Name: Lesley Zaal
Company: Etcetera Living Interior Design LLC
Position within company: Managing Partner
. Tell us a little about your background in design
– I came to design relatively late in life as I was busy raising 4 children. Once my youngest went off to
boarding school I decided to do a short course in Interior Design with Kelly Hoppen in London. I was
very lucky as this was her first course so she was incredibly ‘Hands – On’ and I learnt a lot from her.
Afterwards I employed a young Interior Designer from South Africa and Etcetera Living was born.
– My background is in hotel management, so it was a big career change! Once we opened up for
business in 2003 there was no looking back. From a team of 3, Etcetera Living has grown into a full
team of 50 including Designer, Architect, AutoCAD operator, support Staff plus a full maintenance
. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
– I would say that my style is modern, relaxed with a simple basic colour scheme and highlights of
colour in accessories.
. Where does your design inspiration come from?
– Many Places! Obviously Kelly Hoppen has made a huge influence on my design but I also draw
inspiration from all the wonderful places I visit on my travels. The Far East has so many amazing
artisans and it is wonderful to support up and coming artists and designers
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
– Most People are looking for something that is instantly appealing to the eye but is also functional and
that is noticeable in the Interior Design today. More and more designers are trying to optimise the
space for their clients whilst retaining their design integrity.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design
A.Spatial Planning is key
B. Natural Light
C. The Lighting, (whether it be for an office or a home!)
D. Keep the design simple yet elegant
E. The use of greenery in the interior to bring life to the design.
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it
– Keep it simple and the colour scheme neutral and add colour in accessories, cushions and throws, etc.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent
– From the point of view of International Recognition it offers great exposure for our company.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your favourite holiday destination? Phuket, Thailand
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Trisara Hotel in Phuket
Restaurant – Zuma, Dubai
Bar – Ferdi in Paris
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book – anything by Patricia Cornwell
Song – Happy by Pharrell Williams
Your favourite food and drink?
A long leisurely lunch of Seafood by the sea.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Spending a couple of hours walking on the Moors of Yorkshire (Providing it isn’t raining!)
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? A Chef
Anything else interesting?
I have learnt through life experience to take every challenge thrown at you and turn it into
design et al only work with the world’s leading designers.
If you think you have what it takes to complete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by clicking here.