Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery
Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Reasons to have tiles in your home

installing floor tiles

installing floor tilesMore and more people are turning to tiles over other materials such as carpet in their homes, and they have very good reason to do so. Not only are tiles modern and sophisticated, they have a whole heap of advantages and pros, and very few reasons not to have them. To list them all would be endless, so below are just a few reasons that we feel everybody should have tiles in their homes.

Let’s start with one of the most important factors that anyone thinks when they are refurbishing their homes. Your budget. One of the joys of tiles is that there is something that will suit all budgets. If you want a carpet that will last, and stay looking great the whole time, the likelihood is that you will end up spending a fair amount of money. Tiles on the other hand are available in such a huge range of materials, that there is something for everyone, regardless of how much you have to spend, and the appearance of these will not alter over time either. For those with a smaller budget, materials like porcelain and ceramic are perfect, and luxurious materials such as marble, and granite are better for those with more time and a larger budget.

Although the exact amount of work needed is different for different materials, in general, tiles require very little maintenance compared with other floor materials. Bear in mind that specialist stones such as marble require more work than others; however, the majority of tiles require simple daily cleaning with soap and water. If you have tiles in wet areas, such as bathrooms, you will need to look into having them sealed if necessary to ensure that they are fully waterproof. Tiles are great for those people who suffer from allergies. Any pet hair and allergens including dust will not get stuck into tiles in the same way that they do in carpets, which means that they can be swept up, and will not irritate those who suffer with certain allergies, particularly pet ones.

Finally, they just look great. Having tiles in a home instantly makes it feel modern and stylish. Many people are concerned that they will make your home feel cold, but this simply is not the case. Not only are some materials actually warmer than others, the majority of tiles can be installed over a heat mat, which will prevent the tiles from feeling cold underfoot, and will actually help warm your whole home. Tiles are available in such a huge array of colours and styles, that regardless of what you are looking for, you will find something that will fit in perfectly with your style.

Twitter for Interior Designers 2016

Keep Calm Interior Designer

Keep Calm Interior DesignerVery many interior designers, but less so architects, use TWITTER to support their business marketing efforts.

Twitter is very hit-and-miss. Some say,

Don’t bother using it, it wastes your time as it’s ineffective

Others say,

It takes time but I got a couple of project leads that way

I guess it takes just ONE large project to make it worthwhile.

the problem is that the way YOU use twitter is ineffective and  you won’t get ANY leads but you WILL waste a lot of time. Well, that’s what I would say to a lot of designers but it probably won’t apply to you. Here’s why…

Twitter can be used in several ways including:

  1. You just tweet something to your ‘followers’.
    • Let’s say you have 500 followers and each of those followers all follow 1,000 other twitter entities. So your generic tweet will be hidden away amongst those of 1,000 other twitterers. the chance of it being read are not great.
    • On the positive side a generic tweet can be automated from your blog or facebook posts, so this could be a ‘no-effort’ action for you.
    • Result: No effort, no REaction, ineffective.
  2. You genuinely tweet to an engaged community. These people are like-minded online buddies of the best order. Unfortunately they are all interior designers or interior designer wannabees rather than clients.
    • Result: Lots of great interactive dialogue, huge amount of time wasted. Wrong target market. Ineffective but a great way to pass/waste your valuable time.
  3. You focus your twitter-efforts on relevant hashtags. Great, assuming that everyone else uses the same hashtag for the same meaning then you could be on to a winner here. eg #INTERIORDESIGN. This is great because you will reach beyond your followers.
    • Result: Still a waste of time. Most trending hashtags are about Prince Harry or Kim Kardashian or something similar. the 5 people who tweet about your targeted hashtags are also interior designers. Complete waste of time
  4. You engage with specific people through twitter. This might be ‘some random person’ or it might be a potential client who has contacted y ou via twitter.
    • This is fine. You are effectively using twitter as an abbreviated email-proxy. If your potential client wants to communicate this way then that’s great. But it’s just really email.
  5. You automate your blogs to also tweet the same headline to twitter with a link in twitter back to the original post. Kinda like I’ve done here in fact. It’s still mostly a waste of time (but you’r reading it aren’t you?) but it took me zero extra time to put the content onto twitter. It also creates a bit of corporate noise on a well-known platform. Someone MIGHT just look at your company and then out of interest have a nose-around your facebook page, linkedin page and twitter feed. If either are empty then they might wonder about the size and scope of your organisation.
    • Result? Mostly harmless!

Anyway. You get the drift. twitter is mostly a waste of time. I blog in some other fields of business and twitter is a bit more important there but it still doesn’t lead to quantifiable business there either.

And yes I did automate this with a tweet. And a youthful emoticon 🙂

 

6 ways to upcycle your old office furniture

If you’re fed up with the look of your office and feel that the whole space could do with some re-vamping, why not look at ways of upcycling your existing furniture? All you need is some imagination, and the confidence to transform your ideas into reality. Here are six ideas you might find useful.

 

  1. Upcycling chairs

You don’t necessarily have to have the painting skills of a professional artist, nor do you have to be master carpenter but if you are useful with a staple gun, this will help in your upcycling project. The upholstery of many office chairs, including those with castors from Tente attached, will look shabby after years of use, though the frame will still be perfectly sound. Simply choose a hard wearing fabric that you like and recover the headrest and seat of the chair. If you’re at all unsure follow the link here for some expert advice. The transformation will surprise you and you’ll have a piece of furniture that looks stylish and will last for years.

