A meditation space is the perfect way to create a little bit of paradise in your very own home. It can provide you with an area for you to escape from other things that may be causing a little stress. Studies have shown that meditation has many positive effects on the mind and body, such as reduced stress levels and boosting your immune system. And even if you’re not that into meditation, a room for a little quiet time is a great way to unwind, whether you use it for listening to music, reading, painting, whatever takes your fancy…
If your current bathroom set up isn’t working for you, but you don’t mind the decor or don’t have the budget to rip it out and start again, there are ways of introducing extra storage or features that can transform the space. In our recent Wimbledon project we did just that, by retrofitting a mirrored storage cabinet into the vanity recesses in both bathrooms, providing far more usable storage for the clients. The storage was was partly hidden, allowing for a much more minimalist and clean look to the rooms.
Some of the Kia Designs Team recently attended a CPD presented by the Tile and Hardwood Flooring Supplier Domus. As well as getting to have a peruse around one of their amazing showrooms (we love a spot of window shopping), they gave some information about the different finishes and effects they can produce with hardwood engineered flooring.
Many people struggle to make new builds look homely and lived in. As the property itself will lack any sense of history or character, you’ll need to inject a bit of a sense of personality through your furniture and belongings.
Furnish from the past, present and for the future
If you don’t have any family heirlooms (no – your college billy bookcase doesn’t count), then try buying pieces which aren’t all ultra modern and contemporary in style. You can soften the look with a few older pieces, either faux vintage from somewhere like West Elm who specialise in mid century modern furnishings and homeware, or getting the odd item from eBay or a physical auction house. It will give the impression that the house has always been there, and that you have a history, rather than just feeling like the world started in 2015 when you got the keys. When you look at homes in magazines or go to stately homes or see character’s houses on TV, they will be dressed in this way and your eye will have become accustomed to seeing a variety of belongings in order to look natural. After WWII many people didn’t have any possessions left, or never wanted to be attached to anything that could so easily be taken away, so there was a trend to kit out homes entirely in the fashion of the time, so you might think of a super 60s or 70s home (shag carpet and orange flock wallpaper) but I think you’ll agree they don’t look like homes, more like museum or film sets.
Other options include bold wallpapers on feature walls (accent walls which are darker or smaller, don’t just whack something colourful on the chimney breast. Don’t think feature wall)
Kia Designs is preparing to open an office in Dubai. The expanding and exciting hub is a perfect place for us to reach new and existing clients, as well as access the myriad of suppliers and manufacturers available in the gulf states.
In the modern age there is nothing that competes with the design juggernaut that is Dubai. They are bold, brave, brass and they certainly don’t lack ambition. Wanting to capitalise on hosting the 2020 Expo, the city is creating a design quarter to rival that of Chelsea Harbour in London.
In the second section of our 3 part series on turning your bland new build into a comfortable home, we look at altering the walls and ceilings to create a sense of history.
Create features where there are none
If the room is lacking in any sort of detailing, add some. Skirting boards and coving always make a room look finished. If it’s a small room, don’t go for anything too large or bulky, it will look disproportionate. Don’t go for anything too ornate if your property is very modern. Art deco styling usually works, because of it’s crisps, angular lines. Ceiling roses around lights in the centre of bedrooms or the living room also subtly introduce more detailing.
As an International Interior Design Company we have many ways of transcending the geographical borders of the world, to create stunning, luxury and client-led design across the globe, from Dubai to London, and many more. Our completely online based system means that the team and the client has constant access to the projects details. Our project management system is also an online system, and completely mobile. This means that our team (and clients) can have access to the system and what’s going on in the project anywhere and everywhere, on their laptop, phone or any other mobile device. It also means that communication is as fluid as a conversation in person, with individual online discussions about the specific details. If it is not possible to meet in person, Design Presentations can be made over video call, and clients can have complete access to designs online.
Many of our trusted suppliers are international and are based in various destinations across the globe. This make bringing your luxury items and design effortless, no matter where you (and your beautiful home) are in the world.
Whether you want to refresh your home, refurbish your home from home, or build a whole new, beautifully luxurious home from scratch, wherever you are, our international friendly systems and capabilities can help you create that dream haven you’ve been searching for.
