Design Blog

Kia is an award winning interior designer based out of London, England. Her studio takes on projects from around the world.

Interior Design in London

Storage Solutions

There are certain challenges the Interior Design in London brings you.  Even in the most luxurious of houses space is usually an issue which means that storage is also an issue.  Most of our projects tend to be in London so we get very good at building in storage that is both pretty and functional

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This looks like your typical cloakroom however, those cupboards underneath the sink are actually housing a washing machine and dryer.  We designed the room so that all the doors can also come off easily so that both the washing machine and tumble dryer can easily pull out (avoiding the toilet nicely) for ease of maintenance.  The sink was also specially thought about, we wanted something that didn’t look too small on the vast work top so we picked a sink design that was low line but very wide so that the proportions worked perfectly.  We used the same measurements for the mirror above the sink and used wall lights so give the room beautiful light.  The cupboard above the toilet holds all the usual items you would need in both a cloakroom as well as everything needed for the laundry but is all nicely hidden away.

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This project we often have many comments on.  The platform was extended to be able to house the kingsize bed, however rather than waste the space underneath the platform we designed a large (and very deep) chest of draws to help house all the clients clothes.  The bottom drawers are extra deep for thick winter wear and extra bedding.  We also have cleverly hidden panels behind the bed that open and allow even more storage.

Project 2 - Earls Court - Image 6

Making sure that every space is used is extremely important.  This under stairs area could have easily just been a plain wall, however this custom built bookcase means that this area can be used as a reading area.

Do you often look around and wonder if your home could have better storage?  Are you buying a new property and are wondering if you are going to be able to fit all your ‘stuff’ in?  Please feel free to contact us regarding your project

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Contemporary Bishops Park Interior Design

Part of our service is interpreting a clients wants and needs in to actual products and an overall design.  It’s one of the most fun parts of my job because it’s a bit of a puzzle.  These clients wanted an interior design that was similar to their previous home (they loved the colours and the light) however they were now moving in to a very different kind of property.

We didn’t have double height ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, we have a bay window at one end of the room and a conservatory at the other – which means that we need to design the room to give the feeling of a light and airy space without using as much space.  As I said, it’s a puzzle.

We picked products that had similar textures to the ones in the previous living area (that you can see above)  but everything had to be scaled down so that the portion was still good.  these were some of the initial thoughts we had of products that might be good for the overall design

You may be able to spot some of them in the finished design below.  We still wanted to keep the blues, slight coppers but decided to go with a lot more grey – doing the walls grey instead of white to give the rooms more warmth.

The clients were very happy with how we interpreted the same design in to two very different spaces.  If you have a project you would like us to work o with you please don’t hesitate to contact us

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Shower Room Interior Design

Shower room interior design seems like it would be relatively simple, however often the best bathroom and shower rooms aren’t found in residential interior design they are in fact found in hotels.  That is why my phone is often full of images of bathrooms from when I have been travelling.

Some of them give me new ideas that  I use in future designs, most of them however just reinforce a well known fact. To have a clean and tidy bathroom you need one thing – storage.

Hotel bathrooms don’t tend to have storage, they are cleaned and tidied for you daily and they don’t want you putting your items away, it increases the chance of you leaving things behind.  However in your own home we have a lot of products, a lot of products, as well as all those lovely things that get replenished magically by room service, such as towels and toilet paper.

In order to get the clean and spacious look of a hotel bathroom in a residential interior design we then need to add in storage in a way that means that is both adds to the design and it also mostly hidden from view.

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How we do this is to build the storage in to the walls.  As you can see here there is a large box that has been carved out of the wall on the left.  This will provide the storage space in our shower room interior design.

 

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As you can see once the tiles go in things start to really take shape and look very different, already our box on the left hand wall seems to almost blend in to the background as our eyes are drawn to the bright pink mosaic and the large format tiles.

 

Penny---Amy-Bathroom---BEST

As you can see the finished design gives a lot of storage, the mirror above the sink opens to provide hidden storage as well as a shaver socket plug to charge both a toothbrush and an electric razor.  The open storage on the left hand side allows easy access to products as well as the perfect place to display some beautiful items.

Have a project you would like to work on with us?  You can contact us on 07912138822

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Elegant Interior Design

Elegance is often overlooked but in Interior Design is is one of the most powerful feelings.  You walk in to a room and you feel even more elegant just standing in it, the colours, the textures and even the sound your feet make on the flooring give you a feeling of elegance.  There is one aspect of elegance that is also extremely important – lighting.

