Profile: HKN Design


Hey peeps! As an interior designer I love finding and working with local artists. It's amazing how many creative and talented people are in our beloved city. Today I'll be introducing y'all to HKN Design, founded by mother-daughter duo Helena and Natalie Bates, along with Kasim Hardaway, one of MIKCExplore’s own contributors.

Photos by Josh Montes

Photos by Josh Montes


HKN Design creates custom shelving and decor. Their original designs are created here in Kansas City, Missouri exclusively from exotic hardwood veneers and drum sets. Each piece of material they use is a remnant from the wooden shells that were handcrafted for drummers and musicians worldwide. Since its founding in 2014, HKN Design has sold worldwide to clients in Germany, England, Australia, Puerto Rico and other notable clients such as Irvine Marriott in California and Phoenix Sandberg Law Firm on the Country Club Plaza.


The business began when drummer Natalie Bates (co-founder/owner and the "N" in HKN) began collecting drops from the custom drum shop where she worked while pursuing a Jazz degree at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. She recycled the veneers and circular hoops to begin creating simple circular shelving. Good friend and co-founder Kasim Hardaway (the "K" in HKN) saw the potential for the shelving and they were quickly off and running with design business ideas.


Natalie's mother and Czech native, Helena Bates (the "H" in HKN) joined the team soon after, offering her expertise in design and fabrication. Helena received her degree in Architecture and Design from the famous Prague Institute of Technology and has achieved success in the U.S. as a highly sought-after architectural illustrator in Denver, Colorado and commercial architectural designer on New York's Madison Avenue.


In 2017, HKN became the mother and daughter duo that it is today. They have become known for their multi-unit designs. Combining artistry with functionality, they continue to design and fabricate custom decor to include shelving, mirror and tables. New designs and collaboration pieces with other local creatives are showcased at Perennial Places Gallery and Jones Gallery in the Crossroads.


"It has been an uplifting experience for us to be part of Kansas City's supportive community of artistic, creative and entrepreneurial minds. We look forward to embracing all of the new great opportunities this city has to offer!" - HKN Design