouts that make the constructability of a project easier for the whole team.

Keyway projectPictured: Cerchio Wall Bath Mixer Set

What are your favourite types of projects to work on?

It’s always a pleasure to work on a project with architectural flair or that is outside the norm. Projects of this calibre can create all types of challenges, however once they’re overcome, the results are truly amazing.

As a self-confessed detail nerd, I love projects that incorporate a creative mix of colours, finishes and fixtures. Those touches can transform a space from dull to magnificent.

Pictured: Vivid Slimline Oval Outlet and Wall Mixer, Radii Toilet Roll Holder, Radii Single Towel Rail

What do you find to be most rewarding about the industry?

Firstly, when I conduct the final walk through with a client or purchaser and their feedback is extremely positive. to the point where they can’t wipe the smile from their face. Nothing beats it!

Secondly, I remember as kid in the backseat of the family car my father would point out projects he had worked on. I thought that was cool and would be rewarding to be able to do that. I’m now in that position and well, that’s cool.

What currently inspires you and your work?

I love to travel and it’s amazing what ideas you can create by being inspired by other places and cultures. It could be a new trend or an alternative way of looking at something. Innovation is everything.

Being a builder, just having an understanding and appreciation of historic achievements in construction can be inspiring. How things used to be done, compared to what we’re able to do now. Or the tried and tested techniques that we still use today.

What is your favourite project to date that you’ve worked on?

I’ll be bold and share my favourite three projects.

The first is our most recent project in Flower St, Essendon. We built 11 generous and architecturally featured townhouses over an entire basement which included 11 private garages. The successful delivery of the project combined with the client’s happiness and ongoing relationship, made the project extremely rewarding.

Essendon HouseFlower Street, Essendon

Secondly is a commercial ECO building in Tullamarine which included the construction of a basement car park, ground floor café, showroom and expo display centre and first and second floor consisting of 38 offices. Every space is oriented around a central atrium which provided natural light and ventilation to the interior of the building.

Thirdly is a residential house in Park St, South Melbourne, set on a small footprint of land which presented challenges and added an extra layer of complexity to the build. However, the upside was incorporating amazing architectural features. There was constant brainstorming with our client and supervisor to execute the client’s desired look and achieve the architect’s design intent.

Park Street, South Melbourne

What are the greatest or most important lessons you have learned along the way in your career?

The most important lesson is to build positive and everlasting relationships by developing a positive rapport with clients and suppliers.

With clients, it’s simple. Go over and above, make yourself available, be accommodating and responsive. Those traits go a long way to build the client’s trust. Lastly, be confident in my capability to achieve great results.

What kinds of trends/ client requests are you seeing in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries?

  • Strongly veined marble has been popular, and I think will continue for a while.
  • Matching bench tops and splash-backs is still a strong preference.
  • A cool statement can be made with an unconventional material like a brass splash-back.
  • Larder cupboards, which are deep, built-in pantries seem to be replacing the butler’s pantry.
  • All black cabinetry with a pop of saturated and bold colour appliances.
  • We’ll see more integrated and back-lit hidden lighting.
  • Wall-mounted tapware continues to grow for its clean look and keeping bench and basin space free.
  • If the bathroom size accommodates the space, then resort style layouts with a freestanding bath within a large shower space is becoming popular. Incorporate this with more natural lighting via skylights to make a great sanctuary.




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