Warm colours and a chandelier for a Kensington home away from home

We speak to designer Kia Stanford about her latest project; from storing suitcases to statement bedroom wallpaper

Colourful bedroom redesign

The goal of this project was relatively straightforward: to create a welcoming second home for a family who are mostly based in the Middle East.

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Spacious cream dressing room renovation with vanity area

Here’s how it was done.

House redecoration with a homely family feel

The project in a nutshell:

The property: A contemporary home in Kensington, London, originally built in 1890

Who lives here? A Middle Eastern couple with four children, who use the property as their London base

Designer: Kia Stanford of Kia Designs

Budget: £80,000

London home dining area with colourful stools

The family wanted their home to be ‘welcoming but not overpowering’, with a ‘homely’ focus on family life rather than entertaining guests. With a love of rich, warm colours, the goal was to create a home that ‘balanced elegance and glamour with comfort and function’, with twists of extra style that were truly unique to the occupants.

“During our initial design meetings, our client provided very specific images of the style she likes,” says Kia Stanford, Creative Director at Kia Designs, who oversaw the project.

She says: “She left it up to us to source individual pieces – and as we’re now working on the family’s home in the Middle East too, it’s safe to say she was happy with the end result.”

The challenge presented by the bedrooms was that the clients wanted to keep the in-built furniture that already existed – despite them being very much not in the client’s personal style. “They look fantastic now, as if they were made specifically to the client’s specific taste,” says Kia, “we achieved this through a combination of paint colours and wall features; we also had a new screening built for the top, and used vibrant colours on the panelling.”

Colourful bedroom decorate with accent wall and statement chandelier

Attention was also paid to the interiors of the storage; “they have a much sleeker look to them now,” Kia tells us.

A streamlined layout was important for the master boudoir: “it’s quite a tight space for a master bedroom,” says Kia. “However, the room has gorgeously high ceilings and wonderful large windows, so there’s a lovely amount of natural light in the room.

With a smaller space like this, it was essential to be able to use the space that already exists, whilst creating extra interest with colour.

To the right of the bedroom doorway is a chest of drawers with a mirror above it that serves to accentuate the light, airy aesthetic.

“This piece doubles as the perfect area to get ready in the morning and also functions as a nice second dressing area,” explains Kia.

“Above the bed is a gorgeous chandelier, which highlights the height of the room and adds a beautifully glamorous touch to the space,” she says.

Colourful decorative bedroom redesign with statement mirror and bright storage

Wallpaper was used in the alcove behind the bed but Kia was keen to avoid going over-board in terms of the colours and patterns she incorporated; “we needed to limit ourselves when it came to adding too much extra,” she says, “and we didn’t want to pull away from the room as a whole.”

Kia’s number one policy when it comes to redesigning your bedroom?

Be honest with yourself, and your designer, about what you want and need from the space. “We all have more stuff than we think we do,” she explains, “and we like to pretend we’re going to cut-down on what we have when we move or redecorate – but do it before you redesign your bedroom and see how tricky it actually is!”

Coral theme bedroom decoration
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She also advises giving special consideration to ‘clunkier’ items that will take up more space – think suitcases, for example – and factoring in whether you can move them elsewhere, or if they need to be incorporated into your room’s new design. “Otherwise, you may be left with a suitcase sitting in the middle of your beautiful new bedroom,” she says.