 

  1. Transforming dull filing cabinets

Dull grey metallic filing cabinets never look good even when they’re brand new. With a can of spray paint you can easily transform this item into a thing of beauty. Even though we are allegedly living in a paperless society, most people do keep a hard copy of essential documents and need somewhere to store these items, hence the enduring popularity of the filing cabinet. Using stencils you could always enhance your filing cabinet with some vibrant designs.

 

  1. Renovating the office desk

If your office desk is looking tired, and is constructed from either wood or metal, why not learn a little bit about decoupage? This process is achingly fashionable, and importantly it will give your sad old desk a new lease of sophisticated life. You can cover the surface of the desk with either fabric or paper and the resulting design will be sealed in a resilient coating of varnish. Try not to select a design that’s too busy as you may spend more time gazing at your beautiful new desk rather than working on it.

 

  1. Look at your lights

A can of spray paint is an essential tool in every upcycler’s arsenal. If your desk lamps are metal, simply respray them. You can go for primary colours or you could invest in metallic shades – it depends which colours will fit in with your existing design. Alternatively you could experiment with a new lampshade, and paint the base of the lamp.

 

  1. Upcyle your windows dressings

Blinds always look better in an office than curtains; if you have been using fabric curtains this might be the time to swap to blinds. You can always use the curtain material to make some attractive cushions.  You can quite simply construct a new blind from unwanted tea towels according to the style magazine House and Garden. Upcycling really does mean that you’ll rarely throw anything away again.

 

  1. Bookshelves need love

Despite the growth of all things digital most officers still need a few reference books to hand and bookshelves in which to house them. If your wooden bookshelf is looking sad, strip the surface, and then varnish. If you want to add colour, go for it and paint the shelves.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-3122728/How-turn-old-junk-treasure.html

Cotton Velvet vs. Mohair Velvet

Contemporary beige cotton velvet chair
Black Mohair Velvet Contemporary Chair
Black Mohair Velvet Contemporary Chair

KOTHEA was asked “what is the difference between cotton velvet and mohair velvet upholstery fabric”.

More of an explanation about velvet is given here – essentially ‘velvet’ is the finish arrived at by a specific production process. That process can be applied to many fibres. Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat and cotton is a natural fibre that grows from the cotton plant.

Faux Leather For Flooring

Cream Faux Leather Upholstery
Black Faux Leather Upholstery
Black Faux Leather Upholstery

KOTHEA was asked if Faux Leather could be used as flooring. We have experience of putting faux leather just about on any surface: in yachts, in hotels, in villas, on doors, on walls, on bars and of course on furniture. But sadly no experience with floors.

Some of the faux leathers/faux skins we sell have a Martindale / Rub test of over 100,000. This is suitable for HEAVY/CONTRACT upholstery. However to extrapolate that to even light use flooring is risky. The rub test mimics more the action of sitting rather than being walked upon. The forces exerted by walking, running and carrying things on faux leather would be much more than in seating areas. This would be further complicated by the adhesive which would have to be both perfectly bonded throughout the entire area in contact with the floor (possible) and the adhesive would have to be strong (possible).

Having said that I have a sneaky feeling that it is possible in reasonably low traffic areas. After all it is possible to buy leather tiles. Perhaps also the covering applied after laying can improve stability and durability. If you would like me to give a more definitive response on this issue please leave a comment.

Interior Design: Getting into the industry with your eyes wide open.

Featured Image -- 5771What does it take to become a great interior designer?

Inspiration? Passion? An eye for detail? Perhaps all these things and more. At KOTHEA we don’t profess to be interior designers however we do deal with many of the top desingers in the UK.

They all share many characteristics.

They are great organisers. Even relatively small interiors projects are complex and involve dealing with many suppliers and tracking the purchasing and installation of products and services from them. So as well as your creative flair you have to be a good project manager, or at least employ someone who is.

They are great salespeople. Starting your own interior desing business is still starting a business. The same rules apply to designers as to successful business people elsewhere. You have to be passionate about what you do and people will want to buy from someone who is both knowledgeable and enjoying what they do.

They have Empathy and Understanding. It’s great innovating amazing new concepts that you love but your client has to like them. Understanding what your client wants and delivering to the brief is vital. The best and cheapest marketing you will ever get will be from word of mouth advertising from delighted cients. When you have grown your international interior design business you won’t need a salesforce if you have 100 delighted cleints on your books.

They excel and focus. Be great at something. Even better, be indespensible. If you are starting at ‘the bottom’ of a large design practice always do a great job but excel at some aspect of it, get noticed, and if that bit you are really good at helps the business grow then make it your area by the knowledge and passion you put into it. If you are going out on your own then try to focus; it can be a big leap in the technical aspects of going from say spas to aircraft to ski chalets. If you’ve just done an underground restaurant-bar focus your efforts on securing another one; the sale will be easier and that next job will be easier to deliver on when you win it. You will make less mistakes and so make more money, even the very best designers still have bills to pay.

They have contacts. Getting started is difficult in any business. If you know the right potential clients and the right people in the industry it will be easier for you. At the very least you will need experience and perhaps that is where the basic training is important. So if you are looking to get a formal training go for it. Get excited about creating wonderful schemes for your expectant clients but don’t forget the business side of what you do.

A comprehensive list of courses is available through the BIDA web site and the 2 better known ones are also listed immediately below. Happy studying and good luck with your future career:

1. BIDA
2. KLC
3. Inchbald