Design Blog

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

How Hidden Can A Desk Be?

The answer seems to be, pretty hidden.  This desk seems to take it to a new level as it completely transforms in to a blue (or copper) box.  Neatly hiding away tons of storage (including a filing cabinet) and even it’s own built in chair.

8ba0f788b8d92738b4a43fff113ac753

Cast Acrylic Exterior and Polished Mahogany Interior
150cm (59″) long x 75cm (29.5″) deep x 80cm (31.5″) high
About the designer: Paul Kelley is one of the UK’s foremost furniture makers with a reputation for his unique material combinations, thoughtful composition and meticulous finish.

Initially trained as a guitar maker, Paul has honed his detailed craftmanship over the last 22 years into creating bespoke furniture with a list of clients and commissions including Fendi, Paul Smith, Browns of London, William Grant & Sons and the Hotel Intercontinental Group.

Paul won a Wallpaper Design Award for his White Acrylic Drawer Unit that was picked as one of the 10 essential designs of the last ten years and was nominated for an Arts Foundation Fellowship for furniture design.

Paul lives in South East London and works from his studio in Kent, England.

Brings a whole new meaning to “push your chair in”.

Bespoke Global – Product Detail – Blue Desk.

Read more →

How Recessed Lighting Could Make Your Home More Modern

Task lighting is something that is often essential but can be difficult to do well.  Spots are often the instant choice however, they aren’t exactly the prettiest of options.  Recessed lighting can be a fantastic way of creating an extremely modern look, it is also super simple to do and unbelievably striking.

These astro lights are a perfect example (available from here), they are very inexpensive at less than £35 but would provide a more modern look to a room.

9476e0becc2f1357fb8739fbe383cb23

 

As you can see from the room below we have used similar sized lighting in our Notting Hill Interior Design project and it produces a beautiful feature in the kitchen area.  The channel here also is extremely clever because it hides the huge projector screen that comes down in front of the art work.

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 1

You can also see above that we used a mixture of inset lighting and spot lighting, however an alternative would have been to use recessed lighting over the kitchen island with these Astro recessed lights.

5655

What do you think about using recessed lighting?  Do you think it makes this Notting Hill Penthouse Interior Design look more modern?

Read more →

Artwork That Grabs You

Artwork is extremely subjective, the style the colours, the media and the content all need to speak to the person viewing it.  So when I saw these stunning pieces pop up in my email I just had to share them with you.

St-Pauls-XI-2012.-Gloss-paint-on-MDF-91-x-61-cm.

They are by the artist Alicia Dubnyckyj and they are, of course, of London.  They offer a very unique view of the capital, the colours draw you in and allows you to look to look not just at the buildings themselves but how each part of the city sits together.  The juxtaposition of old against new, green spaces against concrete giants.  It really is beautiful.

 

The-City-III-2012.-Gloss-paint-on-MDF-75-x-60-cm

 

The artwork above made me smile, I adore how blue the buildings in the distance appear to be against the sludgy grey and brown colours of the Thames!

Southbank-at-Night-London-2008.-Gloss-on-MDF-153-x-122-cm

Westminster-VIII-2012.-Gloss-paint-on-MDF-130-x-100-cm.
Private view: Tuesday 18 November 2014, 6-8:30pm
Exhibition continues until 16 December 2014  at:

Sarah Myerscough | 15-16 Brooks Mews | Mayfair, London W1K 4DS, United Kingdom

From the gallery: Alicia Dubnyckyj returns with her highly complex abstract cityscape paintings, capturing the dynamism and speed of contemporary London, which is now firmly recognised as one of the leading cities in the world, substantiated in 2013 by being crowned the most popular tourist destination on earth. In particular, the artist’s new work reflects the post-Olympic optimism felt in the Capital, encapsulating this new mood in her highly coloured, panoramic views that celebrate London’s inspiring contemporary and historic architecture.
Tower-Bridge-VII.-Gloss-paint-on-MDF-100-x-130-cm

