ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Design -

SQUAT London is the lat­est project by the cel­e­brated Mi­lan-based gallerist Nina Yashar. Yashar – who founded the in­flu­en­tial Nil­u­far Gallery in 1979 – part­nered with in­te­rior and ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign com­pany Shalini Misra to cre­ate a dec­o­ra­tive liv­ing space in South Aud­ley Street, May­fair. The Vic­to­rian apart­ment has been fur­nished with a com­bi­na­tion of his­toric items, pre­cious art­works and fur­ni­ture from emerg­ing con­tem­po­rary de­sign­ers. So se­duc­tive was the mix that it has now been sold! (nil­u­

How does a gallerist’s eye help when it comes to dec­o­rat­ing a home?

I be­gan my ca­reer as an an­tique car­pet spe­cial­ist, so the car­pet is usu­ally my start­ing point for a project. For me, a room with­out car­pet is a room with­out soul. In this apart­ment, the bronze ‘ West Lake’ din­ing ta­ble by Mas­si­m­il­iano Lo­catelli is ar­ranged on a car­pet with cop­per threads by the Colom­bian de­signer Hechizoo. What is your favourite piece in this space? The Giò Ponti chan­de­lier (above). It came from Ponti’s iconic Parco dei Prin­cipi ho­tel in Sor­rento. I love the fact that it was de­signed for an en­tirely dif­fer­ent space and yet fits so well here. It’s a huge, chal­leng­ing piece, yet some­how it draws ev­ery­thing to­gether.

How do you make a space filled with gallery pieces look homely?

You have to adapt your choices ac­cord­ing to the home you are work­ing with. If the scale is wrong, there won’t be a sense of har­mony or equi­lib­rium. The SQUAT apart­ment is not huge, so I’ve cho­sen fur­ni­ture ac­cord­ingly. That’s not to say that you can’t play with scale: the over­sized ceil­ing light by Pa­tri­cia Urquiola (above left) cre­ates a sense of drama in what is a rel­a­tively un­der­stated kitchen.

Do you have any tips for us­ing gallery pieces in real homes?

You have to fall in love with some­thing first and go from there. I usu­ally start my projects with one piece and this in­forms my next steps. With this apart­ment it was all about the Giò Ponti chan­de­lier, fol­lowed by the Osanna Vis­conti di Mo­drone cof­fee ta­bles, the geo­met­ric car­pet by Ca­turegli and Formica, and then the curved, 1950s Fed­erico Mu­nari sofa. You should play with ob­jects that ap­pear to have noth­ing in com­mon: it adds an el­e­ment of sur­prise.

Is what you have in your own home sim­i­lar to what you have in your gallery?

In both spa­ces I have amaz­ing car­pets. In my own re­cep­tion room I have a black and pale or­ange car­pet by Dan­ish de­signer Vibeke Klint. And, in my bed­room, a pre­cious 18th-cen­tury Chi­nese car­pet fills the en­tire floor. It makes the room.

Have you ever come across a piece that you loved, but was too chal­leng­ing for ev­ery­day use?

You have to adapt the pieces you love to the foot­print of your home. I dreamt of hav­ing Jeroen Ver­ho­even’s ‘Cin­derella’ ta­ble in my home: it’s fan­tas­tic, but visu­ally, it’s just too much.



‘Play with ob­jects that have noth­ing in com­mon: it adds an el­e­ment of sur­prise’

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