Whether you’ve just put down a deposit on your first-ever home or are a dozen acquisitions into the investing game, prettying up one’s living space is never a bad choice. Well-designed rooms can help shore up resale value, and if the property in question is one which you actually plan on living in — well, then personalisation is nothing short of essential. To stimulate your inner decorator, take a look at 10 of the best interior designers and architects currently working below.
Adam D. Tihany
Tihany is the award-winning Romanian interior designer behind such pioneering hotels as The Breakers in Palm Beach and Belmond Cipriani. Additionally, he’s equally celebrated for his hospitality projects — including Chef Richard Ekkebus’s recently renovated Amber restaurant in Hong Kong. Tihany’s lofty, warmly tinted spaces have won him no shortage of acclaim. Among other celebrities, Thomas Keller is a fan — the award-winning chef has collaborated with Tihany on numerous occasions since 1980, notably on the former’s three Michelin-starred destination Per Se.
For design enthusiasts in Asia, Fu’s name is one that is virtually inescapable. In many ways considered to be one of the most sophisticated designers working in the region, the Cambridge-schooled architect is best known for his work on the iconic Upper House property, completed in 2010. Since then, Fu has gone on to refine a design style which blends modernist architecture with Asian-influenced decoration. In recent years, Fu has also launched his own line of homewares — meant to complement the work he’s doing in the structural field.
The one-time gallerist to Dame Zaha Hadid now serves a clientele which reads as a ‘who’s who’ of the international jet set, having honed a covetable decorating style which marries Baroque scale with a pop art sensibility. Ever the multi-disciplinarian, Sultana’s residential projects are invariably inspired by his background in fine and contemporary art.
The “Grande Dame of West Coast interior design” possesses a creative footprint that stretches from Texas to California, oscillating between chic hotels and private projects for shadowy (mostly celebrity) clients. Notable projects include any of the stylish accommodations under Proper group, including the U.S. hotelier’s eponymous new digs in Austin.
After graduating from Hongik University’s prestigious College of Fine Arts, Korean designer Kwangho Lee decided to set up shop locally in Seoul. For over a decade, from the happening district of Seongsu-dong, he’s been ginning up ‘materially experimental’ design objects: ranging from vaguely Lovecraftian, textile covered lighting appliances to characterful side tables (pictured above) that have been influenced by traditional Korean arts & crafts.
In the 15 years since Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu established their eponymous architectural firm, both have become significant forces within China’s growing collective of internationally recognised design talent. From The Shanghai EDITION to Bloomberg’s stunning regional HQ in Hong Kong, Neri brings a very recognisable style to all of his projects — blurring the distance between users, collective spaces and the overarching structured within which both reside.
Norman Robert Foster
Despite the stately age of 84, Pritzker Laureate Norman Foster remains one of the most prolific, active British architects working today. Design enthusiasts probably best know him for commercial landmarks like The Gherkin (i.e. 30 St Mary Axe, London), but the award-winning architect’s social media feed is full of useful examples of good design — whether that takes the form of sculptural chairs or a gull-wing Mercedes-Benz.
Although Lissoni came to prominence in Asia for his work on the undulating louver-clad exteriors of The Middle House, the Italian architect boasts a critically beloved interdisciplinary practice that goes back to 1986 (the year he founded Lissoni Associati alongside fellow designer Nicoletta Canesi). In particular, Lissoni has produced an impressive array of home furniture over the years: including his signature ‘Edamame’ chaise and a series of rodded aluminium tables designed in collaboration with Living Divani.
Already considered a darling of the Aussie fashion set — with profiles in Vogue Living and WISH Magazine — Sydney-based designer Tamsin Johnson is fast becoming an international sensation thanks to her clean, luminous, meticulously comfy interior decorating style. In spite of her signature ‘look’, Johnson is careful to practice a restrained, contextual approach when working with private clients — big on heirlooms and light on trends.
‘Whimsical’, ‘sensory’, ‘narrative’ — these are words you’ll habitually hear used when describing the work of interior designer Tony Chi. The Taiwanese-born hotel wunderkind has been contributing steadily to the medium for over 20 years; and has been instrumental in reshaping the idea of hotels as a luxury destination. For a closer look at his award-winning approach to designing desirable interior spaces, see the hotel coverage over at our sister website Lifestyle Asia.