Name: Lonni Paul
Company: Lonni Paul Design
Position / Title: Founder/Principal
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I started my career in design by designing and building spec homes. Based on those homes I was asked to do many high-profile interior design projects. I attended the UCLA school for Architecture and Design to build upon my real-life experience!
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My design style is classic, and I am attracted to sophisticated and elegant forms — but I will always put a modern twist on the classic.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I find inspiration in fashion, architecture and my travels around the world. Traveling and living in different countries has helped me understand and appreciate the beauty that can be found in different cultures. I find design inspiration in many different forms. An Armani jacket in Italy, origami in Japan or a yurt in central Asia. There is design inspiration all around us.
What products/services could you not live without when designing?
I cannot live without studio webware, which is the program I use to run the business end of my company, my Livescribe pen to take notes on job sites and fabric books, including my own line of performance fabrics.
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
Design has become much more “accessible” through the internet and TV design shows. This wealth of access and information, however, does not make the design process easier – and in some ways can complicate it, giving client’s too many options and ideas to select from. For this reason, I believe the importance and expertise of a designer will become much more invaluable and apparent.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in the future:
- Liveable luxury – No room in a home should be off limits and with new technologies available in fabrics you can have luxurious looking rooms that are able to withstand the everyday wear that comes with having children and animals.
- Elevated living – Surround yourself with beauty and meaningful items that bring you joy. People sometimes underestimate the powerful affect that their surrounding environment can have on their mood and general state of being within a space. It is important to tap into what’s important for a client and create that environment for them to experience every day.
- Celebrate family – I believe a home should be the reflection of the life you live in it – and that means making sure all family members feel comfortable in the space. I love to include children in the decision-making process and feel it gives them “pride of ownership” in their own space within the home.
- Display a life rich in experiences – With the way the future is moving forward, the world is becoming much smaller. Designer’s and our clients can use this to our advantage by collecting inspiration from around the world and by being influenced by more exotic themes and collecting meaningful and unique pieces to adorn a home.
- Enjoy the process – Design should be fun and not taken too seriously. There are so many “rules” and sometimes you need to break a few for a space to come together without feeling too formal or unliveable. Colour, on walls and pillows together with art and accessories are great ways to add a sense of playfulness to a space. Keep the larger “investment” pieces more classic so they last beyond passing trends.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Take chances but always remember the client will be living in the space long after your job is done. Always keep in mind that the goal of residential design is for the client to feel that their home is a sanctuary.
How important are The Design Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It is a very prestigious to be recognised by The Design Awards. The awards are voted on by our peers which makes it a distinct and validating honour.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on several high end residential and commercial projects across the country, abroad and in the middle east.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To design a boutique hotel and continue to build my business globally.
Final thoughts – tell us a little more about yourself…
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Any Aman Resort!
Your favourite food and drink?
My favourite food is Sushi.
The place that enables you to totally relax?
Airplanes! It might sound strange but on long distance flights, when I am unreachable, I can just relax, read, watch movies and sleep! Of course, I need a spa appointment after those long flights which is another chance to relax!
Any final thoughts?
I am grateful every day that I’m able to work in a profession that I’m passionate about.