BA&SH Asian Retail expansion design project

Insight School and renowed Parisian brand BA&SH collabrate on a retail design project for Asia.


Renowned Parisian fashion brand BA&SH came to Insight School for help with their retail expansion in HK and broader Asia. Recently acquired by LVMH, BA&SH enlisted the help of Insight School Diploma students to translate and adapt their strong European retail design to the local Asian markets.


To adapt the existing European retail store design to better meet the Asian consumer’s needs and tastes
To develop a store layout that is more “lively” and better lit
To create striking store facades which appeal to the Asian market
To redesign and increase customer seating throughout the store
To redesign the accessories visual merchandising
To create a new window display for Chinese New Year

Ba&Sh presentation 2

Yacine Bensalem, Isolde Andouard and Eve Mercier












To stay true to the DNA of this Bohemian Paris brand

To effectively translate the BA&SH brand guidelines to the Asian retail store roll-out


  • A printed and bound A3 booklet and a 15 minute powerpoint verbal presentation to existing BA&SH Asia CEO, as well as retail design expert and lead teacher Yacine Bensalem from In Situ & Partners and Insight School teachers.
  • Included in the presentations were 2D and 3D store layout drawings, a materials proposal and a marketing & design strategy



Diploma student Duncan Craig presenting his design proposal











Diploma student Duncan Craig design proposal


Diploma student Ligia Campanela – FF&E selection




Diploma student Madalina Stoica – new concept facade




Diploma student Holland Young –2D drawings of store layout





































BA&SH client and Asia CEO Isolde Andouard was very impressed with the student’s creative ideas and presentations. BA&SH will consider implementing the Chinese New Year window displays and some of the visual merchandising shelving systems in their new Harbour City and Times Square stores in Hong Kong.

“Thank you Insight School of Interior Design students for your incredible work on BA&SH Asia store concept! We loved your ideas! & Thank you Eve Mercier!” Isolde Andouard


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An interview with Insight School alumni & interior designer Liza Beighley

Former Insight School of Interior Design student and interior designer Liza Beighley talks about life before and after studying at Insight School. After working for 10 years in the luxury fashion brands, Liza discovered her true passion and went on to co-launch her own interior design company.

Certificate Presentation with JJ Acuna, Enrique Moya-Angeler and Eve Mercier (Liza Beighley)

Certificate Award ceremony with teachers JJ Acuna, Enrique Moya-Angeler and Eve Mercier.


What is your background?  What were you doing before coming to Insight School of Interior Design?  

I worked over 10 years for luxury fashion brands CHANEL, Celine under LVMH Fashion Group, and DFS Group Limited mainly as a training, merchandising and product manager in Asia, North America and the Mid-Pacific regions.  Soon after becoming a mother and moving back to my island home, I worked for the Bank of Guam as Quality Assurance Manager designing customer service and product programs.  During this time, we renovated our beach condominium and I fell in love with interior design.  We eventually moved to Hong Kong (for the second time) and I went through the process of redecorating our flat with the help of Australian based designer, Melissa McShane.  It was showcased in Expat Living Magazine upon completion and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.  I decided to indulge my passion for design and researched interior design schools in Hong Kong.   Insight School of Interior Design was the choice for me.


My personal Style Liza Beighley

Liza’s personal style mood board

What did you study at Insight School and what key skills did you learn?

I was a mother with young children and decided to take the short course Textiles for Interiors as a start. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in the Introduction to Interior Design course which confirmed my passion for interior design.  I decided to continue with the part-time course and earn the Certificate in Residential Interior Design.  I often wondered prior to the course how inspirational ideas were developed into working concepts and Insight School helped me to develop the key skills to implement ideas into design. We studied interior architecture, interior decoration, drawing skills, the design process, history of styles and put it all into professional practice. Working with clients and making design proposals throughout the course really helped to simulate what it is like to work in the real world. 

Insight School project: Bruno de Caumont book-shelf proposal by Liza

Insight School project: Bruno de Caumont book-shelf proposal by Liza

Insight School project: Bruno de Caumont book-shelf proposal by Liza


Where are you working now?

With this knowledge and learned tools of the trade, I felt confident to take the necessary steps in opening BV Designs with my classmate and design partner, Sarah Vanica.

Insight School project: Liza’s mood board for an art gallery conversion into a residential apartment.

Insight School project: Liza’s mood board for an art gallery conversion into a residential apartment.


What have been some of the biggest challenges in starting your career?

Aside from the regular challenges of starting a business, making the necessary connections to export/import home goods overseas has been a big challenge. Also, it takes time to create the perfect logo to reflect who we are as interior designers and set-up our social media sites which should be available for viewing in the coming weeks.

What is the big project you are working on right now?

We are in the process of finalizing an executive home in Deep Water Bay in addition to having furniture made for a flat in Repulse Bay and sourcing furniture/fabrics for homes overseas.

Design Projects Liza Beighley

Liza’s design projects at Insight School


 As an interior designer, how do you stay current in the industry? What newsletters/blogs/social media tools do you read each week?

