Elle decoration – In a new light

An old house from Bucharest unveils its spirit under the „wand” of a designer who was inspired by the delicate shapes of the past and excited by the vivid colours of the present. A feminine, sophisticated and luminous mix&match.

She believes in the beauty of old, inter-war houses, she admires their architecturally impeccable figure, but also their aesthetic and wise interior understanding. To Erna Moise, designing the interior of these architectural jewels represented fascinating projects, and the present house is an eloquent example.

Erna Moise, or Erna Judith Berger Moise by her full name, was born in Târgu Mureş, where she studied Art School. Then, she went to Israel with her family, where she lived for 7 years and studied at The Beaux-Arts College. In 1990, upon returning home, she graduated from the Nicolae Grigorescu Design and Textile Academy, Textile Design department. Since 1997, she has cultivated her passion for interior design and for decorative mural painting. Some of the interiors that she designed are considered reference points by the people in this domain. Recently we visited an apartment from an old building, a three-storey construction from 1939, located on one of the elegant streets from the old Bucharest.

The location represented a big advantage from the beginning: it was a beautifully partitioned apartment, with a remarkable spaciousness. From the first visit there, I was inspired and motivated by that luminous space, with harmonious dimensions, high ceiling and slim doors, that emanates a noble air even if totally empty.

I completely resonated with the beneficiary in his wish for saving and reconditioning all the authentic elements. The spacious and luminous dining room communicates with the living room through the ample French door. The walls have been finished with Benjamin Moore paint. The large table with metallic legs and wooden top was made by Flay. The chairs are from glazed plastic, made by Pedrali.

The „Credenzza” chest of drawers, made from solid wood, comes from Tonin. The „Tricia Guild” silk curtains are from Designers Guild. The original parquet of the house has been reconditioned and treated with white oil – matte ivory, produced by Pallman. The lighting objects are the renowned Fortuny lamps, the creation of the legendary Mariano Fortuny, a multidisciplinary artist from the beginning of the century, inspired by the Renaissance period.

A sofa with sculptural shapes, upholstered with purple silk velvet, made by Softhouse. The Edward Meridienne sofa, created by designer Edward Tuttle, under the aegis of the emblematic brand Wittman, represents a guiding mark in the furniture design field, created in 1981 and successfully edited in 2008.

A ceiling lamp, „Scheherezade”, made from manually painted silk, comes from Fortuny. A solid wooden table comes from Imart. The curtains made from Designers Guild fabric have been matched with the ones from the dining room. On the wall there are silk plates with equestrian theme, purchased from Casa Del Arte. The Oriental carpet has been bought from Istanbul.

The bedroom imposes as a main theme the oversized bed panel, created after Erna Moise’s drawing in a Bucharest workshop. The bed panel has been upholstered with pearl white silk, the frame has been created in a workshop in Italy and covered with silver foil. „Baga” sconces. Tonin nightstands. Armchair from Seven Sedie.

The interior design lasted for 8 months, during which the electrical and sanitary installations have been completely reconditioned, as well as the finishes – except for the mosaic-clad floors that have been kept where the decorative theme allowed it. After that, the furniture, the accessories and the fittings have been installed. The result is a blend of elements that come from different styles, surprisingly unitary and harmonious.

„I do not believe in a visual expression without the conceptualization of the work, without a coherence imposed by a theme or by a source of inspiration. All these things come as a result of documentation or ideas that incite you spontaneously.”, Erna explains. “In the case of this project, I had a successful collaboration and communication with the client; it all began with her wish for a sophisticated space, very feminine, daring and unconventional. From the styles that she mentioned I chose the ones that could compose an eclectic, refined and unconventional language. I believe that the visual narrative created by elements from various styles gives you a much more spectacular atmosphere than just one artistic style.”

Obviously, the main register contains classic reinterpreted elements that can be easily juxtaposed with a few authentic old pieces. There are glam elements, but also vintage touches, there are ethnic details, but also contemporary minimalist approaches.

The designer respected, therefore, the owner’s wish of integrating some furniture pieces that she very much cared for.