Behind the Design with Gori & Yoon

Gori & Yoon is a young design studio that I discovered on Instagram earlier this year.  Founded in 2018 and based in Florence, Italian architect Elisa Gori and South Korean interior designer Jaehyun Yoon have combined  their diverse experience and backgrounds to design modern, elegant and functional spaces for both private residences and public spaces.  I have been a fan of their work from the moment that I first saw it, and I especially love how they use distinct shapes and materials to create timeless and refined spaces.  Needless to say I was very excited when they agreed to be interviewed for the Behind the Design series.  Here is my interview with Elisa Gori and Jaehyun Yoon:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in interior design?Has it always been your passion?

JAE – When I was a child, I always liked doing something with my hands, for example painting or modeling something with clay. I remember above all that I spent so much time playing with lego block. Perhaps it was a sign that I was doing something creative in the future, that is, becoming an interior designer.

ELISA – Since I was a child I wanted to become a fashion designer. I have always been a creative person and fascinated by fashion, art and architecture, that is, everything that is aesthetically beautiful. For this reason I wanted to work in a sector that could express it.
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  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

JAE and ELISA – We prefer simple, clean, minimal shapes that can be easily understood. This always shows our personality, especially through the use of color, light and furnishings and decorative objects, also taken from different eras and styles, but always finding a common line, so that they can be combined perfectly with each other.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

JAE and ELISA – We like to take inspiration from the things we observe and that happen in everyday life. For example, we find inspiration from travel and from observing what surrounds us.
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  1. What has been your most challenging project so far? Why was it so challenging?

JAE and ELISA – All the projects we do are challenges.  We must always achieve a result that is the best possible to satisfy our customers and at the same time ourselves. Surely, in a project the most difficult part is to create a dialogue with what already exists.

  1. What is your favourite project to date?

JAE and ELISA – Our latest project, “via Lovanio” is a project that reflects a lot our identity and our style. Furthermore, the Sarnese project in Tuscany was interesting, because the villa was on several levels and the rooms were very small but we managed to create open spaces and hide the pillars that were in the middle of the rooms through the use of furniture . Now, If we look at the old pictures of the house, it is unrecognizable.
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  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

Jae and Elisa – It depends on the size of the project and on what we are asked for, on average it takes about 3 to 6 months.

  1. What is your favourite part about working in interior design?

JAE – My favorite part is to create a new concept. I find it very satisfying to carry out a drawing with initial inspiration at the end of the project concept.

ELISA – The creative part and the human part, that is the relationship established with the customer.
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  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?  Why?

JAE – Every once in a while I would like to leave for some place where there is nobody to disconnect from the tiring life of the city. Where could it be? Perhaps an island half of the ocean? If I found a place like this, one day I’d like to go there.

ELISA – Whenever I can, I like to make short trips to Italy or Europe. I need to get away from the routine and to visit the cities where I haven’t been.

  1. How would you describe the design style/esthetic in Italy (more specifically in Florence)?

JAE – I like the style of design in Italy, especially in Tuscany, because they use colors taking inspiration from nature. For example, dark brown, beige, lightgray, desaturated green, all these neutral colors give me a feeling of calm, warmth and tranquility. They are also found in the facades of buildings and in the interiors of houses. It seems to me a good example of designing architecture, which fits well with the surrounding landscape.

ELISA – Florence and many Italian cities are historical, so the modern style is not very visible, perhaps only in the suburbs. To respect the historical pre-existences, in Florence there is a tendency to design in a classic or modern-classic style, especially in architecture.
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  1. Do you have a favourite type of project to work on (private/public)? Why?

JAE – I like both. But above all, I really like designing residences and restaurants / bars.

ELISA – I like more to design for the public, because I like the idea that my project can be lived by more people.

  1. What wellness practices do you incorporate into your lifestyle to help you deliver such beautiful projects? (This can range from workouts, nutrition, meditation practice, etc)

JAE – Actually I don’t practice a lot of wellness activities, but every once in a while, when I have to create a new concept andI don’t have ideas, I close everything and go driving around Tuscany where I work and live. Sometimes I like to walk around with headphones listening to the music on my playlist. So I can take the stress out and get the energy back on with my work.

ELISA – I like reading fashion and design magazines and I really like practicing pilates, as a method of relaxation.
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  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

JAE – Travel to many places to feel, see, try and touch new things by coming into contact with different cultures, so you will see that your inspiration will be enriched a lot and help create your identity in design.

