Q&A With Laura Bielecki Senior Interior Design Manager, Ellington
Laura Bielecki is a professional interior designer and Senior Interior Design Manager with Ellington Properties in Dubai. The recipient of the ‘2012 Middle East Young Interior Designer of the Year’ at the 2012 Commercial Interior Design Awards, Laura has extensive experience in this sector, that underlines her pivotal role in the ongoing success of Ellington. (A graduate in Applied Interior Design from Mount Royal University in her native, Calgary, Canada in 2006, she has worked on a number of prestigious projects including high-rises in New York and Montreal. She also has commercial and government design/project management experience in Western Alberta and residential, hospitality and education experience in Qatar and the UAE.)
An established industry voice with her successful blog ‘Luxury Interiors’, Laura sits as a judge on several panels relating to key industry awards in the Middle East. She also has an influential voice on social media channels such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Laura has written for various magazines and websites and regularly attends international design shows to stay up-to-date with industry trends.
How did your team find working with the BAGNODESIGN specification’s department?
We are always impressed when working with Sophay Young - Senior Project Design Consultant at BAGNODESIGN and her team for their professionalism and speed of service. They are very familiar with all products in their portfolio and have the technical knowledge to assist with specifications and coordination on site.
What do you think is the biggest challenge when creating a bathroom concept design?
Space and budget! There is never enough of either.
What are the latest trends in bathroom design for hospitality projects?
Bathrooms are a very personal retreat and require a higher level of comfort and relaxation that other hotel settings. Providing a guest with an experience beyond what they have at home creates a mini destination for clients to envy and aspire to. Some of my favorite features include large soaker tubs with a view, mirror TV’s, aromatherapy steam showers, strong massaging water pressure, luxurious bathrobes and slippers, thick floor mats, integrated speakers, and great amenities kits of soaps and shampoos.
Where do you find inspiration prior designing a bathroom?
Starting a project by finding strengths and weaknesses in current methods, assists in designing an improved system as a foolproof way of having a great functional end product. As for the aesthetic, bathrooms are often drawn from a water inspiration. The idea of soothing colors, soft and body shaped curves and plush pillows or window treatments assist with acoustic consideration. As bathrooms are full of hard durable finishes, it is important to consider making them less sterile.
With regards to bathroom design, which textures do you like to work with? In your opinion, do you see colours being incorporated more into bathroom design?
Glossy finishes tend to reflect cleanliness and water reflectance, however with today’s trends, more textural finishes convey a cozier and more relaxed feel. With innovations in finishes, antibacterial properties are integral in ceramics, porcelains and coatings. Texture also provides natural antislip properties for bathtubs, floors and shower trays. Color can be a great accent and way of refreshing a bathroom space to inspire the morning routine. By using color theory, a designer can control the mood and inspiration given to the guest, adapting to the hotel’s brand aspirations.
What are the most important things you and your team of designers take into consideration when planning your designs?
Practicality is the number 1 consideration. If the space for a bathtub is too small to be comfortable, it’s better to have a large walk-in shower. Hand towels should always be arm’s reach from the sink, drain dimensions and specs should accommodate a quick removal of water and flooding. Also, a considered lighting plan makes all the difference when applying makeup, shaving and in general feeling great with your reflection.
What do you think sets your company apart from all the other companies within the design industry?
We aim to set a new benchmark in the industry. Where other developers provide a place to live today, Ellington provides the setting for an inspired life. Set up by a highly experienced team of experts, they bring a unique knowledge base to bear on the needs. Inspired at the core by art and the appreciation of all things beautiful, driving the vision for the lifestyle we provide. Bathrooms are often the spaces we spend most time considering, to ensure the end user is fully satisfi ed and in love with the end result.