Roomzly – The Dream Come True
Roomzly’s interior design studio is a joint project of two young and talented women, each of whom invests her own special talent into the common cause. Roxana and Olesya combine their consistency and creativity in the project. They told Premiere magazine about their desire to solve the problem of a shortage of well-designed and made interiors – not only in Cyprus, but also beyond.
What brought you to the sphere of interior design?
Olesya: I spent most of my life in St. Petersburg. The architecture of this city’s museums and palaces has always served me as a source of inspiration. Plus, travelling to European capitals, unusual hotels, beautifully designed shops and flea markets gave me a lot of ideas on how to decorate the house. I always brought something with me and changed my own living space. I also often helped my friends to improve their interiors, which brought joy to both them and me. So, I was a hobby decorator.
After receiving my first education in Economics and having worked in the field of finance, I realised that a passion for beautiful interiors would not leave me and decided to study design. I graduated from the International School of Design and then the School of Decor in St. Petersburg. Almost immediately, through friends and acquaintances, came the first customers. So, my love for beautiful spaces turned into a profession. I opened my own office, where I have been creating interiors for almost ten years…and, when moving to Cyprus, I clearly understood that I wanted to definitely continue to do what I loved.
Roxana: My family has been in the construction business for as long as I can remember, so I had the opportunity to gain experience in this field from an early age, but, at that time, I decided for myself that I would not follow the same career path that my parents were following. However, life sometimes turns in a rather unexpected way, and returns us to our roots. I studied in the UK, where I graduated from the university and also received a Masters of Business Administration from the Warwick Business School. Having worked in the field of technology, eventually, I took up a career in finance, moving to beautiful Swiss landscapes. Working in the banking sector in Zurich, I began to show an interest in development and invested some of my money in several residential projects. It was then, during my first amateur steps in the field of construction and design, I sincerely fell in love with this area, which allowed us to combine a creative approach and a clear organisation of the process. Then, I began to work closely with local and foreign interior designers and I really liked it. Some of my counterparts from England, India and Indonesia that I met at this time became my friends. With many of them, we are still working. When I started spending more time in Cyprus, I immediately saw a clear gap in the market for high-quality construction and interior design services, so I decided to focus on this niche.
How did your joint company appear?
Roxana: Olesya and I first met at the Creative Women Conference in Paphos, which was organised by my friend, Olga Balakleets. We soon discovered that we have a lot in common, from a love of Cyprus to our views on fashion and interior design, and we began to meet regularly, exchanging business ideas. In the process of this communication, we realised that we are united by a desire to create beautiful spaces for living. This is how the idea to create Roomzly appeared.
At first, we began to work together on some projects without creating a company, but later it turned out that there was a real demand for professional interior design solutions in both residential and commercial premises. As a result, last year, we came up with the idea of establishing a joint venture.
Did success come immediately or was it a long journey?
Olesya: The first orders appeared fairly quickly, as, in Cyprus, there is an acute shortage of well-designed and made interiors. When people see our finished projects, they note the qualitative difference between them and what they used to see in the local market, and they are interested in who did it. Many then turn to us for help and subsequently recommend us to friends. 90% of our new customers come from recommendations.
Also, in Cyprus, the real estate market is actively being developed, which increases the demand for our services.
Olesya, why did you choose such a style, combining elements of classic and modern?
Olesya: It is very important for us how our customers feel inside the new space. They should be comfortable and cozy because, often, they spend most of their lives here.
Having a great deal of experience in our field, we understand that modern interiors often pass the test of time, where, with clean lines, the classical principles of symmetry, the correct proportions and the balance of warm and cold shades are also observed, and the difference between textures is carefully taken into account. We love when there is a lot of air and light in the living space; when the rooms smoothly flow from one to another.
Olesya, why did you choose such a style – combining elements of classic and modern?
Olesya: It is very important for us how our customers feel inside the new space. They should be comfortable and cozy, because often they spend most of their lives here.
Having a great deal of experience in our field, we understand that modern interiors often pass the test of time, where, with clean lines, the classical principles of symmetry, the correct proportions and the balance of warm and cold shades are also observed, and the difference between textures is carefully taken into account. We love when there is a lot of air and light in the living space; when the rooms smoothly flow from one to another. Elements of Art Deco and American classics, in turn, bring elegance and sophistication to the interior, which makes the space special. At the same time, the house should be equipped with modern amenities, which is very important for the daily comfort of the owners.
Roxana, tell us about your bureau. How many people are in a team?
Roxana: The main core of the company consists of five people, while there is a large team of various out-of-state specialists, which allows us to cut costs and, at the same time, offer a better result in a shorter amount of time.
Choosing the right people for the team is crucial at any stage of the business. Our team is perfectly balanced: I have a business, I work creatively with Olesya and we also have a very strong project manager who really shares our aspirations and knows how to solve any issues.
What tasks does your bureau perform? What exactly do you offer to customers?
Roxana: The basis of our business is the creation of beautiful and functional premises. We work like a professional tailor: At first, we ‘take our measurements’, thus, learning as much as possible about the client, his needs and preferences. We analyse the information received, study the features of the project and then combine everything into the final design decision, made according to individual ‘standards’. At the same time, we believe that such a personalised design does not have to be expensive, so we make every effort to create a beautiful and comfortable interior at a reasonable price.
In addition to developing the concept of interior design, we offer architectural supervision of its implementation, when an experienced designer is watching to ensure that the project is implemented exactly according to the original design. The customer can use this service if the project is implemented by a third-party organisation. However, the majority choose the option of ‘turnkey design’, where we use our own resources to carry out the project from beginning to end. This may be a reconstruction or new construction from scratch – our team is able to implement almost any project with quality that you don’t often see anywhere else in the Cyprus market.
If the customer only needs to ‘refresh’ the design or, for example, furnish housing, where the developer has already made the main base, we offer decoration services, which usually include the selection of furniture, light, suitable textiles and home decor.
Finally, we work with commercial clients: restaurants, hotels, office premises, etc., where we can provide various services, from the development of a design concept to a complete renovation of the entire project.
You both have families with small children. How do you manage to combine the role of moms with the work of your studio?
Olesya: The main thing is to understand the priority of tasks and correctly determine who is responsible for what. Often, it is necessary to focus on the main thing and to delegate minor matters. Thanks to a well-coordinated team, we manage to combine work on projects and family life. Of course, it happens that force majeure happens and everything does not go according to plan, and then you have to miss a few days for family reasons. But, we can also work late on weekends, if deadlines are tight or important issues that cannot be delayed are required.
What are your plans for the development of the company?
Roxana: In the near future, we plan to open a showroom to showcase our work. This is an important step in the development of Roomzly, and Olesya and I are looking forward to when we can decorate this space and make it our second home.
We are also going to soon offer a modular interior design service, where we will select the most proven and reliable elements in order to create, on their basis, ready-made integrated solutions that are timeless. In this case, the design will become more accessible to a wider range of customers.
We also have plans to expand our presence on an international level and to go beyond the borders of Cyprus – to other European countries and to the Middle East.
At the same time, we truly love Cyprus. It is our source of inspiration! It has become our home, for which we want to do a little better.