Earlier this year Kia Designs completed a full redesign and refurbishment of 2 merged adjacent flats in a landmark mansion block in the very heart of Knightsbridge. This project saw them create a stunningly contemporary family home whilst introducing cutting-edge comfort. Staying true to the building’s art deco roots they paid homage through bold outlines, luxurious finishes and couture craftsmanship. Sharing their project with The LuxPad below, Kia Designs take us through each stage of this stunning interior venture…
Project Name: Modern Deco in Knightsbridge
Floor Area: 2100sq ft
Project Time Taken: 10 months
Completion of Project: Feb 2016
To completely remodel a large flat in an Art Deco mansion block in the heart of Knightsbridge. The flat originally consisted of 2 apartments merged together and the existing layout didn’t work. The new design was to provide a comfortable and stylish home for an expanding family when they are in London. The client wanted everything to be low maintenance and he wanted the design to ‘outlast me’ so great care was taken to provide a classic look, made of hardwearing materials that would be comfortable and practical for the elderly (we should point out our client really isn’t that old…). The client is also colourblind, so we constructed a scheme rich in textures and tones that would maximise his aesthetic enjoyment of the space.
Creation / planning process
To gain a more ergonomic and appropriate layout, we ended up removing every single internal wall and starting again. We drew inspiration from the building’s heritage. A mix of high street, luxury and bespoke products gives the overall design a sense of history and character.
How it went?
Asbestos was located under the original parquet flooring, which was a real shame as we were hoping to keep that (having been so excited to find it under some truly cringeworthy salmon carpet). When we lifted the floor we exposed a disused lift shaft, dropping 6 floors below that had hardly been covered over. It gave the builders quite a shock. We wanted to turn it into a wine cellar, but alas the client doesn’t drink. It was the original staff lift, discontinued in the 60s.
We managed to gain a few extra square meters here and there, finding empty pockets in the walls which had been boarded over for no apparent reason, which was a bit of a treat.
Favourite room / part of the project and why?
It was lovely to return a sense of grandeur to the flat again, it’s a huge flat in a prominent position and it had previously looked like a student let. Our favourite room was the kitchen, which Kia designed in collaboration with Roundhouse. It combines state of the art equipment with age old craftsmanship and manages to both pay homage to the deco heritage whilst looking fresh and modern and not seeming ‘fashionable’. The rose glass splashback allows you to see what is going on in the rest of the room and reflects the lights of Harrods at night, giving the room a slightly Christmassy feel.
All the cupboards and drawers open so smoothly it’s a joy to fish things out of them and the design means everything you need is right at your fingertips. You feel included in the whole room, but cocooned at the same time. The hexagonal tile to wood flooring transition is really fun and integrates the spaces perfectly.
The project is currently shortlisted for The Sunday Times British Home Awards and the Designer Kitchen and Bathroom Awards, so we’re really proud that other people like it as well.
Any issues / problems you had to overcome during the project?
Window blinds needed to be extra thick to block out the blazing lights from Harrods next door.