Real-Life Lessons From Great Designers: Francis Sultana

Real-Life Lessons From Great Designers: Francis Sultana

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Eleanor Büsing
Aug 28, 2015

I discovered the work of London-based designer Francis Sultana via a client request a couple of years ago. The client had an image from a magazine (which for the life of me I can't find to share with you) of a window dressed with grey silk drapes boasting a knife-sharp edge of bronze silk. It was ultra-chic with a bronze curtain pole, and we ended up using the image as a jumping-off point for the design of her London home. I love discovering inspiration in this random fashion, and soon enough I was down an online Sultana rabbit hole.

The multi-talented designer works on both residential and commercial projects, as well as designing collections of his signature glam-meets-wild furniture and accessories. His style is heavily influenced by Art Deco shapes and styles, as well as the natural world. Here are a few lessons we can take from the whimsical world of Francis Sultana...

Color Has Impact In Isolation

Much of Sultana's schemes are neutral- pale grey or gold, and calming to the eye- but rarely do they not feature a pop of bold color somewhere, whether it's a purple velvet sofa or green leather chairs.

Nature Knows Best

There is infinite inspiration to be found in the natural world, from the shape of a leaf or vine to the fluffy coats of mountain goats. Sultana takes frequent, and often humorous, inspiration from all of these in his interiors and furniture.

Borrow From The Past... And The Present

I love the liberal use of antiques in Sultana's work. It's rare to find these "top to tail" designers (as in, his projects likely renew a space from top to bottom, from furniture to textiles to art) who want to incorporate lots of older pieces, especially when they happen to design furniture as well (and would therefore be likely to fill a space with their own stuff). He uses contemporary art and architecture as well, so his spaces often end up being inspiring mixes of old-meets-new.

Modern Design Can Be Glamorous, Too

We often think of ultra-modern design as empty white boxes and harsh, straight lines. But Sultana's signature curves, bold shapes, and sculptural spaces show that contemporary spaces can be as over-the-top as you like. They might not be to everyone's taste (but then, what is?), but it's hard to deny the impact of these spaces.

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