Interior Design

Technology in the Home: Hellish or Heaven-Sent?

There is a lot of mixed opinion around the use of integrated technology in the home. Some find the possibilities extremely exciting, whilst others are frankly terrified of the prospect. We have a number of clients how have started drooling over the thought of a fully integrated cinema room, where you can control the speakers, dim the lights, and close the blinds, all at the touch of a button. Meanwhile, others are just happy to have a pretty, straight-forward light switch that turns, well, turns on lights.

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Spiral Staircases Made Easy

Every now and then you stumble across a product that you wonder how no one had thought of creating something this simple before.
“Thanks to the innovative tread sleeve fastened to the central pole with a vice-like system, the Clip kit staircase is easy to install not requiring any spacers.
What’s more, a fresh and young design, a steel structure and 5 vibrant colours are the right ingredients to make the Clip spiral staircase a modern and functional furnishing element.”

Answering The Call

For many years we have found the idea of adding in or changing a staircase a real budget hassle. It can be almost impossible to add in a full set of stairs and often is extremely costly when you do. To be able to find something so simple and versatile is fantastic.

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How Do You Like Those Architraves??

With the rise of the minimal and scandi style living, the want for a more parred back and simplistic home has also become more apparent. Architraves, cornicing and skirting boards can look beautiful in the right property. We have recently installed some beautiful grape cornicing in a period property in Regents Park. Due to the age of the building and the more traditional redesign the new cornicing looks and and really brings the design together. You can view this project in our portfolio by clicking here.

Traditional Grape Cornicing

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I’m With The Brand

I Love it When a Brand Comes Together

Forbes defines a brand as “A specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colours, personality, price, service, etc that convey a promise.”

Kia Designs has been forging a reputation for creativity, transparency and thoughtful design, with a little extra flare. We’ve recently extended our branding to better capture and convey our voice in the industry.

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Shutters – How to Pick the Perfect Shutters: Revisited

Although shutters are extremely on trend at the moment, they have a timeless style that can easily hold their elegance throughout the years. Our team here at Kia Designs is particularly excited as we have got the opportunity to include this beautiful and trendy way of dressing windows into one of our current designs.

But it isn’t always easy to decide which style of shutters would be best suited for your home. Lots of different elements should be considered when choosing how to dress your window. For example, if you want to install shutters in a room that has a lot of moisture, e.g. a bathroom, then it is important to factor this in when choosing the material your shutter will be made in. Another big consideration is the actual style of shutters, and with so many to choose from you might find it a little bewildering. Here’s where we can step in and show you a few things that will help you when picking the perfect shutters for your room, taking style and material into consideration.

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Kia Designs Auction property

The Beginners Guide to Bidding at Auction

Providing you have the funds and the time, buying a property can be a challenging, but ultimately rewarding process. On average, properties go for between 60-90% of market value, and you will have access to flats and houses that aren’t available to anyone who requires a mortgage (i.e. 90% of the home buying demographic.) Nearly all the properties available fall into 3 categories. 1) Short lease. These tend to be in good order, but if the lease is less than 70 years you can’t get a mortgage so they have to go to cash buyers only. Most estate agents won’t take them on as they hardly ever see anyone in that position. 2) Requiring so much structural work that they are unmortgageable. Banks won’t lend on anything that doesn’t meet the health and safety definition of a home. That also includes if the kitchen or bathroom has been knocked out. 3) They have come through probate or a trust and the seller’s representative has a legal obligation to get them the highest possible sum in a set time period. This will usually include repossessions, apartments where someone with no heir has passed away or when the will is being disputed and contested and asserts need to be liquified.

Kia Designs Auction property

Don’t expect the properties to be ready to move into. This charming stairwell belongs to a property we viewed which was predicted to go for comfortably over £1m

Before the day

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Starting A Design: A Family Home in The Country

Our Latest Brief and Scope: Family Fun

Whilst the majority of our projects are London based, we do, on occasion, branch out either overseas or buying the M25. Our newest client has just purchased a large family home in Surrey and plans to turn it into a cosy haven for her twin boys and their large dog.