I love to stay current in the industry by reading international and Asia based design magazines such as Architectural Digest, Design Anthology, Home Journal, Home Solutions, and Expat Living.  I especially love to read about projects completed by established and new designers focusing on what motivated and inspired them.  Since my roots are in the fashion industry, I gain inspiration from fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and feel it’s important to think out-of-the-box.  My favorite thing to do is look at my Instagram feed on designers I follow which leads to links with more details on their websites, blog, and newsletters.  I especially love to view projects and inspirations from new, up-and-coming interior designers.  My design partner and I share this information with each other and bounce ideas around to remain current and catch onto upcoming trends in the industry. Insight School of Interior Design is one we follow on our social media feeds.

Can you give any advice to students looking to start a career in the Interior Design Industry?

Don’t hesitate!  If you are passionate about Interior Design have the confidence to move forward and find the right interior design career for you.  Listen to your clients and always keep an open mind.  Continue to make connections in the industry and bounce ideas around with those you trust.  Above all, think outside the box. Inspiration is everywhere.

Liza studied the Certificate of Residential Interior Design at Insight School.  Enrolments are now open, course starts February 20th. Enquire today and ask about our 10% early bird discount.

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Career Forum at Insight School of Interior Design

Interior design career advice, case studies and course information at Insight School.

Last Saturday 19th November, Insight School of Interior Design hosted a career forum for anyone interested in pursuing a career in interior design. Industry experts Leslie Lui from Aedas Interiors, Hernan Zanghellini from Zanghellini & Holt, Alicia Chan & Naqeeb Popal from Bespoke Careers and Eve Mercier from Insight School inspired, educated and entertained us over a few hours and a few bottles of wine!

The afternoon began with 1:1 career ‘speed-dating’ sessions where our guests had the opportunity to show their portfolio to our panel of experts. This was an opportunity for people to get informed about their career prospects, understand the job market in HK for designers and learn more about study options available at the school for those wanting to switch careers. These sessions were extremely popular and could have gone on for hours.


Head teacher Enrique Moya-Angeler advising our guests about our courses at Insight School.


Naqeeb Popal informing a design student about her career prospects.

Our first presenters were Alicia Chan, Design Consultant and Naqeeb Popal, Architecture & Design Consultant from Bespoke Careers. Alicia and Naqeeb showed us how to write the perfect job application and how to send it out to prospective employees. They took us through a few examples of mistakes to avoid when putting together a CV and portfolio, and gave out tips on how to present yourself in job interviews.

Alicia Chan and Naqueeb Popal from Bespoke Careers discussed career opportunities with students.

Alicia and Naqeeb from Bespoke Careers discussed career opportunities for interior designers with students.

Leslie Lui, Senior Associate at Aedas Interiors gave a very inspiring presentation on how interior designers can and do add value in the design development process. Leslie went through many case studies where interior designers and architects have successfully collaborated on a project, dispelling the myth that the 2 disciplines can’t work together.

Leslie Lui from Aedas Interiors presenting hospitality design case studies.

Leslie Lui from Aedas Interiors presenting hospitality design case studies.

Hernan Zanghellini, partner at Zanghellini and Holt, followed next with a candid and informative presentation on the “business of interior design”. Focusing on food and beverage projects, Hernan gave us a real insight into the many hats an interior designer needs to wear when working on design projects; from business advisor to financial consultant, from life coach to mentor. Hernan talked about how crucial it is for interior designers to understand the client brief from a business point of view before starting the project ie. how the F&B establishment runs, how they currently generate revenue and what is the client expectation – these are critical factors which can often be overlooked by inexperienced interior designers who may just want to ‘decorate’ an interior.


Hernan Zanghellini showing photos of the Wooloomooloo Restaurant, which he designed and co-owns.

Eve Mercier, founder of Insight School was the final presenter for the afternoon and gave us the pros and cons of working in your own business as an interior designer versus working for a large firm. Eve also presented a list of her top 5 interior designers and qualities and traits which have made them outstanding in their fields.


Eve Mercier explaining the difference between the Residential and Commercial Interiors Certificate.

A full library on Saturday.

Insight School library on Saturday.

Having listened to three interior designers give three very different accounts of their career, one couldn’t help but feel inspired and excited by this profession. It definitely inspired many interesting questions to our presenters and discussion topics during our networking drinks!

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Insight School of Interior Design interviews Timothy Oulton

This week Insight School spoke with Rose Takens at Timothy Oulton. Rose gives some sound advice on what companies are looking for when hiring graduates of interior design.

Timothy Oulton HK Office

We asked Rose some questions about working with Insight School of Interior Design

  1. What is your involvement with Insight School of Interior Design HK?

Over the last few years, we have worked closely with the Residential and Commercial Interiors Certificate students at Insight School. Students have been invited to visit our retail stores to discover our material culture and our design process.

We have had a few students complete their one-month internship here at Timothy Oulton, and some have been lucky enough to have been offered full time employment.

