Name: Eliska Sapera
Company: Eliska Design Associates Ltd.
Position within company: Design Director
Website: Eliska Design
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I have over 27-years of design experience that has seen me work from Shanghai and Australia, to the Middle East, the UK and USA. I am so honoured to have been named as one of Britain’s top 30 interior designers by the Sunday Times. I began a design career originally in the fashion industry, I was design director of my own fashion label that specialised in internationally sold luxury knitwear.
I founded my design practice in 2001, and launched my Central London showroom in Portman Village in 2007. The design practice works in the residential and commercial market and has an international client portfolio.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal design style is always timeless with clean lines, mixed with curated statement antiques and artworks and a blend of Contemporary, Art Deco and Oriental pieces.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My design inspiration directly mirrors my extensive travel experience and my interest in art history, contemporary art and fashion and
architecture. With all my projects I bring an ability to read cultures and translate that into design. I blend quintessential American, English, European, Middle Eastern and Oriental stylistic features to create a distinct transitional and international interior
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Due to the power of social media, I believe that we are experiencing an enormous shift in the design community. The ability to communicate design ideas quickly and effectively, connecting with a global community of specialists, dealers and artisans is transforming the landscape of inspiration, sourcing and sampling. I feel we are moving into a much more globally connected design network.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
Proportions- Bones of the room/building have to be precise- proportions are everything.
Quality- Always buy at the best possible level you can afford.
Lighting- A lighting expert should always be considered in the earliest stages of the design process.
Technology- embrace it in its most advanced of guises, but keep it simple and user friendly.
A home should always be a haven, make sure that you are surrounded by precious objects, art and books. A living space should reflect the best of who you are and that should be uplifting.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
Any design should be well considered, for that to happen, a breadth of research is required. Always push your curiosity to its limits.
How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The International Hotel and Property Awards raises the standards of design in the interior design community.
What projects are you currently working on?
Bespoke products ranging from a furniture collection sourced from rare wood including Makassar and Ebony incorporating Bronze and Leather, to a bespoke designed dinner service. I am developing own brand tabletop collection made with wood and sterling silver working directly with artisans in Zimbabwe. I am currently working on concept ideas for a boutique hotel group and a private
members club renovation. I continue to oversee the design of a high end Central London residential apartment. I am also in the final stages of a country house total refurbishment and extensive rebuild.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Increase my branded product line.
Launching the Architectural arm of my practice.
Widen my network of specialist artisans
Take on more international projects that reflect the ethos of the practice and continue to present me with new challenges.
Secure a full hotel project with my team I am always looking to learn new skills, including a new language for this year.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
After my children and my husband, my health.
Your favourite holiday destination?
A secluded sun destination with cultural overtones
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town/ Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney / Claridge’s Bar, London
Your favourite book / film / song?
Elif Şafak, Three Daughters of Eve / The Leopard (1963), by Visconti/ Etta James, “A Sunday Kind of Love”/
Your favourite food and drink?
I love the culture and flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine, in particular from Aleppo and Iran. I have fallen in love with Seedlip a non alcoholic range of spirits, made from a blend of botanicals and can be enjoyed with tonic and a slice of cucumber!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
An early rise, a Pilates session, a leisurely brunch followed by a gallery/museum excursion. Late afternoon; a movie and a family and close friends relaxed meal at home.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A theatre designer.
Anything else interesting?
I am aiming to enrol in a course at the Prince’s Drawing School for the traditional arts where I hope to learn how to prepare my own shell of colour from Cinnabar and Malachite stones to use with different binders.