Interior Design Blog

Kia is an award winning London interior designer based in the South East. Her studio takes on projects from around the world.

How To Shop For A Bed

Working on a new brief for an interior design project always highlights questions that for an experienced designer comes as second nature however for clients even the most essential part of the design can provide its fair share of trepidation. For clients who are taller than the average a double bed can often be torturous each evening, having faced this challenge many times we instantly opted for a Continental Kingsize, providing a 200cm length rather than 190cm as is standard with double beds. However,  there is much more to a bed than its mattress – read on to see the other challenges we faced and how we overcame then to produce a wonderful result for our clients.

Interior Design Paddington Teenager Room Luxury Designer Home Mayfair

1.The mattress requirements. We were looking for a mattress that would be at least 200cm long however due to the current arrangement and the radiator being on the opposite wall, the passage was quiet narrow, so the length of the bed had to fit within 210cm.

When buying a bed it is important to note that the dimensions presented on the website sometimes include only the size of the mattress, but not the one of the external frame (which means the actual bed). The bed we chose has a very thin frame, which is only 2cm wide. Also, the headboard can be mounted to the wall, above the bed reducing again the external size of the bed. Perfect!

This bed also includes 33cm of storage underneath the mattress allowing for hide extra duvet and sheets! When the space in your flat is limited, consider the under-bed storage.  Some of the beds have it already incorporated and some you can buy separately.

2.The bed design. The choice of  bed frames is overwhelming. Starting from frame materials and finishes, through headboard design up to fabric choice. The important information is that once you customize the design, the lead time for the piece would be longer. Some suppliers can deliver the finished product in 2-3 weeks, others, especially if order from other countries, can take up to 12/16 weeks. Also, some of the companies have beds made to order, which means it takes around 8 weeks from the order placement to the delivery.

The bed we picked has a simple linen headboard and minimalistic wooden frame around it, and it fits perfectly with the scheme we decided to go with for this room!

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Warren and Evans Vienna bed & Dazzler Bed -Loaf.com

3.Christmas Delivery.  Christmas time is when a lot of clients consider improvement, changes and even moving in into new apartments. Christmas is also one of the busiest time in the retail industry, so be aware of the fact, that if you would like your bed to be delivered in time for holidays, the sooner you order it the better. The minimum time would be at least 2 weeks. The other option, especially for those of you, who are looking into buying a bit later, is to choose one of the beds that are in stock. Some retailers can provide you with ex-display beds, or beds that have been made to the wrong order, and suppliers need to sell them. They are all in good condition and ready to be shipped, so if you are in the rush this may be the option for you. Our clients decided to go with one of the stock beds, as they wanted to move in before holidays.

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Furl beds have also extra storage – perfect for small bedrooms!

4.Bedside tables. The Bed is usually a focal point of each bedroom, but bedside tables complement it and create a great base for the design scheme. Think about items you keep around you when you are getting ready to sleep. Do you usually have a glass of water? Do you read before falling asleep? Our clients need a place to move books away, so we need a bedside with a drawer or closed cupboard. What are your evening habits?

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Roche-bobois side tables – lovely

The Bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the flat and you need to feel relaxed and comfortable. Avoid clutter and items that distract you, so you can sleep better. Good luck to all of those who are arranging their bedrooms.

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Measuring Pelmets and Blinds

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Fabric being measured at Premier Choice

How to correctly measure roman blinds and pelmets for curtain makers:

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Premier Choice offer a machine or hand-made option. In this photo a decorative boarder is being hand stitched.

In Europe, a standard fabric roll is 140cm wide. Some fabrics are available in larger widths of 3, 3.10 and 3.30m if you are lucky. You’ll need to add in extra fabric for seam allowance and turn over. We recommend +10cm to the width and +20cm to the height. Blinds wider than 130cm will require extra panels to be added to each side. The solid length of fabric is always kept in the center. You can repeat the same fabric, or chose a contrasting and complementing one. If there is a pattern repeat, you’ll have to add the specified amount again. For example, if the stated repeat is 65cm, you’ll have to add another 65cm. Always check the pattern direction, and be sure to clearly label if you want the fabric railroaded. Premier Choice, who we, and most of the industry use, do a great line in border and bespoke end options. 

