Designer in Profile: Tule Park, Founder of Yellowhouse Design shortlisted in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2017

Name: Tule Park Yellowhouse Design
Company: Yellowhouse Design
Position within company: Founder & Interior Designer

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Life throws us many curve balls, and I took a long and winding road to reach interior design. I studied finance and worked for more than a decade in investment banking, first in Hong Kong, then in London. In university, my elective courses were in Art History and drawing. I loved maths and arts since a young age and struggled with this duality all my life. My exposure to colours and textures started early in my childhood in South America where my family ran a garments business. My favourite pastime was to roam inside the vast fabrics room choosing and cutting fabric to make my doll’s clothes. In my teen years in Canada, I worked in a florist after school creating bouquets and flower topiaries, a specialty of mine! I was never too far from living and working with colours.

After leaving banking, I wanted to create things with my hands, so I took courses in upholstery, curtain making, woodworking, picture frame and restoration! Around this time, I embarked on the major renovation of a house we had purchased. Then helped renovate a friend’s house and then another. The natural progression was to start a business, and I took the necessary courses to get a diploma in interior design.

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
A style can be defined as a period in time or a location, for instance, Scandinavian, Mid-century, Chinoiserie, Victorian, etc.  Eclectic style came to signify a mix of styles or anything that could not be categorised. I like to think of my style as soulful, not a period or location, but a response to emotions.  My mission is to create interiors full of personal story and not a space that could be mistaken for a room in a major hotel.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
The usual suspects – travel, books, art exhibitions, and sometimes from the most unexpected sources such as observing the unusual way my teenage daughter takes a photo or an accidental landing on an Instagram post.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Before the XXth century, it took centuries to change from one design movement to the next. In most of XXth century, it took decades. In the XXIst century, it is taking only few years.  Technology and social media are accelerating the way new design is reached, influenced, and copied. There are more designers today and all feel the increased pressure to be creative, to come up with the next wave of designs. I think a period of consolidation in the industry will be due, where designers of various disciplines will collaborate and create under one brand. The speed of creativity demanded from a single designer is almost inhuman and only by joining talents we will keep the sanity.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.

  • Lighting Design – Since the advent of LED (low heat), lighting design has seen an explosion of new materials and shapes. This trend will continue as new technologies are introduced such as OLED (Organic LED).
  • Emerging Designers – Increasing number of new designers to be discovered. Not long ago in the 1980s, Memphis Group broke for the first time, the unwritten rule that designers needed the backing of major manufacturers to get their designs out. Today, technology and social media are breaking down the old gate keepers, be it in manufacturing or media, and many are free to express.
  • The influence of postmodern and Bauhaus – As seen through the graphic, geometric and pop of colours surfacing in advertisements and photo styling. We can’t get enough of works such as La Muralla Roja by Ricardo Bofill, La Casa Horta by Guillermo Santoma, works by Luis Barragan, Ettore Sottsass and Memphis Group.
  • Multi-disciplinary approach – The boundary between arts and crafts will continue to be blurred, as our appreciation of luxury is increasingly defined as high craftsmanship and unique pieces, where the practical side is giving way to the visual.
  • Happier and vibrant colours – Colours will make statements and take centre stage as the world faces tumultuous political environment around the world. It will be our emotional reaction to current affairs. Colour in our interiors will be like having a shrink in our own living room, and offer a relief from the political gloom.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
A home is a reflection of your journey in life and forms part of your story. Be confident to work with what you already possess, and think about changing the feel of the space through colour, surface texture, soft furnishing, or even new layout.

How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
There should be more awards such as IDA Awards that celebrate design from various angles.  I think the fact that the general public votes alongside the industry professionals give this award a unique edge.

What projects are you currently working on?
Just took on the renovation of a loft conversion for the rental market. The challenge will be to create a visually stimulating space, that stands out from the plethora of white rental properties out there!

I am also excited to be developing new products.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Having been shortlisted for the IDA Award, I would love to win the category as it is important to have a badge of confidence when just starting out.  Going forward, other than residential projects, I would love to do a hotel or restaurant.  I have so many transformation ideas and would love to put them to good use!

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

Your most treasured possession?
I moved around often so I learned not to get attached to material things. If I lost everything I possessed, I can start all over.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Tuamotus, the end of the world where we spent 3 months sailing.

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
A private villa in Bali with a cook!

Your favourite book / film / song?
Byzantium by John Julius Norwich, a book that helped me link bits and pieces of history into a coherent one. Currently on my bedside table, The House That Jack Ma Built, by my dear friend Duncan Clark.

Your favourite food and drink?
My favourite food is Korean because it is part of my DNA and taste memory. Also because it is healthy, colourful and very soulful. It is never bland or boring and it kicks all your senses.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Staying home propped up by many pillows on my bed either watching or reading.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would be a still life painter

Anything else interesting?
Thank you for the opportunity to tell my side of the story!

Yellowhouse Design