That Something Special

Residential Designer Luba King uses intellect, and a keen eye, to turn every room into something extraordinary.

LK Designs, a Delray Beach fiŽrm adept at transforming homes into showplaces, bases its projects on the premise that splendor and livability can co-exist in a single space. Its owner, Luba W. King, is not only well educated in interior design, holding a master’s degree in the course of study, she also possesses what many consider an even more valuable asset: graduating with honors from the “school of life.” As proprietor of Kalista Kollections, a luxury home goods boutique in Bethesda, Maryland, King spent years familiarizing herself with what the discerning client wants most—a signature piece, a.k.a. “that something special,” which by its mere placement in a room achieves a wow factor. Using her elevated taste and inherent design savvy, King hand selected her merchandise from vendors who offered unique luxury products that you wouldn’t see coming and going, always purchasing in limited quantities to ensure exclusivity. She’d also rotate her stock weekly, so every visit to Kalista would be a fresh encounter.

King’s master thesis focused on hotel design that universally appealed to all generations; this initiated her intellectual approach to design. She would analyze the specifiŽc needs and tastes of the end-users in a way that might be viewed as scientiŽfic. Despite that fact that hotel design jobs were scarce when she relocated with her husband to South Florida, it was useful insight she could lend to residential design, the path she decided to follow instead. Treating each client as distinct, King evaluates his or her personal goals and style nuances to create the perfect outcome, whether it be one room or a whole house. Were it an academic setting, she’d not only receive an A+, she would skyrocket to the top of her class.

Ever since King opened her fiŽrm in 2010, she’s developed a portfolio of stunning residences, and in each, her talent for creating innovative and aesthetically pleasing solutions shines. “A recent client had a Mediterranean home she wanted to make ‘coastal,’ but she didn’t have the large budget to replace everything,” recounts King. “Instead, I incorporated things she already owned, reŽfining and refurbishing them for an updated look.” This tactic, combined with a crisp coat of white on kitchen cabinets, accented by light grey walls to really make the cabinets pop, achieved the desired effect without spending a fortune.

Another client, a male divorcée, wanted his home to reflect his newfound bachelorhood. King cast a wide net to Žfind the perfect element that would be both masculine and elegant. “I found a spectacular lighting Žfixture from a high-end German manufacturer that was tall enough to accommodate his soaring 20-foot ceilings,” says King. “Its geometric shape, rich fiŽnishes and rivet detailing had that ‘just-right’ handsome appeal to really make the room shine.”

Recollecting from her university studies that everyone loves a gorgeous bathroom, King will impart special touches to that space. In one powder room, she hired an artist to hand-paint a tree, using white against a deep turquoise background to pop. The result brought interest and a 3D effect to the door and beyond, as the delicate branches also extended onto the wall. In another master bath, she designed black marble steps ascending to a Jacuzzi tub and installed a Žreplace for extra beauty and warmth. “I always strive to bring a touch of uniqueness—that little something special, for each client,” says King.

LK Design, 501 Palm Trail, Delray Beach, 561-278-7042;