‘I have worked with Kia on a couple of interior design projects in very different properties . Kia brings creativity, energy and attention to detail to every project as well a great ideas and attitude. I would work with her again in a heartbeat, she gets things done, understands what it means to keep to deadlines and budgets and would recommend her highly.’
‘As this was my first experience working with an interior designer, I was completely overwhelmed with the task at hand. Kia, with her calm and affable nature, patiently listened to and took into account everything I had envisioned and came up with a design that was not only aesthetically pleasing but practical, comfortable, affordable, and liveable.’
Amrita & Aneesh
‘Kia provided an absolutely fantastic and personal service, and really listened to what we wanted for our apartment remodel. She provided us with regular updates on each step of the process and we always felt that she keep us well-informed and clearly explained all the steps involved. I would have no hesitation at all in using her company again for all future projects and feel that she offers a very professional, but also bespoke, service.’
The Kia Designs Team often attend press releases for new products, schemes and collections, keeping our eyes peeled for timeless items and new and innovative ideas. Back in September we visited Dulux’s Colour Futures, that informed attendees of the up and coming trends forecasted for 2017.
We discovered one of their new collections, New Romanticism. A project that we were working on the design for around the same time had a brief that was aimed at bringing life and character into a new build that was lacking in style and overall homely-ness. Teamed with the colours from the Dulux Colour Futures, we had the perfect opportunity to inject some style and character on a small budget.
Using And Specifying Wood in Design: What you need know, and a few extras bits…
Being a natural material, wood has so many different beautiful tones, textures and variations that can really add something special to your design. It is extremely versatile and has been used for centuries in our homes and buildings across the world. But there are many things that should be considered when specifying wood. When thinking about incorporating wood as a material in your design, whether it be hardwood flooring, commissioning bespoke pieces or even when thinking about the delivery of products that are in wood there is a lot to think about.
Hard and Soft Wood
One common misconception is the idea hardwood and softwood. Many people wrongly identify hard and soft wood from their physical properties, the fact that the wood feels more or less dense. Although this is true for many hard and soft woods, the term is actually given in regards to whether the seeds of the tree have an outer casing. For example, Ochroma, the tree that gives us bolster wood, the second softest wood in the world, is actually classified as a hardwood. Whereas, the Yew tree, which is actually harder than oak to touch, and know for its strong presence in graveyards to supposedly draw away the evil spirits, is a softwood. Now, although this might be rather dry, it is important to know what kind and the properties of the wood you need when you’re specifying for a design.
New build properties can feel stark and soulless. The shrinking room sizes and lack of period detailing make the area appear small and bland. The proportions and styling of many of today’s new build properties do not suit period or vintage furniture, in the way that say a Georgian living room looks fantastic with a large 1970s sofa and art deco drinks trolley. So what are the best ways to make the place feel like home and stand out from the crowd?
It can be challenging to place some of the everyday, unsightly objects into your shiny new design. People who dream of clean, open, minimalist homes rarely envisage them with plug sockets. Your bookended marble bathroom might be marred by the inclusion of a toilet brush and spare roll holder. All the floating toilets and vanities will give you a lovely undisturbed floor – until you place a bin in the room. Sadly there is no clean cut solution to remove the everyday functional items from your home. You have 3 main options.
After presenting a design to a client, there are often tweaks that need to be made. Here is the evolution of a small portion of a living room in a recent project of ours.
The initial brief:
To transform a new build 2 bedroom flat in Wimbledon into a contemporary, interesting, warm and characterful home. The modern apartment needs to feel grounded and lived in, with up-to-date furniture and styling. The young clients are not afraid of bold colour, but we’ll focus on lighter colours for the bulk of the rooms with dark trims and features.
Most people think that the skill in Interior Design lies in creating stunning spaces. The truth is many people are capable of designing a stunning room. Experience in design will provide you with a lot of knowledge about ergonomics, fabric and furniture durability, range of products available etc, but the real skill (the expertise you are paying for) is transforming it from concept to reality. Managing your money and the logistics to get everything on to site at the correct time and in the correct order, and being fast thinking when something goes wrong and causes a ripple in the supply chain. And doing this comfortably within your budget.
