They say the most distinctive thing about Adriana Nicolau is her great smile. The optimism that she brings to all of her projects.Lover of natural philosophy and a dedicated environmentalist, Nicolau always looks to ecological materials and elements that transport us back to nature. Heading her own studio, for over 10 years Adriana Nicolau has been adding experiences to spaces with her ideas, dreams and passion for design.At Hisbalit we were curious to learn the secret of achieving projects filled with light, energy and vitality. We interviewed the renowned designer who revealed her most personal project.
You love to laugh and fill spaces with “light, life and joy”. In your own words How would you define Adriana Nicolau and her style?
I can’t define myself exactly but I think that I’m a very optimistic and empathetic person. I always see the positive side of things and I suppose this is reflected in my style, adapting to spaces and the history of each place or client.
What does a project need for you to get on board?
I need to feel emotionally involved and that these emotions are transmitted onto the project.
Travel is one of your great passions, what are your preferred destinations that give you inspiration?
I don’t have a particular destination, I think any place is perfect to give you inspiration, of course, each with its own particular style. Marrakech with its multicolour chaos; Paris with its distinguished snobbishness; Milan with its shops and displays; New York with its surprises on every corner; Japan, Berlin, Melbourne… Don’t you think every corner of the world is a great place to find new ideas?
Antiques also define your projects. What is the secret to combining tradition and modernity?
It is a challenge to strike a balance between both styles. There are pieces that grab me as soon as I see them and work with everything. With other pieces it can be more difficult. However I try sometimes there is no way to fit them into a project,
I think that the real ”feeling” is set by the pieces themselves. You just have to look at them with love and everything flows. There is no special secret.
What colours couldn’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without green, in all of its varieties. I go back to it again and again. I also have phases when I use a lot of blue, another of my essential colours. Especially, Klein Blue.
If you had to choose a shape, What would it be?
I’m very organic but the hexagon has been a favourite of mine recently.
What fashion or trend Would you relieve?
Trencadís, from my part of the world, adapted with new colours and materials.
What project marked a before and after in your career?
Bumpgreen in Madrid. A new concept in green restaurant inspired in the luxury of past eras. For the design I imagined an old mansion in the English countryside in which I incorporated a naturalist philosophy, with details recalling the natural world.
What is the biggest challenge you have in mind?
One of my biggest challenges is a hotel in the mountains. I’m looking forward to working with that style with wood and furs and to combine them with innovative lighting.
The trend for interior design in 2019 will be…?
Noble materials, preferable organic, and freshness, combined with a contained refinement.
We have decided to return to the past, to “Less is more”. What do you think of our Doppel Collection, inspired in nature and tradition?
I love it. The colours are very relaxing and adapted to the latest trends. I also think it’s interesting how you have broken with established forms.
For you, what does a surfacing add to space? Is it important that it is ecological?
Using an ecological surface give a lot of reassurance. We should all be more engaged in this regard. To know that you’re making a difference is a bonus. These things matter, times have changed.
What part of our collection best matches your style?
I love the Stone collection.
Your most important project with Hisbalit?
My house, without a doubt. I decided on Hisbalit tiles for the kitchen floor with a totally personalised design that I created with the Art Factory service. I created a geometric pattern in three tones with hexagonal mosaic tiles. It’s a unique design that gives personality to my kitchen.