For the month of September, #TeamTish has decided to focus on the very thing that inspires us every day: Great homes and interior design! So it was only natural that we interviewed the most interesting interior designer that we know and love, Adrien Kent.
Adrien Kent, or otherwise known as Adrien Ritzal to his close friends and family, is a force to be reckoned with. He is made up of many personalities, and none of them is dull. His day job consist of interior designing for indie F&B outlets like Podgy Kurau, Feeka, Sitka, and work spaces like Common Ground, and Catcha Group. While during his free time, he delves deep into the world of Mermaids, ballet, illustration, and music altogether. Like we said, he is anything but dull.
For this interview, we were lucky enough to be invited into his new home. If you’re anything like us, and you follow him on Instagram, you know that his new home is something to look forward to. Let’s just say that the photos don’t lie — His new space is to die for! The man really knows how to turn a space into a vibe like no other.
As fabulous as he is, it wasn’t always glitz and glam. As we spoke about his background and how Adrien Kent came to be, he talks about his upbringing in Klang and how he has always been in the science stream. He speaks about how he’s secretly a nerd and calls himself a ‘Nintendoid’ for being a true gamer at heart. Something that you would have never realized at first glance. But sketching and interior design have always been a part of him. He’s been drawing ever since he could pick up a pencil, and he has a background in interior design from Limkokwing. Although his degree was short-lived, his career was not.
After almost completing a 4-year degree in interior design, he decided one day that he would drop out. Only to answer to bigger callings in his life. He started off designing for show houses for the first 3 years of his career, and after realizing that designing for houses that would never be occupied was a short-lived career, he delved into the big pond of F&B outlets and office spaces. He tells us that everything in his life is based on calculative risk and taking chances. Something only a person like Adrien can master. An easygoing yet eccentric soul, he claims that the eccentricity is his way of rebelling against the norms of life. In his own words, he approaches life with a “Let’s just have some fun” attitude.
When asked about his style and aesthetic, he simply classifies himself as a contemporary bohemian, borderline hippy. As a free spirit like himself, he doesn’t mind nor feels restricted when mixing patterns together. If anything, he lives for it. When we asked him about a specific era that he loves to revisit from time and time again, he said,
“Suburban America in the 70’s. When almost everyone in the west had pools to wait by. It’s like the American dream.”
His choice reflects his love for hosting. Hosting people, hosting dinner parties, hosting whatever you can think of. As the saying goes, he is literally the hostess with the mostest. To compliment his choice of the era, he simply suggested looking up Slim Aaron’s photography work on ‘Poolside.’
When it comes to curating spaces, Adrien thinks of it as mathematics. He sees the floor plans, and immediately his brain begins to calculate what stays, what goes, and what works. When we asked him, how does one create a space like his? All he had to respond with was, “Practice”. It’s true, practice makes perfect. And after years of practice, Adrien has mastered his own craft.
Lastly, we asked him what advice he could give to those wanting to build and create a home for themselves. And luckily for us, here are the spark notes that he had to share with us:
- References. Always have a library of photos that speak to you and your style. Because you’ll always go back to that.
- On the topic of Authenticity v.s. Originality. Authenticity is important, but originality doesn’t exist. Nothing is original anymore.
“Look at everything as ingredients and a recipe. You can take 2 or 3 ingredients from things you’re inspired by, but how you approach it determines your recipe for authenticity.”
- And finally, his design philosophy:
“Mix materials and patterns together. Put them next to each other and see how it compliments one another, and how the materials speak to you. When it comes to interior design, it’s important to really know and understand what you’re working with. Don’t be afraid to experiment.”
All in all, it’s safe to say that everything we do deserves attention, but it also deserves a little bit of finesse here and there. Learn from Adrien, and never be afraid to try new things.