Interview with Valeria Goore, J. Lykasova Interior Design Studio, Belarus

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Valeria Goore

Valeria is a great designer, whose favorite style leans on minimalism, where the interiors are comfortable, soft, and elegant.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Valeria Goore

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

After finishing high school, I went to an art school to study ‘Painting’. Then I successfully passed the exams and enrolled at a Belorussian State Technical University, the Architecture faculty. When I was a student, I tried to get as much hands-on experience as I could. So I worked as a junior designer at an interior design studio and then as an architect at a large architectural bureau. After a couple of years, I started my own practice. First, as a one-man division of ‘Lunas’ 3D visualization studio, where I was in charge of interior design and architecture. And then, as few other specialists joined me within the company, we have established an independent studio named ‘J. Lykasova Interior Design Studio’. All in all, I have over 10 years of practical experience in the field.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

Being a little girl, I used to flick through different magazines. Photos of interiors interested me the most, and one day I realized I wanted to be a designer. At school, I liked maths and physics, as well as the art classes, so I found that perfect interconnection of STEM disciplines and art in interior design.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

J. Lykasova Design Studio a young passionate team delivering interior design projects in Europe. Our team creates beautiful, well-balanced and comfortable interiors, bringing in the character, warmth and coziness into each project to reflect personality and lifestyle of owners.

4What does “design” mean to you?

Design is what gives me an ultimate opportunity to make this world a better place.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

My favourite kind of design is pure minimalism with elements of art as they fill the interior with mood and soul.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

‘Good design’ is about ergonomics and balance, but most importantly - it makes an impression and sticks in your memory for a long time.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I’d say it’s comfortable minimalism, as I tend to design comfortable, soft, yet chic and elegant interiors. Of course, all the interiors we deliver are different - depending on the customer, it might be more of a Scandinavian style, loft, or even classic. However, minimalist details and patterns are still present in most of them.

8Tell us about your design process.

Generally, each project is split into the following phases:

1. Connection. We believe understanding the customer is key for a successful project. Therefore, our work begins with a personal acquaintance to build a trustworthy relationship with our customers.

2. Idea and strategy. We prepare a selection of relevant images of decoration, furniture and lighting for inspiration, as well as discuss possible options for household appliances and electronics.

3. Planning and visualisation. Based on the approved technical assignment, we proceed to the creation of a concept and its visualization on paper and in 3D. Here we develop an optimal layout plan, come up with the overall mood of the interior and create moodboards for each room, as well as model a realistic 3D visualisation of the future interior.

4. Technical drawings. In parallel with the 3D modeling, we work on a complete package of drawings and other technical documentation required to bring the design concept to life just as on the renders.

5. Furnishing and procurement. As the preliminary construction works commence on the site, we choose reliable suppliers and contractors within the budget and start to fill in a specification of finishing materials, equipment, furniture and decor items with estimates.

Implementation and design supervision. We supervise all construction and installation works at the site, helping our clients find most suitable alternative solutions, when necessary.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Yes, definitely. In post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, the interior design is at its early stages now. The soviet heritage definitely affects the way people perceive the design, the way they relate to it, as a beautifully designed home was never a goal for the previous generation. However, willingness to explore good design is already there: people travel more, they learn new trends and best practices, and want to translate this experience onto their living space.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

I strongly believe that awards and competitions, especially on a global scale, provide a great way to facilitate professional growth and development. We submit our projects to the selected awards regularly as it allows gaining a new experience, discovering new trends, meeting colleagues and partners, and, ultimately, getting inspired to create more. MUSE Awards is a prestigious competition celebrating the art of design and architecture worldwide, and we would be honoured to take part in it together with other professionals.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

FACTORY is an apartment interior project in a beautiful residential complex in Moscow.

The incredible industrial architecture of the complex, lines and shapes of the buildings and the textures of rusty metal and brick, could not but leave their mark on the style of the future interior. The interior palette united a combination of muted grays with wood and slate. Natural materials in finishes and textiles soften and tone down shades of gray, bringing warmth and homeliness to the rooms. Brass elements make for an additional accent in the interior, helping to create a chic and classy atmosphere even in an industrial space.

