Working as a hospitality designer, I’ve come to realize that our studio itself must always be equipped to handle everything we need to actualize a design. As a designer, there are elements of the office that aid my creative processes. As a style maker, and perfectionist, I consider how the studio evokes collaboration and inspiration.

Today, our studio has an incredible, harmonious, creative energy. But it has not always been that way. We had to design the studio of our dreams to help us create the spaces of our clients’ dreams. Here are some of the essentials I have discovered an interior design studio must have.

Table Lamps

Table lamps are particularly important for focus lighting. We absolutely cannot rely on natural light or overhead lighting. Our job requires precise lighting at all times to see the subtleties in shades and textures of the materials we are using. While windows play a huge role in lighting during the day, we often work late. Placing great lamps at every workstation ensures our ability to effectively and precisely set our designs.

Inspirational Books

Our office is my home away from home. It is often where I gather my ideas and inspiration. Sometimes, I look to blogs or Pinterest for inspiration. Other times, the computer screen can tend to suck out all my creative juices.

That's why I always try to have art design and interior books on hand that spark creativity or inspire different design styles. I love referring to my small design library to visualize details while designing. even from the initial stage of my projects. I keep the library small but diverse. I do not want to be overwhelmed or distracted by books. However, they should provide visions across different design styles in residential, commercial, and retail spaces and they also add to the aesthetic and overall décor of the office!

Copious Drawing Utensils

Depending on the task at hand, we like using different utensils. I find that I get frustrated when my tools limit me. We may use pencils of grades 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B for pencil drafting. However, I sometimes would rather use chalk. Other times charcoal makes better sense to the point of shading contrasts.

There are times when fountain pens, gel pens or ballpoint pens offer me the strength I am looking for. Dry pastels, oil pastels, water color, fuji colors, and permanent markers allow me to express color. The important concept here is to always have different thicknesses and grades of pencils and pens during this process. At the office, we keep all of our pens and pencils in one fixed location, so no one has to go searching for them.

Rulers of All Shapes and Sizes

We find it important to keep a variety of rulers at hand. A compass helps to draw arcs and circles to scale, while T-squares make fast right angles. Parallel rulers ensure perfect parallel lines. The key here is that we spend less time worrying about making our lines straight and more time conceptualizing the design approach.


While technicalities of shape and scale are essential, they kill creativity when you have to focus on them for too long. Having many different rulers on hand just makes life easier. If I do not have the right rulers and drawing utensils, I sometimes rush the process by running straight to the computer. However, I find this takes the intimacy out of the initial draft where I can see my designs flow directly from my hand.

Big Workspaces

Our desks are big, collaborative spaces, that allow us to work together in groups of as many as 5. We recognize that every member of the team has something to contribute. So,  we designed our studio to reflect a collaborative effort. Not only do the large workspaces allow us to put multiple designers on a task, but we can also bring in contractors and client, when not on location. After all, their expertise and visions are just as important. We believe that we must create a culture of collaboration to bring out the best in any project.