We plan to turn the slightly muddled and dated house into a sleek and cosy family home. A rejigging of the layout and some minor extensions will make the space far more usable and attractive, as well as allowing the for the stunning views and gardens to be incorporated in the design.

Awkward current layout

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Contemporary Shrines For Your Home

Shrines are an integral and necessary part of many households. They are a place of respect and adoration, and so should not be left by the sideline when considering the beautiful new design of your home. However, sometimes shrines can feel a little disjointed from the rest of your home, whether it be due to the style of the main pieces of your shrine or just the overall feel. It can be difficult to integrate them into the rest of your design, and make them as seamlessly part of your home as they should be.

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Starting a Design: Initial Brief and Scope

Developing and producing a clear brief and scope is an essential part of any project. You are proving to the client that you have understood what it is they are hoping to achieve and converting that into a clear and precise vision. The aim of an initial brief and scope is not to get bogged down in detail, but to define the feeling and atmosphere, combined with a clear explanation of proposed work reasoning and focus.

Below is our proposed brief and scope for one of our current projects. Constructed after talking to the client, looking over inspirational images they had selected and doing a site survey to see what was structurally and budget possible.

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Holistic Design and Meditation Spaces

A meditation space is the perfect way to create a little bit of paradise in your very own home. It can provide you with an area for you to escape from other things that may be causing a little stress. Studies have shown that meditation has many positive effects on the mind and body, such as reduced stress levels and boosting your immune system. And even if you’re not that into meditation, a room for a little quiet time is a great way to unwind, whether you use it for listening to music, reading, painting, whatever takes your fancy…

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Retrofitting Bespoke Bathroom Pieces

If your current bathroom set up isn’t working for you, but you don’t mind the decor or don’t have the budget to rip it out and start again, there are ways of introducing extra storage or features that can transform the space. In our recent Wimbledon project we did just that, by retrofitting a mirrored storage cabinet into the vanity recesses in both bathrooms, providing far more usable storage for the clients. The storage was was partly hidden, allowing for a much more minimalist and clean look to the rooms.

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Hardwood Flooring Finishes: What are Your Options?

Some of the Kia Designs Team recently attended a CPD presented by the Tile and Hardwood Flooring Supplier Domus. As well as getting to have a peruse around one of their amazing showrooms (we love a spot of window shopping), they gave some information about the different finishes and effects they can produce with hardwood engineered flooring.

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How to Make a New Build Feel Lived In: Part 3

Many people struggle to make new builds look homely and lived in. As the property itself will lack any sense of history or character, you’ll need to inject a bit of a sense of personality through your furniture and belongings.

Furnish from the past, present and for the future

If you don’t have any family heirlooms (no – your college billy bookcase doesn’t count), then try buying pieces which aren’t all ultra modern and contemporary in style. You can soften the look with a few older pieces, either faux vintage from somewhere like West Elm who specialise in mid century modern furnishings and homeware, or getting the odd item from eBay or a physical auction house. It will give the impression that the house has always been there, and that you have a history, rather than just feeling like the world started in 2015 when you got the keys.

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Dubai: Interior Design Capital of the Future

Kia Designs is preparing to open an office in Dubai. The expanding and exciting hub is a perfect place for us to reach new and existing clients, as well as access the myriad of suppliers and manufacturers available in the gulf states.

In the modern age there is nothing that competes with the design juggernaut that is Dubai. They are bold, brave, brass and they certainly don’t lack ambition. Wanting to capitalise on hosting the 2020 Expo, the city is creating a design quarter to rival that of Chelsea Harbour in London.

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How to Make a New Build Feel Lived In: Part 2

In the second section of our 3 part series on turning your bland new build into a comfortable home, we look at altering the walls and ceilings to create a sense of history.

Create features where there are none

If the room is lacking in any sort of detailing, add some. Skirting boards and coving always make a room look finished. If it’s a small room, don’t go for anything too large or bulky, it will look disproportionate. Don’t go for anything too ornate if your property is very modern. Art deco styling usually works, because of it’s crisps, angular lines. Ceiling roses around lights in the centre of bedrooms or the living room also subtly introduce more detailing. 

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