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Interior Design

Top Floor Renovation Regent’s Park NW1

We recently finished a top floor renovation project in Regent’s Park. We managed to convert an awkward and somewhat unusable floor into a generous Guest Suite with ensuite, a second guest room, a kids bedroom, family bathroom and utility, providing our clients with a lot more space to work with. Here are some details on some of our favourite parts of the project.

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How to Create An Instant Extra Bedroom

How to translate usable daily space into a private spare room

Most people value spare or extra bedrooms when house hunting. Even more than generous reception/living space. A spare bedroom will add value, but more often than not you start with big ideas of it being a multitasking office/guest room and it ends up being a junk room with the Christmas tree and your old bike. With square footage at a premium, that’s an expensive cupboard.

flexible living space

Our recent Knightsbridge project yielded such a dilemma. The client would be using it when in London, sometimes with a large family in toe, sometimes just them, and sometimes the flat would be loaned to friends and relatives. The primary focus was for the flat to be a family home, so we focused on providing as much communal living space as possible, whilst also adding a 3rd bedroom/day room by means of a sliding wall. 

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Updating Your Home For The Next Generation

For many clients they have lived in their homes for decades, in some cases they are generational homes that have been passed down to younger family members. How do you keep that sense of history whilst also updating the home for a new generation?

The lounge area hadn’t been re-designed in decades. It held many wonderful memories for the family but was in desperate need of an upgrade for the new way in which the family live.

The bedroom and bathroom areas were also in need of an update. They also weren’t ideally placed within the property and so we completely re-designed the layout of the property to be able to provide a more ergonomic floorplan. Bathroom placement had lead to some tight and strange spaces within the interior of the property

Tired bathrooms in need to a new lease of life. The had functioned well but were also lacking in basic storage needs for the family. Especially as it continues to grow.

The Lounge area was a large area that had good light, the family didn’t want to lose this kind of family space but needed to do much more with it. It needed to be modernised in order to cope with modern life. Lots of wasted space within the property. This second lounge area had not served as useful space and often provided a dumping ground for bags, shoes, coats and suitcases – not the ideal welcome in to the home. A beloved piece of art will need a new place in the new design.

A dated separate kitchen and dining area had served the family well but we were looking to open the whole space up and incorporate the dining and kitchen in to the main family space. With the new kitchen design being open-plan we will need to readdress how the washing machine area works.

Bedrooms were functional but very plain and lacking on great storage ideas.

Bespoke Furniture Drawing

Bespoke Furniture: What Money Can Buy

Bespoke furniture can really personalise your home, creating a space that you can use in exactly the way you wish to use it, it can also, in some cases add value, not to mention style. But well-made, bespoke furniture can also come with quite a large price tag, so it’s useful to know what you can cut in order to bring down costs.

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Interior Architecture: Adding Value with an Extra Bathroom

Make space: Make money

Thinking of moving? It might be worth making a few minor improvements to increase the value of your home.

Thinking of buying? Don’t let a property’s lack of amenities put you off, adding an extra bathroom can be quick to do (weeks, not months) and with clever positioning, won’t eat up too much of your floor space.

Any small space can be converted into a wet or shower room

A second bathroom can add up to 16 per cent to the value of a property, so it’s always worth considering. Try and go for bathrooms of equal size with separate toilets for rentals, and ideally no ensuite for multiple occupancy rentals. For family’s go for larger en suites (with plenty of storage) gone are the days of these being a shower add-on for a master bedroom, these are now technically the main bathrooms of a property. Family bathrooms should also be spacious and contain copious storage. Guest en suites and cloakrooms should be kept to a minimalist design. These need to be easy to keep clean.

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Air Plant Care

Air Plants: No-one Can Live On Thin Air

So they say succulents, cacti and air plants are the easiest plants to look after, just leave them to their own devises and they will be fine. Yes, many of these little friends of ours are used to living in the middle of no-where, with little water and interaction. But there are a number of variables that can make caring for them a little more difficult than just leaving them be. Here are a few tips to help you when caring for your little green friends, in particular Air Plants.

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Creating A Tropical Home In East London

We often get clients who aren’t afraid of colour and most of our clients are well travelled if not international. So when we had a client come in and fearless look at jungle prints exclaiming that they felt like home we knew we were going to be having a lot of fun on this project. I want to start with the disclaimer that we are not going to be using all these at the same time but these were the initial pieces that we have looked at for how to bring a little bit of tropical jungle in to your home. So he’s a few pieces that can help you start creating a tropical home too!

Singita, which means ‘Place of Miracles’ from Cole and Son. Product Code: 109/7035

Using Wallpaper

Colour palettes are drawn from the natural landscape: from the chalky, ochred desert plains and sun-bleached shimmering outcrops to the vibrant fresh greens of water-kissed rainforests and exotic colourings of native flora and fauna.

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Spotlight on: Bisazza

Luxurious Industry Leader

Bisazza is the industry’s leading producer of glass mosaics and tiling for interior and exterior decoration.

Established by Renato Bisazza in 1956 in Alte, Vicenza, Northern Italy, the company has become a trailblazer, marked by a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, a mastery of modern technologies blended with the charm of craftsmanship and custom design.

Kia Designs mosaic

A close up of the Bisazza mosaic wall

Bisazza stock tiles to nearly every country in the developed world, and have flagship stores in London, NY and throughout continental Europe. Their work appears in over 700 of the world’s top 1000 hotels as rated by CN Traveller. They also appear in many of our projects as their quality and flare make them our go to brand for mosaics and bathroom design. They are a brilliant addition to any surface, and look equally good as small highlights as they do as grand murals.