 

Biography of the artist:
The artist was a prizewinner in the 2010 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, and also shortlisted for the prestigious Celeste Art Prize in 2006. She previously received the George Jackson Travel Award, 2001 and the Associated Architects Purchase Award in the same year. She has been extensively reviewed in the British Press including the Independent’s ‘Top 5 Artists to invest'; Esquire Magazine’s ‘Who to invest in Art; Fused Magazine; the cover feature of City Living; and has been included in the NY Arts Magazine. Throughout Dubnyckyj’s career, her paintings have also featured in a number of television programmes, including Channel 4’s Ideas Factory. Collectors include Nicky Wire (of the Manic Street Preachers); George Boetang (footballer); Paul Bradley (actor); and the Princess of Kuwait, who flew the artist to Kuwait to produce large scale commissioned paintings of the city for their private collection.

Alicia Dubnyckyj | Sarah Myerscough Gallery.

Read more →

Wallpaper That Takes You To Cloud Nine

I couldn’t help myself, it’s only the colour that’s called Cloud but it inspired me.  The design of this wallpaper is beautiful, it has a wonderful movement to it.  I can often find that highly patterned wallpapers can simply be too distracting to use in a lot of residential interior design schemes.

Sold by the foot (£21 a linear foot at the publishing time of this post) this wallpaper could work in a host of schemes and would add instant elegance to a room.

a7445edcea25018dc7db666e30d333f0

From the company: Calico Wallpaper is dedicated to the artisanal process of paper marbling, creating some of the most exquisite, ethereal and large-scale landscape murals. The brand is the brainchild of creative and life partners Rachel Mosler and Nick Cope, who have taken inspiration from ancient techniques to create wallpaper that is both sumptuous and timeless. The finest materials and a buoyant hand create depth and movement, giving the landscapes a hint of alchemy. Calico is wallpaper raised to high art.

As owner of the design/build firm Dark Green, Nick regularly produces projects in the luxury residential interior sphere. He also has collaborated on several custom commercial projects with esteemed fashion brands such as Opening Ceremony and Paul Smith. He brings more than a decade of interior design and build experience to Calico.

Raised in a post-and-beam house on Martha’s Vineyard, Rachel spent her days stitching crystals into cloth and binding books with twigs, which fostered a love for material and process. Later, as a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design in Sculpture, she exhibited her artwork in New York, Philadelphia and Paris. At Calico, Rachel embraces a hands-on approach to the artisanal process of paper marbling.

Calico is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Bespoke Global – Product Detail – Wabi – Cloud.

Read more →

One Clever Ground Floor Toilet Design

DSC_0042

On first glance this may look like a beautiful but very normal ground floor toilet.  The place where all your guests will probably use, so it needs to be both functional and beautiful  However, this is a ground floor toilet with a difference.  It also had to house the laundry room.  The laundry room is becoming increasing important in our modern day lives.  That’s why is was so important for the storage in this room to be absolutely stunning.  Those cabinets hide not only the separate washing machine and tumble dryer but also allow storage of a laundry basket.

 

2014-09-30-21.31.23

The original design was a extremely rough sketch.  I wanted to not only be able to hide the washing machine and dryer but also to contain the cistern that was currently on view together with the unsightly piping.

2014-01-28-17.58.23

As you can see from these before images this room wasn’t just in need of a style overhaul it also had some severe problems with functionality.  The sink looked as though it had just be shoved in the middle of a work surface that just seemed too large for the room.  There was no storage for any other items and the lighting was simply terrible.

2014-09-30 21.31.54

2014-09-30 21.32.00

 

Here you can see we start to address the issues with lighting.  In an internal bathroom harsh top-down lighting is not really what you want to see.  It provides your face with more shadows that natural light which can often leave you looking and feeling extremely tired when you look in the mirror.  For this reason we decided to add in wall lights,  even bright wall lights can provide you with a refreshed look.  We opted to go with ones with a brushed glass finish however as they produce a lovely diffused light.

