By Paul W. Fitzgerald
Jolanta Lukus set out on her dream not even a decade ago to make a name for herself in the style and design industry. Fast forward to today, she has achieved this and many more goals.
You see, industry leaders are now touting the Richmond Hill entrepreneur for her creativity, innovation, and attention to detail on projects she has taken on over the last number of years. From hotels to residential projects, she is now a shining star in the industry.
“To me, each space, room, building, corner has a soul,” says Lukus during an interview from her office, Royal Design Inc.
“The first impulses are to see the space with a naked eye, see the bare structures, the existing architectural elements, and then see the space in many different dimensions, taking into account the future use of space, age group and demographics surrounding its future use – detail is a must.”
As of recent, she has worked on a number of projects with the Easton’s Group of Hotels Inc and J M Hospitality Inc – both leading and prominent developers of hotels.
“Jolanta and her company are creative and I admire her eye for detail, and service with a smile,” says Steve Gupta, President & CEO of Easton’s Group of Hotels Inc.
Gupta adds, “I find Jolanta’s creativity and style excellent. The colour schemes are fresh and vibrant and reflect the current trends. Our new Hilton Garden Inn Toronto City Centre hotel that opened in July 2009; it was a complete custom design and the hotel looks spectacular.”
Bhulesh Lodhia, President of J M Hospitality Inc, echoes these very words.
“Jolanta Lukus of Royal Designs Inc. has provided exemplarily design and décor services to our company for the past 9 years,” he says. “She has during the period offered her talent and skills without hesitation, irrespective of whether she took on a new hotel project, or renovated an existing location.
“The salient factors that have resulted in creating this special bond with Jolanta are numerous to mention. Jolanta takes special notice of our needs and ideas and incorporates this into the custom design package she formulates, and she produces a design package as an artist produces a masterpiece. Exceptional attention to the minutest details is tendered
Lodhia further explains that Jolanta’s incredible ability to pool together awesome materials and fabric from a notable selection of manufacturers and suppliers if what distinguishes her skills from the rest of the pack.
He states, “The extraordinary projects she has completed are testimony to her ability to produce projects that stand the test of time- Projects that are contemporary yet transitional, and luxuriant yet functional.”
For Jolanta, her talent and passion for style and design was something she was born with. For her, it’s all natural – what she sees and creates in her mind is something of a true rarity.
“What excites me about re-designing a space is the notion that I can change the look and feel of a space that’s not functional and that does not influence the public at the moment.”
“The rush of looking at a completed project or landmark that will be admired and enjoyed by the public for years to come is very rewarding and satisfying, especially if the space has been written off,” asserts Lukus.
Encompassing design, project management, purchasing and design-build, the Richmond Hill-based firm is adept at looking at projects holistically.
While her professional accomplishments are an ongoing monument to the vitality of urban renewal, at the point of initiation there is a vetting of the creative impulses on the part of the creator.
Artistic expression covers many disciplines. All have imagination in common as their point of genesis. No less so than when Lukus conceives of a project’s possibilities.
“Being in that moment, when the space talks to you and you can see the entire project completed. It’s an imaginative process. Then you get your inspiration and ideas are born.”
The creative impulse has followed Lukus from the land of her birth, Poland. Joining her parents in Canada in 1992, she would later become immersed in the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto.
Her company’s projects have covered the gamut from hotels, restaurants, retail store chains, corporate offices, to new and resale homes.
She believes that each project has its separate considerations. This begs the question, which might be more challenging, new or pre-existing spaces? “I think the more challenging for me are renovations, as they often possess a limit on what you can and cannot do, change and implement.”
In addition to her extensive creative and technical backgrounds in designing she has also developed an ability to communicate with her customers, especially should a disagreement arise in how to approach a project. “The trick is to understand and get to know your client really well, and become so good at understanding their needs so that you never present them with something they would not like or approve of. Not all clients know what they want and if they do whether it would look right for that project. Our job is to become mediator and visionary for our client. You must be diplomatic enough to carry your design ideas, without compromising the client’s views and ideas. It’s a fine line of compromises, respect and mutual understandings between all parties.”
The power of childhood dreams can move mountains. For Lukus, her journey has exemplified a continuity that excites her. “I always knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I guess I was one of the luckiest kids, knowing what I wanted in life. I wanted to become someone who could make a difference. My parents have always taught me that if you want something bad enough it will happen and here I am today running my own company for the last eight years. At times I still think I’m dreaming.”
Visit www.royaldesign.ca for more information and Jolanta and her amazing company.
Paul W. Fitzgerald is an international journalist. His work appears in a large number of newspapers and magazines around the world. Notable publications that have published his work include The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s Magazine, The New Canadian, CNN-I Report, and EQ. He is also the President and CEO of Salt & Pepper Media Inc, a global public relations/mass media firm. He is also the Editor of Thursday Night Magazine and In & Out Magazine. He resides in Toronto, ON.