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Interior Designers Guide To Glamping

What Happens When An Interior Designer Designs A Glamping Tent

The Best Way To Camp

Heading to a festival this year? Everyone has a different idea about what it’s like to “rough it” and if you’re someone who shudders at the idea of sleeping outdoors on the cold, lumpy ground without the luxuries that you’re used to, why not make your tent a true home away from home with our recommended designer items.

Glamping is the perfect combination of enjoying hotel luxury while experiencing the great outdoors. The great thing about this recent craze is that you can personalise your tent to suit you whether you want to bring the outdoors in with a few hanging plants or enjoy laid-back luxury with a simple, minimal approach.

Of course, you’re going to have to pack the essentials, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with nature in style by adding throw pillows, battery powered fairy lights and even a boho style rug that you can place at the door to keep the mud outside where it belongs. Opt for decorative furnishings with different textures that are bound to introduce some much-needed comfort into your camping experience. Indulge in your bedding and pack an air bed before adding a duvet over your sleeping bag to create that homely feel. You’ll find that these extras will make all the difference to your time away.

The Designers Guide To Glamping from a London Interior Designer

You might be out of your comfort zone but who said you have to leave technology at home? Keep up with your social media and pack a solar charger for your phone and add light to your wigwam with electric candles – safe and eco-friendly. You might even want to keep the party going after hours with a portable speaker that will connect to your phone.

So, when it comes to looking for inspiring items for your festival experience, Kia Designs has a team on hand to give you a fresh perspective.

Spotlight On: Naked Kitchens

New Kid on the Kitchen Block

Modern kitchen design fall into 3 categories:

1) Traditional. Usually handmade and bespoke. Think luxurious woods and inflame design.

2) High Street. Global trends in manufacturing make them cheaper and quicker to produce and more modular: easily changed, altered and replaced. They can be as bland as possible, for resale or tenants, or as trend focused as you like. Ikea is largely responsible for driving demand.

3) Luxury high tech. The space age kitchens with the latest in hands-free sensors and clean, perfectly honed lines. These tend to be the more stylish and sophisticated models, although can can apply to inflame designs too. You’ll always know one by the price tag. They tend to use advanced manufacturing techniques, usually developed for something else (think metal drawer fronts that repel kitchen grease because they use the same finishing techniques as on spaceships for re-entry {true story}).

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That Light Bulb Moment: An Idiots Guide to Light Bulbs

So, the extremely exhilarating topic of the technicalities of the light bulb. It may sound dull but since working for Kia Designs I finally had diffused my fear of light bulb shopping. I had always put off buying bulbs for that light that had blown, because, although I ended up with the right one in the end, the amount of codes and names always confused me. You go down the lightbulb isle in the supermarket and the amount of different, shapes, sizes, wattage etc glares back at you, and what makes it worse, many different places use differing names. And it turns out, many of our clients are the same, and we are often asked ‘what bulb do I need to get for my lamp, and where can I get it?’. I believe I am a step closer to becoming a light bulb pro. And I am here to share my knowledge, starting with the bayonet and the screw fitting… the excitement is palpable.

 

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A House Or A Home?

Creating The Feeling Of Home

The feeling of home can often be hard to put your finger on but time and time again this is what we create for our clients. When people buy a house that’s often how they describe it “We’ve bought a house”. Even when they’ve moved in they often still call it that until they are able to turn into a home. Their home. Not a picture postcard of a home, not a brochure for a home but something that works for them each and every day. Everyone has a different idea of what their home should feel like, does it need to be open and yet still cozy? Does it need to be technologically advanced whilst still maintaining a facade of old school elegance?

These all sound like ideas that don’t mesh together very well. However, good design pulls these ideas together flawlessly. So that you almost don’t notice how well designed a space is. Until you stand in it and we show you all the small finished details that make it perfect for your day to day. Whether it be for a busy life with young children or a more relaxed holiday home that needs to work for only short periods throughout the year.

Completely hidden storage

Every project requires fantastic storage, being able to put our possessions away in places that make the most sense to our life is so important. It can remove the feeling of anxiety that can rise from not knowing where something is. It can help to unclutter your mind as we declutter the home. Leaving you feeling more relaxed and at ease in your surroundings.

We don’t just create beautiful houses or spaces we create homes. From large to small, every detail is curated to be able to create a polished interior that suits you. 

What Size Art to Use? A Definitive Guide to Space Planning

Create a Polished Looking Interior With Stylish Art Pieces

Badly hung art can ruin the look and feel of a room. You might have pieces that you treasure and love, but you have to be ruthless about where they fit in the scheme. You can always find a place for your desired objects, it just might not be centre stage above a sofa if it’s an A4 frame.

kia designs artwork prep

If you need to make artworks look larger, you can be creative with framing. This frame in our Baker St project sits completely independently from the painting, adding volume without being overwhelming.

 

The main culprits:

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Creative Bathroom Design: Get The Look

Translating Client Dreams to Realities

The current bathroom in one of our projects is lacking in style and character. By adding fun tiles and and interesting collection of artwork, the space will be injected with the much needed charm and fun the clients are after.

Updating your bathroom can be one of the most satisfying amendments you can make to your home. It’s a room you spend lots of time looking around. It’s also a room that gets dirty and mouldy easily and one that we really associate germs and necessary cleanliness with. In short, people like and expect their bathrooms to look fresh. 

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