We all love a before and after, but few have mastered the steps between quite as well as design and development team Ome Dezin. Renovation is about transforming a space—and transformation is a subtle art. Based in Los Angeles, co-founders Joëlle Kütner and Jesse Rudolph are catching eyes with their talent for reviving homes—creating truly livable spaces with nuance and impact. We talk with Joëlle about the pair's attention to detail, the importance of making spaces functional, how to work existing elements into a new design, and that point when it feels like a project is coming together.
"Functionality is important, having storage and a place for everything. You don’t want to feel frustrated; you want to feel empowered."
Tell us about your design business and how you got started.
Jesse and I have been friends for over a decade and formed a design and development studio about four years ago. Most of our projects are residential properties we purchase to restore or reimagine in hopes of holding onto it or putting it back onto the market. A smaller part of our business is working with clients to make their own renovation dreams come true. Jesse has always been entrepreneurial and last had a Greek yogurt company. When that sold, he wanted to pursue his undying love for architecture under a mentor. Once moving from Toronto to Los Angeles, I worked at a dozen creative studios in various roles and specialties until Jesse and I had the opportunity to work together on one project, and it snowballed from there.
What elements do you consider essential for every space?
Elements that we would say are essential are beautiful windows, a thoughtful kitchen layout, lighting is VERY important, and the overall flow and functionality—which could come in the form of storage.
We love the close attention to detail you give each project. Could you share an underappreciated design element that clients often overlook?
Baseboards. A more functional element to beautify the space between the floor and the wall has actually created a detail that has become overlooked in design. We used marble as our bathroom baseboards. Marble you have used for countertops usually has leftover scraps that your fabricator can use for baseboards.
What is one thing everyone should know before starting a renovation project?
It’s going to cost more and take longer than you planned, so plan for patience.
Our mission at Lulu and Georgia is to bring beauty home; what does beauty at home mean to you?
Beauty at home is easy living with a good view. Functionality is important, having storage and a place for everything. You don’t want to feel frustrated; you want to feel empowered. Beautiful windows are important, and if your neighbors aren’t amazing to look at, skylights can be added. Feeling comfortable and inspired is also important—rugs and romantic lighting create a beautiful atmosphere to spend your time.
What are you hoping to see more of in interior design?
You do a great job honoring the original details and character in a home when renovating. Can you tell us a bit more about how you make decisions on what to keep vs replace?
What to keep vs what to replace begins with the initial walkthrough; we start to see and feel what things are made of and how they function. For example, if floors are made out of solid wood, but we hate the stain, or they need some cleaning up, we know it’s easy to re-sand and re-stain floors so they look beautiful and feel really good. It mostly comes down to what can be salvaged and what cannot. Usually, if the original items are cheaply made, like hollow or broken doors, we will replace them, but if they are solid, we will keep them. This is so important for the earth, your budget, and the soul of the home.
What are your favorite moments during the design process?
When marble comes in. We don’t usually do photo-realistic renders, so at that point, you can really see how the space is taking shape.
Current design ‘icks’?
Design ‘icks’.. oh, Jesse probably has a lot. Always grey ‘wood’ flooring, black bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and porcelain countertops that look fake.
What’s next for Ome Dezin?
Good question. More of our renovation projects, client projects, travel plans (Mexico, Milan, etc.), collaborating with more artists and designers, maybe something commercial.Photography by Tessa Neustadt for Ome Dezin Interiors
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