A selection of pelmet designs at Premier Choice

A selection of pelmet designs at Premier Choice

Modern blinds tend to be slimmer, and less ostentatious than their predecessors. Today’s pelmets usually just cover the unattractive profile of the cassette, and so can sit as close as 7cm to the wall. By law, all blind chains must now either be deemed “easy break” or be attached to a chain tidy and tensioner, as they are a danger to children and pets. Easy break chains will snap when put under “undue” pressure, unfortunately that usually means they break every time we’ve had a bad day at the office and are a little rough. Connectors can be bought to reattach them, but the frustration has led to an increase in spring and wand roller sales.

The standard cord length is 130cm. Don’t forget to have to enlarged if dealing with a period property with tall windows, or with a petit client. Cassettes and cords are usually available in brass, chrome and white. Be warned, brass and chrome can be quite noisy.

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A chrome chain and plastic cassette

If you are ordering from Premier Choice, they will always ask for an recess’ exact measurements, not the measurements of the desired cassette. When ordering from other companies it is important to specify, clearly, exactly which measurements you are providing them with. It’s a costly, and sometime irreparable mistake if you don’t.

With a standard lining you will see the skeleton structure of the roman blind when sun shines through. You can avoid this by adding a more dense backing fabric, but be aware that that will cause the blind to become stiffer and may affect the hanging. Some fabrics, like silk, should always be backed with a black out material, as sun will rot it in as little as 10 years. Standard lining will always allow light through, so some material fading is to be expected. To prevent this, you could chose a product that contains Trevira which will block UV rays (and also be handily flame retardant). If losing heat is a concern, then there is a huge range of thermal lining fabrics available which will provide added insulation. If you do chose to go with a standard lining, be aware that these are almost always an off-white or yellow tone unless specified otherwise.
When measuring older or period windows, be sure to measure the width and height at the bottom, middle and top. These windows are frequently not symmetrical and you will have to set the blind width to the smallest measurement, or it won’t be able to come down. If you have a shiny of bold fabric that you’d like to show off, then a waterfall stack would be most suitable. To hide a fabric, opt for a self stack.

A waterfall hang

A waterfall hang

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Onyx in Interior Design

With the Knightsbridge project almost finished, we want to talk about the most interesting parts of it; the ones that took our breathes away, and turned this site into another beautiful home.  In particular the stunning Onyx piece we have introduced in the bathroom.
Onice Velluto slab 36 
Onyx is a form of quartz stone and comes in various colours, from whites and yellows up to reds and orange. It has been used in interiors for several years now, as it can create beautiful and dramatical effects when placed on the wall or as a sink top. Every piece of onyx is different and its patterns vary from slab to slab, so if you want to make a statement in your bathroom or living room, go for onyx.
With that in mind, we decided to set it as a form of bathroom seating, in the shower cabin. With light set behind it, it becomes partly translucent and will look stunning and create perfect ambient lighting for this small space. Its unique pattern looks perfect also, when the lights are off, creating a stunning focal point in the interior.
We were offered a variety of pieces to choose from. Looking at the pictures of massive stone slabs in orange, yellow and grey, we decided to pick the most interesting one, and the most diverse portion of it – with the pattern covering most of its surface. We can’t wait to see it installed!
 