ELISA – Always believe in it. Even if the desired result does not arrive immediately.

Special thanks to Elisa and Jaehyun for taking the time for this interview.  All images courtesy of Gori & Yoon.  You can see more of Gori & Yoon’s beautiful work on their website http://www.goriyoon.com or on Instagram @goriyoon_archtecture

Thank you for visiting Stylishly Zen and I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Five Faves

As this year (and this decade) wind down, it feels like the days are going faster and there have been more then a few moments where I am struggling to stay in the moment.  Does anyone else feel this way or is it just me?  With two months left in 2019 my goal is to try and stay in the moment as much as possible, develop a deep breathing practice that I can actually stick to (I will keep you posted on how that goes), and work on things that actually make me happy such as this blog and decorating my apartment.  For now though, here are the five things that I am currently loving:

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It was love at first sight when I first saw this padded shoulder t-shirt on Instagram and the fact that it was sold out only made me want it more (clearly I am a marketer’s dream).  Despite the fact that it is ridiculously expensive for a t-shirt, I signed up for the waitlist and immediately ordered it when it (finally!) came back into stock. The quality is fantastic and it fits really well.  As basic as this t-shirt may seem to some, it makes me really happy and I love wearing therefore making it my perfect t-shirt.

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While I haven’t seen every episode, I occasionally enjoy watching My Next Guest with David Letterman.  While scrolling thru Netflix the other day though, I came across his most recent special featuring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and I nearly screamed with excitement.  While I rarely have an opportunity to enjoy a Bollywood movie, like many other people on this planet Shah Rukh Khan is one of my favourite actors – he is just so damn cool!  The interview was fantastic as he is charismatic, humble, articulate and interesting.  I highly encourage you to check out this special to see just why this man is one of the most famous actors on the planet even if you have never heard of him before this.

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This cashew butter is a recent discovery for me and it is safe to say that I am hooked.  Made in small batches, Logan Petit Lot’s mission is to offer new twists on classic flavours of nut butters.  Cashew Coffee is by far my favourite and I enjoy a spoonful on top of my chia pudding every morning.  It has minimal ingredients, taste great and I love the fact that it is locally made – a win win in my opinion.

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I have heard a lot about a lot of the benefits of positive thinking and yes I have read The Secret in the hopes that it would help me to shift my mindset and put me on a more positive path.  Needless to say I find it a struggle to keep a positive and focused mindset all of the time and I tend to fall off of the proverbial bandwagon fairly often.  When I heard about Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book though, I was willing to give the whole attracting your dreams to you concept another try.  I have not yet finished reading it, but so far it is an enjoyable read that offers a number of tools to help you to attract what you want into your life.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put in the effort, but this book helps you to become more self aware.  I am by no means willing to say that I am some success story, aside from greater self awareness I don’t think that there has been any other shifts in my life at the moment.  But even if the only thing that I get from this book is greater self awareness I will be happy that I read this book.

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I have been in love Eye Swoon’s Athena Calderone’s New York home from the moment that I saw it.  It has since been profiled (along with Athena herself) in a few major publications including Architectural Digest and Porter magazine.  I recently came across this image of her living room on Pinterest and I once again fell in love with this space as it is chic and modern, yet comfortable and cool.  Athena has managed to strike just the right balance of fabulous throughout her home.  This picture along with many others of the home are on my vision board to help motivate me to capture the same vibe and perfect balance in my own home.

Thank you for stopping by today, let me know what you are loving this month in the comments below!  XXS

Images via http://www.frankieshop.com, netflix.com and http://www.pinterest.com

 

Inspring Interior

Hi Everyone!

Maybe it’s the season, but lately I have really been feeling the need to nest and get my home comfortably decorated for the winter.  My winter plans include spending a lot of time hibernating indoors and I want to make sure that my place is warm, welcoming and comfortable.  I was scouring magazines and online sites looking for inspiration when I came across today’s Inspiring Interior.

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Actress Lea Michele is well known for her role on Glee and her gorgeous voice.  Her recently listed LA home is just as stunning as the actress herself.  With four bedrooms and four bathrooms this light and spacious home is both welcoming and chic.

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Just under 3200 square feet, this home would be perfect for all types of residents including families, couples or even a solo dweller like me.

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Marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, a pivoting glass door, light colour palette, textured accents and large fireplace all help to give this home a charming yet modern vibe.

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The outdoor area features a pool and a covered area to relax and enjoy the beautiful LA weather.  Overall this house is warm, welcoming, spacious and chic which is exactly the vibe that I would like to bring into my own home.

