Karen Hay – Founder & Artistic Director at INdulge Design
INdulge Design’s founder and inventive director, Karen Hay, talks to TOPHOTELPROJECTS about her journey in hospitality design.
The Hong Kong primarily based inside design studio, INdulge Design, takes pleasure in developing with distinctive ideas and unique options to luxurious worldwide lodge and leisure environments all through the Asia Pacific area. Founder and inventive director of the agency, Karen Hay, attracts on 25 years of expertise within the design trade, throughout which era she spent a number of years working in theatre design earlier than inserting her focus firmly on high-end interiors in hospitality.
What does your function on the firm contain?
Good design is sort of a well-orchestrated opera. I’d say I’m the maestro; I do know what the viewers desires to listen to and what the music must painting, after which I conduct a crew of very proficient people to offer their finest efficiency.
Every member of the crew has their strengths and weaknesses, however working as a complete permits us to get the very best out of every individual, and we stability the crew in keeping with the challenge necessities. I’m extra the visionary and storyteller. I do know precisely how a design ought to look and performance, then I’ve good technical individuals to make it occur.
I work immediately with our shoppers to essentially perceive their imaginative and prescient or assist them to outline it.
Might you inform us about your profession to this point?
After finding out artwork and design after which inside design, I began my profession working for a repertory theatre constructing stage units. I realized lots about lighting and results, and capturing the viewers. I then had a chance to maneuver to Hong Kong, the place I volunteered to work with a small design studio on a design competitors, and in the event that they gained the competitors, I’d win myself a job.
We gained the challenge and my inside design profession kicked off with a give attention to high-end retail interiors, together with Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols (then Saibu), Calvin Klein and Nike. I went on to do a couple of years of places of work and business areas till I used to be given a restaurant to design, and so started my love for hospitality design.
I spent 10 years working in Hong Kong then moved to Dubai in 2004. There I co-founded an organization with a accomplice, which via the demand of our shoppers introduced me again to Hong Kong in 2012. That partnership ran its course and in 2016 we went our separate methods and I established INdulge.
Over time I’ve labored with bigger teams and small studios, and I realised that I’m higher positioned in smaller studios the place we’re very palms on with a couple of key initiatives and centered on each facet and element of that challenge. I due to this fact consciously select to maintain my studio boutique so I’m palms on with each challenge.
What key lodge initiatives have you ever labored on down the years?
We’ve had the privilege of working with essentially the most well-known and revered lodge operators and homeowners across the Center East and Asia areas. Our record of prestigious shoppers extends to Shangri-La Resorts & Resorts, Sofitel and Fairmont Resorts, Hilton, Intercontinental, Langham, Ritz Carlton, 4 Seasons and Hyatt.
At present we’re working with the Sofitel Metropole Lodge in Hanoi. Having redesigned Angelina bar and restaurant three years in the past, we have been invited again to tackle the renovation of Le Beaulieu French restaurant. We’re additionally engaged on a new-build Avani lodge in Kota Kinabalu for Minor Group.
That is going to sound corny and not likely to do with my profession as such however being a working mum of two wonderful boys, now younger males, has been my largest and most rewarding achievement. They’ve seen me work laborious and develop professionally, and undergo each good and difficult instances. My profession has taught them tenacity, diligence and a respect for working girls. They’re very artistic and I’ve inspired them to like what you do.
What’s been the most important problem in your profession?
Shifting to a very new area and market, from Hong Kong to Dubai, required navigation and persistence, and establishing my very own firm was a problem.
How would you sum up your design philosophy?
Our design philosophy is captured in our mixed firm values; little indulgences, large expectations, easy kindness, excessive requirements and memorable experiences.
Placing ourselves within the visitor or consumer sneakers dictates what we do and the way we design. The aim of why we’re designing an area and being clear concerning the desired consequence, whether or not for the consolation of the visitor or performance of service at the back of home, is significant to attaining a profitable end result. We aren’t simply creating stunning interiors however enhancing the consumer expertise.
We love the excitement of making an idea that the shopper buys into, then delivering on that idea with authenticity, consideration to element and at all times a bit little bit of the surprising thrown in for good measure. My theatre background and aptitude for story-telling is usually evident in our initiatives.
What would your dream lodge appear like?
Most positively boutique, rural, earthy, naked foot, dealing with the ocean, surrounded in greenery, with extraordinarily pleasant workers and an awesome menu. Entry to the local people and tradition, with arts and crafts, can also be a should.
Who do you admire most within the trade?
I’d really widen that to incorporate any artistic trade and say Jo Malone. I really like her model and really admire her journey and story of how she created her model and the dangers she took. Doing what she loves most, she created her merchandise from one cleaning soap and one hand cream right into a globally well-known model. On the identical time, she had a younger household, beat most cancers, then offered out to Estee Lauder, which she went on to remorse so began over again.
She gave me inspiration at precisely the time I wanted it most. I used to be sitting on an Emirates flight to Hong Kong, having simply finalised the paperwork to promote my shares as a accomplice in my earlier firm. I tuned into the in-flight channel and listened to a podcast interview with Jo Malone. I used to be so impressed that by the tip of the flight that I walked off a unique individual. I knew precisely what I needed to do and that was to begin my very own firm specializing in luxurious hospitality design. I went on to launch INdulge.
What’s your recommendation to up-and-coming expertise seeking to make a reputation for themselves?
Be true to your self and do what you take pleasure in doing. Don’t do one thing merely to make a reputation for your self. I really consider when you have expertise and tenacity and you’re keen to work laborious that success will come.
What are your foremost hobbies outdoors work?
I really like ceramic artwork and spend each Saturday in a small studio close to my residence creating my very own artwork. I really like the hands-on craft and the magic of opening the kiln on a glaze hearth and revealing the unpredictable outcomes. It is usually my quiet house within the week which has grow to be my very own type of meditation, which I consider all of us want. I additionally love holding match, and have lately taken up crusing which is quick changing into a brand new ardour. I really feel very fortunate to stay in a metropolis that I’ve cherished for a few years. I stay with the ocean in entrance of me and the mountains at my again.