Name: Kenneth Ussenko
Company: Kenneth Ussenko Design
Position within company: Principal & Lead Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I started my design exploration in the film business over 20 years ago. Then I transitioned into interiors and conceptual design for environments. I started Kenneth Ussenko Design in the early 2000s when creating theme park concepts for the Galadari family in Dubai. From there I was fortunate to be a part of dozens of innovative design projects and fortunately continue to do so today.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My personal design style is a marriage of color and texture; old and new; feminine and masculine. If possible I try to build a canvas from structures of a classical foundation accented by contemporary outlines and finishes.
Where does your design inspiration come from? My travels since childhood. All the shapes, textures and colors from my journeys across the globe.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I feel design continues to evolve with technology within its environments but collectively it also embraces the fundamentals of classical movements and colors, always bringing back a bit of yesterday into tomorrow.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Multifunctional Spaces / Indoor-Outdoor / Textures / Brave New Colors / Metals & Metallic
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be? Less is not always more, so be brave and let your imagination go.
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement? It is truly a positive journey to see and be a part of this society. It really opens the world to see and recognize the trends and talents from the global community of developers, architects and designers. Very inspiring and absolutely rewarding!
What projects are you currently working on?
Morongo Casino Resort and Spa
Coconut Seahorse Tropical Bistro & Bar in Temecula Wine Country – California.
Restaurant – Laguna Beach California
Waterfront Restaurant – Long Beach California
3 Restaurants and Bar in Damian Jasna Hotel, Resort & Residences – Slovakia
3 Private Residences – Southern California
1 Private Residence – Fort Worth, Texas
Medical Offices and Treatment Center – Newport Beach, California
Pacific Palms Resort – California
Restaurants – Pala Casino – California
Restaurants – Commerce Casino – California
What was your favourite project to work on and why?
Morongo Casino Resort and Spa because it allowed me to push my creativity to
new boundaries. My firm was given a very large canvas to work with and opportunities to create wonderful concepts and environments all under one roof.
What was your most challenging project to work on and why?
The most challenging project was when working on the royal family palace in Qatar. Challenging because of cultural differences and abilities to access labour and materials within the country.
Which products/services could you not live without when designing?
Good millwork craftsmen and wall finishers. Plus great lighting!!!
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Launch our own 2 new restaurants. One in the beach town of Laguna Beach and one in the wine country of Temecula, California. We also will start our humanitarian foundation “Project R” to help small restaurants and food purveyors that have suffered by this Coronavirus throughout Italy and other parts of Europe.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession? Home in Sansepolcro, Italy.
Your favourite holiday destination? Italy
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
The Carlyle Hotel, NY
Moloko Restaurant, Moscow
Buddha Bar, Moscow
Your favourite book, film & song? Book: The Hobbit / Film: The Mission /
Song: Tennessee whiskey by Chris Stapleton
Your favourite food and drink? Pastries & Fresh Lemonade
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? On a road trip, exploring.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? A builder or chef
Anything else interesting? Writing of films was my other past. It is something I’m still working on now. The other creative side of my mind, story telling.
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