Interior designer Cecilie Koch Larsen
How long have you been living in Hong Kong?
5 and a half year
How did it all started with your Interior Design career?
I come from a creative family, my grandfather was a carpenter and my dad used to work for Lego and also had a creative side on the home front. I first started studying fashion design but moved to another college where I did a degree in furniture construction and started working in a furniture shop where I stayed for 4 years. Afterwards I did an International Business degree that following brought me to Hong Kong and into another company making sustainable furniture out of bamboo. I always had a strong interest in design, furniture, building/creating stuff, and have always been involved in creative projects growing up. The furniture company in Hong Kong (Bamboa) shared an office with an Interior Architectural practise where I got familiar with their work and projects around Asia Pacific, which was extremely fascinating to me. From that moment I just knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do for a living.
I did some courses in the software that were using and they following offered me a 6-month internship. I made an agreement with my current work that I would work there every weekend while doing my internship so I could still be living in Hong Kong, and it worked out quite well as I earned money while learning the foundation of design. After 6-month, Stylus Studio decided to offer me a job, and now 4 years after I am still working in the same studio having worked on many exciting projects in Hong Kong and around Asia.
How did you come to Hong Kong?
I did a few internships through my degree, three months in London and three month in China and after coming back to Denmark and finishing my degree, I got an offer in Hong Kong. My dad was positioned in Hong Kong in 2001 where I had visited him several times so I was already familiar with the place.
As an International Home Interior Designer working from Hong Kong, which countries are you usually working with?
Stylus Studio work on projects all over Asia, being located in Hong Kong you are in a very good location to cover quite a big demographic area. We are currently working on projects in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Myanmar and Malaysia, but this changes all the time when getting new projects on board.
Will you get the opportunity to visit these countries?
It’s all depending on the project, the scope and scale but we would generally go on site before the project starts and also during the construction phase.
What is your favourite room in the house to design?
I see the project as a whole and don’t favour a particular part of a project, the beauty is to create something unique that matches the narrative of the project.
What materials do you like working with the most?
I love natural materials and how you work with them. There are so many options of how to combine or develop materials.
What’s the biggest home decoration mistake you think people do sometimes?
People can’t get it cheap enough and buy cheap materials/furniture, which often is in such a bad quality that it ends up having to be replaced after a very short time because it starts to look bad or get damaged and breaks. A lot of people don’t think about the long run, how things are made or what it’s made of.
Good quality will last for a very long time and you don’t need to waste anything.
What is the biggest interior design trend for Year 2019?
I think people are getting more and more environmentally friendly, not sure if you can call it a trend?
As Hong Kong is known for small apartments, what tip can you give people to make a room feel bigger?
Every space is different so it’s hard to give a general guideline but I am a big believer in simplicity so best advice would probably be to buy less stuff and get rid of clutter.
Do you ever follow Feng Sui?
Yes, we have a lot of clients who need their Feng Sui master to approve the layout before implementing it.
Which country do you prefer to go to do your home decoration shopping?
I prefer to mix it up and find furniture that I will mix up with a few feature pieces in authentic designs. I appreciate and respect authentic design and prefer my home to be relaxed and simple. When my boyfriend and I moved in to our space we actually didn’t have much to spend, so we built a few of our furniture pieces ourselves and combined it with furniture we bought second hand.
How has Scandinavian Interior design changed the world?
Scandinavia is so famous for the design aesthetics because it’s simple, minimalistic and functional. Some of the great designers like Arne Jacobsen, Mogens Koch, Hans J. Wegner, Børge Mogensen, Kaare Klint, Nanna Ditzel, Poul Kjærholm, Arne Norell etc. One thing they all have in common is that it’s crafted in good quality materials in a simple design that will fit in to most homes.
Looking at some of today’s Scandinavian designers it’s the same philosophy they are based on and I think that is what is so attractive to most people.