What is worth noting, is that onyx stone is not a suitable material for every space. Its porous nature means it doesn’t respond well to acids, so it is very difficult to use as kitchen counter tops or any furniture in contact with food. Juices from tomatoes or lemons can create damages and stains, impossible to be removed afterwards.
When ordering a piece like that, it is worth to take at least three vertical and horizontal measurements, to be sure that the piece will actually fit the given space. The manufacture will make it slightly longer and wider, so it can be fitted perfectly on site, however it’s better to avoid surprises!
Onyx  creates strong focal point in the space, so it work best for simpler interiors. However, as wall panel in the living room, or a bespoke vanity unit, it can create a unique design style for you home.
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Designing Bathrooms

Most of the projects that we take on are refurbishments, taking a property back to it’s basic form and often making major changes to the floor plan. Improving the space for a more modern way of living.  Contemporary homes are all about convenience, due to our busy and increasingly high paced lives we need to be able to have both comfort and essential items within our grasp.  The largest challenge for most properties concerns designing bathrooms, these are one of the most hardwearing rooms in the house. They often need to be both innovative and simple they also are almost mandatory as an ensuite for at least 2 out of 3 bathrooms.

Our team specialises in being able to redesign your home in a way that makes the most of the space, this is essential when designing in central London (a large amount of our properties are in Marylebone, Knightsbridge and Mayfair).  In the above images you can see the progression of a bathroom design.  We initially thought we would be able to remove all the areas that are blacked out on the revised design, however the amenities for the property run through these areas.  This is often the case in older buildings, this is an Art Deco building in Knightsbridge, and designs often need to be revised several times in order to get a plan that flows well.

With central London properties we understand the importance of making the most of each square foot, for this reason with this design we have opted for sliding doors in all the bathrooms. This alleviates the need for extra space for a door swing and you would be amazed at how much this small change can completely alter the usability of a space.

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The Evolution of Designing Bathrooms in Knightsbridge

The original bathroom design was designed with a ‘wow factor’ in mind, we were going to use a backlit piece of onyx in the shower at the end.  This would create the luxurious and warm feeling that was essential in this bathroom, it being the only internal bathroom in the property we wanted to make sure like it didn’t feel like the poor cousin of bathrooms. The property had other ideas for us.  The amenities meant that we weren’t able to put a shower at the end, this lead us to re-arrange the room so that the toilet was on the back wall. This wasn’t the kind of wow factor we were looking for!  It also meant that the lines didn’t flow very well.  Since we were rebuilding a lot of the internal walls to be able to make this bathroom we looked at moving the main internal wall 20cm – in a bathroom of this size every centimetre counts and this completely opened up the design.  This together with a breakthrough on site that meant we could reclaim some floor space from some unnecessary boxing out to the right of the shower area meant that we would be able to not only have our large shower at the end of the bathroom but also had a hidden bonus.

We would be able to have a seating area in the shower area. This was a feature we had been searching for throughout the property for two important reasons. Firstly, our client is Muslim and was looking for an area that allowed washing before prayer easier and secondly, the client wanted this design to be able to work as he and his wife age. A seating area built in to a shower was perfect for this.  We have installed a hand shower at a lower level that will allow for easy bathing whilst seated at ease of feet washing for prayer, designing bathrooms is all about catering for your clients everyday life. Sometimes challenges like this can create a design that is even more suitable than the one you originally designed.

If you want to read more about how we chose the onyx piece that will make up the back part of the design here

Onyx in Bathroom Designs

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How Long Does a Design Project Take?

Estimating how long your interior design pricing project can be so difficult to do if you have never tackled a large scale building project before. Having tackled over 100 projects throughout the years we are always able to offer you years of knowledge.

Take a look at this email we recently received:

Interior Design Time Scales

“If we completed a purchase by, say, the end of February, would it be possible to have it renovated by the end of June, or is that too optimistic?  I understand it’s hard to gauge that without knowing how much work there is to be done, but it will inform our buying decision.  Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.”

With minimal information we are only able to give a very basic outline of what you could expect from a project.  A dilapidated house will hold huge potential but can have a much longer lead time where as a project where the property has been looked after but is just outdated could require less time. This was the rough break down that we gave, it gives you a little insight in to how things work here at Kia Designs when we look at take on Interior Design projects.

