Friday 4 October 2013

Power of Imagination!

I have to admit that one of the things I love most about interior design, is the Concept stage. The process to take something old and seeing what can be done to it. To breath life back into it purely through your imagination (and of course with the help of a good 3D software lol), the client can then see what you are imagining and what the end result will be.

So, I want to show you a recent concept design I did for a hotel in Nigeria, that I think you will all like. Below are the existing images of how the space looks like now, followed by my concept design for the hotel. Walla!


Berkshire Hotel

Concept Design

Design by TMK Design
Design by TMK Design

Design by TMK Design
Design by TMK Design
Design by TMK Design

The reception area was equally un-appealing, so I designed it to reflect the concept design for the external building. This way, there is a nice design flow between the two areas. External courtyard to internal space, further helping to enforce the new branding and making guests feel welcomed right from the gate.

New Reception design

Design by TMK Design
Design by TMK Design

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Tools of the trade!

Hi guys,

I was just actually thinking what to post and something came across my mind and I thought hey, this will make a nice post as I wonder how many people really know.

I hope this doesn't seem trivial but how many of you know the tools of the trade: what tools do you expect to see the carpenter you just contracted to build the new bookcase for your study have on him? Would you know your chisel from a large flat-head screw-driver?? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to be an expert in this particular area but that's why I write these posts so we can all learn but I have fair idea of the tools I expect to see on a job from my contractor.

For example I remember a renovation I was doing in Lagos , Nigeria last year and part of the design was for them to put up a wall partition and they started building the frame but when I looked on closer inspection, low and behold, there was no spirit-level anywhere to be found....I was baffled as how could they convince me that the wall they were building was straight without it. (Needless to say work was stopped immediately until they got one.)

Basic tools: 

Hammer - fun to bash away at things with (lol)
Tape measurer - without a way to measure on the project they may as well not even start in the first place
Spirit level - Who wants crocked walls or cabinets. I see few of these on job sites in West Africa
Utility knife - versitile from cutting string to trimming of wood
Marking tools - special pencil and not just any pen as it will leave horrible marks
Saw - carpenter without this....enough said lol
Wrench - adjusts to any size

I know this seems basic (and I actually hope for most of you it is), but again I felt the need to point this out as I've noticed most contractors here do not have the right tools so how can they possibly do the job correctly? So next time you hire a contractor for a project (big or small) make sure you take a second and look at his tools!

As always I've had a blast writing this and please leave comments as it's always encouraging to get feedback and help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. If you're new I hope you will join and become a member. 


Tuesday 6 November 2012

Ugly Tile Syndrome or UTS

There's no need to feel ashamed, UTS can happen to anyone but I feel the need to address this as I see it as a rampant problem here in West Africa. UTS is found in millions of homes and it makes me want to!

Talking about this actually reminds me of a house someone I knew was renovating and upon getting to the kitchen I literally wanted to scream. This guy had picked the UGLIEST tiles I have seen in a long while. They were big yellow tiles with ghastly patterns on them and the biggest joke is that he tiled the walls from floor to ceiling on all sides...shock horror! Why Why all that ran through my mind and I tried to advice him otherwise but he insisted to me that that is the trend here, (Nigeria) lol. Sadly folks, the disaster didn't end there as he picked equally ugly tiles for the bathrooms or wet rooms as they were. Yuck!

Seriously though, there is a fine line between using a past decade to influence you or to give you inspiration lead by the current day trends, as opposed to being so literal and actually using tiles that I'm sure even in the decade they were designed/made they were rejected lol.

Here are a few examples...  


disco time, lol

floor tiles

Ok yeah true, these maybe slight extremes of ugly tiles but I wonder why people feel the need to make them so busy in the first place.

I'm sure you're all getting the idea by now of the kind of tiles not to chose, so let me show you the kind of tiles that I think should be used and can I quickly interject here that please, we should stop feeling that we have to tile walls from floor to ceiling - pick sections to tile but not the full wall unless it's a feature wall i.e one wall. This way, if you ever get tired of your tiles you just change that section where the tiles are - less damage to your walls. 
I love how this feels and looks like a room and not just a place where you bath
The tiles are neutral and the colour is used in the choice of paint on the wall which is easier to change over time
Love the way the tiles are used as a border here which makes it look elegant 
here the wall tiles is used as a splash back so it stops just under the extractor

Can I suggest that when picking tiles, you go for the most neutral colour or the least 'fussy' pattern you can and contrary to belief, that will not make your space look boring as what you do is use other things in the room to accentuate it through paint colours or accessories. The reason I suggest this is that neutral colours can be paired with much stronger colours so in a year or two, you can change the painted walls and the space will look different again.
Neutral tile options
I hope we have all been delivered from UTS!!
Not to sound big headed but I'm sure you enjoyed this post lol, so please share on on Facebook and Twitter. I also look forward to your comments so get writing. Remember you can call upon my services on any project you may have.

Monday 29 October 2012

On your doorstep - Luxury Undefined…!


It’s so weird how quickly time has flown by and I have to apologies for not blogging for the last 3 months but a lot has been going on (life really) and so I had to transition (all good though).

