In Conversation with Karolina Barnes, editor at ESTILA

Hayche is happy to share with you this interview in which Karolina Barres participated. This strong woman tells us her story, the one that led her to create Estila magazine, with touching sincerity.

Can you describe your company ?

ESTILA is an independent British publication that curates inspiring stories of lifestyle brands, designers and artists. Our mission is to share stories of creatives that nobody else writes about, but who need exposure and opportunity to share their story, talent, business experiences, lessons learnt and knowledge in more detail. Produced by STUDIO / ESTILA, we also have a brand design consultancy and studio, helping brands, big and small, to communicate their story better, connecting them to a loyal customer base and brand ambassadors while maximising emotional connections at every touchpoint.

What inspired you to be an interior designer?

After closing down our wholesale business in the fireplace industry and having been diagnosed with a meningioma - a benign and inoperable brain tumour, I decided to retrain as an interior designer. I've always been interested in design from a young age and enjoyed the design process from concept to completion throughout my personal projects and in our business. I was drawn to the transformative and life-improving results of design, but also I love materials, colours, textures and pattern which one can express their personality with. 


If they were to make a toy action figure of you, what would your accessory be?

Smile. Very unconventional but if you smile at people and create a friendly atmosphere you can get things done and negotiate anything, especially on-site. 

To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life within the design world has taken?

Every aspect of it. Once I was more involved in the industry and understood how it works, I decided to change the direction and move away from interior projects. I thought that that's what I wanted to do, to be a designer, but I was wrong. At that time, it was very tough to get projects from outside London and so I was looking around for other opportunities. As a designer, I was consuming mainstream design publications for inspiration but I was frustrated as I found them predictable, dated, not innovative enough and boring. I met lots of furniture, lighting, textiles designers, makers, artists and other creatives with amazing stories and wondered why no one is giving them space and platform to share those stories. I'm now back in interiors through our STUDIO / ESTILA work but that's more about either consultancy and experiential design or styling for brand shoots.

What would be your dream interior project?

Since my career started in the hospitality industry, a hotel project - where we can bring all the creative minds, talent, designers and artists and together create a more innovate and forward-thinking design and experience.


What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I pay attention to the smallest details. Always analysing the purpose, mission and the result that needs to be achieved while listening to customers/clients and understanding behaviour / reactions to emotional triggers.

If you could go back in time and speak to your adolescent self, what advice would you give them about the design world?

Spend more time networking, seek out opportunities for collaboration and diversify into different markets, both service and product.

Hayche is featured in the last edition of the ESTILA magazine, check our Press Article for more information



Photos courtesy of Estila