Which interior space from anywhere in the world inspires you and why?
That's an easy one.. A 5 Star hotel and resort called Alila Villas Uluwata based in Bali. I was truly impressed by the simplicity of materials, use of intelligent lighting, and minimal yet timeless aesthetics all seamlessly interlinked. I love the way the landscape, architecture and interior decor all flows as one space. In my opinion to date, this has been the most well-designed project I have ever seen in terms of balance, proportion, integration and merging of surroundings, exterior and interior. I have later discovered this property was in fact designed by an international multi-award winning architecture & interior design practice based in Singapore. Every area of the space is interlinked, from the hotel interior designs through to the restaurant interior designs, all areas are seamlessly linked.. I strongly believe the success of this project is due to the harmonious collaboration between architects and designers as these roles are connected and inextricably intertwined. The massing of a building and exterior design cannot be separated from that of its interior.
What has been your favourite project to date and why?
Restaurant interior design: My favourite project to date has been a converting a dark damp basement which was last refurbished back in the Victorian times to a trendy restaurant and bar in Marylebone, Central London. Because 95% of the space did not receive natural sunlight, I decided to go with an all-black monochromatic colour scheme from ceiling to floor. I suppose with always having both my residential and commercial clients wanting to maximise natural sunlight and making their properties lighter, brighter and airier. This particular project defied the typical stereotype thinking. With careful use and manipulation of textures, materials, surfaces, mirrors, lighting and using scale and proportion interchangeably, the space looked significantly bigger, brighter and rather sophisticated attracting the targeted clientele. Good design is all about manipulation of space through various tricks and techniques used to visually alter a rooms proportions to create a balanced interior.
What is your biggest project you have worked on to date?
Back in 2011 I won a tender to reconfigure the interior space of an unusual circular shaped bathroom for a 3 bed villa which was well received, the client then commissioned me to design an entire 5 star hotel and resort based in Borneo, Malaysia. The project was more on the technical side as supposed to decor and aesthetics. My primary role as spatial planning and lighting design. The resort consists of hotel rooms, three, two and one bed villas. I've also worked on 3 individual restaurant interior designs and 3 separate bars within the club-house. This was a massive project that took several months to complete the ergonomics, spatial planning and lighting design.
How would you describe your style?
During my 4 years of studying Interior Architecture & Design, I have been brainwashed by my lecturers into not having (what designers call) a “signature style”. I design for my clients whether its a one-bedroom apartment, a restaurant interior design or a 5-star international resort. However, I do have a personal style which is bold and tactile with layers of subtle lighting. Good lighting is a fundamental part of my design process. In fact 5 years ago I wrote an article for Bar Magazine UK (calling in the experts) on offering professional interior design advice to restaurant and bar owners across the UK and Channel Islands. (I have a copy of the article on my website)
What do you think are the major challenges facing designers today?
With a new build, the main challenge is being commissioned to design a property at the completion stages where flooring, lighting and electrics etc have already been implemented. Design works in sync with the interior architecture of a building. I strongly believe a space should be designed from the inside out..
Clients underestimate the value of working with a professional interior designer and what they have to offer in terms of standards in quality, craftsmanship and huge savings which sometimes can result in the client offsetting the design fee by the savings made on the supply of furniture, fixtures & equipment supplied by their designer.
What is the one thing you really could not live without?
My creative fuel.. a decent espresso and of course my sketchbook, they both go hand in hand.
What are your design strengths?
Spatial planning and lighting design