A celebration of cutting-edge commercial interiors, the Mix Design Collective gives leading architects and designers the opportunity to specially curate themed spaces, whilst showcasing the best of international product design. For the latest event, we partnered with workspace and residential interior design consultants, Basha-Franklin, who meticulously designed the ‘Living’ experience. We chatted to Associate, Olivia Hrojevic, to find out more about the immersive space....
Associate at Basha-Franklin, Olivia had design, team leadership and project delivery experience drawn from working across a broad range of sectors including workplace, education, healthcare, civic, cultural and retail design in both Australia and the UK.
Her principle goal is to create spaces that make the most of every opportunity to achieve a high-quality user experience. Her passion for design and pragmatic approach sees an unwavering commitment to maintain design vision and integrity through all project stages.
What was your inspiration behind the design of the Living experience?
Where we live has always evolved, but the Living experience shows what can be achieved for the ever-changing demands of the client, whether it’s student accommodation, private rental or high-end build to rent residential.
Our design is inspired by the rise of emotive design and renewed interest in craft, as people are engaging with these activities as a way of switching off and relaxing. It explores how spaces can be layered to create a deeper sense of emotional connection and in response to digital fatigue and global homogenisation, the Living experience explores a desire for the unique, for character and depth.
Tell us about the concept of the space.
We based the design of the Living experience around three fictional characters; the individualist, the romantic, and the storyteller. The room portrays three different settings with the aim to evoke an emotional connection for each of the characters.
The living room setting is very much about the individualist; a film buff. We used a large screen with heavy curtains reminiscent of a cinema, and as somebody who values originality and likes things to be personalised, this is represented through the use of lots of bespoke pieces.
Moving over to the dining room setting, this space is associated with the romantic character, who is nostalgic and sentimental about the past. This is somebody who likes flowers and the seaside, which reflected in the use of a suspended floral arrangement reminiscent of the 1970s and sounds of the sea.
The leather recliner in the corner of the room is the storyteller’s domain. This character thrives on being centre stage and likes to entertain. The spotlight is on and visitors are invited to experience the storyteller’s chair; sitting on it will trigger all other lighting to dim and cue a sound shower of book readings.
How did you incorporate Forbo products into the room?
For the whole of the Living experience, we used Allura luxury vinyl tiles for the floor which is perfect for the private rental sector. The warmth of the natural timber effect provides a domestic feel and there is a beautiful selection of designs to choose from. Using the Whitewash Elegant Oak colourway, we created a subtle change in direction and introduced a slight basket weave pattern which really complements the space. Allura also ticks all of the boxes from a developer’s perspective too, as it is durable, hardwearing and provides the right product at the right price point.
One of our favourite products for many years and I know it is amongst many designers in the industry too is Furniture Linoleum. Flexible and unique, it is great for interior living spaces as it has as a lovely softness and the colour range is incredible and works equally as well in residential as it does in commercial space. We used it on the wall in the dining room, etching the panels and creating textures to imitate this idea of crafting. In the entry portal, we also used Bulletin Board for the curved ceiling and on the floor, Marmoleum helped us to create an inviting ‘welcome’ mat that you might see in people’s front doors.
What made you want to be a designer?
As a child, I was always inventing fictional environments through story writing and drawings. From there, it was a natural progression for me into interior design and one of the things I enjoy most about working in this industry is that no two projects are the same. Every client and every brief is different, bringing us new challenges to solve every day.
What do you find really exciting and inspirational in design at the moment?
I think that we have arrived at a moment in time where technology and the desire to stay connected is making a huge difference in the way that we are designing living and working spaces. Together with the client, we can create thrilling results.