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Achieving industry recognition through prestigious honours like awards can be extremely beneficial for business. Not only can it generate awareness, increase brand exposure and of course, boost employee morale in a celebration of their hard work and success, awards are a great way to differentiate your brand, product or service from the competition! Independent acknowledgement of a company’s skills, value or competence within your sector also offers additional reassurances and credibility for potential clients and customers.

Even if you don’t clinch the coveted ‘Winner’ trophy on the night, just being shortlisted for an award can still bring your business substantial benefits. With this in mind, we’re sharing 5 essential ways that awards can enhance your business!

1. Increased Awareness: Take advantage of the promotional opportunities

Put your brand in the spotlight! Association with relevant, industry-specific awards that add value to your brand offering can raise your business profile and provide a host of marketing and PR opportunities, so the chance to publicise, and ultimately capitalise, on your achievements within an award programme (whether a winner or a finalist) should not be overlooked! Utilising the promotion of your involvement before, during and after the ceremony through your marketing channels is a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, share your company’s success and become a real marketing asset. And that doesn’t even include the additional exposure you would gain from the event organiser!

2. Attracting Clients: Showcase your expertise and enhance company credibility

Awards are designed to endorse a company’s calibre of skill and success in a particular field, making them a key indicator of trust-worthiness. Entering and winning an award therefore demonstrates to your customers that your business is operating at the highest level within your profession, acting as a powerful selling point for potential prospects (or perhaps reinforcing their reasons for doing business with you in the first place!).

As a result, this can develop brand loyalty and improve client retention, as customers are often inclined to stay with businesses who are succeeding at what they do – as well as give them more excuses to tell their friends about you. And we all know how valuable word of mouth is as an effective marketing tool!

Using the awards branding on your website and in your marketing materials is another way you’ll be able to showcase these credentials to your target audience.

3. Boost Employee Morale: Positive impacts on retention and recruitment

Partaking in awards is a public way of acknowledging the hard work and achievements of your employees, giving your team members an additional sense of appreciation, purpose and motivation in their work, as well as a stronger desire and confidence to continue to perform for your company. Attending the awards ceremony also offers a great chance to reward your staff by celebrating together as a team – who doesn’t love a chance to get dressed up for a fancy three-course meal and rub shoulders with top tier professionals in your industry?

Achieving an award also validates your employees work as a direct contributor to wider company success which can also generate company pride, increase work satisfaction and can play a positive role in future recruitment too by enticing new talent who want to work for successful, award-winning companies.

4. Networking: Establish better relationships with your peers and industry professionals

Serving as an excellent platform to wine and dine with the best of the best within your profession, award ceremonies provide the perfect opportunity to network with key players in your industry so you can make new industry connections, bond with potential business partners, reach new customers, and build better relationships with your peers. Winning an award goes one step further in recognising the value and expertise you bring to your sector in front of this captive audience, meaning your peers will look more favourably on your business and you will gain a deeper level of credibility and respect within your industry as a whole.

Most awards judging panels consist of distinguished industry experts, so entering them also presents a unique opportunity to put your business in front of specialist stakeholders, industry-leaders and influential experts in your field.

5. Industry Benchmarking: Differentiate your business against competitors

Whether you are a small or large company, awards offer the ability to stand side-by-side and compete against some of the biggest names in your professional pool, allowing you to take stock of your achievements in comparison to your peers and benchmark your work against the industry – this will help to see how you measure up against your competitors and refine your business goals and aspirations.

And of course, if you’re successful in becoming an award-winning business, it is a surefire way to differentiate your brand and stand out from the competition with that all-important, industry-recognised seal of approval, giving you an esteemed third-party endorsement from an independent body.

The SBID Awards programme is designed to recognise, reward and celebrate the profession of interior design. If you’re an interior designer or product manufacturer, click here to find out more about entering for the current 2020 edition.

Lockdown measures are slowly easing across all aspects of work and social life as the hospitality industry is given the green light to begin re-opening to the public this July. For many of us, the concept of travelling seems like a distant memory; dreaming of the day you can book that weekend away or arrange for a long, relaxing week abroad. As society braces itself to resume holiday planning and commence those halted travel plans in a Covid-19 world – we’re sharing some of the inspiring hotel bedroom designs from last year’s SBID Awards finalists that we’d love to be paying a visit this Summer!

Hotel Bedrooms & Suites

CaberlonCaroppi Architetti – Hilton Molino Stucky

Once an efficient flourmill, Hilton Molino Stucky is today one of the most important international hotels in Venice. Curated by CaberlonCaroppi, the renewal of the common areas and the first 90 rooms reflects the soul of the industrial building and the one of Venice and its wonders. The design narrative starts from decorative and graphic details with special attention paid to figurative elements, introducing the theme of gears and grain, main elements that characterize rooms. Along the corridors, the soft colours of the walls, the elegant lamps and the geometrically textured carpet blend perfectly with the cast iron pillars that characterise the architectural structure. A particular attention has been paid to all the lightening elements, designed or modified specifically for the setting of the Molino, so as to obtain a product that is not only functional but also in line with the entire mood.

Concorde BGW Group – The Bedford

A pub that helped launch the careers of Ed Sheeran and Michael McIntyre has reopened after Concorde BGW carried out its multi-million-pound refurbishment. The extensive renovations to the 22,000 square foot pub, grass-roots music venue and London’s longest running comedy club were carried out across its five bars, restaurant, four private rooms, ballroom and 250-capacity live music club. The Grade II Listed building is utterly unique in terms of character and strategies were developed to ensure much of its age-old charm was maintained. Once planning permission was obtained, 15 new, individually designed ensuite bedrooms were built on the second and third floors. The bedrooms add another layer of luxury to a truly unique building. Designed with the history of the building in mind, the rooms allow you to drift back to bygone ages.

