MM Interiors have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – London Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020. Read more about Founder, Itala Santos, below:
Name: Itala Santos
Company: MM Interiors
Position within company: Founder & CEO
Tell us a little about your background in design:
Working in prime central London property sales for 10 years I gained an appreciation of great design and architecture throughout a myriad of luxury properties. I was fortunate enough to work in areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.
The experience gained during that time has played a major role which formed a stable foundation for my career as an interior designer, whereby I have designed and project managed several projects from show homes to private residential clients within the last 8 years.
How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal style is classic contemporary infused with colour. The influence gained from my Brazilian heritage where colour is used to evoke expression and emotions aims to bring additional life to my clients’ properties.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am inspired by Luxury brands such as Valentino and Chanel due to their air of sophistication and intrinsic level of detail.
Fused with my love for travel where I aim to incorporate within my designs natural elements from stones to crystals.
Shape and movement are particularly important in each design I create, taking inspiration from Zaha Hadid, Foster & Partners, and Oscar Niemeyer.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is moving to a more sustainable future, where greater thought is going into the methods used to manufacture the materials we add into our clients homes. Incorporating sustainability with luxury aesthetics is something I very much enjoy doing in the projects I work on.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
- Sustainability – Making sure all fabrics and materials used are eco-friendly and sustainable will be crucial to the future of design.
- Customer Service – Human to human relationships will still be at the core of delivering a design service. Being a trusted advisor will always remain important.
- Adaptability – COVID-19 has made design businesses reconsider how they deliver their services, this fast paced adaptability and flexibility is key to a designers continued success.
- Technology – Technology is helping design reach new capabilities, and service clients in better ways through video calls we maximise the opportunity to service a greater number of clients whilst respecting social distancing.
- Development – Continuous studying and researching within the world of interiors and beyond ensures that one’s job is always better than the last which is key to providing the best level of design for our clients.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
To really listen to what your client wants, and to offer something different that they wouldn’t have thought of themselves.
How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
We are genuinely honoured to be considered. It’s one of the most reputable awards within the industry. We are beyond over the moon at the opportunity of having our name appear in such a respected and well-renowned ceremony. Thank you for the opportunity.
What projects are you currently working on?
MM Interiors are currently working on three high spec luxury designs in central London.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To introduce sustainability further into the design process and the materials used in clients projects. We really believe in having beautiful interiors that are sustainable.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
A scarf which my grandmother gave me – she wore it a lot before she passed away. We were very close – I named the business after her in her honour. It’s the one thing I have from her that makes me feel close to her. I bring it with me to any important meetings or events.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Hong Kong – I love its diversity. It has an incredible city life and a metropolitan feel, yet has incredible mountains for hiking and a beautiful ocean. It nurtures all elements.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Four Seasons in Bahrain – for ultra luxury yet feeling like you’re at home. It’s on a secluded private island which is only a 5-minute speedboat ride into the cosmopolitan centre of Bahrain.
Kaspar’s at The Savoy – incredible food with a really lovely view of the river Thames
The Vault Bar in The Ned – I love the design of this stunning bar
Your favourite book, film & song?
Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare
What Dreams May Come
Nat King Cole, Unforgettable
Your favourite food and drink?
Seafood and any drink with elderflower and cucumber
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Driving to the seaside to relax and re-energise
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
MM Interiors have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – London Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020.
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