Who is she? Born in Hong Kong and educated in the United States, Natasha Usher runs interior design firm Nude (an acronym for Natasha Usher Design Enterprise) and is behind the interiors at Pure Fitness and The Hairdressers in Central and American Nutrition in Central and Discovery Bay. How did she get into interior design? Usher studied interior architecture and ergonomics in San Diego. In 1995, she returned to Hong Kong and was hired as a designer by AP Architects, where, she says, her career didn't exactly take off. 'I was the only female in the architectural department. I was a young female designer and all the men were architects,' she says. 'There was that stereotype about architects and interior designers. It's a bit like dentist and doctor - there's forever the argument that one is more qualified than the other ... But things have changed. There's more respect for interior designers now.' What happened next? Usher left AP and joined design firm Davenport Campbell, where she engaged in two distinctly different disciplines: design and marketing. 'I had a knack for marketing that I didn't realise I had. I ended up understanding how to run a business and approach clients and impress them during a presentation.' The experience paved the way for her eventual move to freelancing and the establishment of Nude. What's her style? 'I don't like to do purely clean and architectural lines. I like to use a lot of texture and finishes. And I like playing with contrast and using upholstery wherever I can,' she says. Usher has designed a small collection of furniture, which includes a steel TV cabinet and a set of ottomans in the shape of biscuits. 'I loved designing furniture but I've lost the verve because once your design goes to a factory in mainland China, you have no control over things. People may copy your idea and produce the same thing much faster and at a much cheaper cost. It's very disheartening.' Where can we see her work? Usher's furniture collection can be ordered directly through www.nude.com.hk . She is currently working on the renovation of Long Island Golf & Country Club in Dongguan, Guangdong. The idea is to revitalise the premises and give them a fresh look. 'There is huge competition among China's golf resorts. We want to add something timeless and warm. We'll use natural materials and naturally coloured interior stones. It's not going to be a crazy tropical look.'