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Shopping With Alexandra Champalimaud

May 09, 2017
By: Aaron Peasley

Alexandra Champalimaud, the principal of New York based Champalimaud Design, is one of the most prolific interior designers working today. Equally capable of transforming a grande dame (Hotel Bel Air) as she is conjuring a brand new luxury high rise (Four Seasons Jakarta) the peripatetic Portuguese-born designer, who started her firm more than three decades ago, is known for an unerring eye, restrained but luxurious sense of color and near academic knowledge of art and design history.

On her TFP picks:

“Michael Anastassiades is a master at creating shapes. This brass mirror could be beautiful in any room.

This DIMORESTUDIO shelf has a handsome personality, a rich texture and allure. I love its geometry and the presence is commands. I am using it in a project in London. Looks stunning!

This pendant by Kalmar Werkstätten is fabulously unobtrusive. Sits comfortable midair, sophisticated and young at heart – it’s a happy piece.”

“I love transparency generally and the Penta Table by DIMORESTUDIO is full of grace, energy and style.

Also by DIMORESTUDIO, the Lampda 051 is a sculptural piece, light and full of humor and charm. Good in any style of interior … floating … best over a table.

Ceramicist Eric Roinestad's vessels are chic and serene – timeless!”

On her travel list:

“I am planning on spending a lot more time in Sicily; it has such incredible history, food and culture. It’s wild and beautiful.”

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Tomioka Lounge in the Niseko Green Leaf Village in Hokkaido, Japan. Photography courtesy of Champalimaud Design.

“Japan is still one of those places that I will return to. Recently. I did a project in Hokkaido and it’s just phenomenal. And the food is beyond glorious; there’s incredible fish and each dish is just so incredibly beautifully prepared. You clearly feel like you’re in a different part of the world when you’re there with a sensation of unimaginable peace.”

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Comporta Beach. Photography courtesy of Suitcase Magazine.

“Lisbon, where I’m from, will always inspire me. I’m going to a place nearby called Comporta, which is an incredibly special beach area where there’s a true kindness and genteelness amongst the people. It’s such a rare quality when people go out of their way to make you feel better and well cared for. To truly travel, you have to be absorbed into the place and allow yourself to let go. It’s the intangible things and I think sometime we need to lose some of our Westernized habits and just let go.”

On Hotel Design:

“I look at things through the prism of how well does one move through their life. That is my mantra. Designing leads to capturing that spirit of a place: some places have a handsome spirit and others have a more gracious tone. It’s about finding that spirit and building upon it.”

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The Island House in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Champalimaud.

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Beverly Hills Bungalow. Photography courtesy of Champalimaud Design.

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Four Seasons Jakarta. Photography courtesy of Champalimaud Design.

“I look to what makes an emotional moment in an interior whilst also working with incredibly simple components. The play of light is very important for me. I like contrast.”

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Beverly Hills Hotel. Photography courtesy of Dorchester Collection.

The Beverly Hills Bungalows:

“It’s not that the Beverly Hills Hotel might have the best architecture in the world, it’s because it has a magical story and energy, color and a vibrancy. When you enter, you sort of bounce to its rhythm.”

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100 11th Avenue.

Jean Nouvel and Architecture:

“I live in a Jean Nouvel building (100 11th Avenue) and it has an incredible view, but I was attracted by the simplicity of the architecture and what was done with light. I wanted something entirely unusual - because his work is unusual - that felt clear and crisp. He changed the ordinary format of a regular floor plan. The scale and the dynamics of architecture is so important. There’s this notion that simple means easy, but that’s just not the case.”

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Champalimaud at home in New York.