Interior Design Blog

Kia is an award winning London Interior Designer based in East London. Her studio takes on projects from around the world. Our studio prides itself on being able to provide a hassle free Interior Design process that provides clients with a design that is perfectly tailored to their lifestyle

Inspiration For Primrose Hill Interior

We always start with places and spaces that inspire our clients, these beautiful images were the inspiration for our Primrose Hill Interior Design project.

Brief and information:

To turn the top floor of the building into a more functional space, by reconfiguring the 4 existing rooms into a generous au pair suite, stylish guest room, creative bedroom for Alexander, family bathroom and utility space. The design is to marry the more traditional, characterful, features of the upper floors with the contemporary basement refurbishment, bringing a modern feel, with clean lines and bright spaces to the bedroom and reinstating the stairwell as the focal point of the house.

Rooms will be designed with evolution of purpose in mind. Two current box rooms will be combined, with added space reclaimed from the corridor to form a large bedroom suite and private retreat for the au pair, with ample space for storage and seating/desk area, as well as an en suite shower room. This room will, in time, belong to Alexander, and this will will be taken into consideration in regards to placement of built­in wardrobes, plug sockets etc for maximum flexibility in the future.

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How To Get Past Your Terrifying Fear of Building Works

The idea of working with builders can often bring out your biggest worries. The fear of working with builders can paralyze a project before it has even gotten to its drafts. Everything seems possible on paper, but that nagging feeling of disappointment can be ever-present. Especially when we all have a friend who will tell us (in great detail) how bad a building contractor was or how they were ripped off.

Stress of Building works

Working with contractors is always a bittersweet situation; there will always be problems, especially when working on a project that spans months or even years. What you are hoping for is to limit the amount of problems through smart planning and insight. Projects often create interesting scenarios, from disused lift shafts on the fifth floor that would make Bond jealous to the sockets for your perfect wall unit not being able to be positioned in the correct order. Projects are always going to have obstacles. Your contractors can make these project ‘disasters’ seem extremely run-of-the-mill and easily solved, or like the worlds biggest disaster.

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Before and After

We often get asked to provide before and after photos on our website. We’d love to do so, but it’s problematic. On the one hand, without showing how we have transformed a space, we can’t get full credit for it. For all you know, looking at the finished picture, we might have just put up some wallpaper and curtains and slapped a vase on a console table. In reality that space may have originally been boarded-up, decommissioned dumb waiter shaft. But on the other hand, some people have a hard time translating before and after images, as we have changed the space so much it becomes unrecognisable and the photos bear very little or no resemblance to each other.

For example, here are 3 areas of a project we have recently completed (although the “after” photos were taken a few weeks before finishing). Even though the transformations are quite dramatic, the images are taken from the same position and you can see that some features remain.

before and after bathroom

See more of the transformation

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Home Design

A Kia Designed home works for you

Congratulations to you on buying your new home! You must be really excited to move into your new abode. But before that, you need to decorate it appropriately. While you have a vision of your stunningly designed home, you need an excellent creative mind and professional assistance to transform that vision. This is where Kia Designs can help you. As one of the esteemed home design companies in the UK, Kia Designs can offer stunning home design services fulfilling your expectations and within your budget.

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Interior Architect

Interior architecture is a significant part of Kia Designs’ work. Led by award-winning interior architect and designer Kia Stanford, Creative Director and Head Interior Designer at Kia Designs, our talented team can convert your house into the abode of your dreams. We are a leading interior architecture and design company in the UK. Kia Stanford with her efficient team has worked on a number of projects in London and overseas. We offer fully transparent services with well-defined pricing and no additional charges. Proficient and timely execution of projects within the specified budget is what differentiates us from the rest.

Interior Architecture

We Are Dedicated to Reflecting Your Choice and Tastes in Your Interior Architecture

At Kia Designs, we are committed to designing interiors that appeal to your taste and sense of style and which provide you with absolute luxury and comfort. Supported by a proficient and passionate team of designers, Kia Stanford, the brilliant interior architect will personally supervise your project from start to finish.

