Follow your passion no matter the cost

Yasmine Samarasinghe in conversation with Lashani Ramanayake

From a childhood spent collecting pictures of rooms in IKEA catalogues and designing Barbie houses, through a detour into academics and investment banking, Yas-mine Samarasinghe’s path to follow her creative passion is proof that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.
While each project is special and an accomplishment in its own right, the memory of one of her first in Sri Lanka is especially unforgettable. This project was her own studio, which she designed when embarking on a full-time career in design. Her work reflects the values she and her team uphold, and these range from re-specting people to integrity when dealing with stakeholders.

Q: How would you describe the importance of interior design?
A: Creating the best interior aesthetic you can is a sign of respect for a space for those who live there, and also a form of gratitude. Pinterest-worthy interiors come at a cost and not everyone has that luxury.
However, keeping things clean, tidy and organised can also be a way of upholding these values.
An interior that’s well designed offers a superior living or working experience above one which is not. A well laid out space impacts one’s senses and wellbeing when the balance is right because the senses are at ease.
Q: What aspects should homeowners bear in mind when creating a home?
A: The most important characteristic to balance is the functionality of a home and its aesthetics. One may often focus on one or the other but to balance it well allows for a well functioning space that also provides joy through the sensory experience.

Q: How were design and architecture impacted by COVID-19, and what can we expect going forward?
A: One of the main lessons we carry forward from the coronavirus pandemic in terms of design is the importance of functional spaces – i.e. the ability to keep it sani-tised. This is an aspect we always considered; but now, it has taken on a whole new meaning.
Another aspect that concerned us was a client’s ability and willingness to spend on interiors in these difficult economic times. Design teams such as ours have used this opportunity to introduce affordable interiors to cater to those who still wish to use services such as ours but in a manner that works in the present time.

Q: What are the top global design trends and how are these adapted locally?
A: From an interior perspective there are several trends such as colours of the year, mixing of metals, multifunctional spaces and use of curved furniture to name a few.
However, the overarching trend is the need to incorporate more sustainability in designing and working with ethical sources. This isn’t always easy for a studio working with very tight budgets but it’s certainly something that is fundamental to what we do and must constantly improve upon.