DSC_0043

The sink was a major issue, the proportions were all wrong however it would be impossible to insert a larger sink in to the work surface as there wasn’t any extra space between the washing machine and dryer.  So although a top mounted sink would provide better proportions it would start to become difficult to use.  Therefore we opted to go with a sink that was very wide but not very tall.  This would allow the correct proportions without sacrificing functionality.

0370700000_dim_3_1

 

The cupboards above the toilet provide storage for all the washing paraphernalia as well as storage for spare bathroom products.  The mirroring of these in a smoke mirror also one, makes the room appear larger and two, it creates a warm and lovely reflection for anyone visiting the bathroom.

What do you think of this ground floor bathroom?  Would you have realised it was hiding a dirty (laundry) secret?

Read more →

The 12 Best Rug Company Rugs

We source products from all around the world, items that have influences from every far flung reach however, sometimes the old suppliers, the ones that you have been working with for years and years, still manage to provide you with some of the most beautiful items.  The Rug Company is one of those companies,  we have worked with them for what seems like a lifetime (in a good way) and their rug collections continue to inspire us. These are 12 of our favourite designs, some of them old and some of them new.  All of them gorgeous!

1. Hummingbird Ivory, Alexander McQueen

alexander-mcqueen-hummingbird-ivory-roomset_large_1

2. Monarch Smoke, Alexander McQueen

alexander-mcqueen-monarch-smoke-roomset_large

3. Silhouette, Jaime Hayon

dc_hayon_silhouette_small

4. Magnolia Ice Wool and Silk, Vivienne Westwood

vivienne-westwood-magnolia-ice-roomset_large_1

5. Mamounia Sky, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

martyn-lawrence-bullard-mamounia-sky-roomset_large_1

6. Sellarsbrook Yellow, Suzanne Sharp

suzanne-sharp-sellarsbrook-yellow-roomset_large

7. Tracery, Kelly Wearstler

kelly-wearstiler-tracery-room_large

8. Squiggle Blue, Vivienne Westwood

vivienne-westwood-squiggle-blue-roomset_large_1

9. Gold Rings, David Rockwell

david-rockwell-gold-rings-roomset_large

10. VW Flag, Vivienne Westwood

vivienne-westwood-vw-flag-rug-roomset_large

11. Malabar Ivory, The Rug Company

sc_malabar-ivory_r_large

12. Flaunt, Kelly Wearstler



dc_kelly_flaunt_r_large_1

Which one is your favourite? Which one do you think you would want in the lounge as a wow piece?

Read more →

Why Handles Are Sexy

Yes, you read that title correctly.  We are talking sexy handles today.  In my years of being an Interior Designer in London I have had many things described to me as sexy.  People have wanted a sexy bathroom, an entrance hall that is simply “the sex” and today I am bringing you some of the sexiest handles that could lead you in to these rooms.  They are from the amazing Philip Watts Design and they are extremely sexy.

First up, these wings.  Let is be known, I have a thing for wings and feathers.  I adore them.  I haven’t tended to use them too much in interiors (we want sexy not tacky boudoir). Eaglewing has a wing span of 1 metre and is also available in brass and bronze, divine. (£667.50)

Flames!  These handles have a very obvious nod to Harley Davidson and are super sexy.  They are push/pull handles and I adore the combination of the snake skin with the flames.  (£262.50)

flames

Guns, they are a little bit Bond and of course have a certain power element to them.  They do both a larger and a smaller version (the larger has elongated the barrel), I personally prefer these in the smaller version. (£352.50)

small-gun

So there you have it, sexy handles.

 

Read more →

Entrance Flooring Ideas

First impressions are always extremely important, not just for people but also for houses. The entrance to your home sets the tone for the rest of the design. It is also the initial landing pad for an often very busy life style so it needs to be not only beautiful but hardwearing and functional.

For this reason we decided to change the entrance hall in this property in Bishops Park from carpet to a much more hard wearing tiled surface.

