Design is not just about picking out furniture or the colour of your walls, wood and tiles. Design is personal. It’s about creating a feeling. When you walk into a space, no matter the space, that feeling should be elation; whether commercial, residential, a restaurant or an office, the space should conjure good thoughts and positive energy. Aline Karouta, an architectural designer and owner of AK Designs, full-heartedly believes that when you walk into a space she has designed, you should feel good! Design for her is not just one thing; it is realising a vision and bringing it to life.
For 20 years, Aline has been working as an architectural designer. Her passion for design is evident in all her projects, and most of her clients have come from referrals. It’s hard not to be impressed with her work; she transforms spaces, bringing to life her client’s vision.
Her career started with one home interior design. This home then opened international doors for her, from villas in Saudi Arabia and offices in Kuwait to homes in Jordan and an office space for a banana farm in Ghana. She came to Lagos in March 2019 with a mission to transform the Blowfish Hotel, and transform it she has. The Blowfish Hotel, comprising the hotel, a couple of restaurants and pool area, is now a destination for dining and entertainment. Her vision for the space was to create a tropical oasis in Africa, incorporating a monumental and profound mural on the entire facade of the building overlooking the modern pool. The pool was redesigned with functionality in mind, making the space easily convertible for any occasion. The La Veranda Restaurant, overlooking the pool and with the best view of the entire hotel, has also been updated to a contemporary Italian restaurant, transporting you to any luxury destination in the world.
Her work has allowed her to travel to design hubs all around the world, keeping up with all the design expos and trends. But her focus with her work is to make sure she enhances her client’s vision. In doing so, she gets to know her client really well, as building a trust between them is her priority. If it’s a home redesign she wants to know everything about the client, including their hobbies, their habits and their favourite things to do when at home, almost as if she’s courting them. She designs their space to fit their lives, in fact, and to enhance their lifestyle. Her designs add value, not only in homes, but in all spaces. No matter the vision for the space, it is her job to carry out that vision, from design to execution. She doesn’t believe that your budget should restrict your dream, so she works around any budget, creatively finding ways to adapt.
Her move to Lagos has inspired her. Notably the culture, art and people have influenced her designs and made her fall in love with the city. This has propelled her work to transform even more spaces, from restaurants and lounges to offices, guest houses and personal homes. She believes in using the local resources, from contractors to materials and artists, as much as possible, unless imported materials and furniture are specifically requested. Aline believes in building relationships at all levels, from the people she works with to the people she works for.
AK Designs is turning dreams into reality, one space at a time.
AK Designs by Aline Karouta
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