Architect extraordinaire, Lola Shonibare has her finger on the Design pulse having brought vivid creations to life for many but beyond the drawing board, what influences Lola’s choices? We met with the Design devotee to get a sense of her personal Design style.
1) How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is a bit more eclectic. I wouldn’t say it has been influenced by any particular style but I have taken bits from every kind of era and have been able to fuse them together to get what I have today. There is always something good in every design and I think you just need to look deeper to be able to appreciate and complement it with other styles.
2) You have a really lovely home and the attention to detail and thought process is quite evident in every aspect. Did you have a conceptual image of your home from inception?
There were quite a number of things that I knew that I wanted and some things that I knew I didn’t. I knew for one, that I didn’t like seeing dirty window ceilings, so that is an important aspect, if you look at all the window ceilings in my home, they are within reach for a good wipe. I knew that I didn’t want swinging doors, so I used pocket doors in the bathroom and sliding doors. I’ve also looked at details like the flooring and I think the things that make a house really are your floor, ceiling and walls, if you keep those things as simple as possible, you will find out that the entire design concept is tied to it and so, I paid a lot of attention to my finishing; the floors , the walls and things like that, all the other things you can just throw in as you go along.
3) Looking at your space, you have been able to make the best out of the site available to you quite successfully. How would you advise architects, developers, and projects managers on dealing with space related challenges going forward?
Being an architect, I was able to look at the design off plan and that helped me ascertain my design choice. The fact that it was an end unit and the possibility of putting many windows influenced my choice. I was also able to alter some parts of the building based on how I wanted it. I changed my kitchen- taking it from the first floor to the ground floor basically because I like the open plan kind of kitchen. I cook a lot and I’m able to interact with the family whilst I’m cooking with this feature. I have also taken out as many walls as possible so that it is more open- like I said, that is how I like to live. I have put in a few other features like the stair case, the balcony, the back terrace for instance is suspended because we don’t have that much space and I didn’t want columns that would make the place tighter, so these are the factors that influenced the designs. I tried to bring in as much light as possible too. Also, the windows add to the ventilation. I like to sit outside and that has also influenced the design of the house.