“I decided to pursue an education in architecture because this field combines creative disciplines, humanities and science. I thought I would never get bored.”
Ula Bochinska is a registered architect in New York State. She has been practicing architecture in NYC since 2002. She specializes in new, mixed used construction, house additions and renovations as well as retail and commercial work. Ula has been running her own architecture studio, Bostudio Architecture, since 2009. She also co-founded Uniform Design — a ready-made bathroom design company in 2011. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
This week we’re thrilled to feature architect Ula Bochinska and her gorgeous work. These beautiful interiors make us want to renovate! We talk to her about how she got into architecture, work-life balance and her creative life.
227 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn. Photo credit: Kate Glicksberg
How did you get into architecture?
It all started with Legos. From a very young age I was building elaborate structures out of Lego blocks. I also got fascinated by a surveyor who came to measure our house. I followed him around observing – with awe – how he created floorplans of a three-dimensional object. Lastly, I got really drawn into history of art, especially architecture. Ultimately, I decided to pursue an education in architecture because this field combines creative disciplines, humanities and science. I thought I would never get bored.
Photo credit: John Bartelstone
How do you balance being a mom and your creative work?
I try to maintain very clear boundaries between family and work. I have an office space and this is where most of my work gets done. When it comes to the creative portion of my job, however, it may happen anywhere, anytime. I sketch on the train, I sketch late at night. The challenge and the thrill of creating something is the fact that it is hard to predict when the idea will crystallize. It is important for me, however, to set up time when I am truly not at work but in the present with my daughter. I admit that sometimes it is not easy.
Photo credit: Damien Neva
How did becoming a mom change your career goals?
Becoming a mom helped me focus and mature. I stopped dwelling on small things and instead learned to look at the bigger picture. It has become easier for me to say “no”. My time has become more valuable and I carefully consider each project before I take it on. I ask myself questions: is this potential engagement going to steer me in the right direction? Is it going to be fun, engaging, a learning experience?
Photo credit: Kate Glicksberg
What’s one thing about your own creativity have you’ve learned from being a mom?
I learn a lot from my daughter. I admire her freedom to create, her lack of judgment and problem solving skills. I find it amazing how much of this naive and genuine creative drive gets lost when we grow up. One thing that I noticed and find really interesting is that often she draws something, and I ask her what it is, and I can tell she does not know but makes up a story after the fact. In my eyes this is proof that in art, everything is allowed.
Photo credit: Adam Bochinski
Do you have any advice to moms trying to balance career and family?
Balancing a career and family is not easy, but I would not have it any other way. What I believe to be very important is adding “self” into the equation. It sounds like a cliche but it changed everything for me. Maintaining sanity while pursuing a career and raising kids is of utmost importance. You must find time for yourself — to decompress, reflect and refresh. I play tennis several times a week and it has been great for me and the family. It clears the built-up tension and completely clears my mind. I recommend any physical activity, but especially outdoors.
Thanks so much to Ula for taking time to share her experiences and interiors with us! We love your work and positive message about blending motherhood and creativity.