Saturday - Sep 23, 2017

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior design

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior design

In an exclusive interview, Greek interior designer Stefanos Koffas explains why he loves creating sophisticated and luxurious spaces and where he draws his inspiration for his incredible designs.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designStefano, let’s start with a little about your background and where you are based.

Well, I’m from Chalkida, the beautiful capital city of Euboea, a Greek island known for its charm and cosmopolitan ambiance. However, I moved to Athens to study at ‘AKTO’, an academy for Applied Arts and Design, including Media. While I was there, I learnt to combine scientific theory and artistic design in a unique way and discovered my own creativity. After graduating, I was lucky enough to have worked out what my aeipathy was and run with it, so it was natural to stay living in Athens. In fact, I’ve been living in the city ever since with an insatiable desire to discover interesting places and new concepts of aesthetics.

Were you interested in design from a young age?

You could say that. I had the ability to maximize my living spaces and arrange everything in style over and over again from scratch. Much later, I enjoyed pouring over the pages of home and design magazines to keep up with creative design trends, so I think from early on, I knew that interior design was my calling.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designStefano, I know that you have transformed a number of interiors of private residences. Can you tell me what field of design you enjoy specializing in the most?

Well, I wouldn’t say there was a particular field that I take pleasure in more than any other. I’m a creator and each and every project that I’ve worked on has given me something special. I do love a challenge though and that’s the exciting part.

As an interior designer, is there more of an emphasis on planning the layout, functional design and the effective use of space rather than colour palette, furniture, art and other elements that fall under the umbrella of interior design? Are you required to understand technical issues too, such as window and door positioning, acoustics and lighting?

Ergonomics and Anthropometrics are the first rules and planning a useful layout and functional space according to the needs of the client and design is the first step. Paying attention to where the natural light comes through in a room is also important, and then, of course, all the other elements, such as colour and textures are then taken into consideration.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designCan you remember your very first design project and what about your favourite until now?

Oh, that takes me back years! My first design project was a cafe – restaurant and I have to admit it was quite a challenge because the place was so huge. But as they say, there’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end. I’d like to add, though, that I felt really proud when the project was completed because I did manage to design the place to my own definition of perfection.

As for my favourite project, that has to be the event with Jacques – Cartier back in the good days.

What is your philosophy on design and life in general? What do you love about being a designer and where do you draw your inspiration from?

A fabulous design is difficult to interpret, you often know it when you see it. So my own philosophy is that there are three responses to a finished design: Yes, No and Wow! I always aim for the WOW!

What I love about being an interior designer is the freedom I have to strip a place down to its essential core and create sophisticated and luxurious spaces. I love transforming property knowing that a client has put their entire trust in me and it’s a wonderful feeling when I’ve accomplished what they wanted and stayed within the budget of course.

As for inspiration, I’m inspired by what I see when I first take in the environment. Every new project gives me individual inspiration.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designHow would you describe your style and do you have any personal “signature”?

Let’s say it’s classical with a twist. I aim for vibrant original designs always keeping in mind the needs of the individual project. I believe that the secret to my success has been making sure that a client has a design that is unique not a duplicate. Certainly, I wouldn’t like to copy similar designs every time as this would become tedious and tiresome.

Colour is a powerful design tool in decorating and interior design. How do you decide on what colours to choose to create suitable combinations for each interior?

Indeed colour is a very important aspect of design. Warm tones, like red, orange and yellow for example, can give more life to a space, whilst cool tones such as blue, green and purple generally create a quiet more relaxing ambiance. I choose my colour pallets very carefully to match the environment.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designWhat colours, textures, and pieces of furniture do you love the most? Do you combine Art Deco, chrome, glass, stainless steel, lacquer and materials like shark and zebra skin?

Yes, I like to experiment with all kinds of pieces, textures, and materials, mixing and matching to get the best effect. I also use a great deal of wood for walls and floors, and I love searching for antiques that I can combine with contemporary furniture too.

In England, in the early 1910s, the legendary interior designer, Syrie Maugham created the first all-white room in an era characterized by dark colours and small spaces. She designed rooms filled with light and furnished in various shades of white and mirrored screens. Her trademark pieces included books covered in white vellum, (a smooth material made from the skin of a young animal), cutlery with white porcelain handles and dining chairs covered in white leather. The whole idea sounds fabulous to me, especially here in Greece, where we love the sunshine to fill every corner of our homes. What do you think?

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designI totally agree with you, Lorraine. I love using pure white in my designs and off-white shades such as cream, eggshell, ivory and Navajo White, which is a pastel yellow-orange hue. However, when choosing a white, you have to take into consideration the lighting of a room because it can easily cause a pure white to be perceived as off-white. We live in beautiful sunny Greece, where white is a characteristic of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea and many of the luxurious hotels and homes in that region.

I imagine that it must sometimes be very stressful to always be a step ahead of the trends, meet deadlines, stay on budget and meet client’s needs. Do you find this frustrating? Also, how do you deal with troublesome clients?

It can be very stressful especially dealing with the project deadlines. They, unfortunately, don’t always depend on my careful schedule, they can depend on a lot of other factors and people cooperating with me. To be quite honest, up until now, I’ve never had any troublesome clients and those that I have worked with, I’ve always managed to have an excellent and harmonious working relationship with them. If I do feel stressed, though, I usually chill out in the pool.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior designFinally Stefano, what advice do you have for young interior designers and in your opinion, which will be the top trends in interior design for 2017?

Young interior designers must first learn the rules regarding Ergonomics and Anthropometrics because these principles will start them on the path to success.  As far as top trends for interior design in 2017 are concerned, the boho, (bohemian) and ethnic styles are very à la mode this season, and you can also see that in the fashion industry too.

Thanks to Stefanos Koffas for sharing his time with us.

Stefanos Koffas, the prince of interior design

 Stefanos, can be contacted at:

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