Thank you for contacting us and your kind words about our designs. In regards to your question it does depend a lot on the exact property and what we would be looking to do.  These time lines give you a rough idea 

Sign contract and Design inspiration meeting : Day 1

First design meeting: Week 3-4 

Application for building consent: Week 4 (if this is not needed it will bring down the time needed by 4-8 weeks)

Consent given: Week 8-12

Building works (this is a BIG estimate on my part as it depends on the design and state of the property): 8-14 weeks

Installation of all furniture: Week 16-26 (as you can see the time line could  work as its anywhere between 4 – 6.5months

I would usually err on the side of caution as building consent whether needed from a freehold or the local council can add even more time on.  This would also require a perfect running of both the design, decision making on your part and the building works which can happen but there are usually a few bumps in the road. 

I know this is a huge estimate and it doesn’t help you much however, once you have a property we would look to hit the ground running but I would say that June if you purchase in Feb is probably a bit of a stretch.”

Would you have thought that time scale would work?  You can contact us regarding your interior design project and we will be happy to go through an initial consultation for your home.

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Basecamp and the art of project management


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All our projects are run through a web-based interior design project-management tool called Basecamp. This is our one-stop-shop for everything to do with your interior design project. It makes a quick and easy reference tool for all parties who are involved in any part of the design or construction of your beautiful home.

The main menu is broken down into the following parts

1) Latest Project Updates

Here you see a brief overview of the most recent activity within the project, with the author and time clearly labelled and a link to the specific post. This, combined with the ‘Events’ tab will keep you fully up to date with how the design is progressing. The Events tab can be accessed via the right-hand-side button.Upcoming events and important dates are also noted here. Clients, contractors, suppliers can all see the schedule and add to the list at any time. It’s your own personal calendar and all dates pertaining to the project will be there, including when you, or your designer may be out of the country. This can be handily synced to a Google or iCalendar.

2) Discussions

Where we get into the nitty gritty on every part of the design. When you first sign up to Basecamp you will see that there are pre-designed discussions for each part of the house. The first thing you’ll want to do is drop in your inspiration for your new home into the appropriate room. Got a Pinterest board for your master bedroom? Pop a link into the discussion and hit ‘send’. It’s that easy!

3) To-dos

These can be made by any member of the team and then assigned to any member. Need an update on the new height of the worktop to send to the kitchen supplier by the end of the day? Make a to-do and task it to the builder on site with a clear deadline. They’ll also get an email reminder.

4) Files

Every single file, image, pdf, spreadsheet etc will be held here. You can browse through them, discuss and label them (several times!) and can easily access them at any point in the project.

5)Text documents

Information that needs to be easily accessed is stored here. We’ll have all the phone numbers of people you might want to contact, on and off site, and all the technical specifications associated with the design. We’ll also have copies of your contract, notes from all our meetings and copies of legal or insurance documentation associate with your project.

 

Basecamp’s search feature means you can search the entire project quickly and easily (no trawling through 2000 emails – we’ve all been there!). The discussion feature can operate through your email, it’s quick, easy and can get through 95% of business firewalls.

If you’d like to be updated in real time, you can subscribe to the RSS fee via the link at the bottom of the page. Basecamp has everything you need to keep you fully informed and up-to-date with your project, whilst breaking it down into manageable and digestible portions. We wouldn’t live without it!

You can find out more about Basecamp for yourself here

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What is an Interior Design Survey?

What is an interior design survey?

An interior design survey is the process of taking measurements and pictures of the site so that the designer can prepare a design scheme tailored to that particular property. During the process, we take measurements of walls and doors, as well as radiators, windows and all the other fixings. All these measurements are essential to the process of creating a design that fits into the space. All the dimensions then go to the CAD software, where a scale floor plan is created. It includes wall thicknesses and door openings, as well as ceiling heights . A site survey is a great opportunity to visualise the space and discover the unexpected elements of architecture that are often hidden in flats.

