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5 minutes with the beautiful Lyn Gullan of Lifestyle Designs Group

We caught up with the ever so talented founder of the Lifestyle Designs Group, Lyn Gullan and all about her input on ‘The White House’ project

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By House & Garden South Africa | January 15, 2024 | Architecture

1. Let's start the conversation with yourself, Lyn Gullan. Please share a little about your history and how you got into this industry, a little about the Lifestyle Designs Group and its future.

The success of LDG has been a collaborative effort. I have always encouraged my core team to think laterally, dream big, and embrace every challenge to create the impossible. Nothing worthwhile is achieved without hard work and pouring one’s heart and soul into every element of a project. Your creativity is about what you love and enjoy in your home. The secret, I believe, is to know when to let go and not to pursue one’s own ideas solely. To be a soundboard and above all, to be excited about the direction of the design. Interior design is my passion. It sets my soul on fire and serves as the most incredible creative outlet. What adds even more joy to this journey is witnessing the sheer happiness on people’s faces when they see their homes transformed. It is a deeply rewarding experience and reaffirms why I chose this path.

2. Onto the White House which we can all agree, achieves a beautiful balance of contemporary design while still feeling liveable. How was this achieved?

The mansion known as “The White House” has been reinvented to a level of luxury and opulence like never seen before, but the most incredible thing about the home is how truly liveable it is. I have always believed that even the simplest room can be turned into magic with a little bit of creative flair. For me, cleanliness is paramount. Clear your home of all clutter. A home should always exude a welcoming atmosphere with subtle finishes like flowers, candles and music.

The White House, Image supplied

3. What was the influence and thinking behind creating The White House and if you could describe it in 3 words, which would you use and why?

In 2020, my husband and I spent eleven months in Palm Beach, Florida. While there, I was captivated by the design and beauty that surrounded me. It was as if I had discovered a new dimension of creativity. Serendipitously, the opportunity arose to take on the White House Project. My vision for this project went beyond conventional boundaries. I wanted to create a home that would be nothing short of a design masterpiece, redefining the standards of luxury in South Africa. If I could describe this home in two words, it would be “Simply Spectacular”. It embodies the passion and inspiration that I derived from my travels.

4. The nature of this site and the view cannot be overstated. It is beautiful. How did your design lean into that?

The nature of the site and the encompassing views have played a pivotal role in shaping its design. To say that they were a powerful muse would be an understatement. As someone who is dedicated to creating opulent and bespoke homes, I could not help but be deeply moved by the natural beauty that envelops the property. There is a stillness and calming effect about it that feels truly magical. For this project, our primary objective was to integrate the interior design with the exterior landscape, allowing one to fully immerse themselves in the surrounding natural beauty. We achieved this by crafting a free-flowing space and layering design elements throughout– from acoustics to lighting, and insulation. Throughout the home, you will notice various design features that pay homage to the landscape. The signature curves and contours of the White House, for example, were designed to mimic the waves of the Atlantic which it overlooks, making every moment a truly immersive experience. Another notable feature that epitomizes this harmonization is the outdoor beach club and firepit. Not only does this space provide an immaculate setting for enjoying a breathtaking African sunset, but it also perfects the art of al fresco dining reinforcing the connection between the home and its natural surroundings.

An entertainer’s paradise, image supplied

5. Lastly, which design element or key piece of the White House is your favourite and why?

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working on some of the most beautiful projects and I love them all differently. However, The White House holds a unique and special place in my heart making it challenging to pick a single favourite design element or key piece. The home encompasses such a wealth of beauty and sophistication – from its architectural ingenuity right down to the finest details, such as the Hermes crockery, Christofle cutlery, and Lalique glassware. Everything in this home showcases a level of dedication and precision that I am immensely proud of. Perhaps my favourite thing about this home is not necessarily a single design element or key piece but rather how it makes you feel when you step inside. The way all the design elements and collective creations have seamlessly fused together leaves you breathless, utterly captivated, and inspired. It instills in you a sense that if you can dream it, you can achieve it and that anything is possible. It’s this feeling of limitless potential that the White House imparts that truly makes it something extraordinary.