The Room Studio’s founder and creative director Maayan Gossat is from “all over”: raised, educated and resident at one time in locations as far flung as the United States, Australia and Israel. After making the jump from finance to interiors when she settled in Hong Kong, Gossat tells Square Foot about being happy to offer up services that don’t demand knocking down walls.
Profile – How did you get come to interiors?
I initially worked in economics and tax-related fields, and I was dabbling with decorating because it’s a passion. I was doing quite a few houses when I was still in Israel and I made the switch when I moved to Hong Kong. I’m not a designer, I define myself a decorator. I make changes within the walls. I way I work is to come in and meet with a client. Sometimes they want to do two rooms, sometimes a whole house. This is where my finance background comes in handy. I’m very structured — bullet point emails, the whole deal. [Laughs] But I find it very clear for clients and for myself, for budget and for expectations.
Philosophy – Is there a designer whose work you really admire or a particular element you find grounds your work?
I love materials. I’m obsessed with upholstery. Having said that, most of the time clients have their own ideas. I try very hard to bring in my style. I like to think there’s a reason a client picks me, but at the same time I try to really enhance what they find beautiful. In terms of my style I really like Madeline Weinrib. She’s really tribal but modern, with bright colours. I also like Angie Hranowsky, Christian Liaigre and Kelly Hoppen. I like to keep things interesting while working with the client. I don’t like very stark spaces, but I don’t like it too busy either. Keep simple lines, use colour but don’t get carried away.
Past Projects – What’s your favourite work of your own?
I love doing kids’ rooms. I was considering branding myself as a nursery specialist but I didn’t want to niche myself off. While working on nurseries it’s really acceptable to use colour and creativity to the limit, which is very different when designing the rest of the house. You can use all sorts of fabrics, paint pictures… it’s great. I love nurseries.
Trends – What are you noticing in the way of style patterns? Anything jump out?
I think a lot of retro is popping up here, which I find surprising. IFC Palace theatre bookshop, for example, has all this retro furniture in it, as do quite a few other places, but it’s eclectic. It’s not necessarily a whole room, but there are [accents]. Scandinavian also. And that’s translating to homes. But people are really diverse in their tastes. Some love Parisian neo-classical with the curvy gold … others want funky and modern. But everything here is so new, it’s like The Jetsons. So overall there’s a trend towards a more classical, European style.
Wish List – What’s on your ‘To do’ list?
I would love to do more nurseries and maybe a serviced apartment, even though I focus on residential. I would like to work with agencies that are relocating people and families who want a more comprehensive, hands-on approach. Basically, I would like to assist people in Hong Kong who would like to make their home an amazing place to be but need a bit of assistance in doing so.