Reaching For The Stars

Interior designer Steph Low fights her way to get the taste of success.

By Karisma Krishnasamy / 12 August 2022

Reaching For The StarsBelieve in yourself and trust the process – you will eventually succeed. Source: Next Trend

  • Fighting her way through success
  • Changing lives with her passion for transformation 
  • Breaking boundaries, empowering women

A famous Indian cricketer once said, “Like people says, taste the success once… tongue want more” – Kapil Dev. 

The first Indian Captain to win the Cricket World Cup fought his way through to make history for his country, and he made an aggressive comeback despite facing multiple criticisms. His faith in his team and himself helped them win the battle.

Similarly, though Steph Low isn’t here to win a World Cup, her footprint in the interior designing industry only grew stronger after fighting her way through discrimination. The Founder and Art Director of Yong Studio was kind enough to sit with us and open up about her journey of being an interior designer. 

Despite having a shaky start to her career, Steph proved the industry wrong with her critically acclaimed projects. Let’s hear her story of reaching the stars!


Finding A Purpose In Life

“The beginning of the journey is always the most memorable moment for me. After quitting my desk job, I started my solo mission to make a name for myself as an interior designer. At the start, things never went as planned. Due to lack of knowledge in managing clients, finances and contractors, I was left with debts which tarnished my reputation in the industry,” she said as she looked down at the floor with a look of disappointment. 

Despite hitting rock bottom, Steph managed to get back up and push forward throughout her journey. Then again, what’s life without challenges? Venturing into this industry as a woman was a big challenge for Steph as it brought a lot of uncertainties. 

Listening to her unfortunate situation, Steph expressed that people tend to doubt her capabilities based on her gender. At that point, her face turned red with so much frustration as she uttered, “As I continued my journey, I had to prove that I’m as competitive as our male counterpart. I strongly believe women should not be seen as weak or incapable in any industry.” 


reach Pokok.AsiaCreating an innovative workspace design at Yong Studio.  

Along the journey of building people’s dream homes, Steph devoted all her love and passion to her projects, which served a better purpose in her life. “However, now I would be keen to help new talents that are passionate about their dream by creating a platform for them to learn to be successful. Skills can always be acquired, but what’s more important is having a genuine and positive attitude towards learning.”


Satisfaction In Making A Transformation

“I’ve always been fascinated by space planning. Thanks to the power of design, small rooms can actually accommodate large items, making me happy and feel at ease. Once I graduated and started working as an interior designer, I realised that most people hoped to achieve their dream home through design someday, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be that person to make their dream home come true,” she spoke with so much determination. 

As we continued talking about her inspiration for becoming an interior designer, we learned that Steph believes everyone deserves to have their dream home. “The thing that inspired me the most is being able to provide people the dream home that they deserve – in terms of aesthetic appeal, functionality, and quality.” 

She also mentioned that people are always mindful of striking a balance between good taste and budget. To achieve that, they tend to search for an innovative interior design solution to match their budget without being skimped on the quality, or paying attention to details. “Therefore, I always ensure that the end result brings joy and satisfies the house owners when we reveal their dream home,” she articulated with a smile. 

More often than not, interior designers get their inspiration from architectural structures, and as they travel, they come across unique designs that serve as guidance for future projects.

Steph found her inspiration in Taiwan, a place that made her feel calm and comfortable. “As we all know, Taiwan’s property pricing is exceptionally high. Therefore, they mainly focus on refurbishing and renovating old buildings. I find it interesting how they really pay close attention to the tiniest detail of the building structure and transform it to become lively again.”


A Passion That Changed Lives 

At some point in our lives, we reflect on the accomplishments that have led us to where we are today. It’s a memory many of us cherish and remember, from being a student to graduating with an Honours degree and entering the workforce.


reach Pokok.AsiaGood use of space plays a vital role in designing.

Likewise, Steph shares with us her first project with so much excitement. “The L box at Sri Delima house was my first significant home design. I learned that having knowledge about the client’s lifestyle and understanding their objectives for space plays a vital role in creating a design. We also make sure that our design evokes a sense of comfort and that there is harmony and rhythm within the space.”

Her design approach is more intuitive by understanding the client’s characteristics and personality. She can visualise his or her preference based solely on their lifestyle. Concurrently, she agrees that being structured is also important when it comes to the features because it allows her to see and do things meticulously.


Home Sweet Home

Steph designed her home to be more minimalist, to create a serene and relaxing atmosphere. She suggests that every house has a different kind of design; however, what makes a house a home is when we first step into a house, we are able to feel the vibes and characteristics of the owner just by looking at every detail at each corner. 

“This is where designs come together to create a house that reflects a person’s personality – their ways, preference, plans, and desires for the space. The most important aspect of creating a home is to instil a sense of comfort, harmony, and rhythm in space. The needs of the individual determine our style. I believe that the first thing we do when we get home from a hectic day is to rest in a relaxed and peaceful environment.”


One Heart Reach To Another

Who would you consider your idol?

For Steph, it’s Apple’s founder and late CEO, Steve Jobs. She wishes to understand how he was so creative and innovative in his creation that influenced many, from one generation to another.

Coming up the hard way, Steph trusts that determination is the key to success because there are consistent challenges along the way. “Regardless, the vast majority surrender halfway because they lack a clear direction and the willpower to succeed in this industry. Always believe in yourself, and you will be able to overcome challenges and emerge as a winner in your career.”

reach Pokok.AsiaNothing compares to the satisfaction of creating your own space.


Every dream starts with a vision 

We sat there listening to Steph, not realising how quickly time passed. I didn’t want the session to end as I felt every bit of her emotion. It taught me that even if life isn’t easy, as long as you have the strength and patience within you, no one can stop you from reaching for the stars.

As soon as we parted, I knew her words would have a lasting impact on my life, shaping me as a person and propelling me toward my vision.


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