A recent design survey

With a tape measure and a laser measure in our hands we went off to the new property in Waterloo. The flat was full of unexpected architectural surprises, some a blessing and others more of a challenge. On closer inspection of the corridor we noticed two factors.  Firstly the corridor was inexplicably large in comparison to the other rooms, something that we will be addressing when created the new floor plan.  Secondly, that the kitchen is not aligned with the corridor – a huge electrical storage box runs through from the common areas making the kitchen almost a foot smaller than the corridor.  This challenge we will have to carefully address when looking at the proposed floor plan.

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Simple Draft of Floorplan

The kitchen offers another interesting challenge, it appears that due to the ducting for extraction and the spots lights that have been installed that the kitchen ceiling has been dropped by over a foot.  This simply won’t do in the new design and we will be looking at ways to take this cavern like kitchen and expanding it in to a stunning open plan space.

The window in the living room provides us with a respite from challenges since we instantly were drawn to it and the idea of a relaxing seating area that allows our clients a stunning view of the Royal Festival Hall. We are also going to use mirror in this area to help capture and enhance the light.

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We also hope to make better use of some of the clients more interesting art pieces, we found this Mondo poster hanging out in a spare bathroom.  Don’t worry Ryan, we will save you and hopefully give you a crowning place in the design.

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Leather In Our Interior Designs

Leather is a fantastic thing, it has been used throughout the generations to create everything from simple tools to some of the most amazing ornate fashion pieces.  We use leather in many of our interior designs from covering entire walls to opulent finishing touches such as embossed leather waste bins. The project below shows you how versatile leather panelling can be in a design, here is provides a luxurious background to our design.  Bespoke items like this are created my our wide selection of leather craftsmen with who we are able to create any design we envisage.

Interior Designer Marylebone London

There a plethora of different types of embossed and grained leathers the world is literally your oyster and you can even mix a colours to your exact requirements.  Tanneries are amazingly versatile and can give you a huge selection and leather can be used for interior items from chairs, flooring and wall covering.  Although watch your stiletto heels on the leather flooring, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible but those first couple of marks can often be devastating.

Generally speaking if it is a very plain looking leather it will have been sanded back and painted, this produces an extremely plain design and with some leathers you can barely register that it is leather except for the texture the colour is that unembellished and grainless. This kind of leather is extremely cost effective as it is machine produced on a massive scale (around £4.25/foot and a cow hide is roughly speaking 50 square feet)

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For our interior designs we often use some of the more luxurious finishes such as embossed, woven and laser cut.  We are also very partial to embroidered leather as it produces a finish unlike any other.  In upcoming design projects we have used leather for wall panelling, office chairs, desks, bedside cabinets, hand rails and even flooring. Your own imagination is the only limit what you can achieve with this incredibly diverse material.

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Bedroom Concepts

During the first client inspiration meeting we talk about your preferences and style, and what are your expectations towards the design and your new home.  We want to know how  you spend time and what is missing in the current arrangement for you to feel comfortable. Sometimes it’s just the choice of the fabrics, sometimes it is the layout that makes the rooms feel small and dark. No matter if this is a new built house or a flat waiting for a renovation there is always a place for improvement!

After the first inspirational meeting with our clients, where we had offer a wide selection of fabrics and inspiration to choose from, we got down to work and start the design process! In this new brief, the clients wanted to achieve a spacious looking flat that would feel open and light. As you can read in Scope and brief (link here), the clients were used to living in other places all around the world and they wanted to achieve a very open interior.

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Out of the massive selection of fabrics, wallpapers and textiles the clients picked, we decided to go with neutral colour pallets as the basis of the colour scheme, with more vibrant and rich colour accents to add interest to it. We wanted to add a ‘wow’ effect by picking patterned wallpapers and fabrics that would create main theme for the design scheme.

