Designer in Profile: Elina Helenius – Director of Decodence

Name: Elina Helenius Decodence

Company: Decodence

Position within company: Director



Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)

I completed my Interior Design studies in Sydney Australia where I established Decodence ten years ago. I relocated to the UK in 2012 and have since served my clientele here with the same ethos of offering cost effective and innovative design and renovation services to both domestic and business clients alike.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
It’s clean and structured with an elegant twist somewhere! All rooms need an element of surprise to stand out from the rest. They also need to be well planned out to functionally work besides looking fabulous. I aim for a non complicated yet opulent feel that marries the client’s desires and needs.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

I know it’s a cliche but travel, travel and travel again! Having lived overseas most of my adult life I draw influences from my native Scandinavia and South East Asia where I grew up. I love to contrast a simple backdrop with a pop of the orient and look to nature for fail proof, timeless colour inspiration.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

Well designed rooms and beautiful spaces are becoming the norm and the expected. I think we are undergoing the design version of the cooking frenzy the celebrity TV chefs kicked off a decade ago! Design is everywhere – it sets business competitors apart and influences purchasing decisions in consumers’ every day life. Beautiful and comfortable living is more and more important as our lives become ever more hectic – we relax and regenerate in well designed environments and are quickly learning to appreciate the improved quality of life well designed surroundings can offer us.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.

The outdoors are coming in at a completely new pace! Excellent quality of artificial flowers and greenery now offers endless options to create a beautiful sanctuary indoors! Go for it.

Wall and floor coverings are reinventing themselves. Coverings are on steroids – Metallics, micro cement, cloth and all things 3D are really raising their head and making a big impact as an alternative to the more traditional mediums.

Open plan living continues to lead the way in residential design. With kitchens becoming more and more aligned with living spaces we are designing them around family living rather than cooking alone. They are eateries, libraries, schools and nurseries and need to deliver a lot more than ever before!

Colour palates and material choices are becoming more natural – we are moving away from the more futuristic materials we saw a couple of years ago and going back to nature for both texture and colour.

Whilst that’s happening I feel the lines are becoming cleaner overall. The shabby chic is well and truly gone, and while the industrial themes are still around they are getting a more subtle feel in line with the more natural material selection we are starting to opt for.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design, what would it be?

Decide what you really would like – dream big and don’t be shy. If it costs more than originally thought you’re better off saving for a bit longer and getting the result you really want rather than cutting corners. Ultimately retrofitting will cost more and Christmas does come every year!

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

Very important! They set the standard for designers and inspire all of us in the community.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m in the process of creating a wedding venue at a historic hotel, redesigning a 4 bedroom house for a growing young family and bizarrely also landscaping for a client who insists I can transform spaces inside and out!

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

I’d love to collaborate on a large new build project and branch out more to London from the North where majority of my work currently is.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession?
My beautiful border collie Sherlock

Your favourite holiday destination?
Bali and New York if I’m allowed both

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Kudeta in Seminyak continues to inspire me and I adore the Bulgari resort in Uluwatu

Your favourite book / film / song?
Forest Gump and Hatchi (I’m a complete dog fan)

Your favourite food and drink?
Anything Asian! Thai, Indian, Japanese.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
Good lunch in great company followed by trawling flea markets and picking up new finds.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I’d probably end up in tourism – anything involving my passion for travel.