Interview with Vicente Wolf : design elements


Interview with Vicente Wolf

categories Designer, Interviews    

“The loft is my retreat. I have done exactly what I wanted to the space and filled it with objects I love in the casual way I want to live. You, too, can take your space into your own hands. I am not suggesting you copy what I’ve done, because the point is not to mimic anyone but to follow your own muse, whether you choose a designer or design yourself. What I am offering is a template – a few strategies to adopt or discard to get you started – because once you have really learned to see, you will find what you like and go your own way. Designing anything is a process and you should continue to add and subtract. Change is what keeps a space, and an individual, alive. How do you want to feel when you walk into a room? Comfortable? Tranquil? Energized? Once you know what makes you feel good, you can create a room that reflects your own emotions and sensibility. Designing is all about getting in touch with yourself.”

Vicente Wolf, “Learning to See”

I’m a huge fan of Vicente Wolf – designer extraordinaire with a definite point of view; with passion for design guided by simplicity and integrity; master of combining different styles in a way that feels effortless; extremely talented and a natural at what he does; superb photographer, passionate art collector and intrepid world traveler. Vicente Wolf has been at the top of the design industry for over 35 years. Architectural Digest included him in their “AD 100“ and he was also named one of the top 100 designers by Metropolitan Home’s “Design 100”. House Beautiful named Vicente Wolf one of the 10 most influential designers in the United States and Interior Design Magazine inducted him in its “Designer Hall of Fame”. He has received the Pantone Color Award and was named one of the “Top 20 Designers of the past 20 Years”. Vicente Wolf has published 3 books -  “Learning to See” 2002,  “Crossing Boundaries: A Global Vision of Design” 2006 and “Lifting the Curtain on Design” 2010 – all favorites of mine! I’ve posted quotes from them here and here. I’m running out of superlatives. So here is the interview. Enjoy. I sure did!

How would you describe your own style?

Spaces that are comfortable, elegant, but still relaxed with accents of different cultures and periods. The architecture shines through with clean and sharp lines.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be an interior designer?

In my early 20s.

Looking back at your first project what decorating knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?

The conviction of my vision to not use pattern. Even though the pattern was used everywhere in my first project, which neutralized it, but now I wouldn’t use pattern.

Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Yes, David Hicks.

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

The requirements of the client, the pros and cons of the space, and my imagination.

How do you find connections between disparate things?

It is instinctual to me, and I see if they play well against each other.

How do you achieve this simplicity in your interiors?

By not using pattern, dealing with the architecture of the backgrounds in a balanced, clean way.

How do you achieve a sense of warmth and unity?

Warmth is a subliminal message that gets conveyed by a balance of shapes, tones, and a strong sense of humanity in the space.

How do you achieve a sense of good scale?

Born with it.

Please finish the sentence: The best moments of any project are:

Beginning and the end.

What do you find fascinating?

Being in places outside of my comfort zone that allow my imagination to come up with new ideas and visions.

You visited the tallest sand dunes in the world in Namibia, tribes in Papua New Guinea that were still living in complete isolation, you heard the temple bells in Bhutan… What surprised you the most?

How lost we are here in NY, and how we’ve lost the sense of what’s really important.

The treasures that you found…

I bring to my showroom, VW Home. I have the pleasure of finding them and the freedom to let them go.

Your top travel tip…

By an around-the-world ticket. It gives you the opportunity to travel to many places at a low cost.

What are for you the keys to a happy and meaningful life?

Nice clients, time off to explore, a meaningful relationship, and the freedom to eliminate the things that work against these things.

photos: Vicente Wolf

p.s.: A note by me

Some years ago I have no idea of interior design. A few months before my bar exam my husband gave me a wonderful book – it was “Learning to See”. This book has changed the way I view things. I began learning to see… It is not enough to be passionate about design. We have to stand for something. Vicente’s way inspires and reminds me of my favorite movie scene. In “Indecent Proposal” an architect (Woody Harrelson as David Murphy) stands in front of his students talking about architecture and great architects. His words: “the great ones are impossible to deal with… because they know that if they do their jobs properly… if they just this once get it right… they can actually lift the human spirit… take it to a higher place.”

Thank you, Vicente, for doing your job properly, continually inspiring us, sharing your knowledge, taking us to a higher place…


25 Kommentare zu “Interview with Vicente Wolf”

  1. La Boheme am 20.02.2012 um 09:20 Uhr 

    My lovely Maria, you keep surprising me with your wonderful interviews! What a treat to see Vicente on your blog! biggest hugs and wonderful note by you at the end…off to higher places. xoxo

  2. classiq am 20.02.2012 um 11:50 Uhr 

    Maria, this is the interview I’ve enjoyed the most so far on your wonderful blog. Thank you. What a beautiful surprise to see Vicente Wolf here. His vision of not using pattern in his designs makes me appreciate and admire his work even more. I’m adding all his books to my wish list. xo

  3. Cara @ City Girl Chicago am 20.02.2012 um 16:56 Uhr 

    Wow, I love his style, aesthetic, and design sense ~ this interview was a captivating read! So much fun to come here and learn more about the voices behind the talent.