Layout always plays a big role in creating a very open feeling, but there are other ways to achieve this state. Textures and patterns in colours of sand and beiges and mixed with accessorizes in stronger and more vivid colours may help you to achieve it.

The master bedroom scheme includes a beautiful patterned wallpaper in colours of navy blues and greens, that sets the mood for the entire room. The bed in a neutral fabric, mixed with a darker wooden frame will be complemented with wooden bedside tables. There are a few decisions that still need to be made, but the base looks interesting.

CONCEPT FOR BEDROOM 2

concept bedroom 3

The guest bedroom scheme is based on the combination of navy blue and copper. Patterned wallpaper in copper, with a navy blue bed will create a focal point of this bedroom. Bedside tables in walnut will complement the flooring, and the gold finishes will mix beautifully with copper accents. The scheme is complemented with grey and blues rug, that bring more minimalistic style to the room. Along with  modern white table lamps, it would be a perfect space for a guest to stay over.

The other bedroom is turned into a study area. Due to the layout restriction, there was no option to fit a sofa, but soft seating was a necessity. We decided to go with modern flat day bed in grey, so there is a possibility to sleep or nap. A Scandinavian desk and a geometric yellow carpet will set the mood for the room. Along with additional storage and shelving, this room will be a great place to work or read a book.

That’s just the beginning! We can’t wait to work on the rest of the schemes and design a stunning lounge area! Stay tuned to hear more about this project!

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Tender Documents

What are tender documents?

Tender documents are files that include all the necessary information to implement the project. Usually they include electrical plans, elevations, floor plans and other technical drawings that provide measurements, descriptions and product names for the builders.

Layout. The bathroom in this project included several necessary changes that made this space more functional and usable. The first part included transformation of the layout. The clients wanted to build a small WC unit into the existing layout. It would be accessible without going to their private master area, on the top floor. The proposed plan included moving the kitchen, in place of the guest bedroom, allowing to create a WC unit in the hallway. Since the flat has very little storage, the WC unit dimensions were reduced to introduce a tall cupboard in the hallway. The layout was just big enough to fit a toilet and a sink. With the right choice of tiles, it will look great and it will respond to the clients needs.

The top floor bathroom layout was changed as well. Previously, a small storage cupboard was talking a lot of space, so removing it made this bathroom much more functional. Also, the doors were moved allowing to create a walk-in shower and a large sink.

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Elevations. The next step after the layout creation are the elevations. They represent full wall drawings with the heights where particular elements have to be attached or mounted, the width of each of the items, and usually name of the products and codes, so when the construction team is working on site, it is easier for them to install all the items. Those drawings also how the design comes together in terms of internal layout.

#099 - Flat 10, 161 #099 - Flat 10, 161

Information and specification. Picking the right lights for the bathroom is important. Not all the lights are suitable for kitchen/bathroom spaces and are prepared to be exposed in wet/humid environments. Tender documents include specifications regarding lights for the space. The bathroom we were working on in this project had a very low ceiling, so spot lights were the most convenient option. All the tile information (sizes, description, colour code and weight) is also mentioned in tender documents.

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New/changed items. Tender documents also include images or drawings where built-in items, walls or doors are introduced. If the ceiling has to be dropped or boxing behind the bath removed, all of this information, along with description and images, are incorporated into this tender package. In the case of the WC unit, not only has the wall been moved, but new doors were added.

 

Tender documents are a crucial part of the implementation process. The technical data and drawings allow for a smooth and easy installation process and limit the possible problems or errors. Be sure to have them included in your project!

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Layout Challenge – New brief

We have a new brief to work on!

The main challenge of this project is the layout, as the current arrangement simply does not work! This first floor apartment is full of unexpected surprises. Though the flat is quiet large, due to the current floor plan it is cramped and not very functional. This is why clients turned to us. We are able to make necessary changes to create a modern and airy interior that feels more open and practical.