Celia Chu Design & Associates – Luxury Is Personal

Located in the central heart of Taipei, the twin towers building was designed by Richard Rogers and has reached a new level of high-end residential living. CCDA was inspired by the lifestyle of the modern British gentlemen, believing true luxury not only manifests itself in the physical space but is also reflected in interests, habits, collections and art. Bespoke crystal light fixtures from the Czech Republic, commissioned silver glass panel art by the fireplace, a wine display room, spa-like bathroom and other details were designed to shape a vision of personalised luxury.

LW – Zabeel House

Zabeel House is a new lifestyle hotel by Jumeirah, catering for families, travellers and businessmen alike, with all the familiarities of the Jumeirah brand, in an afforded luxury way. This combination of Arabic culture and urban finishes comes together in the health club and spa. Reclaimed timber slats, concrete flooring and exposed ceilings are complimented and softened by Arabic rugs from the local souq and quirky artwork that continue down the corridor, into the changing rooms and treatment experience. Personal interaction is a key feature that runs through this hotel, seen through the recessed pops of seating down the health club corridor that allow for guests to pause a moment, relax and interact.

Roth Architecture – Aqua Villa

Located in the most private area of Azulik Tulum, the Aqua Villa was designed in harmony with the environment, respecting nature and making it part of the project. Water is the main design composition element inside the villa, fusing with the blue Caribbean Sea view. The contrast in colours, textures and use of the local materials allows the villa to become part of the landscape thanks to the natural materials. Exterior massage decks, Jacuzzi and netting allows guests to enjoy the space and the view in this unique environment which flows naturally into its surroundings. The interior design fosters a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, using reflection as an element; the mirrors and water in the floor give guests the sensation of space and serenity so they can enjoy the sounds of the sea and the wildlife that interact within the space constantly.

Dexter Moren Associates – Clayton Hotel, London

Clayton Hotel City of London redefines the concept of a destination hotel. The 212-key, four-star hotel is located in the vibrant Aldgate area of London, on the edge of the City of London, near to the Whitechapel Art Gallery and historic markets of Spitalfields, Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane. The hotel’s bespoke interiors reflect the history and charm of the area through the mix of materials, ceramics and furniture. The choice of lighting, colour palette and artwork visually reference elements from the culture of the area, including the Freedom Press, the Bell Foundry, warehouse metal and fabric trades and the diverse market culture. The designers at Dexter Moren Associates describe the concept as a ‘new order’: combining the old order and traditions of the East End with the future outlook of the City.

The Wall Design Corporation – The Shades of Clouds; the Valley of Hearts

This B&B is located in a mountainous region in the southern Zhejian Province. Given the unique geological environment, the south-facing location is wreathed in clouds. The area is known for its amazing natural scenery with clouds constantly passing by. The building was protected which posed a challenge however the remodelled building preserves 80% of the original architectural features. The interior is based on the Balinese lifestyle, in which the white colour symbolises the clouds. Windows have been replaced by the new larger versions, through which guests can truly appreciate the great views. In addition to the vintage decor, the preserved original yellow soil walls and doors further emphasise the spirit of simplicity.

Virserius Studio – Guest Rooms & Suites, W Atlanta Midtown

Arthur is a fictional character, conceived as a native Atlantan who was born and raised in Ainsley Park, located right behind W Atlanta Midtown. Virserius Studio’s concept for the hotel is the recreation of Arthur’s estate and secret garden, decorated with his awe-inspiring collection of art and other items obtained during his extensive world travels. He takes great pride in these collections and wants to share the stories behind these possessions. He also hopes they will make great conversational pieces, inspiring special moments among friends during their visit.

Goddard Littlefair – The Lowry Presidential Suite

The Lowry Hotel’s five-star, luxury Presidential Suite, is the largest in Greater Manchester, having undergone a complete revamp including a reconfiguration of the space and a newly enlarged dressing room. Beautiful, fitted joinery screens create a series of distinct but linked spaces, including a living area, dining area, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room, pantry and powder room. Drawing inspiration from Manchester’s rich industrial history, the suite makes reference to the city’s industrial forms, geometry and heritage, as well as the hotel’s namesake, L.S Lowry. Accompanied by a colour palette inspired by Lowry’s five colours, the new design has a luxurious residential feel, with light and bright tonal colours used for the walls, curtains and carpets, offset by darker joinery, with painterly or geometric-patterned fabrics.

The 2020 edition of the SBID International Design Awards is open for entries.

Entries close on Friday 14 August. Visit to enter now!

Meet Karim Rashid

designer and president of Karim Rashid Inc.

Visionary and prolific, Karim is one of the most unique voices in design today. With more than 4000 designs in production, over 300 awards to his name, and client work in over 40 countries, Karim’s ability to transcend typology continues to make him a force among designers of his generation. His award-winning designs include democratic objects such as the ubiquitous Garbo waste can and Oh! Chair for Umbra, interiors for Morimoto restaurant, Philadelphia and Semiramis hotel, Athens, and exhibitions for Corian and Pepsi. Karim has collaborated with clients to create democratic design for Method and Dirt Devil, furniture for Artemide and Magis, brand identity for Citibank and Hyundai, high-tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Swarovski, to name a few. Karim’s work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits art in galleries worldwide. Karim is a perennial winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, Interior Design Best of Year Award, and IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Award. Karim is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences, globally disseminating the importance of design in everyday life.

Karim Rashid | NIENKAMPER, Heartbeat

What excites you the most about the use of artificial intelligence in product design?

I welcome the crossing of artificial and human intelligence. I love evolution, I’m looking forward to the day when we’re 50% synthetic and artificial, there’s something obsessive, and passionate about us becoming technological beings. I believe that technology is nature since we created it and we are nature and it is a masterplan that we will become seamlessly robotic. Right now, we have robotic technologies that can customize and differentiate production objects (creating one-off using robotic production methods), granting us personalization for anyone and everyone with great accessibility and low cost. Our high-tech objects are outside the body but in a short time they will be inside too. But seriously I will get an implant soon in my hand so that I can open up all my locks and doors in my life without keys.

