If you take a peek at Moscow-based designer Irakli Zaria’s portfolio, you’ll find that most of the homes that he designs are filled with one-of-a-kind pieces. “I’m a huge fan of mixing and matching different vintage pieces from the 20th century. These pieces of furniture are so charismatic and special,” says Zaria.
The designer can also be found designing bespoke pieces for almost every one of his projects. “I prefer to offer my clients furniture pieces that are unique and rare, something that you wouldn’t be able to see in every third or fourth house in the world,” he explains. “I also collect a lot of art for my clients. Art is the hero of every single one of my projects.”
Zaria also harbours a “passion and love for Asia”; he admires the richness and intricacy of Asian designs. “I'm a huge fan of Oriental art in general,” he enthuses. “For my projects, I love using Japanese and Chinese screens, embroideries, lacquer boxes, and so on and forth.”
It comes as no surprise then, that when British wallpaper company de Gournay's founder Claud Cecil Gurney tasked Zaria to transform several rooms within a private apartment that the brand owns in Moscow, he immediately decided on enveloping the space with a botanical theme and in chinoiserie style. A decorative aesthetic that was highly popular in 18th century Europe and reflected the Western fascination with East Asian designs and patterns, the designer sought to link the style with de Gournay’s beautiful wallpaper collections.
“The main DNA of the brand is chinoiserie, and the most popular designs from them are also botanical—plants, trees, grasses, and so on,” explains Zaria. “When I thought about the design refresh, I wanted to make something new—totally modern and contemporary, but at the same time, of course, having certain links with the brand.”
He continues: “I’m a huge fan of de Gournay in general, and when the family asked me to redecorate the space, it was a huge honour for me. I have known the family for ages because I've been using their wallpapers, embroidery and fabrics in my projects for so long. It was a huge pleasure working with them on the project; it’s always easier to work with somebody whom you love.”