2014-02-19 12.59.02

We looked at quite a few different options.  The clients wanted us to make a real ‘wow’ impression for when they welcomed guests in to their home.  First thoughts were to go with a mosaic marble; the marble would be extremely hardwearing and a honeycomb pattern like the one below would look beautiful.  However, mosaic means that there is a lot of grout lines and grout can get very dirty, very quickly in a high traffic area like this.

2014-03-06 12.10.28-1

We decided that a slightly larger format patterned tile would work best.  It would remove the problem of grout lines (make them much less of a problem) and the pattern would provide added interest.  None of these patterns took the clients liking however as they all seemed a little too modern for the house.

2014-03-06 12.14.19-2

We came across this one however and it seemed perfect, the pattern was pretty, not too heavy and would work wonderfully with the grey and blue design scheme in the dining room (these tiles would be viewable from this room).

2014-03-14 12.38.50

 

Seeing it all down for the first time is always something special, as you may notice we decided to go with a dark grey grout (that picks up the dark grey parts of the pattern) rather than a white grout which would become easily dirty in this area.

2014-05-13 11.45.15

Let us know what you think of this entrance flooring idea.  Do you have entrance flooring ideas of your own that you think we should have considered?  Please feel free to comment below.

Interior Designer in Bishops Park

Read more →

Interior Designer Canterbury

Exciting news in from Kia Designs, we are now taking on projects in Canterbury.  We will be bringing our unique style to the houses of Kent from this month.  In and around Canterbury you can arrange for a free first consultation to go through your project requirements and how our service will be able to work for you.

How does Kia Designs service work?

We like to be a little bit different, we state our prices and charges here on the website so you can see exactly how much you will be paying. No extra charges, this means that we can all sit back and relax from the beginning of the project knowing that we are not going to be going over budget due to our design fees! They are all done and dusted right at the beginning of the project.

Over the 5 years since we launched Kia Designs our clients have been impressed not only with our incredible designs, but also with our transparency

 

  • Understanding our clients needs
    We take the time to understand exactly what you need from your home
  • Taking on projects that are right for us
    We only take on a maximum of 6 projects at any one time so that clients always receive the amount of time their project needs
  • Being Passionate about Design
    We are obsessed with interior design, you can check out our twitter and our pinterest for a little bit of inspiration of things that we adore
  • Knowledgable about property
    Having worked on property for many years we have an intimate knowledge of what adds value and what people are looking for in a quality design
  • Clear and Realistic
    We are always realistic about what your budget is going to be able to achieve and set a clear plan that is going to make the most of it

 

Read more →

Ochre Arctic Pear

Ochre Arctic Pear is one of my favourite lights from Ochre’s collection.  It is one of the most versatile collections available in five different sizes of round, up to a glorious 120cm, as well as both a single and double wave.  I am also extremely excited to hear that they are soon to be doing an oval version which I think will be a big seller as it offers a lot of versatility.  I hope to be using this in many upcoming projects.

 

A bit about Ochre “British designers Joanna Bibby and Harriet Maxwell Macdonald, who shared an aesthetic for the beauty of the understated, founded OCHRE in 1996. Solenne de la Fouchardière became the third partner and fellow designer four years later. Along with selling directly to individuals, OCHRE’s clients are leading international interior designers and architects. OCHRE has worked on many custom projects for private residences, boutique hotels and restaurants throughout the world.”

Read more →

Be Amazed By The Abigail Ahern Collection

Having previously worked on Upper Street in Islington, I have long been a fan of Abigail‘s work.  She uses colour wonderfully and isn’t afraid to add in a bit of fun to her designs.  I adore these stools, they will work perfectly in both bedrooms and lounge areas, I can’t wait to receive my fabric samples for a client I am currently working on.

