Name: Irene Pansadoro
Company: Irene Pansadoro Interior Design
Position within company: Principal / Design Director
Tell us a little about your background in design…
I have been a member of the professional interior design industry for the last 25 years. I started out in architecture before realizing my love was for the human-scale elements of the building interiors, and decided to focus on interior design. Moving from Rome to London, I earned top awards, graduating with honours from the Inchbald School of Design.
After working with Italian interior designer Toni Facella Sensi, renowned for his prestigious homes all over the world, I experienced set design and then deepened my understanding of the world of top design further, while working at The World of Interiors magazine.
In 1996 I launched my own studio, designing luxury apartments and villas. Meanwhile, I collaborated with HDC Interior Architecture + Design Rome (formerly Barry Design Associates), where I was Associate – Director of Design for ten years.
Hotel Design has become my core business and I am often called to hold lectures for professionals in important institutions such as Milan’s Polytechnic and the Guangzhou Design Week.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I believe that the combination of Italian flair, extensive travels and long-standing experience enables me to conceptualize a unique design perspective, creating environments that have earned international recognition. Each design is tailored as a unique venue and delivered within budget and timeframe.
I am a lover of materials and, even though I believe colour is very important, I often say that one-day I would love to design for blind people to see if I could still make them love a space just by feeling the different emotions that materials give.
I am a very strong researcher and believe that behind every design decision there are reasons; operational, historical or budgetary. The challenge is to consider all of this and to create a unique experience for the guests which leaves them with memories of elegance, practical comfort and beauty.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Nature, travelling and history!
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Both in residential and hotel design there is a strong attention to state of the art technology combined with comfort. In my opinion these elements have to be married with a design made of clean lines, beautiful materials where textures are enhanced, a punctuated use of colour, intriguing design ideas and an obsessive attention to detail in order to create elegant and subtlety luxurious environments that is what people are looking for.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.
– Local culture and history
– Functionality in the use of space and materials (also for maintenance reasons)
– Sustainability through energy saving, new technologies and local sourcing
– Work within the set budget
– Absolute attention to details in order to marvel the final user and make the difference!
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
When starting a project take your time to:
– Define well the scope of work and budget
– Give the designer enough time to create something unique
– Give the suppliers time to produce perfectly what the designer created for you (beautiful things take time to be created!)
How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The Awards are an important incentive for designers who see their efforts recognized and, at the same time, a powerful means to introduce professionals to property owners giving them the chance to create new synergies.
What projects are you currently working on?
A high-end residential project, (where we can work without having to deal with fire regulations!)
Regarding Hotels we are continuing to work on some of the Westin Palace Milan public areas while waiting for a new challenging hotel project to start.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To develop more bespoke elements of design, research cutting-edge materials and study new concepts of hotel living (ie. versatile hotel rooms and public areas), visit Japan to study its design and culture, and generate synergies with new hotel developers.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Allegra, my daughter, even if she is totally independent and cannot really consider her my possession but only a part of me.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Every place where I can discover new cultures preferably next to the sea.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Difficult to answer, how can one choose between the overwater bungalows in Polynesia, the luxurious tented camps in Africa or the skiing lodges in British Columbia? For sure my favourite hotels are set in the middle of nature!
Your favourite book / film / song?
I love South American writers.
Film: La Traviata by Franco Zeffirelli with Placido Domingo
Regarding music, because I am a romantic soul, I would mention Barbra Straisand, Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour but I also love all types of Brasilian music because of the “saudade” and its energy that makes it impossible not to dance.
Your favourite food and drink?
Mexican food, lately recognised by Unesco intangible cultural heritage of humanity, together with Italian of course. Drink: Margarita
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Travelling or simply discovering new places even just round the corner from my home.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
An Anthropologist or traveling food critic
Anything else interesting?
I Love travelling and speak four languages and this gives me great ease in working all over the world.