Maison Arabella have been shortlisted for multiple categories in The International Design & Architecture Awards. Read more about Founder of Maison Arabella, Arabella Bassadone below:
Name: Arabella Bassadone
Company: Maison Arabella
Position within company: Founder & Creative Director
Tell us a little about your background in design:
I credit my roots and global perspective for setting onto the path of leading a design studio and starting a business. The classicism inherited from my Austrian mother, together with my Mediterranean background have set the tone for my appreciation of mixing styles. I have experienced a variety of different cultures, having lived in Paris, Hong Kong and LA, to then kick starting a career in London where I completed a Diploma in Interior Design at KLC following a degree in Investment & Finance in Real Estate from the University of Reading. Prior to setting up Maison Arabella, I dived into the creative industry honing my skills in the renowned practices of Katharine Pooley and Candy&Candy. I have gained experience in leading high-end projects in prime Central London and abroad, from a young age, which sets me apart from some of my contemporaries.
Being founder and creative director of an interior design studio was an inevitable choice having been surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather was a property developer, my mother a designer, who previously owned a boutique of objets de curiosities and a my father is a successful entrepreneur, who was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours) for his contribution to the automotive industry and economy.
In 2019, the studio launched the first selection of home Objets, extending my design credentials in product design. I believe furniture should be looked at for its daily use, and whether utilised or not, it should energise an environment in the same way a painting or sculpture does.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I would pin my innate style as original and eclectic but always resulting in effortless sophistication. There is a flexibility in my approach to design uniting the classic with the modern, I enjoy pushing boundaries with the latest design technology, while still preserving ancient skills and time-honoured techniques.
My personal taste is sensitive to considered living and I do believe in designs that are sympathetic to the social and environmental impact, whether it is a new or existing but must always be stylish.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I find most my inspiration in newness, whether I’m in a gallery exhibition, having dinner with creative contemporaries or reflecting on a classic masterpiece, I find inspiration in the most unexpected moments and details that spark a rollercoaster of ideas..
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Wellbeing & technology. I would say there is a strong correlation between function and aesthetic. We demand design to be versatile, comfortable homes that accommodate many needs, from home gyms and spas, to workspaces. This approach favours more sustainable materials, upcycling with an emphasis that design is an investment.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
Following the pandemic of 2020, I think there is a natural shift into design details and materials that benefit from increased hygiene. I do believe natural antibacterial solutions will be more widely considered in both residential and commercial spaces. Additionally, an increase in flexibility from spaces due to the recent change in work/home life, I think post pandemic there will be a big shift in spatial awareness. Offices will become more generous and homes will compensate for a flexible work routine.
Biophilia and inspired Biomaterial surfaces continue to feature in a very strong way, increasingly applied with more sophistication in spaces and pieces. I believe this will bring greener and more sustainable initiatives, which will guarantee exquisite beauty and style.
I think there is a global shift into wellbeing and I strongly believe this will continue to be a key theme. Clients are increasingly understanding the importance of incorporating health into their daily routine and the benefits this has on their lifestyle.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Plan to provide limitless creative options.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
I think, it is imperative in the creative industry to have the opportunity to acquire further credentials by participating in the ID&A Awards. This provides a point of comparison and chance to celebrate design.
What projects are you currently working on?
A personal project which has been part of a 25-year business plan for the Bassadone Group, we are working on a new office build (48,500 sq ft). In collaboration with the architects, Maison Arabella first had to overcome the constraints of using an existing heritage MOD site and complement the building with an entirely new architectural identity to reflect the company’s future vision and expansion. Now completing the fit-out for a functional office space over 3 floors with a ground-floor retail outlet.
Our architectural collaboration with Squire & Partners and our interior design creativity continues to expand globally in our current projects that include a newbuild private Spa located in the Middle East. A vast resort-inspired complex of 80,000 sq ft that seamless blends nature and architecture. The pavilions feature the latest spa and medical technology whilst keeping an ambiance that feels personal and cosy to the client. In the same part of the world, we are embarking on creating a comfortable family Villa of 17,000sq ft for a private client.
In addition a beautiful blue-plaque Georgian townhouse in London (4,500 sq ft), undergoing planning, where we are working to translate modern living into a Grade II listed building whilst retaining some of its original characteristics.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Maison Arabella value the originality and complexity in the detailing of each piece and want to continue creating new designs to add to our home Objet series and growing our design studio. Ultimately a flagship gallery/studio space dedicated to beautiful design and supported by Architectural Interior design is the end vision.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
My bed – I have a savoir linen upholstered bed that keeps me balanced through pure joy whilst sleeping.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere in Italy.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
– The Amangiri in Utah for its architecture and natural surroundings.
– The bar at the Connaught Hotel in London, plays homage to David Collins signature design style and because it is small, it has an intimate and exciting atmosphere.
– ‘Da O Batti’ in Portofino for the simplicity of its dishes.
Your favourite book, film & song?
I think any of Pedro Almodovar movies is complex and unique. I feel engaged and visually entertained. I am a fan of hip hop and R&B – my partner introduced me to ‘Toosie Slide’ recently by Drake. I don’t have a specific book genre, but I was gifted ‘Into the Magic Shop’ which is part memoir and part scientific discovery of the power of our mind. Great short book that can have a pivotal impact on your life.
Your favourite food and drink?
Japanese cuisine for the delicate, beautiful, and exquisite flavours & won’t say no to a lychee martini
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
If it involves family or nature I’m always happy.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Artist or psychologist
Anything else interesting?
I’m a huge fan of yoga
Maison Arabella have been shortlisted for multiple categories in The International Design & Architecture Awards.
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