I adore the beautiful shapes and different textures that Porta Romana continue to use throughout their designs.  They are exactly what an elegant interior design would need, most of the lights shown here are more of a piece of art work than a simple piece of lighting.

This collection by Porta Romana once again exudes elegance, this time though it is the elegance of decay.  Such beautiful pieces, which is your favourite?

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Interior Design Earls Court

Ballroom Brilliance

This project was probably one of my favourite to work on due to autonomy we were given with the design, the client gave a clear brief and allowed us creative freedom within that to create the perfect design for him.

The apartment would have previously been the main ballroom of the house and was a grand space within a converted mansion house

We looked to reinstate some of the grandness in to this house whilst still keeping it clean and modern.

The apartment layout featured a split-level design that covered a third of the space, downstairs had guest bedroom, guest shower room and kitchen whilst upstairs had the main bathroom and master bedroom.  We redesigned the space to that downstairs the kitchen was open plan in to the living area and we also snuck in a small gym room which was great for the clients busy lifestyle.  Upstairs we redesigned the space to include a walk-in wardrobe and changed what was previously just a bathroom in to a bath and shower room that had a much more spacious and luxurious feel.

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We needed to create the perfect entertaining space, something that would be elegant and relaxed.  With a 5m ceiling height in the main room our features needed to be eye catching and large, it was unlikely that our designs were going to dwarf the space!  We kept and helped restore quite a few of the features that the property had, although not likely the originals we wanted to keep the apartment as true to it’s origins as possible hence we kept the fireplace, shutters and cornicing only adding finishing touches that would increase their beauty such as a new fire basket for the fireplace and handles for the shutters.

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With such a large space it is very important to ‘zone’ it correctly. We wanted each area to have it’s own feeling whist working together as a whole. We had three main zones that we needed to incorporate in to the design, the kitchen, the dining area and the living area.

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Porta Romana Lamps

Glass and Perspex Lamps

Porta Romana are one of my favourite lamp producers.  Their lamps add an instant feeling of luxury to our of our Interior Designs.  Here is a selection of my favourite autumnal palette lamps

These colours also always remind me of this rug that you will be seeing a lot more of very soon.  We will be relaunching our rug collection in the very near future so please remember to sign up for our newsletter to be able to get the latest news and also all the amazing offers that will be available.

Kia Designs - Nature Blows Brown- In Conservatory- High Res

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Marble Shower Room

The wonderful part about being a designer is the amount of different people you get to design for, from all around the world, living in all different parts of the world.  It’s fantastic but sometimes you forget how beautiful a design can be till you revisit it.  In searching through old folders I found these very quick snaps of a marble shower room we designed for clients in Baker Street.

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The bespoke hand made bathroom units mean that the room has a sleek look but still has ample storage.

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The spares were all extremely limited but the use of the marble and the black mosaic made the room have an instant wow factor.  I still love it to this day!

Have a project you would like to talk to us about? Read more →

Revisiting an old love

A long long time ago, in a galaxy…. no wait!   Over a year ago we saw this wonderful design at Tent London.

We absolutely loved it and knew it was going to be a big hit, well I hate to say I told you so! We were right and we wanted to give you a bit of an update as these guys are creating more beautiful designs for us to all enjoy.

Yes! You can now have hercules to hold your iPad perfectly for you….oh and of course he charges it with some of his amazing super strength (I wonder if it will make the battery last any longer?)

All images from http://venus.io/  and you can now purchase online here

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Door Knockers – the introduction to your home

We have often heard people talking about ‘kerb appeal’ however in a big city like London its often not about the view from the kerb, especially if you live in a flat. However, fear not! There are still fantastic ways to make a big impact from the door step and door knockers can be one of those ways.

Six of the best door knockers

Here we look at 6 of the most interesting designs that would have me smiling instantly as I knocked.

For the ornate look:

Brass Hand Door KnockerDoor Knocker - Black Ornate

For animal lovers:

Solid Brass Own KnockerWoodpecker Door Knocker

 

For insect lovers:

BUMBLEBEE DOOR KNOCKER - POLISHED BRASSDragonfly Door Knocker

 

My favourite is probably the owl or woodpecker, which one would you smile at when reaching someones door?

