Name: Henry Chebaane
Company: Blue Sky Hospitality
Position within company: Founder & Creative Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
My first job was with designer Pierre Cardin in Paris. I moved to London 30 years ago and worked in retail and hospitality to understand what makes them commercially effective and profitable. Then, after a few years working for Anouska Hempel and Terence Conran, I set up my own studio in 2002. Working from London as a launch pad has allowed me to meet clients from all over the world. I have worked on projects in over 35 countries and have visited many more in the course of my work from Canada to Australia, from Iceland to India.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
What interest me the most is to use design in the widest possible sense to find an effective solution to a set of constraints and opportunities.
I have worked on 150 years old listed heritage properties as well as space-age high-tech buildings. Each context is interesting aesthetically.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Pretty much everywhere: I tend to blend several layers of narrative that connects numerous elements, often juxtaposing counter-intuitively to create dialogues between nature and culture.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Everyone is on their own journey. I like the work of many people who do completely different things. That being said it seems to be that commercial interior design tends to increasingly have to integrate ecology, technology and multi-functionality.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
Diversity, integrity, functionality, flexibility, individuality
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Be Brave – Be Clear – Be True
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Design is possibly the most important mental resource we have as humans.
It’s the unique ability to evaluate criteria, seize opportunities, imagine solutions and execute them in physical reality.
The world needs more design to become safer, kinder and more enjoyable for all. So the awards is important to raise awareness about the great work that this industry is doing.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have recently opened the Hyatt Centric hotel, a wonderful lifestyle brand on Gran Via, Madrid. Completing soon is the transformation of one of Budapest most famous landmarks: Parisi Udvar into a luxury hotel for the Unbound Collection by Hyatt.
We are currently working in London, Middle East, India, Belgium, Poland and Korea for various entrepreneurs. Also, we will deliver in 2018 a couple of really quirky boutique hotels in Kings Cross, London.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I am in discussions with several parties to enter the multi-media entertainment industry, an area of creativity that has been a life-long interest.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
The ability to have humour even in difficult times
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
The Shilla, Seoul
Din Tai Fung, Taipei
Vue bar, Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai
Your favourite book, film & song?
The hidden life of trees by Peter Wohlleben
The Matrix series
anything by the Black Eye Peas
Your favourite food and drink?
Sourdough bread, Manchego cheese and Ribera del Duero wine
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
In the garden with my Border Terriers
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
I have been dabbling in arts for a while: site specific installations and mixed media pieces (http://h-dd8.space)