We find this project modern and timeless at the same time. Our customers were open to new, unconventional ideas, so we were excited to deliver a project that combines industrial motives with minimalist, even ‘trendy’ interior elements, while still remaining comfortable and homely. We believe we managed to achieve this balance, and thus we wanted to share this project with a professional community of MUSE Design Awards.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The main challenge is that this project is supervised completely remotely. While we usually schedule regular business trips to control the implementation process onsite, the pandemic caused us to change the way of working. Thankfully, our clients are fully engaged into the process and provide updates regularly. In addition to that, we’ve installed CCTV in the apartment to have an opportunity to keep track of the progress in real time.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

At our studio, we take awards and competitions seriously, as participating in such events is a great opportunity to learn and evolve. And winning is always exciting as it is yet another indicator that we move in the right direction.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. Designers make this world a more beautiful place. Through our work, people get to understand and appreciate a good design, which changes their lives for the better.

2. Ability to take part in a creative process and introduce something never-before-seen.

3. Challenges at the site, as there is nothing more rewarding than the moment when all the units and parts are perfectly united just as a puzzle.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

Our heritage definitely has a certain impact on the way we create and perceive the design as a whole. However, located between Eastern and Western Europe, we now neatly balance modern design, uniting the best of both worlds and translating it into our own vision.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

I believe the industry leans towards optimisation and minimalism, where only essential details and decoration pieces remain. The form and texture and their interaction, the essence of a particular object and of an interior as a whole - these are the key aspects that will make the biggest difference over the next years, in my opinion.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Theory is key! You won’t be able to succeed in this industry, if you don’t have profound technical knowledge of what’s behind the interior concept.

Strive for excellence every time you do something. Answer yourself ‘Have I done it the best way? Are there still any areas for improvement?’

Travel and explore. I believe one cannot miss an opportunity of getting to know new countries, new people, their culture and preferences. All that shapes the way we see the world and our personal taste, which ultimately results in a unique design style.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

I find it very useful to read books written by your favorite designers and architects or their biographies. Such a great source of inspiration, also full of insights and valuable findings!

Another way of mastering skills is exploring modern art and attending professional exhibitions. Modern art is a perfect tool to whip up your imagination and creativity, which definitely affects your perception of the world and improves your own style. As for the exhibitions, events like iSaloni are must-visit for any designer who wants to stay on the edge of innovation in the industry and keep up with the latest trends and developments.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

On one of our projects, we fell for the persuasion of consultants and selected a different color of tiles grout to the one we initially planned. The result was absolutely horrible! To address the issue, we hired a team of specialists who were supposed to repair the tiles. They did manage to change the color of grout, but, unfortunately for us, the tiles were all in scratches after their work. Devastated, we tried out a number of special products to polish the tiles. In the end, we found the one that helped us restore the surface as if it had never been damaged. What a relief!

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

First of all, the clients themselves are the most powerful source of inspiration. The image I get at our first meeting continues to evolve further based on what I see and hear from them. Day and night, I constantly keep this image in my mind, and that’s where the inspiration for a unique concept for this particular client comes from.

Besides, I get inspired by emotions. You never know what will shock you: a stressful situation in life, a new pleasant acquaintance, a long-awaited conversation with an interesting and talented person, a film, painting, or maybe even a chair, a piece of fabric or just an inspirational story from a friend about an unusual decoration technique. There is a spark inside you that can light up at any moment! When I experience strong emotions (whether positive or negative), I come up with one-of-a-kind ideas, spill these emotions out of myself through creativity.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Everything is possible - that’s my life motto that keeps me going and helps me achieve my goals.

Winning Entries

FACTORY | 2020

Interview with Valeria Goore, J. Lykasova Interior Design Studio, Belarus

FACTORY is a minimalistic, austere and industrial, yet still soft and comfy interior project in a modern residential complex in...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

J. Lykasova Interior Design Studio

J. Lykasova Interior Design Studio is an award-winning design studio based in Belarus.