1. Brass Hand door knocker from Rockett St George, £14.95
2. Black Ornate door knocker from Rocket St George, £14.95
3. Owl Brass door knocker from Signature Hardware, $49.95
4. Wood Pecker door knocker from Signature Hardware, $39.95
5. Bumblebee door knocker from Signature Hardware, $139.95
6. Dragonfly door knocker from Signature Hardware, $39.95

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A quick lesson on fire certificates for fabrics

Inside an Interior Design project

It was all going well, we have a fantastic design, the client loves it, everything has been signed off on and paid for and so we start the process of ordering all the gorgeous furniture. Of course we always expect a few spanners in the works but this was one we probably could have avoided.

We specified this beautiful fabric from Zimmer and Rohde for one of the lounge sofas. It’s beautiful, it brings in a small amount of blue woven through a lovely grey. Absolutely perfect for the comfy feather filled 2 seater sofa that will take pride of place in the main lounge.

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Then we hit a snag…

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The fire certification for the fabric wasn’t there! Disaster!

The composition is 52% polyester and 48% polypropylene which means that the fabric does not hold any fire certificates.  Legally, the fabric would require flameproofing for upholstery use, however it’s not usually possible to flameproof with the composition of polypropylene.   So although it is an upholstery fabric… it’s actually not an internal fabric.

So the hunt for a replacement fabric has began, and we face the battle of having one picked by monday we may be in for a bit of a delay.  So remember always check your fire certificates for fabrics before specifying them!

Hints to watch out for:

  • Check that the compostitions etc are written on the back of the suppliers samples, if they aren’t grab a business card and jot them down (remember to staple them to the fabric in question)
  • If in doubt, ask. Just because it says that it is an upholstery fabric doesn’t mean you can actually use it as one! Ever country has different fire specifications so it’s always best to check and check again
  • When you do run in to a project like this, let the showroom staff guide you. They will always have an alternative and a friendly
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How to create a wow feature

Interior Design is all about creating a feature for your room that instantly gives the ‘wow’ factor

Why not start by painting a wall with one of this year’s shades (how about ‘Barrier Reef’ from Crown Paints ‘Surreal Botanical’ range?) and then stack it full of different shapes and sizes of picture-frames.  This is one of the easiest pieces of DIY and it is one of the most effective – grab a whole load of frames in all different sizes and go crazy – don’t be too concerned with symmetry as blatant opposition to such rules gives any room an air of liberation.  Remember, art is one of the most personal touches for your home but doesn’t have to cost the earth, if you are stuck for what fill your picture frames with why not create a collage of family pictures or iconic images from magazines?  Doing so also has the added advantage of allowing you to update your display to fit the season (or if that wonderful boyfriend becomes an ex-boyfriend!)

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 5

The interior design in this hallway could have been extremely soulless, however the smiling happy faces of family and friends as turned it not only in to a warm and inviting area but also a wow factor!

Working on a project at the moment? We are currently taking on new and exciting projects, to tell us about yours please call us on 07912138822 or kia@kiadesigns.co.uk

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How to use lighting in a bathroom

Design Essentials – Lighting 

Lighting is literally the life blood of a design; it can make a design shine (pardon the pun!). Interior Design is all about making the absolute best of every space, and bathrooms can unfortunately be sadly overlooked when it comes to lighting.  This is a huge shame as it can create some of the most dramatic bathrooms.

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This bathroom was designed for a gorgeous town house Interior Design in Mayfair.  It needed to work within the more traditional design of the house, but with a slightly more contemporary feel.  We needed to replicate the original cornice that we had retained throughout the rest of the property; this had unfortunately been removed from these two levels during a 1970s renovation, however was still present on the other 4 floors of the house.  However, we wanted to create more of a feature with the cornice and lighting on the newly renovated floors.  Normally, the bathroom gets abandoned at this point and gets stuck with the normal spot lighting.  We will not abandon the bathroom, we want it to be just as gorgeous as the rest of the property, and so we also used the beautiful cornice lighting within both bathrooms.

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As you can see it makes quite an effect! This bathroom was designed with blue LED strip lighting and completely changes the room from a more contemporary feel to a rocking modern feel that literally charges with energy.

It can be a much more subtle effect when using a bright white LED light, as you can see below.  It still makes the entire shower room glow, but is less “in your face” and more subtle.