Karim Rashid | RELAX DESIGN, Pebble Collection

Karim Rashid | RELAX DESIGN, Duo Collection

Karim Rashid | RELAX DESIGN, Meta-Collection

How does democratized design enhance people’s wellness? 

Ever since I was a child, I wondered why there couldn’t be a more democratic design that everyone could enjoy. Manufacturers can make good business from design. I have had several agendas for 20 years. Firstly is to create democratic objects and to democratize design. Secondly is to disseminate design culture to a larger audience. Thirdly is to make design more human. My aesthetic is very human, and I think it translates well to anything from furniture to a building. Design does change our everyday lives, our commodity, and our behaviours.

Karim Rashid | TONELLI, Tropikal Mirror

How do you stay on top of the latest technologies, material inventions and innovative processes to know what is possible and how far your imagination can fly when you create innovative products?

My design practice is based on my accumulative experiences, years of projects, all the books I have read, all my travels, all the diverse factories I have visited, etc. Working with so many clients gives me insight into so many technologies, manufacturing capabilities, and materials. In this way I can cross pollinate ideas, materials, behaviours, aesthetics, and language from one typology to the other.

Karim Rashid | Boconcept, Chelsea Collection

What would be your dream project if you had complete freedom with budget, location, and time?

I would create hotels in every city I travel. I would like to design a chain of organic restaurants and coffee shops, low-income housing, art galleries, a museum and more humanitarian projects that can help save the earth. And I would build myself an organic home with no straight lines. I love Pierre Cardin’s Bubble House (Palais Bulles). I was inspired by his fashion and product design from very early on.  The space is so soft, curved, organic and conceptual. Our surroundings should engage technology, visuals, textures, lots of colour, as well as meet all the needs that are intrinsic to living a simpler less cluttered but more sensual envelopment.

Karim is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise.

Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 is open for entries. Entries close Friday 14 August!

To find out more about entering, visit

Meet Constantina Tsoutsikou

founder and creative director, studio LOST

Constantina is the founder of studio LOST, a brand-new design practice focusing on high-end, hospitality, residential and boutique commercial projects in collaboration with the industry’s most respected global brands. Having led the European arm of international hospitality giant HBA for many years, Constantina has worked on award-winning hotel projects around the globe, also creating also an array of bespoke products and furniture lines for her clients along the way.

Camellia Hotel, Opatija, Croatia | Image credit: ©Sanja Bistricic

What challenges and changes to our value systems do you foresee as a result of the ‘great pause’?

I have been thinking our world was due an overhaul, though now is a very vulnerable time for many people. A positive aspect is that technology has enabled many of us to have a window open to the world that lets us keep on working. The technological revolution of the last decades had not significantly changed the typical office setting and routines until now. I think this ‘pause’ will make shifts in the workplace model happen faster. It has shown that an organisation doesn’t need employees physically in the office Monday to Friday for a certain set of hours all the time. From that point of view, I am certain we will all be working more flexibly going forward.

We have also come to appreciate all the basic daily rituals that we may have been too busy to enjoy before: like cooking at home, eating together, appreciating nature, or going for a walk.

SL01 Pendants for Dutch brand Frandsen | Project Image credit: Frandsen Project

Camellia Hotel, Opatija, Croatia | Image credit: ©Sanja Bistricic

Which innovative people or companies should the design industry be paying attention to?

There are many great initiatives happening, and mainly from smaller independent studios. I really admire the young French fashion designer, Marine Serre. She makes innovative ‘future wear’, ordering quantities of existing fabric like denim and regenerating it into new, upcycled creations. Her sourcing is 50% sustainable while creating pieces with a strong, fashion-forward identity.

I am a great believer that we should support the small local businesses around us. When our local restaurants and bars are able to open, it is our spending power that will enable them to keep trading. Every choice we make when spending is voting for the kind of world we want to have.

Amadria Park Hotel Capital, Zagreb | Image credit: ©Sanja Bistricic

While many companies have paused plans while in lockdown, many others have continued.

From our side for example, I pressed ahead to launch studio LOST and kept every commitment I had made previously, like commissioning a branding agency to work with us on the studio’s identity and other consultants to complete all the necessary early stages of work. We stuck to the plan and I am very grateful for the warm reception we have enjoyed from the industry since our launch.

If we want a world rich with different voices of designers, artisans, craftsmen, and independent businesses, it is our support that enables them to survive and flourish.

Amadria Park Hotel Capital, Zagreb | Image credit: ©Sanja Bistricic

Piramal Aranya Residences Mumbai | Image credit: ©Hashim Badani

How will luxury design evolve in an era of more thoughtful consumption?

The pause has enabled us to question what luxury truly is. You could consider that luxury, during the lockdown, is the ability to move freely and enjoy a meal with friends! Whereas before that was something we took for granted.

The way forward will hopefully be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. I hope we will think about where things come from, their production, and how their disposal affects the environment.

I am interested in repurposing things and not making everything in a project from scratch: buying vintage, repurposing furniture, infusing an interiors scheme with antiques, and appreciating the craftsmanship of something created a hundred years ago but now finding a new use for it.

In terms of interior design, there will be a lot more upgrades happening in the next few months in the residential sector. Hotels will take a little longer to recover. As for goods, people hopefully will be buying less, but better. Staying in has definitely made me see we actually need a lot less than we realised.

What inspires you both professionally and personally?

More than anything, people and their expressions inspire me: my family; everyone I get to enjoy nice conversations with, exchange ideas and dream – writers; painters; fellow designers and thinkers; and so many more. It’s interesting to look at the world through their eyes and learn from our exchanges.

Constantina is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise. Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 is open for entries.

Entries close Friday 14 August!