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Kia’s List for Life

We love the website List for Life, it offers bite-sized advice from an assortment of really talented and inspirational people, which always brightens our day.

The website features vox pop advice about money issues, work/life balance and play, as well as small bios and general pointers from exciting people.

This month they feature an interview with Kia, where she discusses why and how she got to be a London interior designer, the challenges faced along the way and offers advice for any budding young designers out there who are thinking of  branching out on their own. You can read the whole interview here.


Kia Designs interview

We thought we’d put together our own list of 5 things you need to know about interior design as a profession:

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Using a Professional Photographer

We’ve recently shot our latest project with a super talented interiors photographer Anna Stathaki.  One of the most satisfying parts of finishing a project is getting it professionally photographed and sending out the glossy snaps to the press and public. The lovely comments start rolling in and you forget about all the dust and hours you spent arguing with building control.

Doing a professional photoshoot can be a long and arduous task, and pre planning is key. Photographers aren’t cheap, so you’ll want to have a very good idea of what shots you can get yourself (if you’re any good – be honest!) and which ones only a very skilled snapper can capture. Our Knightsbridge project was full of mirrors and reflective surfaces, so we made the most of Anna’s expert lenses and photoshopping skills to remove the image of the camera from all the images. There are  couple of things to remember when booking a photo day:

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House Interior Design

Kia Designs brings you impeccable interior design solutions for your dream home. Ever since our inception, we have been endeavouring to offer high-end and stunning house interior design to our valued clients. Under the direction of an award-winning designer, we strive to offer spellbinding and utilitarian interiors. Whether you want to change the look of your bedroom or are planning a complete makeover of your kitchen, we can be your ultimate destination.

Knightsbridge Interior Design - Kitchen Design

We are known for our extremely dedicated teamwork, all-inclusive service and high success rate in the field of interior design. Our designers put in their best efforts to make all of your interior design dreams come true. With complete attention to the style and preferences of our clients, we concoct magical interior design solutions for your home.

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A Kitchen That Isn’t a Kitchen

We recently had a brief for a client who seldom cooked, and had no interest in the kitchen. The property is also a 2nd home, rarely used. The problem was we were planing on changing the layout of her property, from a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom and required the room currently housing the kitchen to become that 3rd bedroom. The dead entrance space was perfect for the new kitchen, but would then be open plan and become the main view from the front door and living room. So in order to please the client, and not drop a conspicuous kitchen next to her lovely lounge, we teamed up with the talented Magnus at Roundhouse to help us disguise the kitchen so that it fit seamlessly into the room.

roundhouse kia designs

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Interior Architecture

At Kia Designs, we introduce you to dynamic architectural designs for your interiors. Our experienced interior architecture specialists can impart a wonderfully enchanting appearance to your home. Whether you want to renovate an existing home or build a new one, our architects can help you with the best solutions that meet your requirements.
Our services aim to impart maximum value to our esteemed client base. With years of experience in interior decoration, we have gained significant insight into unique design and architectural sense. Starting with space planning and specifications for each and every room, we cater to all of your interior needs. With our effective interior architecture solutions, you can rest assured of a perfectly useful and functional interior. Our architects provide detailed and elaborate services, ensuring a distinct character for each corner of your home.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 13.43.19

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Problems Post-Installation

Yes, they happen. It is unfortunate but not every product is always as reliable as we hope they will be. This is an unfortunate fact of life when you are doing interior design projects. We have had everything from lights that blinked (that are wonderfully camera shy when you try and film them!) to toilet brackets that are faulty to lighting who’s transformers blow.  It is often always the way that it is the pieces that you are most happy with that it happens to.

