THE NOTEBOOK OF Isabel López

Isabel López Vilalta - Isabel López Vilalta + Asociados - Barcelona/Madrid

Celler de Can Roca, Restaurante Filandón, Hotel Omm, Hotel Eme, Oficinas de Alta Dirección (Sant Cugat del Vallés), Escuela de inglés What’s up (Barcelona)…

1 – Who is Isabel López? 

Interior Designer.

2 – When did you discover that you wanted to be an interior designer?

Many years ago.

3 – A reference in interior design…

From here: Pepe Cortés, Fernando Amat. International: Christian Liagre, Petra Blaise..

4 – If you had not been an interior designer, you would have been…?

Any creative discipline.

5 – One defect and one virtue.

I’d rather have others find that out.

6 – What is your house like?

Warm, welcoming, bright, quiet, comfortable, functional and sustainable.

7 – Sunday is a day for…

Getting some rest, reading, walking, enjoying friends, family…

8 – A place to look for inspiration.

There is no single place, as there are many and varied. I have been inspired during moments of intense work, going home late and sleepy, relaxed in a good hammock, or during moments of leisure, at the dance, at the opera, at the movies…
For example watching a good movie, “The Pillow Book” from Peter Greenaway, a good exhibition by Christiane Löhr, or a taking a trip. As an occupational habit, on my travels I visit restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels that are interesting from my point of view. I also take the opportunity to see contemporary architecture works or design classics such as the Maison de Verre de Pierre Chareau in Paris, which is an essential reference point for any interior designer.

9 – What is the last book that you have read?

“The Mess with the Stock Exchange and Life” by Eduardo Mendoza… an oasis amongst so many problems, with a touch of humor which parodies the crisis, the euro, and highly topical fictional characters.

10 – 15 Years from now…

I hope we can have another chat.

11 – When you think of interior design or design you think of…

Experimenting. Talent, creativity, ideas, and thoughts are not in crisis.

12 – Pencil or computer?

Pencil for me, computer for my team.

13 – How would you describe your work?

In my work I like to convey beauty, coherence, peace, serenity, culture, and craft. Also risk, sense of humor, and a certain degree of pretense.
I like to think that my work is related to culture and construction. A job well done, with care, can be very exciting for me. In the same way, a good exhibition, or watching a movie or a dance show, have been great influences.

14 – One project you would like to do.

I would like to be able to repeat very positive experiences I’ve had so far, with new customers from different cultures, to continue learning and enjoying myself.
I really like Adolf Loos’ American Bar in Vienna. I think it is a little gem. It is still a special interior which is able of creating a personal atmosphere that transcends fads.

15 – Your opinion of Spanish interior design.

Design and architecture are a reflection of the reality they develop in.
After a period of excesses comes a calm period. Interior design has always been about finding solutions to specific needs. It is a discipline related to use.
The Catalunya and Balears Pavilion at the Venice Biennial last summer caught my attention. I thought it was a good example of the interesting architecture that is being made now. It is a design more linked to the needs of the user. It is a more generous, less histrionic design. It is carried out with fewer resources, but no less expressive.

16 – How do you keep your own style while meeting your customers’ needs?

I get my own style by interpreting the desires and needs of the client.
It is a moment of uncertainty, which makes you have to be more alert and more agile in the descriptions that you take.
We must work closer to the entrepreneur contributing our knowledge to theirs.

17 – In architecture, what are you better at and what do you have more trouble with?

I try to keep myself away from fads and practice my profession based on a more permanent and less imposed value. In my opinion, more sustainable.

18 – Your recipe for success.

When I tackle a new job I like to inform myself about the project’s history and background. To the extent possible I like to feel the qualities that the place in which I have to work has. Color, light, temperature, proportions…
Similarly, it is essential that there is a total connection with the project to be carried out, and if there is also synergy with the client, success is guaranteed.

19 – What is the role of natural products in your projects?

In terms of materials, we are living a moment of great intensity. Material centers such as the Materfad at FAD are a good example.

20 – Your flagship L’Antic Colonial product is…

Terracotta from Village Curry and Marble basins.

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