To find out more about entering, visit

Meet David Chang

founder and design director, David Chang Design Associates International

David Chang was honoured as SBID International Design Awards’ Master of Design in 2018. He is a registered professional member of NCIDQ, ASID, SBID and IIDA, and has more than 25 years of experience in hospitality and high-end residential interior design and management experiences in North America and Asia.  In 1998, David Chang founded David Chang Design Associates International (DCDA) in Vancouver, Canada, and then expanded to China’s market in 2006, establishing firms in Guangzhou, Beijing and Taipei to provide exclusive upscale design services on landmark projects for local top developers. Deeply influenced by Chinese and Western cultures, David Chang emphasises attention to culture and history as sources of inspiration, thereby creating vitality and rich artistic essence for each project. Moreover, David Chang emphasises interior spaces’ comfort, functionality and the creation of soul in each design. Based on these philosophies, David Chang’s innovative works have won numerous design awards in the UK, Italy, Canada, and China.

F Bistronome Restaurant |  DCDA

How has China begun to rebound from COVID-19? How is your studio coping, and are projects that went on hold coming back to life?

After nearly three months of diligent social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and staying at home, the daily number of new COVID-19 infection has come to an abrupt halt. All walks of life are up and running again. During the outbreak, our studio shut down entirely from late January ‘til late February. To minimise the economic damage caused by this pandemic, we reopened at the beginning of March with employees working three metres apart. Every team member wore masks at all times, and their temperatures were checked upon arrival, at lunch time, and before leaving work. Hand sanitiser was also provided three times per day during office hours. Staff were divided into two groups. In March, the first group worked Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while the second group worked Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then in April the groups switched days. All projects were on hold during these three months. By the beginning of May, projects that has been placed on hold indefinitely began to resurrect in the catastrophic aftermath. Signs of intriguing new projects are also springing up in the market, but that being said, supply is still far more than demand.

Beijing Shimao Loong Palace Type B Villa Luxury Show Villa |  DCDA

Who is one of today’s cultural influencers, and how will their perspective influence your future?

There are many cultural influencers across the globe, and one who inspires me the most is Bill Gates. He and his wife Melinda established a foundation whose mission is ensuring children and young people survive and thrive with better healthcare and education so they can rise out of poverty, empowering the poorest people – especially women and girls – to transform their futures, while saving lives by providing adequate medical care to those with greatest needs. In the field of luxury interior design, all our clients have enough wealth to afford our services and products. In other words, we only design for the rich and famous. Inspired by the mission of the Gates Foundation, I see several approaches we could take in our future designs. We can donate our design skills to not-for-profit organisations, charity groups, or foundations. We can also donate a portion of the annual revenue generated from our designs and services to these charity groups.

What’s the best way to design for sustainability?

No matter how sensibly and proficiently we design and build, it’s not possible to 100% eliminate negative environmental impacts. But we can surely minimize them to get as close as possible to zero. The best way to do this is incorporating renewable resources as much as we can during the design and build processes, and then planning how they can be easily recycled or composted once their usefulness has expired.

Poly Garden Sales Center  |  DCDA

What is the one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?

All design-related professions belong to the field of applied arts, whether interior design, architecture, graphic design, or product design. Applied Arts are all the creative disciplines that apply design, science, and decoration to objects or spaces in order to make them aesthetically pleasing and functionally practical. This means we can’t just focus on how we feel and what we believe an object or space should be. The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is that we must also try to feel and understand the perspectives, psychological needs, and functional demands of end-users.

David is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise. Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 is open for entries.

Entries close Friday 14 August!

To find out more about entering, visit

As lockdown now begins to lift and life starts returning to a very new kind of ‘normal’, we’ve had the time to re-consider our lifestyles and re-asses our living environments. For many, the new normal sees much more of our time being spent at home. The focus therefore turns to residential design, as we look to upgrade tired interiors or reconfigure homes for a more functional layout. This month we’re sharing some of the inspiring interior designs from last year’s SBID Awards finalists, offering some much needed interior inspiration as the importance of residential design continues to grow.

Residential Apartment Under £1M

Christopher Tan Design – One KL @ KLCC

Based closely on an aquatic theme, the use of blue accents and fluid lines infused a sense of serenity associated with the attributes of water. Engulfed by sleek, stylish furnishing details, this sophisticated design serves as a contemporary upgrade to the apartment while retaining the architectural brilliance of its structure. Functioning as a sanctuary and a place to entertain, the aquatic themed design, inspired by the pool, instinctively emboldens the interior with an aesthetic that echoes the chicness and grandeur of a home located at the heart of a city.

Kirsten Schwalgien Design – Loft BuresQ

Situated in one of the most iconic Modernist buildings, the loft adapts its historic space to contemporary use as a habitable, sophisticated home. Private zones were separated from the living area with a wooden clad ‘box’ and the gallery featuring industrial glass windows was included for enhanced privacy. All original pillars supporting the 4 metre height ceiling remained exposed and the rooms were developed around them. KSD designed almost all furniture custom to the place and person, not only in size but also in context, legacy and aesthetic. Main materials include veneered varnished chestnut, natural stone and original brick. Green marble was paired with elements in untreated brass that will age naturally developing a beautiful patina. KSD focused on specific qualities and tactility of materials, alternating textures cold with warm, glossy with raw, soft with hard.

Li Yizhong & Associates – Fortress Villa

To suit the personality of the owner, the structure of the space had to be free, open, smooth, and imposing. The building is on sloping land, with a difference of nearly one floor between the front and back: the entrance is low and the large garden is high up. The design included a sunken garden, which improved the ventilation and lighting at the back of the first floor and improved the quality of the space. On the second floor is the living room, dining room, kitchen, and a bedroom. This floor is benefits from an open and free layout closely connected to the outdoor garden, thus expanding the boundary of human activities and increasing the sense of freedom. The living room space is double height, which highlights the momentum of the space. The original beam cannot be removed because of the structure, so a bridge was designed to the third-storey balcony, increasing the level of space.

