Alex Velkova, creative director and designer, on creating interiors that embody the love for feeling at home
The Lake House is an interior design studio like no other in Bulgaria. Established in early 2021 by mother and daughter Manuela and Alex Velkovi, it offers more than design of luxury modern interiors. The Lake House is a place where you can leave to the professionals the whole process of the design, repair, overhaul and furnishing of your new home, plus the organisation of moving all your personal possessions in it, your favourite slippers included. When partnering with the ladies from The Lake House, your mind is calm and clean of needless worries and the zillion problems, both big and small, that inevitably appear when refurbishing and moving homes is concerned. All you have to do is meet Manuela and Alex, decide on the design and then enjoy your new home with its comfort, cosiness and feel for luxury.
Alex Velkova, creative director and designer at The Lake House, shares more.
How did The Lake House appear?
As so many exciting new things that we now take for granted, The Lake House was born from the lack of a service that we personally, as clients, needed. Interior design services in Bulgaria are standardised and we wanted something more: a detailed, dedicated service that required not only interior designers, but also project management in full. Basically, we wanted to buy time. No-one on the market was ready and prepared to offer this to us.
Apartment in a gated community, Sofia: The layout was completely transformed after The Lake House consultation and recommendation. The spacious, impressive living room spreads on on 60 sq.m, with the kitchen as the space focal point
On the other hand, design has always been a part of our lives and interior design is a personal passion of ours.
This was how we decided to combine the two: the lack of a service on the market and our passion. We created The Lake House as a place where clients can buy time they would rather spend on their work, hobby or personal life, not on activities such as dealing with construction workers, deciding which shade of white would be best for their living room and how to choose the best china for their new dining room. Furthermore, moving and arranging personal items have always been the greatest pain for newhomers. We, at The Lake House, are the professionals who take care of all those problems best. Why bother our clients with these?
What is in a nutshell the main goal of The Lake House?
The Lake House business model and idea is to offer not only interior design, but care for all the processes that inevitably take place afterwards. Yes, the designing stage is fun and full of enthusiasm and positive emotions, but the crucial part of the process begins afterwards, during the realisation.
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We, at The Lake House, take care of this. We meet our clients in the initial stage of interior design, when all we have are bare walls and architectural plans. Together with the clients we choose on the layout, the colour scheme, the fabrics and materials, the furniture and coverings. Then we tell them: Okay, leave the rest to us. Our next meeting is when their home is finished and they are ready to settle in, bringing only their purse. They do not need more, as at that point their clothes are in the wardrobes and their slippers await them by the door.
A brave idea. What was your clients' initial reaction?
Bulgaria is a small market oversupplied with interior design professionals. But The Lake House had a terrific start and is expanding with a speed we did not expect.
Our clients were not even aware that they needed our services. The first of them was rather sceptical at the beginning, but eventually decided to give us a try. Currently, we are working on our third project together. All of our clients so far have opted for our full service, which includes both interior design and full project management. They value our ability to save them their time and nerves. Moreover, we, at The Lake House, offer a full guarantee for everything we have done, so they can have their peace of mind that we are there for them if needed.
Fadata Office: Looking to the future and The Lake House's understanding of an office space, meeting the principles of agile work space and bringing nature into the interior. Open-space culture and separated workspaces belong to the past
What is your greatest challenge?
The Lake House started working on its first project in February 2021, just during the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, we have never had any delays of materials or furniture, which has been the greatest challenge in our industry during the past two years.
Our biggest promise to our clients is the aim to finish every project in just 6-8 months. Sadly, in Bulgaria it often takes much longer before moving into a new home, which robs the experience of its excitement. The initial design concepts also inevitably age before clients finally get to their new home.
Our goal is a challenging one, but as design is our passion, we perceive it not as work, but as an outlet for our creative energy. We are obsessed with the idea of creating beautiful and timeless designs through the ease of everyday comfort. We want our clients to feel at the right place.
What is luxury interior for you at The Lake House?
Luxury is less about money and expensiveness, but more about the right details and combination of objects in a harmonious whole. Luxury is a state of mind.
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Our initial idea was to introduce on Bulgarian soil a different understanding of high-class interior, one that is not dominated by the omnipresent Italian style. We travel a lot and have significant personal experience with British and American high-end interior design; we aim to educate our clients on it. Luckily, we have been successful so far. Once they become aware of non-European trends, they embrace their aesthetics and feel.
I am happy and proud that so far none of our clients has refused or redrafted our initial designs.
What defines American luxury interior design?
For some years now the American market, which is the biggest property market in the world, has gone crazy over Modern Farmhouse and California Coastal designs. We add Transitional, too.
These types of interiors are simultaneously modern and timeless. They use a lot of wood, combined with black metal, brass, a white and neutral colour scheme, and natural materials and fabrics. Traditional elements such as traditional kitchens and furniture are combined with more modern and clean-lined pieces. Linen and wool fabrics are a must, panel work and plenty of woven accessories bring in a feel of cosiness.
Bathroom reconstruction, Pravets: A favourite project of The Lake House. The designers opened a whole wall and turned it into a window. Now the inhabitants can enjoy the view
When the project requires it, we also mix styles. We did a villa in Greece, for example, that combines elements of Modern Coastal and Modern Farmhouse styles.
For what people is The Lake House studio?
The Lake House is for busy people who cherish their time and find at their home the tranquility, cosiness and quiet they need at the end of a stressful day at work. Who want to turn their home into an oasis, a sanctuary where they can escape from everything.
We make interiors because we love what home feels like. We simply want to share this feeling with our clients.
Sofia, 102 Bulgaria Blvd. Bellissimo Business Centre, office 12
phone: +359 899 932 223
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