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by Danielle Parkinson

Having lived in a small community in Port of Spain for many years, I definitely noticed when an impressive wall adorned by a modern and contemporary wooden gate sprung up on the main road. The lights of the house it hid would peak through at night like shining crystals beckoning me to discover what lay behind it. Oh the mysterious scenarios it created in mind, each time I passed one played out as my curiosity never ceased to overwhelm me. So to my surprise, karma did intend me to discover what treasures lay beyond that wall, as I was invited there to visit the studio and home of premier event planner and designer Brian Gopaul.

Brian Gopaul has carved out a name for himself having spent over twelve years as one of the leading event specialists and decorators on the island through his companies Elite Planners Limited and Flowers & Functions. With a full team of ten key staff members most of whom are OSHA certified and an auxiliary staff of over twenty persons, Gopaul's core business is handling corporate events and supplying and creating floral designs. With successful and memorable events under his belt such as the launch of the 2009 Toyota Corolla at the Trinidad Hilton, and the recent exclusive Angostura Rum Event held at the Queen's Park Oval, there is no doubt that Gopaul is well experienced, meticulous to detail and passionate about what he does.

 

 

"Event coordinators are born", he shared as his living room darkened by the rain lightly falling outside, and framing him is a large window draped with thick olive coloured curtains. We close the curtains and switch on a funky lamp in the corner, the lighting warming his face as he continues "you must be bom to entertain, whether it's just friends over for drinks at your home, it must be memorable". Having recognized that one of the keys to his success is ability to build honest and trusting relationships, "my clients can close their eyes and rest assured I will get the job done" he reveals with a beaming smile of satisfaction on his face.

 

Upon acquiring his home about two years ago,. which was previously owned by a local artist, Gopaul took on the daunting task of renovating and decorating the property in a record six week timeframe. Why six weeks? The place had to be complete in time for a group of close foreign based friends coming to T&T for carnival. I'm sure you, like me, would be shocked to think that in only six weeks such an immaculately designed space was created. He explained that numerous walls were knocked down to create the wide open feel of his living room, warmly decorated with various cozy textures, from the soft ivory coloured sofa, to the colourful paintings on the wall. You are then led into the open kitchen with modern furnishings and appliances and then the dining room which has the most beautifully simple yet striking chandelier hanging above its table adorned with two small arrangements of fresh flowers rich in fragrance and vibrant colours; the only thing more captivating than his living space would be the lush natural environment including a small river right below the balcony of the patio which hugs both the kitchen and dining room.

Doing interiors began as a hobby, and with the amazing job he accomplished with the fabulous transformation of his home, clients are now more than ever very keen on hiring Gopaul to work his magic on their own spaces whether corporate or at home. And with interior design being so closely linked to event decor and coordination, the integration of this service into his business only seems like a natural evolution.

A firm believer of inspiration coming from within, he is an advocate for meditation, prayer and self reflection, who understands and treasures the importance of close friends and family. Having lost his mother a few years ago, Brian now aims to live the dreams she was never able to experience and feels assured that if she were here today she would certainly be proud of his achievements, "I don't want to disappoint them (my fam­ily), and so they drive me to succeed." When asked to share who and what inspires him in his field, Gopaul shared that one of his local inspirations is designer Brian MacFarlane, who has been able to create a "signature" style and always wows with his elaborate offerings whether it be events, interior designs or mas making.

 When not working, and on the rare weekends when he's free, Gopaul loves to spend time at the beach, and of course entertaining at home with friends, because after all he was born to entertain!

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