Pia Capdevila and her made-to-measure neutral environments lifestyle
Naturalness, sophistication and personality are the hallmarks of this interior designer who enjoys taking on each project as a new challenge.
Pia Capdevila dares to do it all: country houses on the Balearic Islands, an apartment on Madrid’s Gran Vía, a mansion in Paris, second homes with Mediterranean flavour, hotels that leave travellers in awe and even events… this interior designer from Barcelona takes a positive approach to each and every detail.
Question: How do you manage to insert your positivity into spaces?
Answer: When you are passionate about your work, you transmit your emotions to each project you take on.
Q: Details matter more than we think…
A. Much more. Being on top of the details is what makes the difference in every space. When everything is well thought out and has a meaning, you can create the harmony your project needs. I can’t envision a project where we would not consider all the details as part of the whole.
Q: Is it possible to design an environment that emanates a natural feel without sacrificing sophistication.
A. Yes. Today, there are materials that bestow sophistication, yet remain natural at the same time. I believe that what is natural and elegant does not necessarily have to be the opposite of ornate.
Q: Sobriety is not impersonal by nature…
A. Not at all. Sober and elegant, rather, I would say. An environment can be sober while also containing distinct notes of what we want to transmit. I don’t believe there is such thing as impersonal projects; each one has a story behind it.
Q: Have you got a favourite material?
Q: I see you make use of more technical materials, like the Krion used in the early 20th century Parisian mansion by architect Henri Dubouillon you worked on in Paris…
A. Yes. Nowadays, we have excellent technical materials at our disposal, and Krion is one of them. It allows me to create clean, elegant surfaces.
Q: Might we say that ‘made to measure’ is one of your hallmarks? We see it in many of the ingenious solutions used in your spaces…
A. Yes. I love to approach my work with tailor-made solutions. It is a way to add style to a particular piece while, at the same time, solving the functionality we want it to have.
Q: What do your projects have in common?
A. A warm, neutral base and contemporary lines. This allows me to add a unique touch of style or colour to each project.
Q: You are a master of employing natural light. Is it an obsession (in the positive sense)?
A. Thanks for the compliment. I wouldn’t say it’s an obsession, but it’s true that, when we find a way to incorporate natural light, we won’t overlook it. I believe that our greatest role as interior designers is to get the most out of it.
Q: In what part of the home do you like to take the biggest risks with colour?
A. I enjoy the challenge of a dark colour range in bathrooms and kitchens. I also like to add touches of colour to textiles with a neutral base.
Q: A colour that is nearly impossible to get wrong…
Q: What about another that, while tricky, brings the best out of an environment when used right?
Q: Do you like to incorporate antique pieces?
A. Yes, as long as the project calls for it. I like to incorporate the pieces for each project carefully and meticulously.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable working on a big project—like a country house in Begur, for example—or something that is more constrained by space and the original layout?
A. Both. Let’s just say I like it all. From creating a specific space to starting the building process from scratch. And the harder the challenge, the more I enjoy it.
Q: What projects have you just finished and what have you got on your plate at the moment?
A. This year has been intense, which I am very happy about and grateful for. We have finished some highly diverse projects, from a mansion in Paris to residential housing of all types, first and second homes, etc. This coming year, the truth is that we have great things on the horizon that are also quite diverse. Unfortunately, due to the situation we find ourselves in with the pandemic, projects at hotels are moving slowly. We capped off 2020 with a new office project for Matías Buenos Días. We started 2021 with a marvellous villa in Valencia.
Q: How has your new site in Mallorca influenced you?
A.Very positively. Finding a new market is always a good thing, even more so in a marvellous setting like Mallorca.
Q: Is the Mediterranean language applicable anywhere, even beyond the Mediterranean?
A. Unequivocally, yes. In fact, I have clients that request it specifically. We are currently working on a project in Berlin where the client has asked us to transport a little of that Mediterranean look to Germany.
Q: What makes designing a room at a hotel different from one in a house?
A.Hotels and, in general, large-scale projects allow us to let our imaginations fly a little further. That is without forgetting that they must be spaces that both astonish guests and leave them feeling welcome, as if they had always been there. We have to find a dual result with both quality and wonder. On the other hand, in a residential setting, the first thing to keep in mind is that its inhabitants spend a large part of their day there and need the pieces we design to perform their function. As a rule of thumb, individual clients tend to take less risks.
Q: Does taking on a restaurant pose a challenge in terms of corporate design, work flows, etc.?
A. Restaurants are a distinct, yet exciting, type of project. I like to create a common thread that guides us through the concept, project, gastronomic offer, etc. They are spaces that need to work for both the customer and its internal use.
Q: The event world is a ‘world of its own’…
A. It’s a different world, indeed, but I like it, and it’s part of my personality. I have always enjoyed setting up and taking down, decorating spaces and thinking about the small and big details of an event. That’s why I decided to offer this service at the studio. For a while I was doing loads of them, but then interior design projects took off, and I haven’t been giving everything the time it deserves. We currently provide creative direction and production studies for events, and we collaborate with a team of suppliers.