2015-03-25 14.08.42

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10 Ways to Automate Your Home Without a Re-wire

Home automation can be a fantastic proposition however it is often thought of as very costly. There are ways that, through the wonders of modern technology you can automate your home with out a large price tag and without a a re-wire. These small changes are secure, can save you move and easy to understand – you don’t need to know all the ins-and-outs of smart home tech to be able to start creating a home that caters to your lifestyle.

Automated Lighting

Hue Lights

Hue lights to wake you up

Morning isn’t always everyone’s favourite time and so getting up can be a massive hassle. Especially when we get in to the winter where it can be pitch black when we wake up. The hue lights are fantastic at creating a comfortable way to wake up, they can slowly engage around your room according to your alarm.  Providing a much more natural way to end your sleep, no more screeching alarm calls – wake up with sunshine (well, sort of!)

We-mo switch (alternative to hue lights)

The we-mo switches are another way to automate individual switches, like the grown up version of the timed lights our parents had these can be set to be on all kinds of timers. With IFTTT you could even arrange that the lights at home turn on when you walk through the front door.  This can be good if you suffer from anxiety or if you work long hours and want that instant homely feeling.

Mydlink™ Home Smart Plug (alternative to hue lights)

Similar to we-mo switches these can be programmed in a variety of ways with your lights. IFTTT again provide a variety of different ways these can work with the Hue lights. Automate your home in a way that works for you, you don’t have to jump in right at the deep end.

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I want to restyle my house but don’t know where to start

Completely restyling your home can be daunting if you’re just unhappy with its current state but haven’t given much thought to how it should look. Lots of professions can be called upon for logistical help, or you might have clearer ideas on how you use the property and what doesn’t work, but don’t know how do you go about coming up with a design scheme.

The best answer is to research. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, and you don’t need to go out and buy lots of expensive glossy magazines. Look around your current home, which items do you most like or cherish? Why? You’ll probably be keeping them so they are a good place to start. Next, a quick browse through an image collective, like Pinterest, should help you narrow in. You don’t even need to set up an account (though doing so will be very helpful later, as you can share it with your designer and builders). The tags on each image should help you develop some design vocabulary. Now you’ll know that you like ‘shaker’ style kitchens and ‘mid-century modern sideboards’. A good designer can create a whole scheme based on 1 or 2 images and an eloquent client. It won’t be time consuming, they’ll go away and do drawings based on your initial conversation, and then meet back with you and tweak anything you aren’t happy with. You can be as involved as you like to be, but we find once most clients start seeing things they’ve liked adapted to their own home and way of life, the process flows very smoothly and even the most design unconscious, colourblind clients get very excited.

Scheme research tools

Scheme research tools

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Penthouse in the UK is Entirely White on the Inside

White on white interior design can be an extremely tough colour scheme to be able to carry out well. It needs a large amount of planning and a very clear focus so as to not look cold and empty. For this client this project was her dream, she has always wanted a home that was as bright and white as we could get it! She didn’t want a completely empty box though, she wanted a warmth to her home and for it to have a very clear personality. Something we feel it does so well! The images of the bed are some of our most loved and has been added to over 50,000 idea books on Houzz.

Project 3 - Notting Hill - Image 5

White Walls and Floors

White is not often seen on walls outside of galleries and we made a very clear decision when using bright white for all the walls. We took the active decision to try and create as few dark spots throughout the property so that the white would continue to shine rather than greying out in the corners unless we had specified that exact effect within the design.

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How Brexit Will Impact The Interior Design Industry

Interior Design Brexit

So, Brexit has happened and we must all grin and bear it. On first glance, we thought we might get away fairly unscathed – we work mainly with UK suppliers, and our foreign imports tend to come from the US. But just because you are dealing with a UK company doesn’t mean you aren’t directly benefiting from the free trade links across the Eurozone.

The majority of fabrics and textiles used in the UK are manufactured in Italy. Even if they are woven in the UK, the thread and dyes tend to be continental. Furniture designed and produced in Italy often uses British woods, so you’ll be paying for items to go through customs twice!

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