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Should you hire an interior designer?

By: Brooke Chenoweth

Moving countries can be big, complicated and stressful. While many of us are only moving temporarily, that doesn’t mean that we should have to “make do” with a living space we don’t absolutely love. Ellie Bradley, CEO and Creative Director at Atelier Lane interior and product design studio, is new to Hong Kong herself. She knows a thing or two about starting from scratch. We spoke to her about the benefits of using an interior designer to sort out your home.

Atelier Lane CEO Ellie Bradley
Atelier Lane CEO Ellie Bradley

Ellie tells us, “I arrived in Hong Kong earlier this year after spending two years in Singapore. I love it here – the vibrancy, the culture; it really is very inspiring. While we are newbies to living in HK, we’ve visited many times as my husband grew up here, so I know the city well.”

Atelier Lane launched in Sydney in 2009, initially working in homeware design. After tackling various residential and boutique commercial projects, it quickly became one of Australia’s best-known design studios.

Interior Expertise

Bringing her contemporary, classic interiors to luxurious homes, chic apartments, boutique hotels and property development show apartments, Ellie now provides a personalised design service from her studio in Hong Kong. She designs each project personally. She sees it through to completion, managing suppliers and trades. By doing so, she gives clients peace of mind that their project will be completed with attention to detail, on time and on budget.

Hiring an interior designer can make your dream space a reality
Hiring an interior designer can make your dream space a reality

When asked why it’s a good idea to hire an interior designer, Ellie offers a number of compelling reasons. “Firstly, you don’t have the time. A designer will plan your project down to a tee. We oversee your entire project from start to finish so you can spend time on the things you need to, such as work or family. Secondly, interior designers offer a professional assessment. We are trained to spot the things you might miss. If you’ve been mulling over designs for too long and it’s all a haze, we’ll be able to help you make an informed decision.”

Then there’s the issue of money. “You might think that hiring an interior designer is going to cost you a fortune,” says Ellie, “yet this isn’t always the case. What you spend is completely up to you and your budget. Interior designers are supposed to be good communicators so we try to make pricing clear from the outset; every detail that could inevitably help with budget is considered and assessed. Hiring an experienced interior designer will help you avoid costly mistakes too.”

Efficient Go-betweens

Anyone who has ever renovated or redesigned in Hong Kong knows how challenging it can be. Ellie adds that another advantage of hiring a designer is having a project manager to deal with contractors and suppliers on your behalf.

“An interior designer will oversee all elements of production,” she says, “and will communicate between those who are involved, such as architects, joiners, decorators and, of course, the client. We act as a middleman (or woman!), a liaison officer and a mediator, making sure that at the end of the day, the client has their dream design.”

Save time and money by using an interior designer
Save time and money by using an interior designer

Above all, by hiring the right person, you can make your dream space a reality. “It’s the job of the interior designer to put forward designs and products that are unique, innovative or even slightly beyond your comfort zone. They can push you to create a space you might not necessarily have thought of but will love being in,” says Ellie. “Every designer can identify the limits of their client and should be able to sense what direction you want to go in.”

New & Unique

As well as its interior design offerings, Atelier Lane will soon be launching a new furniture collection. Designed with Hong Kong in mind, the range draws inspiration from Australia and Europe. The collection will launch with a range of dining tables and chairs. Cabinets, side tables and occasional chairs will be added later in the year.

When asked where her inspiration comes from, Ellie says, “For me, it’s everywhere. It can come from my travels, an artwork, or nature. I’ve had a lot of change in my life over the past three to four years, so this has also influenced my designs, as I design pieces for my own home. I love classic design, structure, geometry and colour. and you will be seeing more of this in the coming collections.”

An interior designer can help bring your ideas together
An interior designer can help bring your ideas together

Just Arrived?

Talk to Atelier Lane if you’re struggling with an awkward rental space, furniture that isn’t quite working together or just not knowing where to find that perfectly elusive piece for that corner. Atelier Lane can help you on your quest to make your dream home-from-home (or permanent home!) a reality through its expat interior design and furniture packages. Ellie works with a lot of expats on designing and buying furniture for their new homes. She works out furniture packages suited to each client and can help purchase everything needed. This can range from furniture, to bedding and towels, right down to those little things that make your space your home. She’ll even work with your estate agents for delivery and style it so that your home is all set up and ready to go when you arrive.

9558 3007 | atelierlane.com

This article first appeared in the Oct/Nov edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue?

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