Architect and designer, Chiara Castelli loves to have trusting and intimate relationships with her clients. Listening and experience are therefore essential requisites for a furnishing with a distinctive personality.
Chiara, would you describe your job?
I can tell you I am in love with my job. My spare time is always dedicated to the hunt for objects, materials, ideas. I graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, but I mainly work as an interior architect; having been born into a family of furniture manufacturers I have always been into Interior Design. I am a bit of an atypical architect, in fact, I have a furniture shop where I sell both furniture that I designed, or unique or rare pieces, not mass-produced. My philosophy is no logo. My clients are not looking for the brand, they are looking for something distinctive, which has my touch or has been carefully selected by me. I follow my client in every aspect of the project, from the organization of the spaces to the choice of fabrics and furnishing items.
In my projects I usually tend towards warm colours, and I give much importance to the materials; I use a great deal of oxidized metals. I try to be in accord with the ongoing fashion, but I am quite eclectic so I prefer mixing modern and antique pieces of furnishing. As a general idea, I get my inspiration from the French decorative style, I am not “clean and dry”, but when I design my pieces I usually go for simple essential lines.
Which is your favourite part of a project?
I must admit I love the relationship that arises with my clients. I step into people’s lives, into their homes, in a very intimate way. I discover how people live, what are the habits of the families, and I often find myself in the position of helping them by listening to them. In time I learned that listening, and learning how to go around some personal dynamics, as for example between husband and wife, helps me in offering the best ideas. I love this aspect of my job because I receive both new couples, just about to go live together, as well as older couples with different needs and attitudes. And it is an honour to enter their spaces. The real challenge is understanding what the person in front of me wants and trying to filter that through my ideas: I do not believe the client is always right and I will not support their ideas if I see faults in them.
What role does Art have in your job? And what do you think of Cinquerosso Arte?
I believe works of art are very important and more in general whatever goes on the walls, for a very simple reason: the first thing people get wrong when they want to renovate the interior design are the paintings. Some clients are passionate about art and maybe want to build their re-furnishing ideas around the paintings, but in the majority of cases people do not have an artistic sensitivity. Thus, for an interior designer, the difficulty consists in the conjugation of the personal taste with the need of not ruining the whole project with horrible paintings hanging on the walls.
This is also why I find the Cinquerosso Arte’s project quite interesting, because it offers me and my colleagues quality works which also have accessible prices.
Of course I see some difficulties as well, because it is not easy to make art understood through the digital channel, which adds to the lack of a real and proper culture which allows the recognition of beauty. This must be built.