Currently, the flat includes a wide corridor, small living room and closed kitchen. We are looking to play around with layout, opening it to bring more light and air. Clients dream about a functional kitchen island and a stunning dining table to entertain guest and family. Due to current layout this space feels isolated. By opening it up and adding additional storage it has created an open living area.

Knocking down the living room walls will let a lot of daylight into the area, creating a brighter and vibrant space. Adding an L-shape sofa and beautiful wall unit will transform it into interesting and comfortable living room. Another focal element of this space will be the window area. It will be turned into a relaxing and comfortable seating space, perfect for reading a book or working.

The challenge of this project is working on the entrances to the rooms and bathroom. The idea is to transform some of the doors into visually interesting pieces, or make them totally invisible, so that joined space feels open yet functional.

The colour palette includes neutral and sandy tones, mixed up with splashes of colours.  Adding calm textures will introduce an ‘airy’ feel to the interior, without talking too much attention, letting the accent colours play their role. Great mixture of art collection would be a major part of this scheme, as some of it includes stunning comic posters, which we love!

 

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My Interior Design Tool Box

There are several items that I am unable to do my job without, that I literally depend on day-in-day-out.  If I lose them, break them, they go down or I can’t get on to them I am distraught, so distraught that not even a Caramel Macchiato can calm me down.

Laser pointer

This is one of my newest purchases and it is literally a life saver, I have wanted one forever and I am not 100% sure why it has taken me so long to get one.  It saves me time when measuring up.  It is also fantastic for some of those more awkward measurements, when a room is full of furniture or when you need a special angle.  This literally saves my bacon, I don’t know how I would measure without it.

iPhone

I am sure that I will get a snarky comment that I just need a smart phone and an android would be just as good but I love my iPhone.   I often take a few hundred photos when going round a new project.  This will be basic rooms shots to details shots of everything from plug sockets to cornicing to banister handles. It gives me a wonderful reference point and is fantastic when showing the clients how much everything has changed when the project is finished.

Basecamp

This is the project management tool we use to be able to keep all conversations between builders, clients and everyone who is involved in the project.  This way files can be centrally stored, discussions had be had quickly and easily, events and deliveries can be scheduled, to-dos can be issued

 

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New Project – New Challenge

The scope of this project is to turn the new built 3 bedroom flat into modern and warm looking home.

Having lived all over the world, our clients are used to having spacious and large apartments, London surprised them with a bit different apartment layouts.  They want the design to achieve a spacious-looking interior, that would feel open and light. With three bedrooms to be designed, clients wanted to transform one of them into office and working area (since they work from home two days a week), one of them in to a guest bedroom and the third to be their master suite.

The study has to include storage, so that work could be easily put away, creating a relaxing atmosphere for anyone using the room when it’s not a study. The other room would be a more traditional guest bedroom, that would create comfortable feel, allowing guests to own a bit of personal space.

Kitchen is one of the main areas of interest for the clients, since they cook and welcome guest often, they dream of kitchen island and a large table, so they can continue to organise dinner parties and entertain both friends and family.

The colour scheme includes mixture of sandy inspirations with pops of colours. Walnut flooring and white walls will be complemented with neutral, clean line textiles with pops of accent colours to bring warmth to the flat and produce a vibrancy that brings each room to life.

 

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Interior Design Kensington

Interior Design can be a tricky thing when clients have a piece of furniture that they really wan to keep but actually is a part of the problem.  Interior Design Clients in West Kensington asked us to redesign their lounge, they had a beautiful base of colours and had designed a lovely TV unit that worked well within the room however they were still struggling.  The main trouble was that they know what they like and were essentially scared that a designer was just going to come in and take over, that isn’t the case.  We here at Kia Designs create your vision, we like to create homes that are best for our clients and we do that by first and foremost listening to you.

Interior Designer Kensington

The Layout Before

Designing a home is a long process and can often leave home owners exhausted. Projects are never as quick and easy as they were expected to be and things never run completely smoothly.  So when a quick and easy project drags in to a much longer home design you can find that most of your creative energy isn’t spent on picking stunning new lamps and rugs but actually is drained by builders questions and broken tiles. 