Anyways, I won’t bore you with the details but I do want to base this blog on one of my earlier requests when I started blogging, ‘To the Koko’.

For me, the whole point of this blog is to help educate you guys on standards that you should expect to either achieve yourself or when hiring a ‘professional’, (I put that loosely in quotes as very few sorry to say in Africa really are – most are self-taught).

So in my previous posts I've showed you great kitchens and though the images looked great, I'm sure many of you thought how will I ever achieve the same standard or better with what’s mostly available around me (local carpenters), who will never get the right finishing to say the least. But now, you don’t have to worry about that anymore as I've stumbled across a great company right here on your shores that can give you the photo-finish look …..I kid you not!! Check out Pedini…..

Curved Dune
Red curved Artika with tall units
Shaped walnut Dune
Tall Artika units
Q2 System - Glass
Q2 System
Vintage - Homely

So, I think you can agree with me that these kitchens are amazing and from an amazing company too. Be sure to Google them as they are all over the world and luckily  we have them right here too in West Africa! Stop by their showroom if you can (address on 'where to shop' page) and they will transform and customize your new or old kitchen.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or comments and I will certainly reply!! If you like please share.

Thursday 7 June 2012


Hi! I hope you are doing well since my last post till now.

There's been so much going on with me of late and one of them being another office renovation I am working on here in Ghana, Accra. So, I thought what  better than to let you guys see again how it's done here, as if you recall, the last ‘Live renovation’ I did was done in Nigeria, Lagos. Personally, I'm keen to see how the level of workmanship differs here to there but already (still at the beginning stage), I'm noticing a difference. 

Ok, so let me give you a quick insight into this project. It’s a property development company and they need a Marketing Suite in their office, where they can take prospective clients and ‘wow’ them with current/up and coming projects. So keeping in mind the main objective of the space as well as incorporating the company ethos/brand, this is the design I have come up with.

Here is the existing plan of the room below:

The actual room size is not the biggest but as a designer, you just have to look at ways to utilise the space as best as possible. I first did an initial idea as to what’s needed in the room and to help get a better flow of the space. 

TMK Interiors Design
Then I put myself in the shoes of the client as well as the marketer. How would I like to show a prospective client about upcoming projects and also what would catch my attention as a client? So I went on to answer these questions and I came up with my final design below:

TMK Interiors Design - Plan view

TMK Interiors Design - red panels used for illustration 

TMK Interiors Design

TMK Interiors Design
The room now has a better design flow as it's now divided into smaller sections as it were. When a client walks in the first thing they are hit with is the colour of red on the wall panel that has project illustrations on it and then the physical model stand of project. Looking to their right (from the door), they will see the straight wall partition with company name etc on it. As they move on into the room they will now see the other wall illustrations and then end up in the  curved TV area. This is where clients will now sit, be served refreshments while watching the latest animation/video. 

This is going to be a quick, fun design project, so please stayed tuned for my next couple of posts on this, as we are going from design conception to construction. To make sure you don’t miss out join this blog, that way you get notified automatically when I write a new posts. As always I look forward to your feedbacks and comments and don’t forget to share on your Facebook and Twitter page.


Monday 28 May 2012


Ok, since I seem to have talked about most of the major rooms in the house, I thought I'd then dedicate this post to the ‘study room’ as I have gotten some request to do so. 

I'll confess that for me as a designer it is not the most interesting rooms to design as all it needs really are some basics and it's functional. So with this post, I want to try and touch on ways we can make it less drab and more of an exciting space. 

For those who don’t know, a study is a room in the home used for reading, homework/office work, computer tasks and even relaxation, a space to think. Most newly built houses now, come with a dedicated study room but if you live in an older house and don’t plan on moving anytime soon, don’t worry as you can easily convert a spare room into your own study room. (Remember that the room you choose should be a room that gets enough good natural light, air circulation and away from noise).

I want to give you some basic tips to think about even before you start re-modelling your study room.

      1. Colours – this to me is the number 1 tip and the starting point as it’s very important the colour you choose for this space as it has a very specific function. You want the room to promote peacefulness and tranquillity, a place to get away from stress so you can focus and study/work or just read a book.

Warm blue tones are the best for evoking a peaceful feeling in the room. Avoid light blues which can feel cold on the walls. Green is another good option as it’s believed to be a calming colour as well. Defiantly colours to avoid are bright reds and yellows which create energy and sometimes frustration. (Energetic colours should be saved for a family room etc.).

It you’re the type on the other hand that likes dark colours and your room is big enough, I would suggest you consider painting one or half a wall that colour and then for the rest of the walls use a creamy neutral colour. 

Ticks all the boxes

Green and natural wood scheme

2.  Books – No study is complete without books. You can fill an entire wall with shelves/bookcases so this becomes the feature of the room. You might be thinking, but I don’t have that may books right now…don’t worry. You can use the empty space as display areas for your framed pictures or favourite ornaments.

