Born in New Zealand but based between London, Istanbul, Barcelona, and Moscow, interior designer Christopher Hall is a self-confessed nomad. He works mainly in the residential sector, creating bold interiors that reflect his experiences of living between eastern and western cultures. Over his career he’s spent time living in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Australia, where he spent four years working for the late interior designer Leslie Walford.
His portfolio is filled with luxurious spaces created for well-heeled clients across the globe—including the Saudi royal family. In addition to interiors, he also creates his own furniture collections, the most recent of which reflects his interest in history, mythology, and legend. We caught up with Christopher to find out about his inspirations, design processes, and upcoming work.
Interior Design: Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your work?
Christopher Hall: I grew up in a city in New Zealand that was close to the sea. Today I can trace the great influences nature has had on my practice. My first interior design project was an old shed in my grandfather’s garden, where I meticulously labored over creating an environment with discarded brocade, magnolia branches, old carpets, and unwanted furniture. This was the first of many creations, however as a young boy I dreamt of leaving the island and exploring the world.
ID: Which projects are you most proud of and why?
CH: I am proud of all my work. Each interior design project I work on incorporates the needs of the clients through the creation of a harmonious environment that articulates their lifestyle and their love of art and design. Every furniture collection that I work on is an interpretation of inspiring moments that are then translated into unique designs. In both my interior design and furniture projects, I collaborate with local highly skilled artisans and aim to create pieces and interiors that people will enjoy living with.
ID: How do you like to work—pencil, pen, or computer?
CH: I keep a daily design journal and like to sketch and clarify my design approach on paper. Each morning I begin the day with this creative ritual and then proceed to work with my team, who formulates the designs into technical drawings on the computer.
ID: Which person, place, or thing—inside the industry or out—inspires you?
CH: The way light is refracted, historical references, mythology, landscapes, textiles, taxi rides, sounds, conversations, travel, unusual encounters with people around the world, the combination of a color scheme... these are all moments of inspiration.
ID; What’s the best thing about being based between east and west?
CH: Currently I work and live between London, Istanbul, Moscow, and Barcelona. The cultural differences in each location spark a very interesting and expansive design dialogue for me.
ID: What trends do you think will be big in 2018?
CH: My approach to design is contemporary yet timeless, drawing from a myriad of historical and contemporary references and a strong sense of intuition. I think though that it is relevant in 2018 to support local artisans who work by hand.
ID: Can you tell us about your furniture collection, SOMATA?
CH: The SOMATA collection is inspired by ancient Greek mythology and the Mediterranean landscape. This collection of bespoke furniture, which is meticulously handcrafted, presents a contemporary interpretation of classical elements and forms.
The SOMATA collection that includes consoles, cabinets, stools, benches, coffee tables, and side tables integrates traditional carving, cast bronze, and precious natural materials such as malachite, tiger eye, and marble.
ID: Why did you want to launch your own collection?
CH: SOMATA is my fourth collection and I am very excited to introduce it.
ID: What other projects are you currently working on?
CH: Christopher Hall Design is currently working on an embassy and ambassador’s residence in Rome, an apartment in a historical building in Moscow, and a penthouse in Istanbul. We are also working on a number of palaces in Riyadh.
ID: What would be your dream commission?
CH: I am already working on my dream commissions.