Sheree Stuart Design – Toronto Penthouse

The design of this two-story penthouse located in the heart of downtown Toronto takes a cue from the clients’ love of travel and their growing collection of Asian antiquities and art. The design team has imbued the space with the Japanese aesthetic of simplicity, modernism and an earth-toned palette. Every aspect of the penthouse is customised, from the lighting, millwork and flooring to the furniture and cabinet hardware. The result is a luxurious and tranquil retreat that more than meets the homeowners’ objectives and satisfies this designer’s criteria for a successful project: a customised interior that enhances the clients’ living experience, delivered on time and on budget. The unique design of this penthouse fits beautifully into the wider environment and features 360-degree views of beautiful downtown Toronto.

Residential House Under £1M

AND Design Co – Chapters

Chiseled volumes, striking artworks and understated luxury define this home. The property bears a footprint of 2,500 square metres, with 1,000 square metres built-up. The layout of the house amalgamates into the letters H and I, which are the initials of the client’s names, making it a signature feature of the house. The ground floor has a double height foyer, a formal and informal living room, parents’ and guest bedrooms, a prayer room, dining room, kitchen and powder room. The outdoor space houses a swimming pool, sit-out deck, a dining nook and servant’s quarters, while the upper floor has the master bedroom, kid’s bedroom, another guest room, a gym and an open terrace. The concept of the project revolves around the idea of diminishing the barrier of built and natural environment by bringing in the exteriors within the interior habitat.

This 2,100-square-foot weekend residence was built in Seadrift on the Stinson Lagoon in Marin County, California. Although the lagoon is filled with Pacific Ocean sea water, it is shallow and warm – much like a lake and so used for swimming, paddling, and many other non-motorised water sports. While beach houses are often tattered and somewhat quirky, this one is meant to be modern and refined, yet casual. It was created for a family of five that live in San Francisco who surf, cook, craft, and party.

JIXI DESIGN STUDIO – 360 degrees, 180 degrees, 90 degrees

The design of the house is based on the situation of the building and the advantages of outdoor window views, with a 360-degree circle as the main axis. Double moving lines are adopted in the porch, making the centre the beginning of the space. The flowing circle runs through the public space, breaking the thinking that indoor space requires square planning to effectively use the space. The moving lines naturally and smoothly guide the movement within each block. Ceiling, spatial allocation, and even wall design all carry the round form, which lets the sensibility of flowing and roundness expand in space.

SHANGHAI BENJAI ARCHITECTURE – Shangkun Yueshan Peninsul Showcase

The Shangkun Yueshan Peninsula Project is located in Sheshan Plate, Songjiang District, Shanghai, an area surrounded by mountains, rivers and shade, all of which are aspects of island life that city dwellers desire when escaping urban living. The concepts of art and home were the starting point of the project. Using advanced colours, changeable space and concise lines; the design paints a picture of the modern dweller’s art and life intertwined. The most interesting feature is the ‘pipe’, which gives the project a more playful feel and an artistic edge; it makes the whole design more individual and dynamic. The whole underground space uses design to create a joyful feeling. It’s an amusement park and an art salon; the space is staggered and the joy here is extraordinary.

Residential Design Over £1M

Godwin Austen Johnson – Serenia Residences The Palm Jumeirah

Serenia is an exclusive gated beachfront residence located on a unique beachfront plot on the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah. This exclusive community offers residents an unrivalled connection to nature and relaxed bliss with its sophisticated architecture and contemporary interior design; floor-to-ceiling glass blurs the boundaries between outdoors and indoors providing panoramic views of the city skyline and ocean and a tranquil home.

STA Architectural Group – Palazzo del Cielo

With sweeping views of the Atlantic, the 47th-floor Palazzo del Cielo is perched atop an exclusive, oceanfront tower and located on Florida’s Riviera – Sunny Isles Beach. STA took great pleasure in handpicking each finish, travelling throughout Europe and Asia to find a unique collection of luxury stones. They created a memorable palette of materials which flow effortlessly – imbuing the space with a strong sense of permanence, freshness and colour. STA curated a collection of furniture and art with a colour palette echoing the accents of the natural environment and designed enormous, hand-cast light fixtures and hand-woven area rugs to fill the vast spaces of this penthouse. The end result is the culmination of a seven-year journey for STA and their long-time clients – one to craft a space that can be called ‘the world’s finest’.

Opaal Interiors – Mamsha Penthouse

Mamsha Al Saadiyat penthouse is a beachfront property located in the Saadiyat Cultural District. The penthouse offers a range of one to four-bedroom apartments as well as limited numbers of penthouses and townhouses. The residential property is adjacent to the 1.4km white sandy beach provide endless stunning sea views. These luxury apartments are is just minutes’ walking distance to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, as well as The District retail destination. Residents can enjoy the unique fusion of a lively downtown destination with a wonderfully relaxed coastal ambiance.

Roth Architecture – Uh May Residence

The residence harmoniously blends in with the environment, respecting and honouring the natural habitat that hosts it. With no straight lines or sharp angles, it respects the organic shapes of the ground on which it was built. There is real purpose in its design: to force us to be present, paying attention and observing our every step. The use of ferro-cement was specifically chosen to avoid the introduction of heavy machinery into the jungle, thus preventing the felling of 250 trees. Moreover, the material gives the space a cosy feeling. The finish, carefully crafted with local materials, makes this a unique space of purely organic forms. Meticulously conceived thorough attention to detail and amenities for entertainment, this property redefines life in the jungle, promoting a non-invasive dialogue between architecture and its natural surroundings.

The 2020 edition of the SBID International Design Awards is now open for entries.

Entries close on Friday 12 June.

Visit to enter now!

