Elma R. Kukaj

Elma R. Kukaj

New York, NY, US



I am an interior designer, part-time photographer, food enthusiast and travel fanatic. I was born in Albania, lived in Italy for a few years and moved to New York at the age of 17. I have since then followed my passion and hobby of architecture and design and attended School of Visual Arts where I received my Bachelors Degree in Interior Design in 2013. While in college I have received the ELF excellence student award where I was honored the ASID Education Legacy Fund in March 2012. My work has been displayed at the AAAS Exhibit in 2013 and 2014 and the Illyria Newspaper as one of the first American-Albanian designers and architects to found an exhibition in New York City.
I secured an internship at BAM Studio while my third year in college and have since then been highly involved in the field. I landed a temporary position with two small residential firms in Brooklyn in 2013 where I conducted surveys, produced construction documents, pricing, bidding, building management and DOB sets . I worked as a freelance designer for two local residential projects until January 2014 where I got a design & marketing position with Carnegie Fabrics Creative Studio and a junior interior designer position with Jill Menoff Architect, P.C. 
Lastly, I worked as an architectural and decorative inside sales representative for Simon’s Hardware and Bath; a Trade Supply Group company who works solely with architects, designers and contractors.
Currently I am the interior designer for HTO Architect PLLC, a full service architectural firm based in Manhattan, specializing in the design of high-rise residential, hospitality, and mixed-use buildings in New York City and beyond. 
I am presently working on two opulent high-rise residential towers with a square footage of 1.5 million, located in Long Island City, as well as a 30 story luxury residential renovation project in Brooklyn Heights.
I am a highly active member of the IIDA,ASID, IDLNY, IDS and regularly attend field related events, seminars and workshops. 



HTO Architect, New York, NY, US, Interior Designer

Feb 2015 - current

Simon's Hardware & Bath, New York, NY, US, Architectural & Decorative Inside Sales Rep

Work closely with architects and contractors on a variety of projects
Reach monthly sales of $70,000 on architectural hardware
Specify architectural hardware as per client’s needs
Engage with vendors on special orders and order follow up
Raise product margin to reach departamental’s monthly profit goals

Oct 2014 - current

Jill Menoff Architect, New York, NY, US, Junior Interior Designer

Developed DoB and Building Management filing sets
Produced bid sets for pricing
Selected furnishings and furnishes for residential projects
Created FF&E schedules
Conveyed site surveys

Mar 2014 - Oct 2014

Carnegie Fabrics Creative, New York, NY, US, Design/Marketing Assistant

Scheduled and produced fabric and textile photo-shoots
Material’s library upgrade and product improvement
Website product introduction and expansion
Planned events for in-house projects
Designed and organized showroom events and trade shows

Jan 2014 - Jul 2014

Freelancer, New York, NY, US, Interior Desginer/Project Manager

Design development for residential projects
Composed furniture and material presentations for clients
Conducted site surveys, site evaluation and test fits
Worked closely with clients to maximize the design intent
On-site problem solving pertaining to construction and design

Feb 2013 - Dec 2013

BAM Studio, New York, NY, US, Interior Design Intern

Maintenance of library materials and introduction of new vendors
Prepared finishes presentations for weekly meetings
Researched furnishings for healthcare projects
Prepared drawing sets for client’s approval

Sep 2012 - Dec 2012


School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York, NY, US, Bachelors, Interior Design BFA

Sep 2009 - May 2013


AAAS Annual Exhibition 2013, Other

Participated in the annual exhibition of the Albanian American Architcture Society with my thesis project " Children's medical rehabilitation center".


AAAS Annual Exhibition 2012, Other

Participated in the annual exhibition of the Albanian American Architcture Society with the "Albanian Cultural Center".


Areas of Specialization 


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