CONVERSATION

Christine Kalia

issue #33: the art of change

The Diary of Christine Petrou, Cypriot architect and founder of the Christine Kalia studio, reflects the theme of change, or how one’s identity can evolve over time, becoming an inexhaustible source of creativity. Welcome to Caleido, Kaleidoscopic Observatory on the world of creativity / Read the Editor’s letter here

Christine Kalia
1. How did you discover your passion for interior design? Is there a particular person or occasion that inspired you to pursue this career?

The spark ignited while I was crafting furnishings for a hotel, fielding questions and requests regarding interior layouts. It was in that moment I realized I could extend my creative boundaries to conceptualize entire interior spaces. Crafting a capsule collection of furnishings tailored for an interior project assigned to me as an interior architect brings me immense satisfaction.

Christine Kalia
@christinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
2. Although you currently reside and work in Larnaca, your family hails from Famagusta, one of the northern Cypriot cities with a complex history (housing a genuine ghost district frozen in time since the 1970s war. Click here to discover more). How does the narrative of your past shape your identity?

I consider myself rooted in Famagusta, despite being born and raised in Larnaca. My upbringing was shaped by the narratives of my parents and grandparents, fostering a latent desire to return to Famagusta. They conveyed the ephemeral nature of everything in the city, fueling the enduring hope, inspired by their words, that one day a return to our roots might be possible. The opportunity to explore the ghost town of Famagusta was eagerly anticipated, a moment where the architecture unfolded like the turning of a colossal mental chapter. Following my initial visit, the longing to revisit, cycling the same streets, reveling in the architecture’s beauty, became an incredibly surreal experience.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
3. The @larnacabiennale 2023 centers around the theme of ‘home,’ interpreted broadly. What is the first thought that emerges in your mind when you contemplate home?

In the exhibition “Home Hope”, I showcase a dining table. Across diverse cultures, the dining table serves varied functions and holds different meanings. In some homes, it transforms into a workstation or desk for tasks before becoming the focal point for family gatherings and crucial conversations. As a child, the dining table in our family held paramount importance, emphasizing the significance of shared moments. Reflecting on it now, the table has always been a pivotal element, aiding me from a young age in developing confidence, communication skills, and expressing myself before a sizable audience. Any dining table has the power to transform a house into a true home.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
4. Which current trends in interior design do you find most interesting?

The harmonization of colors across various elements within the same room.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
5. What is your approach to selecting colors, materials, and techniques, and how do they influence the atmosphere of a room?

I meticulously align with the project brief and the client’s personality. In residential projects, capturing the client’s style is paramount, blending it with the design studio’s aesthetic to create an atmosphere that mirrors both the occupant and the studio’s identity. We often lean towards color-coordinated rooms or stainless steel materials, crafting an atmosphere that resonates with our vision. Naturally, our brand’s furniture, with its organic form, frequently complements the desired design outcome.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
6. Is there an object you would like to design?

If it were an “object,” it might be an automobile.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
7. What if it were a piece of furniture instead?

If it were a piece of furniture, it would undoubtedly be a daybed.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
8. You often engage in projects involving the renovation of historic or culturally valuable buildings. In a country where the memory of wartime destruction is vivid, how do people approach renovation/preservation?

Presently, there is a heightened appreciation among locals for protected buildings, a surprising and inspiring phenomenon! Preserving the history of these structures is not a straightforward task, as it necessitates enhancing the narrative and infusing them with the contemporary touch they require, both in exterior and interior extensions. There exists an ongoing educational process from the firm to the clients, often proving to be a fascinating journey.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
9. Besides interior design, you are also involved in furniture design: you have your own brand of furniture that straddles art and design, and often those pieces are chosen by brands (such as Chloé) to furnish their shops. Is there a positive obsession that sets you apart? And does it contribute to shaping your style?

I draw inspiration from nearly everything. I would say the fashion industry frequently shapes and influences trend reports in furniture, including colors, etc. I have a deep love for fashion. While I don’t always adhere strictly to trends, I trust my instincts, even in the realm of design.

Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
Christine Kalia
@studiochristinekalia
10. what is an object in your home that you would never give up? what is the memory attached to it? would you send us a photo taken by you?

I would never part with my Mazzega Lighting, discovered one day while casually strolling through my city at an antique shop. Although I am currently away, I have found a link to the product.

Christine Kalia

Diary of @studiochristinekalia
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All images are taken from the interviewee’s Instagram account, and are an integral part of the interview’s editorial storytelling. See the interviewee’s Instagram account for full credits.

other contents of this issue:
Christine Kalia
Christine Kalia

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