An interior design studio with a sublime collection of furniture and fabrics
When Italian political science graduate Paolo Moschino came to London at the age of 23, little did he think he would end up as one of the most prominent names in the design world.
It all began when he started running an interiors shop for Nicholas Haslam – he took ownership of it in 1995 and has since grown Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam to offer high-end furniture, lighting, fabrics, antiques and accessories to discerning customers and the design industry worldwide. The company also has three retail showrooms, including one in Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, and a design studio which has been headed up by Belgian interior designer Philip Vergeylen since 2011. (The pair’s working relationship dates back far earlier, to when they designed their first apartment together, around 20 years ago.)
The style of Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam has evolved over time. Initially grounded in the principles of English design, the duo have brought a continental flair to the company and today they design homes for clients all over the world. Current projects include a home in Portofino, a hunting lodge in Scotland and a new hotel in the South of France. Starting a new project is always the most exciting challenge and great importance is given to understanding a client’s lifestyle from the very beginning, thinking about how they will live and use a space. Is it going to be a cosy family home that’s not precious, for instance? Or do they need a very formal house with plenty of space for entertaining?
‘Our mantra is architecture takes a lot of effort, should be perfect and look perfect; interior design takes an equal amount of effort, should be perfect but never look perfect,’ says Paolo. ‘Perfection in architecture is beautiful but in interior design it can be sterile and lack personality’, adds Philip. ‘What we like in interiors is some order with an unexpected twist. We try to avoid rooms that look staged and are always looking for an element of surprise and humour.’
Their product philosophy is about reinventing the classics rather than following trends. They believe good design stands the test of time, so new products are often rooted in iconic designs from the past and inspired by a range of styles from the 16th century to the present day. For example, they recently launched a collection of 1970s-inspired rattan furniture and accessories, with the aim of taking rattan out of the conservatory and into more formal spaces, such as the sitting room.
All products, including their extensive collection of signature fabrics, are made from the finest craftsmanship, quality and materials, reflecting the close working relationships they have developed over the years with craftsmen who are the best in their fields. It’s this reputation for excellent quality, together with close client relationships, that attracts widespread loyalty. ‘We have been working with many of our clients for years and we don’t think of them as clients but more like old friends,’ concludes Paolo.
Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam, 10-14 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NL. +44 (0)20 7730 8623