  1. What qualities and skills are you looking for when hiring graduates to work at Timothy Oulton?

When considering candidates, we have 4 key requirements:

  • They need to be open-minded
  • They must be curious, creative and audacious!
  • They need to have good technical skills for 3D making and sketches
  • And finally, they need to have team spirit and be able to integrate into a diverse team
  1. What are some of the key observations you’ve made about Insight School graduates, which may have lead to their employment at Timothy Oulton?

The Insight School graduates were all very passionate about design and were very eager to work with the Timothy Oulton brand. They all had a strong willingness to learn and were very confident in their skills and abilities to perform the tasks given to them.

Head designer Bastien Taillard explains the materials used to create furniture pieces.

Head designer Bastien Taillard explains the materials used to create furniture pieces.

Head designer Bastien Taillard explains the materials used to create furniture pieces.

Head designer Bastien Taillard explains the materials used to create furniture pieces.

  1. Do you have any tips & advice you can give future design students who are thinking about joining the interior design industry?
  • Learn to be able to work on different projects at the same time!
  • Develop a strong design culture (history of design, reference, etc.)
  • Broaden the horizon outside of PINTEREST!

For more information about our Residential and Commercial Interiors Certificate, visit us or call us on 2114 2021. Courses start January 2017


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J J Acuna, Architect & Interior Designer, blogs about his experience at Insight School of Interior Design

Founder of theWanderlister+  JJ.Acuna talks about his experiece teaching at Insight School of Interior Design.

Part of what I do besides running this website and practicing Architectural and Interior Design in Hong Kong and the Asian region with my own studio, is teach design part time at the Insight School of Interior Design.

librarypeeling-into-the-librarydouble-photoslibrary-discussionclassroom-snapshots classmates doing-homework



This adventure with the Insight School started just this year, as soon as I quit a decade of working corporate. It was a good opportunity for me to extend my skill-set to a new generation of would-be designers, Old and Young, while at the same time allow myself to make a living as I establish my young practice, JJA / Bespoke Architecture.

desktopInsight School is a really wonderful design institution located in Hong Kong’sChai Wan Industrial District, and was founded by Eve Mercier, an Interior Designer and Art Historian with over 15 years of experience in the business within both Europe and Asia.

Staff at student graduation with, founder Eve Mercier (third from right.)

Staff at student graduation with, founder Eve Mercier (third from right.)

The purpose of the school is to arm students with an aesthetic and creative eye (if they don’t already have an innate sense of it to begin with), and give their vision an added boost of practical skills from instructors who have strong ties with the design industry in Hong Kong and the region at large. Unlike other design institutions, students at the Insight School work on real-life projects with real-life industry clients, like H&M, HKIS (Hong Kong International School– the studio I thought last semester), the Marriott Hotel Group, Ritz Carlton, and Shanghai Tang… to name a few. Lecturers come from Design, Arts, and Fashion industries, like professionals from Cartier and Hermes, plus industry leaders like Douglas Young of G.O.D., and gallerist Boris Vervoordt of Axel Vervoordt gallery from Belgium and Hong Kong.

Boris Vervoordt, gallerist, visits Insight School during Art Basel week

Boris Vervoordt, gallerist, visits Insight School during Art Basel week

All graduating Diploma students who wish to be part of the school’s Internship program, are allowed a 1 month internship with industry partners, such as Marriott Group, Timothy Oulton, Infrastructure, and HBA.

The school offers part time and full time courses in intimate classes. There’s an 8-week introduction to Interior Design Course, and a Residential Interiors Certificate course. Short vocational courses on specific subjects like Lighting Design and Small Space Design are also available. Actual Industry specific Diploma courses, like the interior Design Diploma, which is a combination of Residential and Commercial Interiors Certificates, are also available at Insight.

Some of the classes I put together for Insight is a course instruction on the history of Wicker Furnitures, with specific focus on the Philippines (which I loved). This led me to the Philippines where I was able to take some of the students on a trip to Manila to meet celebrated designers like Kenneth Cobonpue and Ito Kish (photos below).


field-trip-3Additionally, these same students had the opportunity to visit one of my Manila residential projects as it was a part of their final studio research. My project manager, Boni, was able to have a real-world Q+A chat with the students on-site regarding local building materials and construction methodologies.


They had such a great time in the Philippines.field-trip-6

The final output of that project resulted in a wonderful presentation for Residential Certificate students.


I also ran a studio focused on a site for the a Kindergarten at the new HKIS (Hong Kong International School) building near Repulse Bay. Each of the students presented their final work to the School’s administrators, who were generally impressed with the breadth of the student’s design solutions.


I begin teaching again next Spring (so maybe you can be one of my students as well!) However, if you’re really keen to learn now, you can definitely check out the 8-week Introduction to Interior Design course which starts next week, October 6th.

LEARN MORE at  Insight School of Interior Design .  24F, Federal Centre, 77 Sheung On Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong Island . T: 21142021

JJ Acuna is a Hong Kong based Architect / Interior Designer, and Founder of his boutique studio, JJA / Bespoke Architecture based in Hong Kong and Manila.

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