Meet Vasiliki Petrou

group ceo and executive vice president, Unilever Prestige

Vasiliki joined Unilever in November 2012 after completing a 19-year career with Procter & Gamble.  In P&G, Vasiliki led various global, regional and local roles mainly in the Beauty Category primarily working in skin, hair and colour cosmetics. Vasiliki’s first role in Unilever was creating the Pitch Co-Creation (Innovation) Centres in London and New York. Vasiliki also led the development of strategic macro space work that has been pivotal in defining the strategy, innovation pipeline and expertise of the Beauty and Personal Care Category.  In 2014, Vasiliki started the creation of the Prestige division from the beginning. Since then, Vasiliki led the acquisition of 7 companies Dermalogica, Murad, Kate Somerville, Ren, Garancia, Living Proof, and Hourglass. Vasiliki leads a team of 8 CEOs and a central multi-functional team that decide strategic priorities, resource allocation and growth strategy for the portfolio. Vasiliki also is in charge of continuous M&A with the objective to growing current portfolio approximately €540m in turnover to €1 billion. Vasiliki is known to have created a first in organisation design of the Prestige business model of the “string of pearls” that is Brand and Founder Centric and innovates in new models of marketing and omni-channel.

Vasiliki is a champion of female entrepreneurs. Passionate about mentoring young people, supporting female leaders, creative talent, and doing social good, Vasiliki is the Chairwoman of the Cosmetic Executive Women, leading industry association in Beauty in the UK.

How do you define luxury, and how is it evolving?

Luxury can mean a multitude of things, but for the beauty industry, and my brands, it has evolved in recent time to mean “experience”. We know our consumers naturally seek out style and slick aesthetics, which the brands within the Unilever Prestige portfolio deliver – but more than ever we see them craving more than this. They want either the human touch, or personalisation, something that feels bespoke to them. It’s this that elevates something from simply stylish design to true luxury.

What lifestyle changes are influencing the design of products?

Our audience definitely like style, but they need simplicity and ease of use too. Lifestyles today are hectic and we’re busier than ever before, so products that look good but also deliver great results are key. For our brands, the best designs are those that look great, offer a different sensorial experience, but that are also easy to navigate.

How can the luxury industry lead the way as a pioneer in sustainability?

I’m proud that our brands are leading the way in sustainability for the luxury beauty space. REN is continuously the first to go to market with new initiatives whether it’s using PCR or embracing new ways of recycling to minimise the impact on the environment. This is not simply a trend, but a must-have. We put a large amount of resources into looking at our sustainable solutions, and work hand-in-hand with retailers – when it comes to sustainability, we all have to be in it together.

The cross-pollination of brands and experiences continues to grow. What future collaborations do you think would be successful, and why?

We’re always open to partnerships and are excited by the growing fusion between beauty and the health, fitness and wellness industries at the moment. We definitely see this continuing to grow as the increase in our openness to more holistic health and beauty solutions increases. But beyond that, there are no rules anymore…influencers who were once focused solely on beauty have now expanded to fashion, fitness, interiors, etc… This opens up a lot of exciting new doors for partnerships that will reach a new, but engaged, audience.

Vasiliki is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise.

Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 entry deadline has been extended! 

To find out more about entering, visit

Meet Carolina Sandri

creative director, Casa Forma

Carolina Sandri has more than a decade of experience designing and implementing high-end interior design and architecture projects in London and around the globe. Trained as an architect, she established her own architectural business in her native country Brazil before moving to London 15 years ago.

Her passion for design excellence and extensive knowledge of the luxury global market makes it possible for her to transform any client’s aspirations into a truly bespoke luxurious space. Her architectural background gives her a combination of creative design skills with a wide range of technical knowledge.

Carolina is the creative director of the award-winning luxury design studio Casa Forma and is responsible for delivering leading-edge residential schemes for international high-net-worth individuals and property developers.

The Retreat New Delhi / Casa Forma

How do design preferences differ between Brazil and the UK?

Brazil is a hot and tropical place, and it’s well known for architect Oscar Niemeyer’s white concrete buildings. In Brazil designers are freer with their use of colour and more daring in their combinations of different styles, furniture and accessories compared to London. I’ve been working here for more than 15 years, and while a number of new modern buildings with minimalist architecture have been constructed over the last few decades, I would say the classic traditional style is still most appreciated, not only by our UK clients but our clients from abroad. I believe it’s because of this country’s history and strong Victorian design heritage. Of course, every country has its own past in terms of style and elements. There aren’t really typically Brazilian or typically London design preferences. What differs is the tastes and requirements that dictate what’s important to clients and their families’ lifestyles. We design around that.

Country Mansion Surrey / Casa Forma

What is a luxury amenity a client has recently requested?  

We’ve seen many crazy luxury requests! A client in Dubai asked us to design a large circular shark tank and incorporate it into an entertainment space. It was also connected to an outdoor infinity swimming pool – separated by a very thick glass wall, of course! It was meant to hold no more than two sharks. Our team was responsible for the design, but not the installation, so we don’t know how it came out in the end. We were curious how the sharks would look to a person swimming in the bottom of the pool – almost like a scene from a movie. Our tank design also integrated audio, light and sound systems and controls. Most of our clients want the ability to open blinds and control everything in their home just by touching a button.

Kensington Gardens / Casa Forma

Where are your go-to places for finding new materials for your design library?

I go to a lot of industry events such as Decorex, Masterpiece, London PAD and Design Week, which I find great fun. It’s very important to see and hear what our collaborators and suppliers are up to. I use a lot of social media these days. Instagram is especially full of nice suppliers and is an easy way to track new inspirational materials using hashtags. I also really enjoy museums, having been to a lot in the past. Last year I took a client to Masterpiece, which has loads of art, because she wanted to source some pieces. I like to see different kinds of furniture and antique pieces with their own styles. Design Week is a mix of modern and contemporary items. I go to, let’s say, six or seven of them each month. There’s always something going on in London.

The Retreat New Delhi / Casa Forma

How do you stay current with changing design zeitgeists, and how is this reflected in your projects? 