We were recently asked to transform a new build 2 bedroom flat in Wimbledon into a modern, interesting, warm and characterful home. A designated area for studying to be introduced to both bedrooms and improved storage throughout the property.
Having lived in their new build flat for 18 months, the clients have struggled to make it truly feel like home. They wanted to make it a more characterful and useable space but were trepidatious about getting it wrong. The limited storage available isn’t adequate, and there is a concern that adding more will result in a cluttered and busy looking apartment.
London Property Development
When you are limited on space it is very important to have a clear path forward when looking at the design. For most people when doing house interior design for small houses there is one priority: storage. Storage is so important when you are in a limited space. A well designed house with lots of storage it doesn’t mean that it needs to be soulless. Storage isn’t a design style. It shouldn’t be your first consideration or it will dominate the space. That is why when we are looking at small houses we first focus on the overall feel by setting our clients some homework.
The life of an Interior Designer is an interesting one. People often ask me what my day-to-day job involves. How I manage to fit everything in. How I create a work-life balance that works. Honestly, it’s a lot to do with 2 things:
- Knowing your limits
We use many tools to make sure we stay on top of our clients projects. Our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) means that every task is assigned to a specific person. These are easily tracked making sure that tasks are completely by the best informed person within a set time limit. This also means that we can work remotely as our CRM is completely online. So even if we are working on projects around the world our team can be adequately assigned.
Four things that every luxury kitchen needs and how we provide them for our clients in each design. This is a great place to start when creating luxury in a kitchen space.
Open Living Space Problems
As we open spaces between kitchens and living areas we need to have our kitchens work even harder for us. Especially when focusing on luxury kitchen design. Kitchens need to be as elegant as the rest of the house whilst also being practical. How we have worked around this in our knightsbridge kitchen design is through slide away doors. Open when cooking and closed when entertaining they turn the kitchen in to a serene space you will want to spend all your time in. It is a clever and elegant solution.
Since for about a third of home workers their kitchen is also used as a working space (UK Houzz Report 2017) we find it useful to include plugs (hidden, of course!) as a way to make sure dining tables can double as desks especially for younger family members.
In this age of mobility, with laptops, smartphones and online access wherever we go, it is vital that we have a space away from our offices where we can work. Whether you’re a work-a-holic, or just need to send a quick email, its great to have a home office to access and focus completely on the job at hand. The trouble is, with the majority of us being city dwellers, our urban homes don’t always come with that extra office-space square-footage.
Back in October, the Kia Designs team visited Decorex (among many other Design Fairs!). We discovered a number of great new products that help to create that ideal home office, without breaking the bank or the need to extend.These were perfect for a project that we were working on at the time, and are now towards the end of completion! See below some of the great products we found, and how we accommodated a compact home office into our design.
Compact Home Office Products
Hartô presented their beautiful Wall Secretary Desk Gaston, which we all absolutely fell in love with! Its made of MDF and Plywood, veneered in luxurious oak, with matt painted draws in a range of fun colours. Its curved edges and simplicity makes it sophisticated enough to appeal as the perfect compact home office. But its quirky and fun assortment of colours from grey to yellow means it would also look great as a kids study or homework station!
At 569.00€/£507.55 it might not be in everyone’s budget. So we had a bit of fun looking for some other unique ways to get that needed work space into your home. Here are a few alternatives that might get your creative juices flowing, just what you need to get you through that writer’s block…
One of the phrases that we often hear from clients is that they have troubles “finishing a project”. In the past many of them have done smaller projects for themselves that can been draining. Whether it be a bathroom renovation or simply decorating a lounge but they have never quite managed for it to look magazine style finished. It is never quite finished to the level of Interior Styling. This is for a few reasons:
- Projects are long. Often much longer than you ever imagined and because of this they are also
a bit tiringexhausting. Especially if you don’t really know if you are doing things the correct way around.
- Unrealistic Expectations. The images that clients are aiming for are interior styled to death and actually not how they want to live on a day to day basis.
Interior styling is a quite an art.