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Guest Edit: Ella Bridgland

ART | interior design | AN ARTISTS ROLE IN A HOME
Guest Edit:
Ella Bridgland
Interior design | Art
Guest Edit:
Ella Bridgland

This week, we spoke with interior designer Ella Bridgland of Studio Ella, who reveals her personal design philosophy, her best kept secret in design — and her favourite artwork picks on AucArt.

This week, we spoke with interior designer Ella Bridgland of Studio Ella, who reveals her personal design philosophy, her best kept secret in design — and favourite artwork picks on AucArt.

Can you briefly describe your own personal design philosophy at Studio Ella?

My work explores the dialogue between art, aesthetics, place and people. I’m drawn by the elegance of simple, geometric forms, arranged in ways that make sense. Substance is important and I believe that the best interiors have depth, purpose, and personality. Guided by this ethos, I strive to create spaces that are not just visually striking, but that are also authentic and contextual.

What’s your thought process like when you’re incorporating art into a space?

Art is an integral component of our projects and processes. From the very inception, I consider the interplay between art and space, and I firmly believe that neither can flourish without the other. Art possesses the transformative power to completely define an environment and the experiences within it. I see it as my ultimate
tool. When approaching space, I’m driven architecturally by proportions, scale and geometry and the incorporation of art is an extension of that. Works are meticulously selected and arranged to create emphasis, hierarchy, introduce tension through juxtaposition, or to build a dialogue that evokes a mood or feeling.

Photography by Simon Schilling

How do you get an idea or feel for your client’s tastes and needs when choosing the artwork, furnishings, and accessories for a home?

To begin, we listen. We spend time getting to know our clients’ behaviour, their rituals and habits, from the books they read to how they like their coffee. Through these conversations, we gain a deep understanding of our clients’ idiosyncrasies. This is crucial in shaping not only the functional brief, but also an understanding of their own taste and aspirations. We then define a visual language and aesthetic that permeates every facet of the project. When designing a home, our focus is always on building a narrative that truly encapsulates the character of our client. We don’t believe in applying ‘concepts’ and strive to create an interior that feels authentic and timeless. We believe strongly in living with art and we explore how to make sense of the clients (former or future) collection within the domestic setting of a home, creating an experience that is cohesive and engaging, but also ‘liveable’. It is one thing admiring a painting in a museum, but another to wake up to it everyday.

Do you collect art or any kind of objects yourself? If you consider purchasing a piece, what kind of things do you look for?

Although I am highly opposed to clutter, my home has hardly any empty walls. People often think of their home as a sanctuary, but within it, you experience a wide array of emotions and the art on my walls certainly reflects that. The works all serve a purpose; some are calming and others provocative, which is why the placement is important and I move things around a lot. A collection, like an interior, has to live and breathe, and is constantly in flux. It is cyclical, as are the seasons and our lives, and that makes a space feel real and exciting. When buying art, I follow no hard rules and although provenance is a factor, I can tell instantly if something feels good and generally go with that. I never doubt my instinct.

Photography by Simon Schilling

How would you describe the kind of art that excites you?

An understanding and devotion to a medium is really important to me. Having collaborated with numerous skilled artisans and craftspeople, I am drawn to artists that really know their materials and process, who have a confidence of hand and application. To this end, I find a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works really exciting at the moment, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney has a devoted new wing designed by Japanese firm SANAA, and artists that have been in the shadows, are now at the forefront. I admire the devotion and depictions of land and place.

Are there any design trends you’re spotting this year?

Trends by definition are transient, and one of my jobs is to see through them and to discern what will endure. But it is certainly true that people are spending more time in their homes and that these spaces are having to work harder than ever before. We are often designing multifunctional spaces that are social yet intimate, formal but relaxing. We want it all.

Your best kept secret in design (that you’d be willing to share)

Data is pivotal. A design can be aesthetically pleasing, but if it’s uncomfortable or ill-fitted to its location, it fails. Ergonomics and functionality are at the forefront of good design. Do thorough research and never leave home without a tape measure.

A collection, like an interior, has to live and breathe, and is constantly in flux. It is cyclical, as are the seasons and our lives, and that makes a space feel real and exciting.

UK Residence by Studio Ella

A collection, like an interior, has to live and breathe, and is constantly in flux. It is cyclical, as are the seasons and our lives, and that makes a space feel real and exciting.

Studio Ella Art Bench

Artwork Picks from Ella

Figures Study N8 (Small), 2022

Dry pigment and binder on canvas

Ornamets, 2023

Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and pastel on canvas

Czech Lion No. 1, 2018

Acrylic spray paint and oil on canvas

Subtle, 2022

Acrylic on canvas

yoyo Koh

Nothing Special, 2020

Oil on canvas

jade Ching-yuk ng

Healing, 2021

Caran d’ache on paper in painted engraved frame

Artwork Picks from Ella

Subtle, 2022

Acrylic on canvas

Figures Study N8 (Small), 2022

Dry pigment and binder on canvas

Ornamets, 2023

Oil, acrylic, spray paint, and pastel on canvas

Czech Lion No. 1, 2018

Acrylic spray paint and oil on canvas

Studio Ella creates art-led spaces that are deeply personal and highly expressive. Spanning interior architecture, bespoke design and art consultation, the Studio works across a diverse range of residential and commercial projects.

Bound by a passion for craftsmanship, Studio Ella believes in honesty and quality. In good things that are made well. In the beauty of functionality and the power of precision. Driven by an intuitive aesthetic, rich with cultural influences, the Studio’s philosophy results in timeless, contextual spaces that directly relate to their environment and the people that use them. Studio Ella is led by Ella Bridgland. Before founding the studio, she achieved a first-class degree in Architecture and worked in London for the prestigious practices John McAslan + Partners, Tom Dixon, and Studio Ashby.

After relocating to Hong Kong in 2017, she led the studio as an Associate for one of Asia’s top design firms, Joyce Wang Studio. With over a decade of experience working on a range of global projects, Ella has worked with world-class clients such as Knight Dragon, Maybourne Hotel Group, Accor, Native Land, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Chow Tai Fook, Black Sheep Restaurant Group, Dining Concepts, Westbank, Six Senses, Hyatt Group, Virgin Atlantic, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Jackalope Group along with many private clients.

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