At Home With… Paula Canovas Del Vas
One glance at Paula Canovas Del Vas’ designs tells you all you need to know about this Spanish designer - with pieces that are whimsical, eclectic and joyful, it’s hardly surprising to find that the designer behind them is similarly thus. Raised in Murcia amongst 23 cousins, Paula is warm and hospitable (a case in point, insisting on cooking the entire Browns team an omelette when we visited her home for this shoot.) Eggs aside, Paula’s Shoreditch abode is an extension of her creativity, crammed full of knick knacks and books that reflect her curious and creative point of view. Here, she tells us more about her aesthetic and her home…
Paula wears top and skirt by PAULA CANOVAS DEL VAS
Where do you live and how long have you lived here?
I live in Shoreditch, London, and I have been in this flat for a year now.
Tell us about your upbringing. Where was your first home and what influence did it have on you?
I was born in Murcia, in southern Spain. My mother is Argentinian and I have a very big family. I was really brought up by a community. I lived at my grandparents’ house with all my aunts and uncles (I have 10 aunts and uncles and 23 cousins). The importance of family and teamwork is something that has stayed with me. My mother has always had two jobs, and my grandmother is an incredible power woman. I was always surrounded by women with very strong characters, who made things happen around them.
What was your route into fashion design?
I studied both BA and MA at Central Saint Martins. It was an incredible experience where I made amazing friends and collaborators who I still work with today.
How would you describe your home?
In the words of a friend of mine: “elevated cosy vibes.”
What’s your process for curating the objects and furniture inside it?
My everyday life is so busy and filled with references, colours and ideas, that at home I like to keep it more minimal. It is really all about comfort and a space to read and recharge.
Do you have a favourite item?
I really like the ceramic bowl created in collaboration with Jack Wooley. It has our signature Diablo shoes as the base.
Would you say your interior aesthetic and your design aesthetic is the same?
It's all very intuitive. I guess my approach to design is similar to the way I like my home to feel. There needs to be a sense of practicality and comfort, but also excitement.
Do you collect anything?
Tea - I have many different types. My current favourite is sage!
In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
Food and sharing it with others.
What is your favourite home away from home?
My grandparents' house in Spain. There is always something in the fridge, always someone visiting, and my grandmother is an incredible host. It’s so reassuring, I feel like I'm immediately being hugged every time I get there.
Let’s talk about your dream home. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would design it?
I like this game!I imagine noble materials like wood, soft colours, and a green outside space. Light - a lot of light designed in a smart way. Axel Vervoordt would be the one.
What books do you have on your bookshelves? Any favourites?
I just got the biography of Spanish poet Gloria Fuertes. The editing was done by Jorge de Cascantes and it's just brilliant! A breath of fresh air.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Capers and olives. I am also obsessed with pickles.
What’s your favourite local haunt?
It's not really a haunt, but the lunch menu at Leroy is the best in town!
Finish this sentence. To me, home is...
Where friends and family are.
Photography by Jonathan Middleton
Styling by Sally Bottomley
Words by Georgia Graham
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