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I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Photo Credit:www.dwell.com

Behind the Design with K-Studio’s Dimitris Karampatakis

My love for K-Studio’s Dexamenes project is no secret.  From the first time that I saw pictures of it I was hooked, and it remains one of my favourite hotel projects to date.  So when K-Studios co-founder and creative director Dimitris Karampatakis agreed to be a part of my Behind the Design series, I was thrilled.  It was clear from the beginning of our conversation that Dimitris is just as cool as the projects that his studio designs.  His outlook and approach to design is thoughtful and exciting and I can’t wait to see what wonderful projects K-Studio develop in the future.  Here is my interview with K-Studio’s Dimitris Karampatakis:

Has architecture and design always been your passion?

Yes, my dad is an architect and as we were growing up he would take my brother and I with him to visit the construction sites.  It was very exciting to be exposed to the ethos of making things, different materials and construction techniques.

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How would you design your design aesthetic?

We have an contextural approach to design.  We feel a responsibility to understand the place where we are designing, to use local technologies and echo local culture so that we are respecting where we are designing.

Where do you find your design inspiration?

The starting point is the location and then we figure out how we can best meet the needs and aspirations of the project

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What has been your most challenging project to date?  Why?

Any project that involves different typologies – the more complex the typologies are the needs of the project become more complex.

You have designed an airport, restaurants, hotels and private residences, do you have a favourite type of project to work on?

I like complex projects that combine different uses.  We recently designed a marina in Crete that combines many different leisure activities and includes a hotel and boutiques.  

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Do you have a favourite project that you have worked on?

We have worked on 200 projects over the past 15 years and it is difficult to pick a favourite.  We tend to reflect back on certain projects such as the Plane house, Alemagou in Mykonos, Dexamenes and Burboni beach restaurant in the Costa Navarino part of the Dunes hotel resort.

How long does it normally take for you to complete a project?

It depends on the project.  A 500 square metres villa could take one year for design and two years for construction.  Our recent airport project though was fast tracked as the airport was still in use as construction was being done, so it was two years from start to finish.

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Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape to?

My house because I travel so much for work.  We have a holiday home in Mykonos that I like to escape to as well.  I also enjoy travelling to London, Salzburg Mountains and my favourite destination is Tokyo.

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What wellness practices have you incorporated into your life to help you to deliver such wonderful projects?

My daughter helps to balance me out.  I really enjoy cooking as a way to understand how to design and to coordinate things in design. With cooking you have control over the process.  I also enjoy running and meditation.

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Any words of wisdom for someone just starting out their design career?

Design is a vast workplace so don’t limit yourself.  Don’t worry what type of designer you are

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You can see more of K-Studio’s project at http://www.k-studio.gr or on Instagram @k_studio_gr. Special thanks to Dimitris Karampatakis for taking the time to speak with me and Joanna Burtenshaw for arranging this interview.  All images courtesy of K-Studios and http://www.k-studio.gr

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

 

Five Faves

Hi Everyone!

How is your fall going so far?  With the leaves changing, stunning sunsets (like the one above that I captured yesterday) and fabulous fall fashion, I am loving the new season so far!  Here are my five favourite faves for the month:

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With the cooler temps I am craving warming foods and getting creative in the kitchen every chance that I get.  This grilled zucchini with stracciatella looks simple enough to make yet delicious enough to want to enjoy on a regular basis as a health side dish.

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I recently ordered this coffee table book and I am loving it!  As you know travelling and decor are two things that I love so the combination that this book provides is perfect for me. I find myself escaping into it whenever I get the chance, love it!

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Fall fashion is always my favourite and this season is no exception.  I am especially loving pairing blazers with everything from a full suit to jeans, leggings or even a dress.  Here are three outfits that I am currently pulling inspiration from and my causal version for days when I am rushing but still want to look put together.

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I often find myself feeling really stressed out and it’s often difficult to change the way I think about stress.  I found the above image on Instagram (via @mindbodygreen) and I have decided to change my narrative.  Here’s hoping that I birth something great due to my narrative shift!

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I am overwhelmed with decorating decision for my condo which means that I have done very little.  I found this image for a bedroom recently in my home design file (via @coveteur) and it perfectly captures the vibe that I was hoping for in my new place.  It is now front and centre on my vision board as I move forward with my home decor project – wish me luck!

I hope that you are having a wonderful October so far, let me know what you are currently loving in the comments below.  I hope that you have wonderful day!  XXS