Daniele Brutto, co-founder of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom specialist Onestà, fell in love with design at an early age – here he reveals how he approaches the whole process and gives his top tips for a successful project outcome.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I think you can find inspiration in pretty much everything you do on a day-to-day basis. For example, I love the details I see in the 1980s Formica and steel in my local fish and chip shop. There are very few genuinely unique ideas out there, so currently I find going back to basics works best for me, finding inspiration from small day-to-day items and transforming the idea into my own is far more rewarding. I have a lovely retro hand-held oil can collection in my garage, which gives me a new idea everything I look at them.
Q: What does good design mean to you?
A: I'm very much a technical designer, so good design was always about solving a problem. For me, the challenge is making the technical more beautiful. I have learnt over the years that I feel most rewarded when finding the correct balance between the two.
Q: What excites you most during a project?
A: The feeling of slowly creating something that someone will love for years to come. Every stage of a project combines to create a slow-moving snowball effect – you get this lovely feeling of building something which everyone involved has nurtured and has grown to love. Standing back and watching this evolution gain momentum is really great to see.
Q: Would you say you have a signature style?
A: I find my style changes over time – I don't like the thought of pigeon-holing myself to one particular style. Onestà designs for clients with a variety of tastes and needs, so being flexible is key. Appreciating the beauty in things that might not be your taste is really important to me – it shows flexibility and a wider scope of vision that I value in any designer.
Q: What sets you apart?
A: Onestà is a multidiscipline studio – we have developed into spatial and furniture design which allows us to achieve a global view on every project we work on. We are interested in every aspect that will impact our part of the design – this enthusiasm and obsession with detailed design sets us apart.
Q: What are your top tips when designing a space?
A: One – Find something your client loves, whether it be a colour, a floor type or a pendant light, and hang your coat on it, make it your anchor for the whole design and process, and use it to build from.
Two – Ask your client to make a wish list that you can always refer back to, and get them to itemise the wishes in order of priority. They will have to sacrifice something along the way, but constantly being reminded of what they will be getting will help to prioritise and keep a clear vision.
Three – Plan, plan, plan as much as you can. The more decisions your client makes and sticks to, the easier the whole process. Having all the big-ticket items set in concrete before work starts will make all the other smaller decisions far easier.