The art of color – Nadya Zotova
Over many other Russian interior designers, I always wanted to meet with Nadya Zotova who runs Enjoy Home Studio. I have always been sympathetic to her sense of color as well as her interest in art and antiques. Her interiors and furniture are playful and energetic. Her studio blogs are full of generous tricks and tips. Her way of writing and talking is friendly and lighthearted. She is involved in so many interior design activities that I always wonder how one person can do it all.
This autumn I was happy to meet with her at the beautiful Enjoy Home studio in Moscow for a talk. Even though we do different things, I always found a lot of inspiration in her work and I hope this short interview will be inspiring for you too.
You are an interior designer, a furniture and a textile designer, you are a teacher and an organizer of design trips. In addition to this, you also choose and present art in your studio and the moment you are studding art management. Maybe in the future we will see you as the owner of an art gallery. How are all these titles coexisting? What would you say your main job title is?
An interior designer will be principal but all other roles are fitting well as they all connected to each other. First, I started with interior design and as I was always looking for furniture and textile for my projects the idea of furniture and textile production came up. As art is my big interest, I always try to include pieces of art into my projects and later stated to present several artists in our studio. As I enjoy sharing the knowledge, teaching came. For me it is all very well connected and organically coexisting.
All your projects are very recognizable for me and I am always curious to see what is coming next. How do you choose your projects?
I can’t say that I choose them, it all works naturally. The most important is to have a comfortable communication with a client because we spend so much time together while working on a project. I think good communication is some kind of chemistry.
With what do you start?
We usually just sit and talk about what is important, interesting to the client and what he or she doesn’t like not only in design but in life in general. During this conversation we usually can say if we are on the same page and can work together or not. It is just some type of special feeling I get.
It sounds like intuition is playing an important role for that, is it?
I must say that intuition always helps me at work. Not only with communication with clients but also with choosing and finding objects for the project. I have so many stories when my intuition was telling me that I will find exactly what I am looking for despite the fact that nobody around believed in it. For example, once I found lamps for the project which are antique and were impossible to find on the market nowadays. But I wanted to find them and I eventually did find the exact quantity I needed.
Creating an interior for somebody is a big responsibility. How do you manage it?
I think the most important is not to be afraid of and listen to the client.
Do you have something which unites all your clients?
I think we now live in a world when people are mostly listening to themselves and when creating their home they want it to answer their needs and requirements.
We can say that the interior design becomes more individual our days, correct?
I think so. At least my clients usually want to create a very personal interior. We can’t simply order all the pieces needed from the catalogue and put them together. Many times people want to bring together pieces which from the first sight are not fitting each other but that it exactly what creates for them a sense of home.
What is the easiest way to cheer up the home?
Add color, it is the easiest and the most difficult thing to do. For the professionals it can be easy; I work a lot with color but for nonprofessionals it can be challenging because you need to know how to combine colors and shades, you need to have a sense of color.
How do we train our eye for color?
Go to the museum. It is an ideal way to train your eyes. It is the best because there you can see all the different combinations of colors and shades. Also you need to see enough before it starts coming naturally, thought I believe that there are people who are born with the sense of color. It’s the same like having an ear for music or a good nose for aromas.
Following you blog I can say that you have so much to share. Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Yes, I did. I have an idea and a structure but I always think that it is not time yet. I always think that I need to learn more in order to tell others. You can probably call it an impostor syndrome but I also believe that when you are totally satisfied with yourself you stop moving forward. I love sharing with others and I think one day I will write a book.
That is why even in your very busy schedule you find time to teach as is a form of sharing knowledge?
I enjoy teaching at master classes and giving lectures. It takes lots of time and energy but I believe that the more you give the more come back. Feedback and questions from students help me to think and provide me with new ideas. Also, preparing for a lecture or a class helps me to structure my thoughts. Moreover it allow me to look back at what was done and move forward. It helps to estimate results, sum up and give it all away in order to get space for new thoughts and new ideas. For me it is a very important part of my professional life.
One of my favorite questions: What is home?
It is a field for experiments and it means a lot to me. It is much more important than other things in life like clothing, for example. I think that despite the fact that I always travel, after 3 days of being away I always want to return home. That is how much it means to me. I think my work actually started from my love to home.
Working, traveling, teaching, and studding… How do you find a balance between work and life?
It has been quite challenging. I think I am still learning. At the beginning of my career as an interior designer it was reasonable but when the job took all my time it made me think where is my hobby now? Before my hobby was in interior design but then it transformed into my work. At that point, I decided to divide my life from my work. I think that even with a favorite job it is important to disconnect from time to time. It is a way of bringing energy back. That is how I came up with yoga, swimming, and personal trips which are not connected to my interior design work. It all helps to recharge the battery.
In this context your interest in art came as a hobby or continuation of your work?
It is a good question. I was always interested in art but it is so close to my professional life that I always unconsciously think about colors and shapes when I am at the museum. I think art for me is also a source of my professional education. I like to use art as a first hand source and then to rework it for my current or future projects. I don’t need to do anything special, just walk through gallery and enjoy, and later what I have seen somehow will show up in my projects.
Art is a source of energy for your life?
I can say that it is true. I guess it is a famine quality/characteristic to find energy and inspiration from what is nearby. Sometimes for us it is enough to look at art or simply at the beautiful bouquet in order to move on…
Portrey of Nadya – provided by Nadya Zotova
Photography of studio – Anna Pisareva