How long have you been a designer?
I have been working in the design industry for 40 years, in various different capacities and in different countries, but I started the design studio in the UAE in 2005.
What prompted the launch of Nikki Bisiker Interior Design?
I moved from Monaco to Dubai in 2004, so wanted to set up the company here in at that time and experience the wonderful creative cosmopolitan environment that the UAE brings. A diverse culture leads to many different design directions, and from this the nature of my business was born – in that we offered an individual and unique approach to every project, rather than one look of the brand.
My first client was someone who I met in a shop looking for fabrics – she approached me and asked me for my name and card. It was a very special family, kind, open to all suggestions and happy to welcome me into their homes. It was an enlightening experience of the culture here, the warm hospitality and their confidence in me as my first client.
How has the company expanded over the years and in which countries have you designed for clients?
Well, I started working for a couple of years on my own – but as more business was taken on, I decided I needed a gofer, then an accountant and then other designers. As time moved on further, I employed more people including architects, procurement and logistics [specialists] and a project manager, and fitted out a new office in the heart of Tecom. After Covid, we moved offices a little farther out – but surrounded by flowers and trees, so the working environment took on a more creative tone. We have expanded, doing work overseas, including in London, Cannes and Courchevel in France, Italy – and now Saudi Arabia. We will maintain our key HQ here in Dubai but will always seek to explore opportunities both here in UAE and internationally.
What has been your stand-out project from the last year, and what makes it unique? What were the challenges you faced and the unique methods you used?
Project one was a new build, which we worked on for two years before completion on December 24th and handover. It was unique, as it was created with a very detailed brief of requirements that we turned into a striking home brimming with personality. There was attention to detail on a large scale – from floor design to door handles and trims, joinery, custom lighting and rugs, and handpicked furniture and artefacts from around the world. Each room was individually styled and fulfilled every entertainment need in terms of leisure, sport, activities and socialising, which the client enjoys. It was born during Covid, the idea being to provide a sanctuary of containment. The windows stand out: [they were] brought in from Switzerland and the outside is a green landscaped haven – with the cherry on the top being the cascading waterfalls from the roof to the pool.
For the second project, we were asked to start working on a historical Tuscan villa set on the hillside overlooking the famed coastline. The villa was previously owned by Napoleon’s sister Pauline. It was a very intriguing, exciting and stimulating process researching the rich history of the villa, the first owner, the surrounding environment of the Tuscany, the architecture, landscape and historical design references – which led to a medley of ideas for the restoration of the building [and to meet] the needs of the current owner.
The third project, EL&N Yas Bay in Abu Dhabi, is one of our favourite hospitality projects as it allows us to explore creativity in a Barbie World! Once again, we explored the region as we wanted to incorporate historical references of Abu Dhabi [as well as] the current nature, flora and fauna, the sea world and the desert dunes, to bring about an installation that reflected its environment. [It features] pearls, shimmers, corals, walkways simulating the mango groves, a traditional arabesque feature area, and curved lines like the desert dunes. It was a fun and unique project and has been classed as ‘the dreamiest one yet’ from the ever-growing brand.
What are your goals for the coming year?
To take on stimulating projects with a good client base, both in the UAE and overseas. Expanding the furniture brand. Educating and exploring all new design trends and products and creating our own. [To] continue to support, maintain and add to the existing nurturing work environment. [To] be happy, be successful and to maintain all our relationships with existing clients, suppliers and contractors, whom we highly value as part of our support team.
What are your expansion plans?
As above; goals work in tandem with expansion as every day is a development and a growth. However, I would like to maintain a boutique environment that can pay all the attention to the clients and projects that each one deserves.
Can you tell us a bit about your current projects and future projects?
We are working on several renovations in Dubai in prime residential areas. Forthcoming projects include one in Jeddah which is a new build, a small villa resort – so [we are] crossing into hospitality again. We are working on a ski chalet in Courchevel, ready for the winter season, and a south of France property [which should be] ready for the summer season 2024. There are other new builds and renovations in the pipeline which I can’t disclose at the moment – you have to watch this space!
What does your ideal day look like?
A walk in the parks amongst the trees and flowers and birds with a small dog called Kiki; a morning Pilates class or gym class; a team meeting at work so we can be fully organised throughout the day and [meet] our goals and targets; a team meeting to discuss specific projects. [During my] ideal day [this] would be the initial brainstorming creative part of the project, always a stimulating and energising period. (Other days we are following through [by] detailing, drawing, costing, managing projects to their fruition.) Then site meetings once a week to follow up with the Project Managers’ daily visits and seeing progress within the right timeframes without any issues – remember this is an ideal day! Next, a client meeting that is informative, entertaining and a pleasure to be involved in; taking on a new project; completing and handing over a project; setting a company goal and achieving it; writing an article!; seeing the team laughing and smiling at work whilst focusing and concentrating and producing fabulous results – team spirit at its best; finding a new product, discovering a new idea, reading a thought-provoking article; visiting the furniture factory to see a creation come to life, [creating an] initial mock up and developing of that piece; finishing the day with a tango lesson or a swim; cooking dinner using a completely new recipe or inventing one; and eating with friends or family.