I read a lot of design magazines like Architectural Digest, House and Garden, Elle Décor, as well as online articles, to keep current with tendencies, but I don’t believe in really following trends. There’s nothing wrong about working with the latest trends, but I believe in timeless designs. Styles incorporating neutral colour palettes with textures, layers and well-placed lighting add longevity to my design schemes. This is one of the reasons our clients come to us. They know we’ll design a place they can live in for a long time, maybe changing a few accents and accessories, but the main spaces will be around for five or ten years.

Carolina is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise.

Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 entry deadline has been extended! 

To find out more about entering, visit

Meet Can Tufekcioglu

principal interior designer, Arcadis

Can worked for 15 years in Istanbul before moving to Dubai as principal interior designer for Arcadis. He has been involved in a wide range of multidisciplinary projects ranging from healthcare and offices to residential and educational. He is primarily focused on the technical aspects of the projects; however, his personal preference is for space planning and design.

Fish Market Abu Dhabi / Arcadis

How do interior design practices and tastes differ between Istanbul and Dubai?

I went through a phase of being a super minimalist, that was the style of the practice I worked with a long time ago when I’d just graduated from school in Turkey. And then I came here to Dubai and worked on projects with lots of ornamentation. However, tastes have developed so that modernism now infuses elements inspired by their traditional backgrounds. I love that, because it has character as opposed to what you might envisage as a minimal space in the Western world. Here, it’s very different because it has an Arabic touch. In Turkey, modernism was closer to the Western style with neutral colours. But here, it has a touch of local taste, which is great.

Red Sea Project Coastal Village / Arcadis

Methodologies are definitely different, too, plus it depends whether it’s a small practice of one-to-ten people versus a proper consultancy firm with multi-city locations. They’re worlds apart. If the company is small and it’s a one or two-person job, you just do everything pre- and post-contract yourself without the need to produce much documentation. Everything is in your head. That’s how it is where I come from. Projects don’t need to be that documented or regimented. You can just get away with things, but that also stings you when it’s time for payment, because people take advantage of undocumented services.

Whereas in this part of the world, in the West, or in bigger practices, everything is very documented, regimented, there are milestones and a proper contract. You can’t break it, and if you do, there are implications. I’ve adapted to this system, which I like a lot, because people must bear the consequences of what they say they will do. If you don’t deliver or if you’re not paid for something, there are consequences. I haven’t been to Turkey in 14 years, but from what I hear, things are slowly moving in this direction.

Mirdiff City Center Prayer Rooms – Arcadis

How do your designs support local communities?

I’ve worked on projects in India, Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East, and my role has always been to use design to improve people’s lives. When a designer is involved, the whole idea is to create a better, more comfortable, and functional space. I can’t imagine that anything produced by the design community would be unwelcome unless it was offensive to people’s beliefs or religion. For instance, I worked on the Adobe campus of New York University in Abu Dhabi, which was very welcome because it brought an international approach to education. Another example is the Fish Market in Abu Dhabi, which upgraded the ancient method of displaying fish by arranging it on top of ice dumped onto the floor. We brought the market up to speed in terms of hygiene whilst maintaining their culture and perception of architecture and interiors based on their historical background. We’re currently working on housing for the people who will construct a massive new development in Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea Coastal Village with lower, mid, and high-scale villas and townhouses. Once construction is complete, this accommodation will be converted into housing for the people working in the village.

Fish Market Abu Dhabi / Arcadis

What changes have your clients been asking for in your recent projects: layouts, materials, palettes, etc…?

Arcadis is a consultancy that implements other people’s initial concepts. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have the ability to build a project in another country, so we take on the role of architect of record and develop it towards the construction phase. However, there are also bits of a project we start from scratch. I’ve worked in both capacities throughout my career and see both sides of the process.

The trend is for projects with more natural and subdued palettes as a result of ecological awareness. There’s also a tendency for using different metals such as bronze that become all the rage, but you know, things come and go. I suggest designers take a more holistic, natural approach. There’s also a movement towards open-plan living areas. The bigger the space, the better.

This happens a lot when you have people running a project and making decisions on behalf of other people. But then at last the call goes to the big cheese, who has not necessarily been involved every little step of the way. Suddenly the decision-maker feels something has moved too far away from the initial intent or isn’t what they’d had in mind, and late-stage changes must be made, which is painful as a project consultant. But then of course, there are also changes as far as how space, colours and materials are being used..

Red Sea Project Coastal Village / Arcadis

How do you anticipate artificial intelligence will affect architecture and interior design practices?

I hope it will be a positive leap, but I don’t see it at happening very soon, at least in my part of the world. Everyone wants to design buildings in a BIM environment, but artificial intelligence is usually better for calculation-based things engineers work on that don’t involve personal choice about whether should be black or blue, marble versus rubber flooring, or whatever the preference might be. I can’t see this being used much in interior design at the moment. If somehow it is, I’d be delighted because it takes so much off your plate.

Can is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise.

Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 entry deadline has been extended! 

To find out more about entering, visit

Meet Stella Gittins

co-founder and group director, Accouter Group of Companies

Stella Gittins is the co-founder of Accouter Group of Companies (AGC), London’s fastest-growing portfolio of award-winning international interior design companies. Creating the benchmark in luxury living, Accouter Group of Companies is home to Accouter Design, A. LONDON and BoxNine7 delivering world-class interior architectural and furnishing services to the private clients and the global property market.

With 15 years of experience mentoring and directing diverse teams within the field, Stella has spent the last seven building AGC into one of the best places to work in the property industry, as voted on multiple occasions.

Taking a lead creative role for the group, Stella is responsible for all aspects of the brand and design. She has published four bespoke books that discuss every corner of luxury life and feature the inspirations behind Accouter Design’s schemes and collaborations with iconic brands such as Rolls Royce and William & Son. The fifth publication is due to be launched in 2020.