Her new collection for Sofa.com is simply put – fantastic.  All the items are stylish, perfectly proportioned and exude a sleek style that will look wonderful in some of my upcoming designs.  I love the sense of fun that is often present when designing with some of Abigail’s products, these lamps below have long been a fave of mine. (You can buy them on her beautifully designed website)

195be032362a5c5669bc2d54d97213a2

The Abigail sofa, Stanley chair and Maud & Celeste footstools are now live on the sofa.com website and in their Chelsea showroom.  Read more about Abigail Ahern’s exclusive furniture collection for sofa.com on her blog.

 

It’s also always so wonderful to see companies such as Sofa.com branching out to designers in the industry, this will be their first designer collection and I for one really hope it isn’t their last. It adds a different dimension to both their product range and to their brand.  I hope that this collection is a huge success.

Sofa.com | NEW: Abigail Ahern exclusively for sofa.com.

Read more →

Notting Hill Interior Design

Kitchen Design

The main problem with this Notting Hill Interior Design was when it was purchased was the separate kitchen and living areas accessed by two separate doors that came off the main entrance hall.  Although both rooms were reasonably sized the client couldn’t see herself always being in the other room cooking when having a dinner party or hosting, especially as the kitchen was the darker of both spaces only having one window.  As we know people always tend to congregate in the kitchen (maybe because that way they get the first dibs on anything coming out of the kitchen!) and the client had always dreamed of having a kitchen with an island unit to be able to have a large area for a buffet during social gatherings.

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 2

So in our first meeting it was decided it would be best to open up the space between the kitchen and living area.  This offered us a few benefits

  • The dark kitchen now benefitted from the light that washed the living area
  • We were able to put in an island unit that the client had always wanted
  • Double doors as the entrance in to the room – instant wow factor

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 1

So now that we had decided to open up the kitchen area in to the rest of the flat we were faced with a few more problems, we needed to create a kitchen that didn’t look like a traditional kitchen (it was going to need the wow factor that the rest of the living space was going to have) and we needed to create a large amount of storage so that it was was to keep the open plan space nice and neat.

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 3

Read more →

Interior Designers Islington

I lived in Islington for most of my adult life, it will always have a special place in my heart as will the houses that you find there.  I first started designing in Islington and the townhouses there were some of the first projects I ever took on.  Understanding how best to use space is always extremely important.

We like to be a little bit different, we state our prices and charges here on the website so you can see exactly how much you will be paying. No extra charges, this means that we can all sit back and relax from the beginning of the project knowing that we are not going to be going over budget due to our design fees! They are all done and dusted right at the beginning of the project.

We like to be a little bit different, we state our prices and charges here on the website so you can see exactly how much you will be paying. No extra charges, this means that we can all sit back and relax from the beginning of the project knowing that we are not going to be going over budget due to our design fees! They are all done and dusted right at the beginning of the project.

The 5 steps That Get You To The Home That Is Perfectly Suited To You

We guarantee to bring that “I never would have thought of that” design to each and every part of the design possible

  1. First consultation – a nice informal meet and greet at your property to put a face to a name. Easily arranged for weekends or evenings at a time that is suitable for you
  2. Let’s get started – let’s get the boring part out of the way of signing the contract and paying the fees so we can go ahead with your project.  We sit down with samples, magazines, any and all inspiration that you will have gathered on your travels.  We brainstorm how you want your home to feel, how you need your home to function and what is most important to invest in
  3. Getting to work – at this point its all about you sitting back and relaxing while we do our job, you’ve inspired us, we now need to produce the results.  I won’t bore you with the details (but if you are interested you can read more about the whole process here…).  This process usually takes between 2 and 5 weeks depending on the size of your project
  4. The big proposal – It’s that time, the time to take it all in…from door handles to lighting fixtures we will have brought together every item to create a home that perfectly reflects you
  5. The tweaking – inevitably there will be a few things that are quite to your liking – a cushion here a wood samples there. We revise what needs to be changed, without pulling apart the whole design, and then we are good to move on
Transform your home starting now. Get the home you want Read more →

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

DSC_0042

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.

DSC_0018-cropped (2)

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

Read more →

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

Read more →