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.
FD2FBFE5-3A74-40CE-B59D-64BD011E5860

  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.
C1E6ACB1-EB77-4840-9DD3-3605627A863A

  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.
D95492DB-0FBA-4786-8F38-5B9DB1E88201

  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.
FB5545EB-9B5B-4C69-AD65-EDAEEF4EABF2

  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.
85613976-BC4B-4102-9047-C01233CBD81B

  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.
AC6664AD-DD37-4C2E-A784-A6AA85E25AAE

  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

Behind the Design with Ahmed Hussein

 

Hi Everyone!

I had the pleasure of interviewing the incredibly talented Egyptian designer Ahmed Hussein for this month’s Behind the Design. I first discovered Ahmed on Instagram when I came across a stunning marble bathroom that he designed, and I have been hooked on his work ever since. His clever use of luxurious materials, texture, colour and art demonstrate a talent  for design that most people can only hope to have. If you are looking for a talented designer to follow then look no further as Ahmed delivers projects that are nothing short of fabulous every single time.  Without further adieu, here is my interview with Ahmed Hussein:

  • Did you always know that you wanted to work in architecture and design?  Has it always been your passion?

In the beginning, I decided to go to the faculty of engineering to become a chemical engineer like my cousin, to get big salary.

But at the end of the first year, in the engineering drawing class, one of the teachers noticed that my drawing was very different and distinctive, 

Then asked me, which department you will join?

I answered chemical.

He asked me do you love chemistry.

I answered no. 

Then he smiled and starts talking about architecture.

8F314A47-F031-49E2-B93B-B137ACE3E122

  • How would you describe your design esthetic?

Design as a musical melody has to touch your feelings

48C4FA94-4994-4710-9BB5-02F364B6C389

  • Where do you find your inspiration from?

From everything and everywhere 

7F6E389F-EECE-42C5-B74A-458E6B312FC4

  • What has been your most challenging project so far?  Why was it so challenging?

El Merghany apartment because of the painted 2 ceilings 7m x 4m and 3m x 4m

4A915710-8CD4-4DA1-A30D-69B9D8339F4C77078495-E7E7-4A7F-834C-9BFF4332ABB6

  • What has been your favourite project to date?

Every project I did has something in my heart 

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

8 to 12 months 

6B44F24D-5710-482B-AFF9-F9890F1738E6

  • Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?  Why?

Paris, Rome, Athens & Barcelona 

Historical cities, I love old stories  20A6462A-6717-4646-AADC-B2D478EB5FB3

 

  • Describe your perfect day in Cairo – what would you do?  Where would you go?

The week days I start my day at 10 am go to my office and finish at 7pm 

Then I go back home to see my family 

The weekend I try to relax and do something new and different with my friends and my family

C627D1F7-2262-4236-9F7A-53EFB7357A67

  • 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)

I take my bike at the night with my headphones for one hour before I sleep 

(Workout and music give me the power)

97C01AE4-E6CA-457A-92F6-B7A03DE56411

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

            I hope to become one of the most famous designers in the world

02F8C232-FE54-4D20-BFA1-A600AE6FB69E

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

Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and above all don’t let anyone limit your dreams 

Thank you Ahmed for taking the time for this interview!

If you would like to see more of Ahmed’s work you can find him on Instagram @ahmedhusseindesigns

All pictures in this post were provided by Ahmed Hussein Designs.

I hope that you have a fabulous day! XXS

Spotlight with Rachele Biancalani

Hi Everyone!

Today I am so excited to introduce a new feature here on Stylishly Zen called Spotlight, where I will be interviewing incredibly talented designers, bloggers and entrepreneurs about their lives, their work and how they got started within their respective industry.  Today’s Spotlight is with one of my favourite architect and designers Rachele Biancalani, and I was beyond thrilled when Rachele agreed to be the very first person to be featured on Spotlight.  Rachele runs her own namesake firm based in Italy which means that she is a architect, designer and business woman extrodinare.  It became clear from Rachele’s interview that she lives and breathes design, and this passion and dedication is clearly reflected in her work.  A Tuscan farmhouse that Rachele designed has previously been featured on Stylishly Zen (you can check it out here) and I have no doubt that more of her work will be featured in the future.  Without further adieu, here is my interview with Rachele:

Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

I’m Italian, I’ve studied Architecture in Florence and I live in Italy right now close to Florence, in Tuscan

When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?

When I was a child I enjoyed looking at similar apartments (at different floors of the same building) and discover how much they were different with various furntiure and different walls.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My main inspirations are my Clients and their desires; for this reason my works are so different one from the others.

What is your favourite city to visit for design inspiration?

I think Italy (with Florence, Rome and Milan) is very inspiring but also other European Cities as Berlin, London and Paris

From start to finish, describe your ideal day…

My ideal day is wake up early in the morning but without the alarm clock, prepare breakfast for my two children, go to gym, go to work in some of my building site and then work all-day-long with nice collegues and smart Clients, then meet my family for dinner and talk about all the beautiful things we have done during the day.

What is the best advice that you have ever received?

An Architect that I respect and esteem told me that in each difficult situation I have have to keep calm and always trust in myself

What is your favourite food?

My favourite food are vegetables and dark chocolate but not in this order 🙂

List three things that you always carry in your bag

I’ve always got in my bag a meter, my smartphone and a pencil

What is the first thing that you do in the morning and the last thing that you do at night?

The first thing I do in the morning is going in my children bedroom and the last thing at night is to fall asleep with them on the sofa watching some tv series that we love

How do you incorporate wellness into your life?

Unfortunately in this period I’m not able to incorporate yoga, meditation or fitness as much as I would… but it is one of my best intention for 2018.

What does living well mean to you?

Living well for me is definitely to defeat stress and learn to say “no” and take care of ourselves

1505ED9F-C757-441B-9BBA-D3720D508B616D97E8F0-E8FB-42A1-976C-DA18C2C703EA1CA3E96B-76FB-4B92-B71D-36CD78E19816E7229CDE-F3BD-4940-8D45-DFBFD6939D3E0F69007F-C959-4964-A610-ABECAFC7B73C

thumbnail_7thumbnail_bagno-grande-4-72-PALETTE-COMPOthumbnail_PORTA-BAGNOthumbnail_industrial-style-main-bathroom-vista-1-72-web

To see more of Rachele’s work please visit her website www.rachelebiancalani.com

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  XXS