Designers 7: Antonia Bates

Meet Antonia Bates from Studio Nu! 

Antonia and her partner have recently relocated from the UK to Dubai and brought their knowledge and experience in interior design to the UAE. Their interior design company Studio Nu helps guide people to live an impactful and inspired life through SCALE methodology they use to transform their surroundings. 

I asked Antonia 7 questions to get to know her a bit better and learn about her job as an interior designer. She is a bit of an expert in hygge and Scandi style!

  • How would you describe your design style?

I am heavily influenced by the Scandinavian style and that stems back from my Scandinavian heritage. Growing up in a Danish home and visiting my family in Denmark, I was always in awe by their interiors. I loved how they made me feel, how they were always very welcoming and calm, yet also had moments of interest throughout with fun accessories and artwork. I have some very fond memories growing up and the interiors I had been surrounded by had a huge influence on this.

I grew up with the word hygge; this was used in our everyday lives and I remember teaching my friends about it whenever they came over. This was years before it became a big trend and plastered all over social media! Therefore, it feels so natural for me to create functional spaces which have a sense of warmth and personality for all our clients.

I also love how the Scandinavian style can be adapted in many ways too. It generally has a neutral colour palette so it allows for personality to be added to create a unique space. I love how you can create a modern/streamline Scandi look, as well as more of a rustic Scandi look - both look amazing!

  • From your point of view, is interior design an art or a science?

Both! When designing spaces for our clients, we are trying to capture a particular feeling and meaning within the space. I believe it starts with science; from understanding peoples behaviour, knowing how certain environmental cues and psychology behind colour theory can evoke a positive or negative feeling and for us at Studio Nu, looking at our bespoke formulas to increase productivity.

Interior design is very subjective, but having an eye for what actually works together is essential. Decorating the space with accessories and artwork that compliment the furnishings to achieve a certain aesthetic is an art.

  • When designing a room what is the most important factor for you?

A space needs to be beautiful, however it is essential it’s functional and usable too. This means having enough storage, considering traffic flow and allowing as much light in as possible (using the correct colour lighting) in order for you to be able to complete the tasks the room was made for.

  • Tell us something unusual that has happened in your career.

A client wanted a modern house but one of the rooms was to be a time warp. They didn’t want it to match the rest of the house we designed, so one bedroom juxtaposed the entire project and took them back to 1960’s England!!

  • If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?

I love working on family homes, so I’d create a space that is beautiful and inspiring. I would use lots of marble, lots of glass to allow as much light in as possible, and create a big open area downstairs which has different zones for large families and friends to be able to socialise in.

  • How do you know when interior design is “good”?

Other than a functional space, I believe when everything in the room either compliments or contrasts with one another perfectly, and there’s a sense of cohesiveness throughout, that’s when you know interior design is “good”.

We have actually created a bespoke 12 step space assessment which covers important elements within interior design that we feel needs to be considered in order for a space to be perfect. We go to our clients homes and analyse these areas before giving them feedback through a bespoke document outlining their results.

  • Give us one foolproof piece of advice in home decorating.

When home decorating, its important to portray your personality. Your home is an extension of you, so by adding in sentimental items that you have fond memories of is a great way to make your home more interesting and create a sense of warmth and meaning. This could be an accessory from a place you’ve travelled to, or displaying your grandmothers cookbooks in the kitchen!


Studio Nu

Have a look at their Free Resources page, useful guides and templates for downloading.