Tell us how it all started. What attracted you most about being an interior designer?
It all started when I was in university, where I was actually doing a degree in history. I was working in this interior design store and I just loved it. I loved being able to chat with people about their homes, their likes, and dislikes. When I ended my time at university, I really wanted to continue with interior design. I was drawn in by the practicality of it. I like being able to make things that work. Having seen the retail side of the interior design world, you realize that a lot of people make a lot of mistakes that can be costly and upsetting. For me, being able to solve those problems was really cool and really fun. That’s how I got into it: through a very fortuitous part-time job.
What projects are you most proud of to date?
We have two projects that I’m most proud of. One of them is the Knightsbridge three bedroom property where we completely changed the floorplan. We revitalized a property that was well loved before but is now pretty magical. The changes really made a massive difference to how the family lives. There is no wasted space and the property has evolved with them. Rather than having separate kitchen, dining, and living room spaces--that’s not how their family functions anymore, they’re not that formal. They wanted to be able to express that in their home on a day to day basis. Plus it means that they have enough space available to keep everything tidy.
The second project is the basement dig that we did in Putney. That project was the third time I worked with those clients and I got to see the evolution of their lives alongside their home. When I first started working with the husband, we create a bachelor pad for him. Then to have been able to create a family home for him, and to to dig out a new space for their two children, and to see some of the elements that had originally worked so well for him, that was really nice. It was good see that Eames chair that we originally put in his bachelor pad has actually now been used to breastfeed two children. It’s this lovely idea that design does grow with those that are there.
What are your favourite design trends of A/W 2018?
I don’t do design trends. I find that we focus more on what’s going to work for the people that live there rather than something that might just be trendy for the moment.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Can I say having a glass of wine when it’s finished?
Really though, what I enjoy most is seeing people’s faces when they finally walk into their finished home. To see them blown away because it’s more than they expected. It sounds silly but a lot of the time there is so much stress and worry that it can be difficult to see the woods from the trees for clients. Seeing it on that finished day and seeing people get excited about things they’ve waited months to have is just awesome.
What style are you most inclined to - and why?
I would say probably a relaxed luxury style. I like things to feel well put together and for them to have that clean but luxurious feel. I think that’s why the luxury living Knightsbridge project is one of my favorites. You just walk around there and it’s calming, bright and beautiful at the same time. It doesn’t overpower you in any one place.
Are you working on anything exciting that you'd like to share with The Farthing?
We’re just about to finish a huge refurbishment in Dorking. We’ve been working on this project for eighteen months, and the clients are going to be moving in this week. There is a netting over the central lobby for two small children to play on that’s going to be amazing, I am so excited.
If you're interested in working with Kia, head to her website Kia Designs.
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