Jelena Cousins

Co-Founder & Creative Director , Cousins & Cousins Ltd

Jelena Cousins is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Cousins & Cousins. Jelena, together with Ben Cousins, leads and inspires a creative team of experienced architects and designers to create and deliver award-winning luxury private homes, sustainable and commercial projects as well as cultural commissions.  Our work is focused on using materials, light and detail to craft spaces that promote wellbeing for the people within them. The buildings function as beautifully as they look, uniting carefully composed spaces and simple form with quality and sustainability, to push boundaries in design. Our process is collaborative and iterative, and we are continuously imagining and reinventing ideas to define creative design solutions. Alongside our expertise in new-build homes and private commissions, we are also specialists in sustainable retrofit, modern methods of construction, heritage sites and listed buildings.  In the later years I I've become more interested in the relationship between Interior Design and Architecture and how a more holistic approach, that harmonises the two, can create buildings that feel more cohesive and are greater than the sum of their parts. 

What are you most looking forward to about judging this year's British Homes Awards and, as a judge, what are you looking for in the work?

I am looking forward to reviewing the breath of projects and seeing different approaches to designing them.  However what I will be mostly interested in is how these projects create a sense of homeliness and how they enhance the quality of life within them - a home as a sanctuary from the everyday life.