Plans of Work They Had Completed

Plans of Work They Had Completed

For these home owners in West Kensington the whole process had left them drained.  They knew the kind of house that they wanted but were finding it almost impossible to go out and create it.  That’s when they brought us in, not only are we able to offer a fresh set of eyes but we have the intellectual capital to get the project done with flair and finesse. 

Existing Layout

Existing Layout

The first part of our interior design process is space planning, as you can see from the above plan the client had made a start however some things weren’t working well for them.  The area behind the sofa had become completely useless and made the main lounge area seem cold and even more empty. With space planning we often find that it is best to start with a blank canvas and see if the furniture that is currently there actually works or if what they have is actually part of the problem.

Proposed Option 3

Proposed Option 3

So one of the options we ran through was whether the sofa was actually the right size, and indeed shape, for the room.  So looking at a corner unit such as this one it works really well in the space however it’s still not exactly perfect.  One of the main problems with the current arrangement is entertaining, there is no clear space of guests to sit except the “hot seat” that is stuck in the corner and really does feel quite intimidating to sit in. Although the corner unit does help a little with this problem it still doesn’t provide the most comfortable entertaining area.

Proposed Option 2

Proposed Option 2

This is a slightly better arrangement however it looks a little boxy. The new smaller sofa also blocks a large amount of space in front of the TV unit and wouldn’t be as easily moveable as a chair. The sizing of the rug works well and helps to bring together this area, grounding all the items within it so that the room will have a much more finished feeling.   The fact that there is now several seating options does however help with entertaining. 

and once again it doesn’t have any space for the footstool that the clients already have.  

Read more on their re-design here including these chandeliers that we considered using and how to create a solid landing base in a large hallway

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How-To Guide: Introducing Natural Light

It’s more than obvious that colors and brightness have influence on the mood and overall image of the space. When there are a limited number of windows and you are struggling with dark space, here are a few  design tricks that will help you introduce some natural lighting into your apartment!

1.Don’t be afraid of color. Although neutral colors like white, sandy, taupe and grey can make a room seems bigger in general terms, splashes of yellow or orange on accent pillows or a  bold pink blanket will make it look much brighter! So don’t be afraid of adding a strong accent color to break a continuum of neutrals.

DSC_0035 Project 9 - Pied-a-terre - Image 4

2.Window treatment matters. When choosing curtains or panels for your window, take in consideration not only how will they look through the day, but also the year, during autumn and winter. Choosing dark colors may not be a great idea. They  will attract  attention to the windows, but also make them visually smaller. In cases of small living rooms, pick sheer curtains rather than strong, textured fabrics.

Paddington Bedroom Design Interior Designer Paddington

3.Reflective surfaces. Starting with  mirrors, which should be placed in an area where they can reflect direct natural light, all the way to the  reflective finish of the flooring or wardrobe doors. Anywhere  where there is an opportunity to have a reflection and potential ray of light, just do it. Try to make it fit in with the rest of the interior design  .

DSC_0028 Project 1 - Mayfair - Image 8

4.Clever light sources. Of course, adding more artificial light is an option, but the best way to do it is setting the light source inside or under furniture, so it can create a great ambient light. There are a lot of options to do that, starting from dropped ceiling and kitchen cabinets   to small reading lights under the shelves. The sooner you think about setting them up (sometimes, it is worth consideration while you are still in the process of refurbishment) the better.

Project-3---Marylebone---Image-1-sm+ PopUP

5.Consider remodeling. If you’re an owner and looking to stay where you are for a long time, consider knocking out one or two walls, creating a  open kitchen or open lounge. It does make a huge difference. Try to hire a professional to do that, as he would inform you which walls can safely be removed and how to lay out the space better to get the most out of it.

Project 3 - Marylebone - Image 3 DSC_0040

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