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CovetEd Exclusive Interview with Elke AltenbergerMonday 13 February 2017
Elke Altenberger is a 20 years’ experienced Interior Designer from Vienna, Austria. Quality is one of the keywords of her projects. Working mainly in Europa market, Elke is now able to state that her style is 80% supported by “my customers’ identification” and “5% are experimental, in which I try new elements, surfaces, technique, etc.”
CovetED was with Elke in Vienna and now Elke is also on CovetED. See what this incredible woman and professional has to say about herself.
- CovetED Edition: Being in love with our work is always the key to achieving better results. Are you in love with this job? What do you love most about being an interior designer?
In short: I feel addicted to what I’m doing. It’s just what I am. In fact identifying a priority within the variety of my business is not easy. Maybe the transfer of the salient criterion of my clients – always different and individual – is what I love most.
- CovetED Edition: Do you have a favourite project or a favourite story about one of your projects?
Not really. Each and every project has its own story of development and translation. The handling of coincidences and daily problems makes the real stories.
- CovetED Edition: How important is a perfect chemistry between you and your clients to achieve the best results?
This is key – from the beginning to the end of our mutual story …
- CovetED Edition: Do you think working with teams in interior design is better or worse than working alone? Why?
The core team I am cooperating with is an indispensable part of a successful project. This goes mainly for crafts and suppliers and their capability to adapt to key elements of a project fast and effective. I need to be extremely well organized and feel grateful for the perfect support I receive. Since my business is tailored to me small inner teams are much more effective and economical than bigger ones.
- CovetED Edition: Keeping up to date on all the trends is essential for anyone who wants to conquer this market. In what ways do you keep current with new trends?
- a) daily recherché
- b) be in the influence of the market of your target group
- c) close relation to your suppliers, crafts
- d) fairs – at least 2 per year (I love London – it is my place to be for interior design)
- e) Art exhibitions as much as possible if my time allows
- CovetED Edition: How would you describe your work style? Do you have any kind “signatures” that help to identify your projects?
80% of my work supports my customers’ identification. 15% are dedicated to a highly individual and incomparable uniqueness of my clients’ style realisation. This already reaches a certain border of acceptance and creates something new. 5% then are experimental in which I try new elements, surfaces, technique etc..
- CovetED Edition: All artists need some inspiration to work, and interior designers are artists too. So, what or who really inspires you?
I think it is mainly the subject as such and my clients’ confidence in my work and reputation. Art inspires me, quality in general, uniqueness and some people of course.
- CovetED Edition: If you had to pick one project around the world that you wish it had been made it by you, which would it be?
I am working on it right now and hope to finish it in time by end of the year.
- CovetED Edition: Choosing the best pieces to compose a project can be the secret to getting the best overall result. Although it seems easy, this is a delicate task and needs full attention on time to execute it. Do you have some tips for those who do not know well how to start a challenge like this?
Oh – this is a good question! You are right – with me, it is mostly one piece only which stands in the center of the total composition. Once I inhale a project I feel like being inside a different world. Then I search and behave in it, realizing places and tastes of this world. It is like being somebody else. And then colors, patterns, functions, objects appear – and all of a sudden it reflects what it needs. (I hope this does not sound too pathological…)
- CovetED Edition: What are your favorite brands, those that can never miss in one of your projects?
There aren’t many of the leading brands I buy in Austria – unfortunately. My market is Europe. England, France, Italy, Belgium mainly. There is a wider variety of brands I prefer in the different segments and materials. I love Portugal. The people, the mentality, the country, and peacefulness. In the last decade, the Portuguese furniture has dynamically developed and really brought up remarkable innovation. Most of these companies have established successfully and created wonderful quality. Brabbu for me belongs to the leaders of these aspects.
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