“Design at its heart is about solving problems. This process requires designers to analyze everything from studying the function of the space to implementing the client’s requirement.”

As B+H’s boutique hospitality design studio, CHIL Interior Design believes every brand and location has a unique story to tell through the experiences they create. An art lover and aspiring adventurer, Karoline Rakowska equally values the power of storytelling when it comes to designing spaces that inspire, drive, and excite people. With a keen eye for finishes and extensive experience in hospitality design, Karoline joined our CHIL studio in Hong Kong as the Design Director, Asia in 2019, bringing over twenty years of experience in interior design, leadership and project management. In addition to her well-honed eye and deep knowledge of design, Karoline’s ability to establish a trusting relationship with clients and key stakeholders helps her ensure the successful delivery of projects.

What has attracted the Polish native to embark upon an artistic career path in the design industry? We hosted a Q&A session with Karoline to chat with her about her role and her journey to becoming an interior designer.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your role in CHIL?

I joined the CHIL studio in Hong Kong in 2019 as the Design Director, Asia, and I have been in the interior design industry for over twenty years. I have completed nearly thirty high-end hospitality interior projects across Asia, including internationally renowned luxury 5-star hotels, casinos, clubhouses and residential developments. Apart from leading our teams of interior designers, I like to be involved in all stages of the design process – from developing comprehensive interior design concepts, through producing construction documentation, to handling contract administration.

Q: What inspired you to become an interior designer?

Looking back at my career path, I think my passion for drawing was what sparked my interest in the field of design. Ever since I was little, I have always liked drawing – all I need to entertain myself is nothing more than a pencil, a piece of paper and my imagination. When I was studying in university, I was attracted by the courses offered by the Architecture program. Who would have thought my knack for drawing would help me quickly learn how to draw perspectives and shadow just under a year! I was always aware of good design and throughout my career I have discovered that I am more sensitive to finishes and colors, which drawn me to become an interior designer.

Q: What have influenced you to move to Hong Kong?

After graduating from university with a Master’s degree in architecture and urban design, I began my career as a design architect in my hometown of Warsaw in Poland. But my adventure didn’t stop there as I am an avid traveler. I have traveled extensively throughout Asia along with my husband and we went to places such as India, Nepal. We even backpacked around China by using local transportation! When we finally arrived Hong Kong, we were amazed and we just fell in love with this Asia’s world city, which was why we decided to move to Hong Kong and have lived here for over 18 years.

Q: What do you enjoy most about hospitality interior design?

Perhaps it is the love for travel that drew me into the hospitality design sector in the first place. I like observing how the “fit-out” process is proceeding and engage in the design process from the raw to finish. I think the most exciting part about my work is the initial start of a project when I am engaged in the process of creation, whether it be concept creation or spatial planning. I also think my understanding of space and form from my background in architecture, along with my innate flair for colors, spatial arrangements and textiles helps me to up come with unique design solutions for the clients.