Lh Exclusive with Gulla Jonsdottir, Architect & Interior Design Visionary

le grand restaurant paris by gulla jonsdottir

When I first came across Gulla Jonsdottir on Instagram I instantly fell in love, so of course, I was thrilled when she agreed to answer a few questions about her life and work for Love Happens to share!

A visionary beyond all else, Gulla is an amazingly talented architect and interior designer by trade. Her spaces are unexpected and poetic modern masterpieces which beautifully harmonize with their surroundings. Renowned for her sensual and dynamic forms and integration of organic beauty and function, Gulla and her studio create unique spatial experiences in each project. Environmental works of art!

Gulla Jonsdottir
Gulla Jónsdóttir, Principal of the LA-based Gulla Jónsdóttir Architecture & Design

Gulla Jonsdottir Architecture & Design has a reputation for holistic work across the fields of architecture, interior design, graphic design, product design, and brand management. She has designed residential, commercial and hospitality projects worldwide, as well as her own furniture line.

Read on for a glimpse inside the fabulous world of Gulla Jonsdottir!

Love Happens: What inspired you to pursue architecture and design?

Gulla Jonsdottir: A visit to Florence, Italy with my mother when I was 12 years old. The intoxicating Architecture and Arts consumed me with a feeling I hadn’t felt before. I was also lucky to spend a lot of time with my artist Grandfather, and I used to draw with him since I was 3 years old.

Lh: Where do you look for inspiration? What inspires you most?

GJ: Nature. The site specifics landscapes and hardscapes that surround the projects I’m working on inspire me. I want my projects to be relevant to its country and city, and their natural surroundings. Art is another huge inspiration for me. It’s free, it’s something to fall in love with, and the pure aesthetics of sculptural art and paintings I find very inspiring.

Macau Roosevelt by Gulla Jonsdottir
Macau Roosevelt by Gulla Jonsdottir

Lh: What 3 words would you use to describe your designs?

GJ: Poetic, modern and sculptural

Lh: What do you view as the biggest accomplishment of your career thus far?

GJ: I haven’t designed it yet, but I’m excited about all of my international projects thus far, and I’m still waiting on my dream project!

Lh: Is there one project you will never forget?

GJ: Le Grand restaurant in Paris, it changed my life when it came to culinary arts and the quality of construction in Paris was so exquisite, that it was an honor to work in the beautiful city of Paris, for chef Jean Francois Piege and his wife Elodie Piege.

le grand restaurant paris by gulla jonsdottir
Le Grand restaurant in Paris designed by Gulla Jonsdottir

Lh: Which of your current projects are you most excited about?

GJ: I’m very excited about our new Thompson Hotel project in Miami located in South Beach, and the 520 Mateo residential tower in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles.

Lh: What led you to decide to start a furniture line?

GJ: I found myself designing custom furniture for my projects, and one day one of my clients built his house around his art collection and asked me to design all custom furniture for this house in Malibu. That led me naturally to start my furniture collection in 2013.

Crater Table and Rug by Gulla Jonsdottir
Crater Table and Rug by Gulla Jonsdottir

Lh: Do you have any advice for other architects/designers who are looking to do this?

GJ: I think it’s important to have at least one person in the studio dedicated to the furniture collection and to work with talented vendors and artisans that you can trust.

Lh: How would you describe your experience to date as a female leader in today’s evolving industry?

GJ: It has been an interesting and joyful experience. I feel extremely lucky with my international team of women architects and designers and have been blessed with respectful and visionary clients.

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Lh: What do you think are 3 keys to being successful in the design industry?

GJ: Stay on course of your passion and integrity in design. Network with the right people and have a good team behind you is key. It takes a village as they say to make anything happen.

Hotel G San Francisco by Gulla Jonsdottir
Hotel G San Francisco by Gulla Jonsdottir

Lh: Do you have anything new/exciting planned for the future you want to share with us?

GJ: We just opened a gallery within one of our hotel projects La Peer hotel, in the West Hollywood Design district, named Gulla Jonsdottir Atelier, which features my limited edition furniture collection and rotating art and photography exhibits. We are now also collaborating with a gallery in Paris, called Louis Dimension, and opening a pop-up gallery with them on the Greek Island of Paros. And we are excited to start a new collaboration in the Atelier, with the Italian company Sicis.

We so look forward to continuing to follow Gulla Jónsdóttir career and can’t wait to see what she creates next!

Words and Interview by Anna Beck Bimba

All Photos Courtesy of Gulla Jonsdottir

gold and black stool - y stools - bolvardi stool by koket