1      Make sure you pick a bookcase that keeps in line with the overall style that you are trying to achieve. Be careful to measure the wall correctly so you can purchase enough of the bookcase/shelves to cover the entire wall. Another option of course and the easiest I believe here in Africa is to get a really good carpenter to do it for you. Please just make sure you have a strong input into choosing the wood and be very specific about the quality of finish you want. Don’t accept rubbish!

study room with large book rack
Large bookcase covering entire wall
Contemporary Rich Apartment Design Study Room Area

1    3. Furniture – Ok, now you are ready to add furniture. Depending on the size of the room, look for a comfortable sofa or recliners first. (Reading is much more comfortable when you have somewhere nice to sit – let comfort be your primary goal before style in this case).

Next, look for a desk. A desk with built in drawers and shelves work well and also keep in mind that the work surface should be wide enough to accommodate your desktop/laptop and also have enough work surface to do other things. Also if you are purchasing, try and make sure that the desk is the same finish as your shelves or as close to as possible to give good continuity. 

Don't also forget about your flooring. In Africa, we tend to prefer tiles but I for one like wooden floors and don't think they are appreciated well enough here. You can cozy it up by adding a nice rug in the area where you will be seated. 

Simply design but modern and functional

More examples...
Small spaces can work too but with bespoke furniture

study room | home office

study room | home office
Study room for kids
    study room with sun light
    Good natural light is important

Well, I hope this has given you ample ideas on what to do with your own study room. If you follow these tips I believe you will come out with great results! Remember if in doubt feel free to ask me questions and I'm also available to offer you my interior design service.

Don't forget to please help spread the word and share this post on your Facebook and Twitter! Ciao...

Thursday 3 May 2012

Focus point!

It was commonly known as parlours in the 19th century, but now in the 20th century this space was renamed the "living room" where one can entertain guests, watch television, read, and practise the art of 

I've noticed commonly here, (West Africa) that the average household has 2 spaces - one being the 'living room' and the other the 'family room'. The family room is used everyday where the family comes together at the end of their day, relax after a long workweek or to enjoy a television program together and just basically hang out, while the living room, is sometimes a rarely used room, without a television or other media, where visitors are formally entertained. Either way, living rooms provide a design set piece for you to display your signature look from a stylish combination of living room furniture.

Contemporary Kensington House Interior Design-Interior Design of Contemporary Kensington House by SHH Architects and Designers
Contemporary Kensington House - Living room example
Luxury living room interior in black and white

From the pictures above, you can get an idea of modern luxury living, which is characterised by maximised use of daylight, glass panels, pieces of chunky glossy solid wood decor. Straight lines are the main features of contemporary luxury living, because they create less mess and put the little things that can create messy lines. But do not forget to include lines and curves, resulting to break the monotony.

Below is a contemporary but cosy family area. Note the natural colours used on the walls and floor and the furniture gives just enough colour that the room needs so the space remains a relaxing zone.

living area seating mountain view

I wanna give you some quick tips for the 'family room' as that's the space you and your family use on a daily basis and a busy family room can be not only neat and orderly, but also comfortable and pleasant. What's the secret? Making the most of three important elements: storage, versatility, and comfort.


Start by asking yourself how you want to feel when you're in the room, and how you want to use it. Ask family members to identify the activities that will go on in the room. Then consider whether the space is large enough to accommodate those activities. If watching TV, reading books, and playing board games are high on your priority list, be sure you have room for comfortable seating near the television set, adjustable lighting fixtures, and a table large enough for games. Knowing how you'll use the space helps determine whether the room is sized appropriately.

Carefully plan for furniture. Start thinking about how you'll live in the space before remodelling to ensure that everything you want fits comfortably and that traffic flows smoothly. A furniture plan also determines where electrical and cable outlets belong—costly elements to change once the room is complete.

Consider your focal point. Is it the TV or a fireplace? If both are on the same wall, seating is easy, but on separate walls, the room arrangement becomes trickier. Experiment with arrangements that pull the furniture away from the walls and create a variety of conversation groupings. Remember, this is a room of many activities, so be creative with your room plan.

Focus on lighting. Aim for a mix of different fixtures from standing lamps to low hung ceiling lights, and include dimmer switches so that you can adjust the lighting for everything from movie watching to doing the kids homework/school project.

Plan easy-access technology. A built-in computer station with accompanying slide-away doors and added storage keeps workspace close but easily hidden. Plus, kids' online activities can be kept in full view while your watching tv or reading a book.

Choose people-friendly finishes. Because this is sure to be one of the most-used rooms of the house, plan with longevity in mind. Consider comfortable floor coverings and sturdy upholstery fabrics for your sofa with easy-to-clean surfaces. The new microfibers and Ultrasuede are good choices here or leather.

Bring in ample natural light. The ideal window arrangement includes at least two exposures for even lighting throughout the day. If a view is unpleasant or you need more wall space, consider a skylight. As a rule, the higher the window, the deeper the light's penetration into the room.

living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan
                         Contemporary Orange Family Room Ideas in 2012
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan 
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan

I hope all the above has inspired you to look at your family room/area in a new light that can make it stylish as well as cosy for the whole family.

Remember I look forward to your feedback/comments so feel free to write your thought on this post or any other topic you'd like me to cover.

Please become a member and help me share this on your facebook and twitter (buttons at the end of this post)!