De­tails Mat­ter

Indonesia Tatler Homes - - SANCTUARIES - Pho­tog­ra­phy Budi Kosasih

With a pas­sion for draw­ing, Er­win Hawaw­inata, started his jour­ney to be­come an ar­chi­tect. Hav­ing an eye for de­tail has helped him to cre­ate great de­sign

The one thing the lo­cal de­sign in­dus­try is al­ways on the look out for is a new trend by a new­comer. Some­one of­fer­ing some­thing fresh that has never been done be­fore, a new colour, a dif­fer­ent ap­proach in terms of in­te­rior de­sign - and fi­nally here it is: Francine Denise and Mu­dita Les­tari are the main play­ers be­hind a young in­te­rior de­sign con­sul­tancy named Francine Les­tari, based in Jakarta. Although be­ing high school friends, they only found out that they shared the same pas­sion and vi­sion years later while work­ing to­gether at the same com­pany. This mu­tual in­ter­est has changed their life and ca­reer path ever since. Founded in 2011, Francine Les­tari ap­plies a dif­fer­ent ap­proach on each of their projects to be in touch with the phys­i­cal and emo­tional ex­pec­ta­tion of their clients. While re­main­ing true to their phi­los­o­phy they also make a bold state­ment with a few hid­den sur­prises, and man­age to leave their own dis­tinct mark on each pro­ject.

“I don’t re­mem­ber us be­ing that close in high school,” says Denise while laugh­ing and jok­ing with her part­ner, Les­tari. With­out con­sciously plan­ning it, both of them de­cided to study the same sub­ject in col­lege, which was in­te­rior de­sign. Denise fin­ished her stud­ies at Not­ting­ham Tren Univer­sity, Eng­land - Mu­dita com­pleted hers at Swin­bourne Univer­sty, Aus­tralia.

It wasn’t un­til they fi­nally re­turned to In­done­sia in 2009, and ended up work­ing at the same com­pany, that they re­al­ized it was kismet. Shar­ing with In­done­sia Tatler Homes the story be­hind their first res­tau­rant pro­ject, named Con­vivium sited in South Jakarta, the two de­sign di­vas re­calls how their sim­i­lar tastes and work ethics be­came a flour­ish­ing busi­ness.

Their con­trast­ing per­son­al­i­ties sur­pris­ingly be­come the strength of their de­sign firm, Francine Les­tari share their jour­ney with Ria Iskan­dar

In­done­sia Tatler Homes (ITH): Tell us about the mo­ment when both of you de­cided to be­came in­te­rior de­sign­ers.

Francine Denise (FD): When I was a teenager, I al­ways loved to flip through de­sign mag­a­zine. And the in­te­rior sec­tion was al­ways ap­peal­ing to me. At the be­gin­ning, I was con­fused whether or not to choose be­tween graphic de­sign or in­te­rior de­sign. I soon re­al­ized that my pas­sion lies in residential de­sign. I still get all hyped up ev­ery time I’m work­ing on a residential pro­ject. Mu­dita Les­tari (ML): It was be­cause my science score in school was not that good (laugh). Ac­tu­ally the more I learn about the in­te­rior de­sign in­dus­try, the more I’m in love with this job. I started my in­tern­ship when I was still in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I then de­cided to come back to Jakarta and was work­ing at Jef­fry Budi­man con­sul­tant with Denise. It was then that I re­al­ized that I re­ally love to cus­tom­ize things.

ITH: Most de­sign­ers want to use their own name to rep­re­sent their own de­sign, why did you de­cide to build a com­pany bar­ing both of your names?

ML: In the be­gin­ning when we met in high school, we were not that close. It was only af­ter we worked at the same de­sign con­sul­tancy that we dis­cov­ered we had the same taste and work ethic, es­pe­cially while we worked to­gether on the Con­vivium res­tau­rant pro­ject. So, in 2011, we fi­nally de­cided to start our own com­pany to­gether and named it af­ter both of us; Francine Les­tari.

ITH: How would you de­scribe your busi­ness part­ner?

FD: Clumsy, very tech­ni­cal, but good on com­mu­ni­cat­ing. ML: Well she is ac­tu­ally the op­po­site of me. She is su­per neat and a more so­cial per­son than me. I would say we are like the yin & yang in Chi­nese phi­los­o­phy.

ITH: What has been the most mem­o­rable mo­ment of your union?

FD: A cou­ple of months ago while we at­tended the launch­ing of a new se­ries of fur­ni­ture in one of the in­te­rior show­rooms in Kemang. We ac­tu­ally col­lab­o­rate with the brand to de­sign the new se­ries. The launch­ing event has been the most mem­o­rable mo­ment thus far for both of us.

ITH: How would you de­fine your ‘col­lab­o­ra­tion’?

ML: We are bal­anc­ing each other out. What re­ally mat­ters is the process of un­der­stand­ing that helps us to com­plete each other FD: Col­lab­o­ra­tion is vi­tal, since ev­ery as­pect our lives de­pend on some from col­lab­o­ra­tion, with var­i­ous peo­ple. But usu­ally it is very dif­fi­cult to col­lab­o­rate with a per­son that has the same pro­fes­sion as you (laugh)

ITH: How do you de­scribe Francine Les­tari style?

FD: Time­less ML: Semi-mod­ern

ITH: Whom do you dream to col­lab­o­rate with?

FD & ML: Kelly Wrestler! (si­mul­ta­ne­ously)

ITH: What do you imag­ine your­self do­ing right now if you were not in­te­rior de­sign­ers?

ML: Maybe I would still be work­ing as a part time wait­ress in a res­tau­rant FD: I would have started an online shop and would have had many ba­bies by now! (both laugh)

(This Page, left to right) Francine Denise, Mu­dita Les­tari

(Op­po­site Page, clock­wise) Dom­i­nated with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, the pro­ject re­flects time­less yet semi-mod­ern scenery; The apart­ment pro­ject by Francine Les­tari fea­ture the master bed­room area; The liv­ing room and din­ing area de­signed with­out any par­ti­tion cre­ate a wide im­pres­sion; The din­ing area with its nat­u­ral am­bi­ence

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