Cristiana Castagnetti, a vintage treasure hunter
Cristiana Castagnetti is an Interior decorator with a particular passion for fabrics and vintage. She has worked on many projects throughout Italy where she never fails to include items recovered in France in antique fairs.
How did your passion for design come about?
My passion for design began many years ago and started with a fascination for beautiful furniture and interiors. My mother really loved the house we lived in and called home. She loved nothing better than buying furniture, moving things around and changing color schemes.
So let’s just say it’s a family vice which runs in my DNA.
I started working in a beautiful fabric and decor shop and trained in Interior Architecture.
At that point just for fun, I started furnishing the houses of my friends until over time the passion turned into a real job.
tell us what you are most passionate about when your start a new project
I love the idea of entering a room and imagining it different. A blank canvas to which I can give life and warmth with coloured fabrics on the walls and charming furnishings.
But I also love seeing a piece of uncultivated land and laying down the foundations for the entire house. Seeing it rise, take shape and come alive. Adding touches of greenery, water and lights around it, is definitely an indescribable emotion.
is there a project you are particularly attached to?
Hmm…no not really but let us say there are some projects I like more, some I like less. Of course my own houses are the ones that have succeded best and in fact have been published in celebrated interior magazines.
Working at your own house means working without limitations and without the interference of a customer, so you can really give it your whole soul.
We really love your style especially for your magnificent use of colors, art and textures. How do you combine these elements in your projects?
I think that combining fabrics, furniture and colors is a gift is innate and cannot be learnt.
I have met excellent architects, with an incredible vision of spaces, who take a step back when it is time to furnish. Savin Couelle is a wonderful architect, in my opinion one of the greatest, who has always worked with interior designers and decorators.
What fascinates you so much about vintage?
I love antiques for traditional family homes. Timeless homes, where a slightly worn sofa and an old leather armchair do not clash.
I also adore vintage. I mean the 60s / 70s / 80s, because by now the 50s are considered antiques, used in younger, fresher homes. I like to combine it with ethnic, which is always a unifying element in any furnishing.
Why choose a vintage piece over a contemporary one?
I don’t particularly like modern, unless it is pure design and one-of-a-kind. To be clear, I would put a Piet Hein Eek table in every home, but not an anonymous table bought in a furniture factory.
I don’t love modern furniture simply because for me it doesn’t have a soul. Any antique or vintage piece, even the poorest, carries with it a story. It that can be read in its patina, in its color, even in its smell. Inserting pieces with a soul into a house means that a new house, the day after the move, already seems lived in. It therefore welcomes you, hugs you, makes you feel it is where you belong.
How do you combine your design ideas with the client’s needs and requirements?
I find listening always plays a fundamental role in my relationships with clients. I always try to understand how my clients live, what they need and where they feel good.
I try to use furniture and objects that my clients carry with them. Things which are part of their life and history, even to the detriment of the “perfect” home.
The aim is that to provide them with a place where they feels the most theirselves. And if their needs, taste and expectations coincidentally coincide with mine… then here is the perfect home!
What is an element that in your opinion can change the face of a house and give it personality?
Definitely there are two elements that are key. These are fabrics, because they are a highly decorative element, and the color on the walls. With the right color element of the fabrics combined with that of the walls, any banal house can come to life.