How is a Luxury Home Born From Scratch?
Annabella Nassetti recently spoke to Network Elle, giving an insight into her creations and what inspires her designs. Find out what Annabella had to say in her interview below.
Face to face with the designer of industrialists and collectors – she reveals the secret of her creations between craftsmanship and luxury.
Annabella Nassetti, Architect, lives in London creating bespoke projects for her clients.
Originally from Milan and now as an adopted Londoner, Annabella Nassetti has been creating bespoke projects with her signature for more then 13 years. Her recent client list includes Chalerm Yoovidhya, co-owner of the Redbull Formula One team, Patrick Head, co-founder of the Williams Martini Formula One team, Founder of Voss, Magne Jordanger, and Mr DeLonghi, an Italian industrialist. We meet her in London, where she lives, so that she can tell us more about her job and what her future projects include.
As an Italian in London, how did you start?
I started in 1997 with an interior design course followed by a Degree in Industrial Design in Milan, my home town. I felt the need to explore different aspects of design, where I could introduce my own design creations, like furniture, kitchens and design accessories.
The idea of stylising an interior didn’t satisfy me, I wanted to ‘feel and develop’ the design. I started working for one of the most successful property developers in London and this gave me the opportunity to experiment with my design identity and flourish. I also collaborated with HBA, Hirsh Bedner Associates, in the luxury hotel design industry where I worked on projects in Rome and Istanbul.
What kind of projects do you currently undertake?
I undertake full refurbishments, beginning to end. My team and I take care of the project from construction to completion via project management.
Which is the favourite part of your job?
I love to shape the interiors to achieve perfect harmony between the layout within the space and volume provided, always keeping in mind our clients’ needs and tastes. Often they require comfortable interiors where they can show the art pieces they own and collect. Clients get in touch with me before they purchase their properties in order to get support throughout the process.
What has been the most particular request from a client?
For a project in Knightsbridge, in collaboration with Berti Italia, I crated an ebony floor with mother of pearl resin inserts. The effect was simply astonishing and unseen before. With Bisazza, I reproduced a piece from Andy Warhol, onto a Tweed 10x10mm mosaic background.
For a dining room in Wimbledon, I recently designed a 210cm round table with a Lasa white marble support. The support is composed of 12 petals that I designed with 3D modelling software that went from my computer directly to the production machine, which delivered the precise details. Thanks to this type of 3D modelling technology we can obtain any ‘bespoke’ design. The attention to wall and ceiling finishes is always very important in my projects.
I am being asked more and more now about home cinemas where, in this case, the challenge is to make these projector screens disappear. In order to satisfy the most refined needs, the importance of sound insulation cannot be underestimated.
In the photo: a bathroom fully finished in mosaic in Chelsea, London
Do you often interact with art in your projects?
Yes. I include pieces from Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon, Matisse, Lucien Freud, Andy Warhol and often I get Marialuisa Hernandez, a Chilean artist, to commission special pieces for me.
Where do you find inspiration?
My Milanese roots, my trips, in objects that I find beautiful and in my daily life. Inspiration is everywhere. I can be inspired from a Riva Aquarama, with its timeless profile, or a Porsche 356 which I consider to be a work of art on wheels, but even simply walking in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
What is the objective I your projects?
To obtain the optimal balance with the design without missing out on the practical aspects of the project and to maximise the value of the property.
In the picture: the living room of an apartment in South Kensington, London, created by Annabella Nassetti
Is everything you create ‘bespoke’? Which brands do you collaborate with?
For the bespoke design pieces that are not available on the market, for a current project, I chose to collaborate with Philippe Hurel in Paris and RDC Italia in Como. Furthermore, we are developing some cocktail bar designs. These will be a combination of nickel and glass with the motif etched on the glass from a Rubelli Venetian style fabric.
Which of your many projects is closest to your heart?
A Zen style apartment in Onslow Square, South Kensington. This was a real challenge. The owner of the property says that anyone who enters the apartment feels a physical benefit. Within the interior we managed to create a perfect harmony, where body and mind gently come together. The geometry, the symmetry and the colour palette allow for anyone living in the house to detach from the chaos of city life, especially after a stressful day.
In the photo: the bar designed by Annabella Nassetti in Great Gatsby style
Why are Italians the best in design?
Because we grew up surrounded by unique beauty. A great part of the world’s artistic heritage is in Italy and we absorb it at different levels. We are imaginative, eclectic, lively, but at the same time austere and slightly distant. Most importantly we are the fusion of millenary cultures, always maintaining our unique identity in its genre.
I am collaborating with an existing client of mine, celebrity chef, Judy Joo, to create an innovative concept for restaurants in Asia. The idea is to obtain the maximum privacy by using technology, so the service at the table happens only when and if required. A new concept in its entirety, where the volume of the commercial interior is maximised via an unseen aesthetic solution. I am also designing a collection of tables and coffee tables, a chaise longue inspired from a ‘classic twist’ in colourful silk upholstery.
The interview is available on the Network Elle website here.