The Yak got down low on a comfy sofa, and chatted with a number of Bali’s top Architects cum Interiors/Concept specialists…Those bricks, mortar and design experts…
Your name, your business and which projects (on and off Bali) have you been involved with?
Caroline Usher UBD design studio
Double Six Lobby
Westin Nusa Dua
The Edge Resort – CAVE
Malibu Beach Club
Bali Mandira Resort
Q’La New Delhi, India
The Forge Gastro Pub
East West Palms Co.
Private Residential projects
What was it that drew you to Interior Design?
My imagination and ability to visualize the design, then implement it into reality.
What /who were your main influences when you started out in this profession?
Here in Bali, it would have to be Will Meyrick, he gave me the first break and I ended up designing Mama San, which turned out to be world famous.
What other professions had you gone through before cushioning into this one?
A long movie career around the world.
How long have you dedicated yourself in designing “what’s on the inside”?
So far all of my life, since I can remember! Vivid imagination and drifting between my own world and the one I’m living.
What do you think sets you/your company apart from others?
UBD’s projects are set amongst the best here, most certainly in hospitality F&B. We understand the constraints of how hospitality operations need to work, and working closely with Chefs. We are now also venturing into luxury residential, so all super exciting. Also, the ability to create unique concept designs for our Clients is key, rather than designing what we want. We take the Client’s brief and go for it!
Do you/your company have an interior design mantra? A tagline?
Solutions! There are always solutions and every project we are forever finding solutions because each project is completely different, therefore untold solutions are sought to implement our beautiful designs.
We don’t want to know the name but who (client) or what (venue) was the biggest challenge – actually, we just want the why! Why was it so challenging?
Still in development, we are designing an interior of a living Cave, creating the ambience and concept design whilst not obstructing the natural beauty of stalactites that are millions of years old. This is a big challenge and one that is unique to the world!
Best project ever?
I have a list, BUT our best project is coming, really soon as it turns out, so watch our world, we have something very different heading your way.
Who would be your dream client?
We have the dream Client now, he is absolutely divine to work with, he understands visual meaning, so when we meet up, we are both speaking the same language. He wants the very best, he trusts us and isn’t trying to cut the budget down or second guess us, it is really a very wonderful experience working with him.
Better question, if you/your company were calling the shots, what criteria would make that client a dream client?
Provide a budget, if you want quality be prepared to pay for it, if you want cheap say so from the get go.
Pay properly and pay on time, behave in a respectful manner with the design team.
Be sure about what you want so you won’t end up paying more down the track and feeling resentful.
Make sure there’s a trustworthy PM on your project to communicate with you, the design team, contractor and other consultants.
How big was your biggest project?
The Westin 1500 m2. Massive project design and development, unfortunately COVID happened, so we do not think this project will be realized for some time, if ever.
Which was your smallest?
Our smallest is currently a secret as it is in development, let’s just say we are working with our other favourite Client right now from Mauri, so very very cool, cannot wait for the development to start.
Which do you prefer – private or commercial properties?
Ask us this question again in 2 years when we finish the residential project. We do love commercial projects as we are very experienced and have an incredible portfolio to show however, when the right client comes along and wants a design that is literally left field and exceptional, we will go for it.
Hotels, malls or resorts?
Resorts – boutique, luxury, special.
How big is your own house? And how much of “you” did you bring into that space?
Am living in a small 2 bed bungalow that has a lot of character, very European with tons of artwork and pieces – you could say rather cluttered. I love living there and it is ever evolving.
Any renovations, or builds, within your own space that you wish to share?
Well, I’ve just designed and installed a new kitchen so it has transformed the interior massively. Porcelain ceramic counter tops, bar, Blum hardware and quality kitchen equipment.
Representing UBD at awards ceremonies and being recognized in the world through our designs. It is always a team effort and we can all feel proud of our achievements.
What is on your Interior design bucket list?
This hasn’t changed from the last time you guys asked me! Designing interiors for private jets and super yachts.
And lastly if The Yak had a project and was looking for an interior designer why would we choose you / your company?
Because we’re worth it! 😉 Our experience speaks volumes and of the talent and creativity within our studio. We are very connected throughout Indonesia and we are quite simply awesome humans who will go every step and beyond to give our clients the very best our creative minds can.
Caroline, It’s been a pleasure – Thank you for your time…