Sæbjörg Guðjónsdóttir – AKA Sæja – is an Icelandic interior designer with an international reputation. Since graduating from the KLC School of Design and University of Brighton, and receiving the John Cullen Lighting Design Award in 2011, she has worked independently for homeowners and businesses, including architectural firm The Manser Practice in London. She has also been involved in the design of shops, restaurants and hotels, and participated in competitions in collaboration with designers and architects at home and abroad.
Who and what are your greatest sources of inspiration?
It’s a cliché, but coming from Iceland, it’s hard not to be inspired by the nature. Icelandic nature is so powerful and full of contrast, yet elegant and fragile at the same time.
What are the key trends for bathrooms right now?
Tranquillity and spa like bathrooms. Living in this time, you want to feel at ease in your own home. Natural materials, great lighting and a large bath play a big part now. It’s not really a trend, it’s something we need to relax from our hectic lives.
What would be the one thing you’d always avoid adding to a bathroom?
For me it’s the toilet. Obviously, we need it, but I always try to place it somewhere so it’s the last thing you’ll see – whether it’s behind a niche wall or in a separate room from the main bathing area.
Tell us why you’ve chosen to use Lusso pieces in some of your projects?
Since my projects are mainly in Iceland, I try to source outside of my country as much as possible as the range of products can be limited. When I found Lusso online, I was happy to see all the different colours available, different types of tubs and the prices were competitive. Also, you ship to Iceland rather quickly. The products are quite minimal, which fits my aesthetic.
What’s one of the most difficult design lessons you’ve learned?
It would probably be planning. Usually everything takes more time than you thought, but I’ve been in this business for more than 10 years now and nothing really surprises me anymore.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to people renovating their own homes?
Planning is crucial. The best thing is to get someone to project manage for you. If you cannot do that, make a schedule for everything, get quotes, line up trades and order everything ahead.
What would your ultimate interior design project be?
I’ve never done a hotel by myself, so a small boutique hotel would be a nice experience to add to my résumé.
This article was also published in the Lusso Luxury Living magazine. Visit here for more information.