Chelsea Waterfront

What are some of your secrets for designing a show home that will entice buyers?

There aren’t necessarily secrets, but there’s definitely a method. Designing schemes for private clients in houses they’ll live in themselves is a very different to creating show homes where the ultimate goal is to maximize the value of properties and make them extremely desirable for quick sales or lets. Our job is to ensure buyers or tenants immediately fall in love as soon as they enter.

We are storytellers providing a look into their futures. The easiest way to do that is to develop a design that projects a new lifestyle, spaces that let them imagine how they would live there and utilise each area. We analyse the best characteristics of the location and the kind of lifestyle buyers would expect given these features and the property value. For example, someone buying a property in Chelsea would have different expectations than someone living in trendy Shoreditch: where do they work, where do they shop, what do they read, what do they wear, what do they eat, where do they eat, and what is their social life like? The trick is to imagine who that character is. We brainstorm quite a bit to figure out who the person is that’s going to be walking in the door, and then develop a floor plan accordingly.

Chelsea Waterfront
Chelsea Waterfront

It’s a myth that you need less furniture in small spaces. The best solution is to create zones that each have their own purpose. People walking into a large home might think, “Oh, we don’t need furniture because the house is so big and amazing.” But actually, people get scared thinking about what they’re going to do in every single room. We have to provide ideas for what they’ll be doing so they can imagine how their lives would play out in the property.

We like to bring local elements into the rooms to create suggestions that potential owners or renters might get to know the barista in the independent coffee shop or support the neighbourhood bakery.

It’s also important to make a show home memorable. We don’t like to follow interior trends, not only because they might not be right for the area or the specific property, but also because they might not allow the show home to stand out. When someone spends only a little time in a place and then walks out, there must be something that causes them to remember it. For example, we incorporated many amazing antiques into an historic Chelsea Waterfront property by Lots Road in London, plus there was tailor-made furniture we designed ourselves. In one corner was an organically shaped loveseat that would inspire someone to think it was an amazing space. Or it could be an incredible headboard fabric that catches the eye because it’s just a little bit different.


How is design evolving in response to lifestyle changes?

Without a doubt the biggest influence is sustainability. In fact, we publish a book every year and this time it’s entirely centred around this subject. Everyone is becoming more environmentally conscious, including in their interiors. It’s not just a trend, it’s something for life that people are really becoming quite aware of in their homes’ designs. We use a lot of antiques where we can, and people are getting more into upcycling. Our companies are working towards ISO 14001 accreditation, so we’re looking how furniture is packaged in the warehouse, how can we offset our carbon footprint, our paper usage in the office, all those types of things.

Our book also explores how the luxury market is evolving with Bentley, Lotus and Tesla producing electric cars, not just lower-end manufacturers. Sustainability is also affecting where people go on holiday, whether the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn or the world’s first “energy positive” hotel being built in Norway.

Hexagon Living Room

Interiors and fashion tend to change side by side, with people investing a bit more in higher quality pieces that last over time. Rather than following trends, our designs for private clients are more timeless with items people will keep for generations. Across all our brands, we try to incorporate old forms of craft as well as things made in the UK, for example art by Nat Bowen who layers resin on recycled acrylic. At our Chelsea Waterfront project, she hand painted gold leaf directly onto the walls. It’s an amazing skill to have because she only gets one chance to do it. But again, it’s not mass manufacturing. It’s just her. We also work with Jennifer Manners who designs amazing rugs made from recycled plastic. Our goal is to think about our projects’ environmental impact and how we can make them sustainable, because it’s important to everybody. And if a developer sees this as a selling point, we can also make it part of the marketing brief for a show home. I think we’re going to see this more and more, and it’s something we push them towards.

Other factors include the growth in healthier lifestyles and the need for convenience. I recently designed a five-bedroom property with timber floors so that a room could be changed into a gym in the future. Its ensuite bathroom was designed like a spa, and its landscape contained a Zen garden.

Our market is very international, and our clients may only stay in their London homes from one week to a couple months per year. So we need to think about full turnkey packages for them, including what bed they’ll sleep in, their sheets, their towels. We make sure they have all the elements needed to live in their homes.


How do you feel about young Instagram design stars who have large followings but don’t know how to write a spec?

Ultimately, everyone has to start somewhere, and I have no concerns about people promoting their passions especially if it helps the design industry. I follow some people myself – but there are different tiers to design.

A lot of these Instagram stars are more into styling, which is one of the hardest things to be trained in because it’s subjective. You don’t necessarily need a qualification to be a stylist because some people just have a natural eye. Some of the best designers aren’t always the best stylists.

It is possible to be an Instagram design star who is good at dressing an interior. However, if they want to evolve that passion into a profession, it’s important they have the correct skillset and training behind them. Being an interior designer and interior architect is very technical. I wouldn’t mobilise a team to work with our clients that didn’t have the correct skills or support.

Gasholders Kitchen

When working with developers, you don’t have carte blanche to design whatever you want. What are some examples of when you didn’t get your way, and how did you reach a compromise?

Designers can be very passionate about their designs, and developers can be very passionate about what they want. That’s why the briefing stage is so important. The way we overcome it is to always show clients what they want, because they want to know we can deliver what they asked us to do. But if we are passionate about another direction, we need to share our suggestions and try to inspire them in some way. Then the debate starts. It’s about saying, yes, we can do what you want, but actually, this is what we recommend. We constantly try to encourage clients out of their comfort zones. For example, in a recent show home, the developer was extremely keen to have artwork that reflected the view, while as designers we wanted something that would contrast. The compromise was an abstract piece that hinted at the form of the buildings around the area. Some of the larger developers have a bigger track record and their own “look” because they have a clear idea of their target market. So this is when we go back to basics, have a bit of a debate, and meet somewhere in the middle.

Stella is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise.

Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 entry deadline has been extended! 

To find out more about entering, visit


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