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We always treat each of our clients as individuals, and we realise that the LED blue lighting may not be for everyone, but it exactly fulfilled our clients brief. Interior Design is always about the finished project and we were ecstatic to see the look on our clients faces when they saw the bathrooms that we had created for them.

Then book your first consultation today. We can’t wait to work with you

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One of the best design shows in London…

September is always a really interesting time of year in the design world; together with the change from flip-flops to boots we are invited to attend a whole host of amazing design shows.  One of my favourites of these shows is Tent London, held in the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch this show always produces something wonderful that gets you instantly thinking of how you can push your designs further, make more of your space and widen the choices you offer clients.  This year’s tent was no exception; in fact it was by far the most inspirational yet.

This year I was super impressed that Tent actually took over the ground floor area of the brewery which was transformed beautifully from its normal market stalls and gorgeous food to a sleek and modern design show – the space was almost unrecognisable!  The show really made the most of the different levels available to it and it flowed together from level to level very easily – I loved it!

These are a few of my favourite selections from the show…

First up, and the first things that hits you as you come through is Portuguese company Ginger & Jagger’s collaborative stall with Munna.  The Walnut cabinet is simply beautiful (although I think it would be greatly improved with slow close hinges!) and will make a fantastic feature piece for future designs as it would work great as bedroom storage or even as a bar in a formal lounge!

The detailing is fantastic.

One of my favourite finds was Endesigns (http://www.endesigns.eu/) they do some amazing, quirky and very differently designed pieces. I love the floor tiles below (how cool would these be in a funky boutique hotel lobby?!)

Overall the show, I felt, was a great success and was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday as we woke up much more energized and excited to look in to all the new products on Monday morning!

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Behind the white on white design

This design was the Finalist in the Living Space design of the year only recently and we are constantly getting questions on how to re-create parts of this wonderful white on white design.  Here we break down a few of the amazing features of this design

The aim of this bathroom was to have some glitz and glamour whilst still having a completely usable space…and of course it HAD to be white! Mosaic by Bizazza Floor tiles by Surface Bath and toilet by Living House.

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1. Did you used the same tile on all walls?
The wall tiles are two different colours of Bizazza Tiles, the beautiful splash back is actually inlaid with white gold to create an extremely glitzy finish. They are called ‘Narcisio’ part of the Shading blends

2. What size are the floor tiles?
They are 60cm square
(Did you know the image below has been added to almost 10,000 ideas books over on Houzz??!)

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 63. How is the bed held up?
The bed is attached to the supporting wall behind the headboard and has a central leg. It’s from a company called Lago and the details of the bed can be found here

4. Do you remember the brand of flooring used here? Is it laminate floating floor?
The flooring used here is an engineered German oak in a brushed ‘fridge white’ it is from one of our trade suppliers so unfortunately I can’t pass on any contact details that would be of use to you. It was very important with this flooring that it as a brushed finish rather than a sprayed finish as it means that it retains more of the patina of the wood.

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5. What is the wall colour?
The whole property has been painted in Brilliant White

6. How do you tuck the duvet underneath the bed?
There is a thin platform with the slats underneath for the mattress, this is where the duvet is tucked in

Interesting in having your property designed?

So if you have any more questions on any of our designs please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or give us a tweet

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Why bespoke wardrobes are best for busy people

Wardrobes are wardrobes, right? Wrong! Bespoke wardrobes add value to your property, make your rooms look gorgeous and they even save you time! They are a fantastic investment for you and your property.

Project 1 - Mayfair - Image 8

Most of our clients are extremely busy people who run their own businesses, they are CEOs and Directors, they don’t have time to waste and, let’s be honest, fashion isn’t always the top priority in the boardroom. However, everyone likes to look their best and creating a wardrobe storage system that is tailored perfectly to you will allow you to look your best and may even give you a few extra minutes in bed (we can’t promise that however!)

 

House Build - Girls Bedroom - sm

This wardrobe system was created for a client that had a teenage daughter, the wardrobe is actually triangular and contains a larger variety of different internal storage so that there is a place for everything! Just the way it should be!

Looking to have your home re-designed? Want a unique approach that doesn’t waste your time and creates a home that not only looking amazing but works for you?

Give us a call on +447912-138822 or click here to discuss your requirements Read more →