Designer in Profile: Julie Otulakowski, Managing Director at ArtHouse Creative Interiors

Name: Julie OtulakowskiArtHouse Creative Interiors

Company: ArtHouse Creative Interiors

Position within company: Managing Director


Tell us a little about your background in design:
I have been in the design industry for nearly 40 years; a stand out moment was whilst I was managing another studio, I realised I wanted to be independent and was in pursuit that self-gratification. I read a quote that said: ‘Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it’ I realised it was no good following a crowd that’s walking in the wrong direction, I needed to move forward and walk alone. So that’s where ArtHouse Creative Interiors started, 16 years ago, and the rewards have been phenomenal. My team has a collective 60 years’ experience in making customers interior dreams a reality, in which personal taste can be celebrated to your heart’s content, and not just in culinary terms. The schemes envision client’s culinary living spaces, with not just the furniture, but interior architecture consulting, lighting design, and interior design in Cheshire, Nationally and Internationally.

How would you describe your personal design style?
Each design is unique as you need to work to the client’s needs and be sympathetic to the architecture. Ultimately it comes down to the client’s requirements and preferences. One element that always stay the same is the high quality brands and suppliers that we work with. The schemes are predominately culinary living spaces, with not just the furniture, but interior design and architecture consulting and lighting design in Cheshire, Nationally and Internationally. It all starts with creating a bond with the client, understanding their lifestyle, their family dynamics and what emotion they want to create within the space. We take a detailed brief, look at the architecture so that the scheme works with the style of property, and also consider the ‘blind influences’ such as colours and materials specific to the region, the client’s fashion and perhaps art collections.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Inspiration is all around us, we take influences of form, colour, shape, layout, textures from many places in our lifestyle. Nature is a key source; I spend a lot of time in the Yorkshire Dales, so long country walks along the river often result in a discussion of creative ideas. Other common forms of stimulus are fashion, art and architecture, as well as trend forecasts and new launches from our suppliers.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
We know open-plan / broken-plan living is here to stay, the room blends together by using the same colours and often ornate materials in both the kitchen and living zones. This harmony allows the room to facilitate family integration.

I see consumers opting for timeless looks, key designer pieces- quality is the best form of sustainability. Natural materials especially in organic forms will be favoured. A focus on wellness means clients desire spaces that connote a serene sanctuary individual to the home owner.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Japanese minimalism
Artisan and craft appreciation

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Proportion and scale – ensure that one zone does not dominate the space, there should be a fluid blend to create a synergy of the areas in the living space.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
Incredibly important, we are very proud to be recognised on an international scale, especially when ArtHouse Creative Interiors’ discerning clients ultimately want to work with a partner who is proven to be successful from a credible source. We have sights higher than we have yet achieved, which is really exciting and keeps myself and the team striving for more success. Like always, we will ensure we maintain our ethos – deliverance of impeccably high standards, in many aspects of the business, including hiring fantastic staff so the company can grow with sound routes.

What projects are you currently working on?
ArtHouse Creative Interiors have numerous great projects on the go, they’re all unique in their own way. If I were to select a couple of exciting favourites, they would be a period property in Cheshire and a minimalistic new build lake-house in Sweden.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To stay on top of our game in an ever evolving market, to ensure ArtHouse Creative Interiors are adaptable to new aspects of design, and client’s demands from around the globe. I’m so delighted and humbled with what myself and the Art House team has achieved so far, who knows where we can take it in the coming years. Growth is certainly on the cards- watch this space!

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
Family and close friends

Your favourite holiday destination?
I love to travel and be immersed in to new cultures with a diverse culinary heritage. Japan is next on the list!

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
A beach shack-restaurant in Deia Majorca.

Your favourite book, film & song?
The Island by Victoria Hislop
Pretty Woman (good chick-flick!)
Ribbons in the Sky by Stevie Wonder

Your favourite food and drink?
A seafood dish with a crisp glass of Sancerre.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Walking with our 3 cocker spaniels in the Yorkshire Dales country side.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I always wanted to go down a creative path so I can’t imagine doing anything else. Every day we make our client’s interior dreams a reality – what’s better than that?

ArtHouse Creative Interiors have been shortlisted for Kitchen Design over £50,000, Kitchen Design over £100,000 and Kitchen Design over £150,000 in The International Design & Architecture Awards.

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