Beachroad meet Diana Stellman the Founder and Creative Director of GREYCONCEPT, an interior design studio founded in 2015 from her home and creative space in Downtown Dubai. GREYCONCEPT is not about grey interiors, but a design philosophy that is attentive to individuality.
THE BEACHROAD MAGAZINE Q&A :
NAME? // Diana Stellman.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Consultant with the United Nations in Jordan and Iraq.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Founder and Creative Director at GREYCONCEPT.
WHY DUBAI? // Opportunity.
WHO ARE YOUR FURNITURE / DECOR AND INTERIOR INFLUENCES? // My personal style can be defined as sculptural minimalism, influenced by Vladimir Keagan, Bauhaus and Nordic design.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START GREY CONCEPT STUDIO AND ANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY? // GREYCONCEPT materialized in an attempt to channel my creative energy after years in the corporate world. The biggest fear at the beginning was not knowing how the world is going to perceive my work and if I will ever get that first break to prove what I am capable of. At the end of the day, you are only as great as your clients and the opportunity they give you to grow.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECT? // It is hard to single out a favorite, although, my own space is high on the list. It is a life-sized, multifaceted mood board, in a constant state of flux. It’s where I redefine my design aesthetic, and where the ‘magic’ is conceived, tested and refined before it materializes on the client presentation boards.
INTERIORS ASIDE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Architecture, Contemporary Art and Photography.
WHAT INTERIOR / FURNITURE STORES ARE YOU A FAN OF IN DUBAI? // ikonhouse and The Bowery Company.
GLOBALLY WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM INTERIOR DESIGN STUDIO BE? // Copenhagen, Denmark.
WHAT IS THE BEST INTERIOR DESIGN LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED? // Allow your client to ‘own’ their space. The only way you can achieve an authentic livable interior is to subtly guide individuals into finding their own version of comfort and style.
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY DESIGNER ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // Architect and interior designer Joseph Dirand.
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO EAT, SHOP AND SOCIALISE IN DUBAI? // I naturally gravitate towards D3 and Alserkal Avenue. I connect with these places on so many levels, and each helps satisfy my craving for contemporary art, design and architecture. Molecule is a current favorite.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Art.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Monotony.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Breaking out of nursery at the age of 3.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // My son. His raw personality and unrefined view on life is profoundly inspiring.
YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST? // It’s a long list of artists and photographers, but I am currently fascinated by the work of Daniel Diaz-Tai.
YOUR FAVOURITE CLOTHING BRAND? // COS.
IF YOU WERE NOT RUNNING GREY CONCEPT STUDIO WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? // Photography.
IF YOU COULD OWN ANY PIECE OF ARTWORK WHAT WOULD IT BE? // ‘Morning’, a sculpture by Edward Falkenberg.
WHAT IS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // An oversized terrazzo tray.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION? // A vase designed by Hanne Willmann for Menu, Copenhagen. It was the first prominent piece I got as a designer. Crafted of raw concrete and glass, it is quintessentially minimalistic and reflective of my design philosophy.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Do not conform.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT? // Creative brain overload.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Perfectionism.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // A sense of entitlement.
YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIES? // Sumbarine and Café Society.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? // Alison Brie.
FAVOURITE MUSIC // Jazz, Indie and Classical.
LAST RECORD / DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // ‘Tearing Me Up’ by Bob Moses.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // ‘What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School’ by Mark McCormack.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // ‘The Kinfolk Entrepreneur’ by Nathan Williams.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Getting lost at a crowded market in Iraq.
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // London. A former home, something in this city’s magnetism keeps pulling me back.
LEAST FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // An overcrowded Dubai Mall on a scenic Friday afternoon.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Walking.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Urban.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // My 3-year-old holding adult conversation.
WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // Super Bowl commercials.
YOUR MOTTO / MESSAGE? // Do what is meaningful to you as if you know you wouldn’t fail.