  4. Captivated by image am 20.02.2012 um 19:15 Uhr 

    Maria, every word in this interview including yours is so inspiring! I never quite noticed his non use of patterns, but I can understand why. Love his vision on learning to see.

  5. Elin am 20.02.2012 um 19:24 Uhr 

    Hello! Love your blog, pictures and interviews! I like your ” I began learning to see… It is not enough to be passionate about design. We have to stand for something.” I am struggeling to find “my way”, both as a interiorblogger, but also to find an own expression in my pictures.

    Have a nice week!

  6. Shelly Gregory am 20.02.2012 um 20:23 Uhr 

    Wonderfully insightful interview. But this answer touched me the most:

    “What are for you the keys to a happy and meaningful life?
    Nice clients, time off to explore, a meaningful relationship, and the freedom to eliminate the things that work against these things.”

    Happy Monday precious Maria! xo

  7. jeanine am 20.02.2012 um 23:04 Uhr 

    I have heard good things about that book but I haven’t yet looked through it.

    I love the swan chairs in the bottom picture. I never get tired of them. :)

  8. Maja am 21.02.2012 um 02:49 Uhr 

    Wow, what a great blog.
    Love that you get into surfing. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I always try to schedule my vacations around waves ;)

  9. Dawn {The Alternative Wife} am 21.02.2012 um 03:29 Uhr 

    Great interview! He’s so talented and I just love these spaces. Thanks for sharing, Maria! xoxo

  10. Kathy am 21.02.2012 um 04:35 Uhr 

    Wonderful interview. I really enjoyed getting to know him. Thank you for shedding some light on one of the great designers…k

  11. Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! am 21.02.2012 um 09:21 Uhr 

    This is a great interview, I really enjoyed it.

  12. Mrs Tiff am 21.02.2012 um 12:53 Uhr 

    Wow! Those spaces are amazing, I really love some of those chairs. He is very talented! X

  13. NauticalWheeler am 21.02.2012 um 14:51 Uhr 

    I love the interview. It’s always nice to understand what the designer is thinking.

    From Brooklyn with love,


  14. Priscilla Joy am 21.02.2012 um 17:23 Uhr 

    Hi Maria,
    Hope you had a fabulous weekend.
    I love the second image. Great!

    Smile loads this week.

  15. Manuela am 21.02.2012 um 18:14 Uhr 

    Magic! What a great surprise to pop over to your blog and find Vicente Wolf – my all time favorite! Love his work – luminous, sensuous, timeless. I totally agree with everything Vicente wrote, especially about “time off to explore, a meaningful relationship, and the freedom to eliminate the things that work against these things.” I love almost all your inerviews but this one is my favorite interview EVER! Thank you, Maria! xo

    Off to a higher place…………….

  16. kristina am 21.02.2012 um 19:40 Uhr 

    great interview! i love all of these interiors and i like how he said “born with it.”

  17. Rolala am 21.02.2012 um 20:14 Uhr 

    Vicente Wolf is such an incredible designer and his work is always beautiful. All his accolades are very well deserved.

  18. Cindy am 22.02.2012 um 00:04 Uhr 

    What an interesting interview. I love the work of male designers, they see design in a different way from females, it seems. I often love their work.

  19. Stacey am 22.02.2012 um 05:19 Uhr 

    his interiors are timeless! i’ve always admired his work. thanks for this treat of an interview!

  20. Rafa am 22.02.2012 um 14:09 Uhr 

    Great interview e lovely pictures.

  21. Anna @ Around My Table am 22.02.2012 um 18:55 Uhr 

    Hello, nice to meet you and your blog :) I love it!

  22. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking am 23.02.2012 um 04:57 Uhr 

    Oh I agree I really like his style and I those chairs are awesome!!

  23. mary jo am 23.02.2012 um 07:56 Uhr 

    What a lovely interview. I love that it’s so personal too, having a connection/history with his writing makes it even more enjoyable!

    xo Mary Jo

  24. Luciane at am 24.02.2012 um 23:26 Uhr 

    Hello, sweetie…

    This is your very best interview yet.

    He’s pure inspiration because his designs interpreter his deepness.

    Have a wonderful day, my friend!


    Luciane at

  25. Holly am 26.02.2012 um 22:06 Uhr 

    Great interview! Loved reading it :)

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