Interview: Kanako Nakanishi

Kanako Nakanishi is the principle interior designer at our partner architects, Pleysier Perkins. Hailing from Tokyo, Kanako brings a sensibility reflective of the Japanese aesthetic into her work – simple, de-cluttered and natural interiors that create a calm living environment.

What drew you towards interior design initially? Was it always a passion of yours or something that you progressively became interested in?

I have always been interested in the living environment, especially residential interiors. As a child I liked displaying little objects and changing furniture layouts. Through travel experiences I encountered great architecture and amazing interiors. This convinced me to study interior design and has helped me to understand and question what it is that I like about design.

What is the most challenging part of design interior spaces?

A house is usually a place where people spend time with family and friends and it becomes their memories and a part of their life. I think that the overall atmosphere of the interior is important, because that’s what they feel every day and it leaves an impression on guests.

I believe that my role is to understand what kind of atmosphere the clients would like to create at home, and I hope that the interior design process helps to provide a backdrop for the client’s personal items.
I work with the architect/designer and suggest interior layouts, materials and colours that I think will meet the clients requirements while still considering the construction details. I think this collaboration results in a better result for the client. It is a challenge, however I work with a great team and it has been my privilege to hear great feedback from InForm’s clients.

What is the most rewarding part of designing spaces that your clients will live in?

During the interior design stage, clients often talk about the places in the house where they would like to have a good time with family and friends – often the kitchen, fireplace and BBQ area. These places usually contain elements of fire, it must be in our human nature to come together where there is fire!
Another important space is one where the clients can relax and be themselves – for example a beautiful ensuite bathroom.
If the spaces can help to create good memories, this is the most rewarding part of my role.

If you could spend a week in any home in the world, what would it be?

It would be Elrod House in Palm Beach, California, which was used in the 007 film Diamonds Are Forever. It’s not just because I like Sean Connery. I like the concept that architecture and nature are combined. There must be so many interesting details to look at in the house.

Which architect or interior designer’s work do you admire the most?

I admire David Chipperfield’s work and design approach. The sophisticated choice of materials and well considered simple forms are a pleasure to look at.
A great experience was when I visited Tokujin Yoshioka’s interior installation of a pile of white straws. It is not something I could understand from the pictures and it made me aware of how important it is to experience the space and atmosphere.