Design Awards 2015 “The Wizard Of OZ”

Design Awards 2015

“The Wizard Of OZ Effect”

Hi Elsie here,

                        I just want to begin by congratulating all the Designers who have reached this stage in the competition. You are the cream of the industry and deserve your place. You create wonderful designs for clients all over the world.

In the current economic climate and with the amount of designers out there it is hard to stay on top of the industry and be front runners in your trade.

I personally congratulate you all on your achievements’ and making it this far in the competition.

This article is not just about the design awards. It focusses on one particular aspect. COLOUR, or lack of it. We are going to look at those who have chosen to use colour in their designs and therefore go out on a limb and be in the minority.

Good luck to all the finalists.

I Hope you enjoy the blog.



I have no problem with the trend of the last few years of sophisticated designs of greys, silver, taupe, white and occasionally black. In fact I quite like it.

I do feel however that saturation point has been reached.

Everyone is doing it, to the point that companies have been set up that do this look alone and no other!

When I looked through the shortlist in the design awards I was shocked at the lack of colour, so much so I began to actively seek out and home in on the ones with colour.

When I found them I felt like Dorothy Gayle in the original Wizard of OZ !



Here are my favourite colour finalists of the  .

In no particular order……………


Design Intervention does not have a specific house style. This means that along with their rich mix of interior designers, architects, stylists, interior architects and project managers, they have the ability to create a colourful and divergent portfolio that facilitates the ability to be diverse with their clients. This allows for far much more flair, vibrancy and punch to their product.

arcres10-2b Design Intervention


res2-5d design intervention


res5-2c Design Intervention



Interior designer Mervyn Toh is the creator of Hottoh Design. They are a creative team that has forged a brand, unique in style, identity and direction.

Their tag line “HOTTOH is a place where clients become friends…” is central to their creation of individual and highly personal designs. They are able to produce design solutions tailored to their client by placing their needs and desires ahead of their own as designers. This creates a distinct balance of designer, client and creation.

asialiv-1a Hottoh design Pte Ltd

Asian Cosmopolitan Penthouse Living Space

asialiv-1e hottoh

asialiv-1c hottoh


KNS Architects based in Mumbai was formed  by Ar. Kanhai Gandhi, Ar. Neemesh Shah and Ar. Shresht Kashyap and since its inception the Company has successfully designed and executed several projects across India. They offer Architecture, Interior Design and Retail. They have cleverly managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the high end design market known as box designs and solutions. Their portfolio is as vast as it is diverse. They create innovative designs, and their ability to adapt to various styles and needs of their client has placed them at the cutting edge of the industry. The young and dynamic team are able to translate the client’s needs and desires to create breath-taking designs.

asiares1-8a KNS Architects




Viterbo Interior Design founded by Graça Viterbo  in 1979, then known as Atelier Graça Viterbo. In 2008, passes the legacy on to her daughter Gracinha. It is an international interior design brand on a mission to……

“Design Extraordinary Spaces for Extraordinary Clients.”

They are a full service interior design firm with a carefully-curated team of Designers and Artisans. Their creations have a dialogue; it speaks to you like a story, oozing style, individuality and balance of tone, texture and colour. They aim to meld their client’s personality with their designs to create a harmony that is unique and highly personalised. They not only are able to create hard edge cutting contemporary design but also have sensitivity for the classics and are able to magically blend the two.

asiares1-9a Viterbo Interior Design

Family Chic

asiares1-10a Viterbo interior Design

Geometric Harmony

Rosa May Sampaio

The highly publicised Rosa May Sampaio has been operating in the interior design world for over 20yrs. Her high education, family back ground and experience has evolved over the years to create a rich and versatile portfolio that illustrates her sensitivity to a client’s desires and deep understanding of the way architecture, soft furnishings and furniture come together to create a symbiotic and refined end product. Her use of colour in her designs is ingenious and shows a skill to collate colours that look so naturally amalgamated and not contrived.

