We talk to our favourite interior designers about their work and ask them to share their styling tips
Who is he? Oliver Gustav is an interior architect, a gallerist and product designer. In 2007, he began doing fashion show set design for the likes of Louis Vuitton; four years later, he launched his interior design studio (right) in an old stable building near the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. In 2016, he opened a second studio at the gallery space in the new 11 Howard hotel in New York. He sells a curated edit of bespoke pieces by designers and artists from Faye Toogood to Vincenzo De Cotiis. ‘Being both a gallery and interior practice comes naturally to me; it’s a way of combining what I love,’ he explains. ‘I represent a handful of interesting artists that speak to my DNA – some are very famous and others are rookies in whom I have spotted a special talent.’ What’s his style? For interiors, Gustav contrasts modern pieces with rare finds and curiosities, and a palette based on grey tones and monochrome surfaces ( he adds in sepia shades for a softer touch). ‘You will notice monochrome spaces in my projects. I always try to unify the colours of the walls and ceilings to make a peaceful environment. I love the industrial – be it old or new, distressed or simple.’ He’s also someone for who texture is essential. ‘I balance soft and edgy to create an aesthetic full of beautiful contrasts.’ What are his recent projects? Gustav, who usually takes on three large projects a year, has almost exclusively worked on residential projects ( below, right). ‘I mostly work with private clients because I want to help them realise their dreams. I listen, interpret and get inspiration, but I always stay true to myself: if a project doesn’t look like a match, I will step away. I don’t like to compromise.’ Recently, he has started to branch out into the commercial world – designing Zeleste restaurant in a listed, 17th-century building in Copenhagen (far left).
What is he currently working on?
A beach house on the coast near Copenhagen. ‘It’s an 18th-century house that is in a very sad condition. We are using paint on the walls that has an amazing, cloudy-like texture. The house has very blue, Nordic light, but it will be softened through objects.’ He says ‘ When you’re working on projects, you need to think about the light. For example, in London it’s very different from Los Angeles, and the type of light has an impact on the design.’ olivergustav.com
‘I want to help private clients realise their dreams. I listen, interpret and get inspiration, but always stay true to myself’
Turn over for Oliver Gustav’s advice on choosing art