The Power of Personalization: Designing Spaces That Tell a Story
In this edition of Love Happens’ Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek into the creative mind of Simona Biel, Partner & Design Director of Studio Duquette. Simona loves nothing more than collaborating with clients to craft a space that truly tells their story. Inviting hues and personality-packed accessories are just a few of Simona’s go-to’s. That liberating creative freedom, informed by each client’s lifestyle, is what drives Simona’s success as a designer. Having worked in the luxury interior sector for over ten years, Simona overlooked and delivered top-end residential and hospitality projects in both Europe and Asia. Her ability to understand every facet of the design sphere means that she is perfectly placed to help aid clients through their experience with Studio Duquette.
Meet Simona Biel of Studio Duquette in The LHM Design Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness to me is being content with who you are and what you have. It is all about spending quality time with loved ones, doing what I love, enjoying life, and going on new adventures.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement as an interior designer would have to be the relationships I have built with my clients. I have been working with the same clients for over eight years and they continue to refer our studio to their friends and family. Creating long-term relationships with our clients is something I value and is the biggest compliment.
What profession does your alter ego have?
Since I was a child, I’ve always been drawn to art and design, so it has always been my passion and drive. Therefore, I would say my alter ego would not be too far from interior design. I could see myself as a movie set designer. Movies are all about creating a believable and immersive world, and that’s what movie set designers do. They create the sets where the action takes place, making sure they are realistic and fit the story. They also work with the lighting and props departments to create the perfect look for each scene. It’s a challenging and creative job, and I think it would be a lot of fun!
The project you will never forget.
“Villa Tangwallen project” in the South of Sweden. It is a one-of-a-kind 19th-century vivid pink villa that was abandoned for decades and one of our repeat clients decided to bring it back to life. The most challenging part was working with the conservation officer who had very strict rules we had to follow when it came to the various interior design solutions we were proposing. This project was unique in that the team who worked on it were able to successfully combine elements of the original design with modern updates and features, creating a truly one-of-a-kind space. The result was truly a whimsical yet elegant villa with lots of existing intricate details and tasteful decor elements.
Your favorite business tool or resource.
This is a difficult question, as I love so many things! But if I had to choose just one, I would say my favourite interior design resource is coffee table books & design magazines. I find it so helpful for gathering inspiration and getting ideas for new projects.
Also, I love going to antique shops and fairs as they have very eclectic and varied collections of furniture, artwork, and other decorative items. This is a great source of inspiration for new interior design projects, as it can provide ideas for how to incorporate older, more traditional design elements into newer, more contemporary spaces. Additionally, antique shops often have a lot of unique pieces that can be used to create one-of-a-kind accents or focal points in a room.
The most timeless design.
Something timeless is classic and will never go out of style. For me, a timeless interior design would be a black and white marble tiled floor with accent furnishings in maple or cherry that have a more traditional feel. I think it is important to have a sense of history in your home and to be able to appreciate classic design.
The biggest design faux pas.
There are many interior design faux pas that can be made, but some of the most common ones include not considering the scale of the room when selecting furniture, not considering how light and dark colours will affect the overall look of the room, and not considering how the room will be used when decorating.
However, the biggest one for me is not personalizing your space. Creating a space that truly reflects who you are and what you love is one of the most important things you can do in terms of interior design. Don’t be afraid to play around with different items that are special to you, such as photographs, paintings, ornaments, and furniture that have been passed down through the family. I always believed that a successful interior design outcome is all about taking risks and being creative.
Your design motto.
Form follows function.
This is my mantra because I believe that the function of a space should dictate the form of that space. This guiding principle allows for interior design that is both purposeful and timeless.
Our publisher KOKET makes statement décor; if you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?
It’s a Botanica sconce for me. I am all about detailed and unique pieces that add personality and glamour to any room. It is perfect for making a statement and would be the focal point of any space.
Love Happens when…
You are kind to someone, they become kind to others and you in return.
Explore more Simona Biel and Studio Duquette at studioduquette.com.
All Photos Courtesy of Studio Duquette