city-2c Rosa May

 São Conrado Penthouse


“Private Residence, São Paulo”

livnorth-4c Rosa May Sampio

  São Paulo Apartment


Cave Interiors is an interior design practice founded in London by Georgina Cave. Georgina and her team not only create contemporary designs at the top of the industry but also renovations of landmarks and listed buildings. Their ability to create the clients “dreams” is truly wonderful. Cave Interiors’ design portfolio demonstrates a wide and varying range of design styles. There is everything from ultra-modern to traditional; opulent to minimalist; and anything else you can think of. They tailor it all to the client’s needs, lifestyle and personality and by their own words “not the designer’s signature”.  They are able to produce highly imaginative designs that do not look staged. It is truly amazing how their designs do not look designed but look naturally evolved.

livuk-4a Cave Int

Gloucester Crescent

download (1)

 “Hotels should be living things not stuffy institutions”

This statement is obviously more than that. Looking at the Designs that Kit Kemp has created for her and Tim’s Firmdale Hotel’s that exist in London as well as in the states . The statement is more of an ethos. Because of her fresh innovative approach to design and colour the hotels are alive and buzzing with luxury, comfort and glamour. Kim’s unique personal way of decorating is a breath of fresh air. Like so many of the companies mentioned in this article Kim and Tim Kemp have many design accolades and Kim continues to push the design world of hotel interiors.

Firmdale 2

livuk-12a Firmdale

 Terrace, Ham Yard


Michael Ong and Jeremy Tay are the creators of Prestige Global Designs in Singapore. The central beliefs of this company are a spiritual and ethical essence combined with a drive and yearning to succeed. They don’t so much as slap you with colour but caress you gently with subtle hues and the odd splash of sensual focal colour. There is warmth to their designs that is seductively alluring. Michael and Jeremy aim to be at the top of their tree in Singapore and with the talent and determination they have anything is possible.

res1-9d Prestige global designs

The Orchard Residences


Hill House Interiors creators Jenny Weiss and Helen Bygraves, have built a sophisticated design company that produces opulent, seductive and exacting designs. Although a large portion of their portfolio is the neutral look I have described at the start of this piece, delve deeper and the designs where they have used colour draws you into the space intelligently. Even though the colour is used sparingly it is done in such a brilliant way that it takes your breath away.

“We like to think there is an unmistakable touch of glamour in everything we do”

This direct quote from their web site is an absolute truth. Glamour seeps out of the pours of everything these brilliant women create.

res1-12a Hill house interiors



Dorothee Junkin is the principal and visionary of DJDS. If you view the portfolio it’s obvious to see her desire to produce internal décor that is sympathetic with the architecture and even its external surroundings. This approach enables an almost fluid beauty between, design, colour, form, architecture and nature. Her use of colour seems to be drawn from nature giving it an earthy sophistication.

“Every project is as unique as the client for whom it is designed.”

Dorothee’s extensive training, expertise, experience and talent equip her with an eye for detail as well as deep understanding of her client’s needs that result in beautiful and at times surprising end product.

res5-3c Dorothee Junkin Design Studio


Vero Beach

You can vote be following the link

These are not the only designers to have used colour in this year’s design awards but they are my favourites. I notice the main thing they all seem to have in common is the fact that they design for the clients own taste  instead of having a specific look of their own that people come and ask for. This customer driven design seems to be the primary reason that these companies have such a diverse and at times colourful portfolio.

As a designer and artist I love colour and the sparsity of its use in recent times is for me a touch depressing.

I crave the colour and hunt it down then post it. I do like the fashionable creams, taupe, silver grey monochromes, but the colourful designs turn me on in a way these other designs leave me wanting.

I hope you have enjoyed the walk with me down The Yellow Brick Road of The Interior Design Awards 2015.

Good luck to all the professionals shortlisted.


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2 thoughts on “Design Awards 2015 “The Wizard Of OZ”

  1. Well perceived, although there is at least one design studio in your list that doesn’t design for the client, but rather has a house style. It works for some as they go to that very studio for that particular look. But bring on colour, that’s what I say, welcome back to centre stage! I’m beginning to see it creep in from the sidelines.


    • Yes I agree completely, glad to see it coming back in. I have no problem with a “House Style” at all just lack of colour. I think it is great that some companies have a particular “feel” or “look” . I find it adds to the market. I really enjoyed writing this blog. It came to me as I was looking the through the entries and saw the lack of colour. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you so much for reading and leaving your thoughts.


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