Design & Architecture

In the studio with: Laura Bielecki

Laura Bielecki, Ellington

We discuss her approach to design, encouraging Dubai's art culture through the Ellington Art Foundation and more.

Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · Nov 5th, 2020

Step into an Ellington property, and you know what sets it apart. All of the properties strike an incredible balance between price, design, value and quality. We speak to Laura Bielecki, senior interior design manager at Ellington Properties on maintaining that fine balance through her design approach as well as her work with the newly launched Ellington Art Foundation that puts local artists at the forefront of Dubai's design evolution.

On Designing For Ellington Properties

Laura: Our design approach is about art and design leadership. By bringing both of these elements to the forefront of our projects we are able to create a concept and story that allows the property to be memorable and appealing. Well-thought layouts give our buyers the ability to make the most of their square footage with units that capture light, views, flexibility, circulation, storage and furniture arrangement needs. We pride ourselves on providing ample storage opportunities within kitchens, bathrooms, laundry and wardrobes.

Today’s residents are becoming more familiar with international design trends and manufacturers and are starting to lean more towards contemporary design. It is nice to see that designers’ replicas are less popular while the original pieces are being more and more sought-after. I believe design fairs such as Downtown Design and concept stores like all the showrooms in D3 have really helped put Dubai on the map for originality and quality art. 

Walk-in pantry
Going through drawings

On Her Work With The Ellington Art Foundation

Laura: Design and art are part of Ellington Properties’s DNA. We launched our first project in 2015 wherein we partnered with multiple artists from different backgrounds to create sculptures, wall installations and paintings. Since then, we felt that we need to create a platform that is dedicated to these projects and that’s when the Ellington Art Foundation initiative started. As a home-grown Dubai-based company, we are keen to work with local artists who understand the technical and creative challenges of this cosmopolitan city, Dubai specifically and the UAE in general. The role of the foundation is to encourage and engage local artists and help elevate their visibility in the art sector while bringing our communities to appreciate art towards a further enriched design-led living. My role is to enable creativity and provide direction to these aspiring artists. I work with the foundation to organise various initiatives and offer promising artists a permanent exhibiting space within one of our residential developments.

On Defining Dubai's Design Culture And Choices Of Its Residents

Laura: The beauty as well a challenge in Dubai is its diversity. Dubai is multifaceted in every sense, catering to the increasingly eclectic tastes of its multicultural citizens. International market trends, forecasts from leading interior designers and inspirations from the surroundings has helped us understand the customer and find color and material palettes that are interesting to the residents. We have sold to more than 80 nationalities which is no small feat.

Several of our properties in Dubai feature hard finishes and glossy surfaces and we have focused on celebrating the beach lifestyle with lighter color palettes that make units feel larger and welcoming. Our customers’ refined taste has inspired us to create compelling luxury properties that consistently transcend fashions and trends. Each of our residential development is distinctive and have been tastefully designed to match different lifestyles and needs.

Thoughtful and well-designed spaces give you the backdrop to a better life. Starting with the ability to enjoy cooking or to create different zones for work or play. It is also very important to bring natural light into your home, have cross ventilation and outdoor spaces, as well as the amenities. They provide personal escapes that help the residents enjoy evenings and weekends from home rather than traveling or going to public venues. All these elements have become more desirable and need to be studied further. There is growing demand for larger units with larger kitchens, balconies and terraces.

Living room
Bedroom detail
Reading in the background

On her favorite design brands & spots in the city

Laura: If I could go around stores all day, drooling over their products, it would have to be Caspaiou on Sheikh Zayed Road in Al Quoz, Nakkash Gallery in Dubai Design District (or any other gorgeous D3 showroom!) and Poltrona Frau on Jumeirah Beach Road.

As an avid foodie, I have always loved visiting new restaurants across the city. I am incredibly keen on the Tashas portfolio of restaurants which focus on exquisite design from the interiors to the food. Each Tashas that opens has the same great quality and level of detail, yet surprises with its color palette and on point accessories. Another great new find is The Maine in The Opus, Business Bay. The thoughtful and textural finish palette and dramatic statement chandeliers provide a very sophisticated and warm ambiance that makes me feel welcomed every time I visit.

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