Before & After: A Cookie-Cutter Apartment for Newlyweds Get a New Look — Professional Project
Project by: Kia Stanford at Kia Designs
Location: Wimbledon, London
Kia’s clients, a pair of newlyweds, were at a loss when it came to adding style and character to their newly built apartment. Kia used rich paint colors to not only add character to the space but to create distinct areas within rooms, giving the apartment instant maturity.
From Kia: Kia Designs recently completed this redecoration of this two bedroom, two bathroom, bland new build in leafy South West London. The clients were newlyweds, who had struggled to make the place feel like home, and were nervous about spending a lot of money and getting it wrong.
After a brief courtship, they hadn’t yet developed a joint sense of style and were lacking in the wealth of objects/photos/furniture that most couples have today. So we drew inspiration from the local area. Wimbledon is a fun and vibrant neighborhood. Its sporty heritage and green spaces make it a mecca for young families. We were even inspired to use some of the colors from the All England Tennis Club in the design.
We also drew on the couple’s Mauritian and Indian heritage, introducing bold and bright colors with a hint of traditional patterns. As the apartment was lacking in period features or detailing, we focused on what was already there. Ventilation beams, skirting and architraves, window boxes, etc., and decided to highlight them through varied and bold color blocking. Using paints from the Dulux New Romanticism range, including their color of the year "Denim Drift", we gave each room an individual character and style.
To save on budget, we worked with the existing furniture, creating a design that could grow with the pair. Using paint rather than wallpaper saved money, and is easy to maintain, touch-up, or eventually change. To give the space more functionality, we used traditional "zoning" of areas, but included wall spaces as well as floor, adding two study areas, defined by painted surroundings. The majority of the budget went towards retrofitting bespoke storage, which allows the best possible use of the space, and always adds value to a property. Small windows were given a boost by fitting curtains as well as blinds, and wardrobe internals were redone to perfectly fit the couple’s requirements.
To give the rooms a sense of history, we mixed vintage and modern styled pieces, mostly from high street brands, which offered the youthful, stylish look we were after. Since this was also a fairly short project, finding items in stock was key. Shoe storage, lighting and a lovely drinks cabinet were from Made.com. Shelving from West Elm and more rustic looking seating and furniture from Swoon Editions.
Our favorite design element is definitely the internal views and vistas. Using so many different tones of paint means looking down the hallway with the bedroom doors open, you are hit by a myriad of color. It makes every entrance look exciting.
Thanks, Kia and the team at Kia Designs!
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Project Submission Form.