Name: Azen Bongard
Company: Studio 8 Design Inc.
Position within the company: Principal, Lead Interior Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design.
I completed my 4-year degree at the OCADU. I spent the next 10 years working at some of the top firms in the country at that time, working my way up from junior designer to senior designer. My extensive work experience in residential, retail, hospitality and condo work prepared me for starting Studio 8 Design Inc in 2007. Since then we have developed a long list of loyal clients who appreciate our creative approach to design, attention to detail, and responsiveness to client needs.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal design style is soulful and connected to nature. I use a lot of light woods, natural fabrics, chunky textures and plants to give the spaces I design a light, airy, earthy welcoming feeling.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My design inspiration comes from the natural world and travel. I love visiting new places and seeing different approaches to design.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I feel that design is becoming less about slick austere spaces and more about liveability and connectedness. In a world that can be at times alienating, we need the spaces we inhabit to connect us and feed our souls.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design.
Connection. Nature. Sustainability. Soulfulness. Meaningful/Personal.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
When starting a project, dig deep into the wants and needs of the client, the landscape, and the architecture of the space. Good interior design responds to the context around it and incorporates all of those needs into a coherent whole.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
They are very important for raising design awareness on a global level and bringing together designers from all different countries.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on some very exciting large-scale residential projects, condo projects, and restaurant projects.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Our goals for the next twelve months are to continue creating spaces with soul on every project we do. We would love to do more international hotel and restaurant projects.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession? My home which I got to design every inch of.
Your favourite holiday destination? Hawaii, Ireland, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Copenhagen, London, California.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar? 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Your favourite book, film & song? Seat of the Soul, The Biggest Little Farm, Dreams by Lissie
Your favourite food and drink? Dark Chocolate. Perrier.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? Yoga, a bike ride along the water, hanging out on the beach with my family.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? I wouldn’t be anything else. My passion for Interior Design is like breathing for me, and I absolutely love what I do.
Anything else interesting? When I can’t find the accessories that I want for my own space, I make them, which has led to creating a set of handmade plates, macramé wall hangings, wood cutting boards, and hand-blown glasses. I encourage my clients to make what they can for their spaces as well because I believe that design should be meaningful and personal.