Your work is characterized by a sense of balance–spaces that feel highly curated yet thoroughly comfortable. How do you walk that tightrope?
Michael Del Piero: Balance is a key element in our work. It’s in my nature to seek balance and a filter from which I view everything when designing a space. Balancing a casual, approachable and highly curated interior is easy when the elements include heavily textured elements and weathered finishes, which generally speak to a casual vibe. When selections are warm in their own right—even in a sparsely filled space—they maintain a mood of approachability.
As a world traveler, can you name a few places you’ve found infinitely inspiring?
MDP: I find inspiration in the everyday, so travel brings enormous opportunities to see life in new ways. The "everyday" I find in another country or culture is inspiring simply by virtue of being different from what I’m used to. The Japanese, for example, have a unique and special way with ceramics. You can almost feel them creating the piece when you hold them in your hands. I’m a huge fan of vessels so my visits there are filled with inspiration (and purchases).
I’ve always loved the Netherlands. The Dutch have such a gift when it comes to artistic expression. I find my tastes align with so much of what I see on the streets of Maastricht—sculpture in gardens and galleries—and of course, the classic Dutch painters such as Johannes Vermeer bring a soulful expression to their work. I return again and again to find my heart filled with happiness and my mind filled with ideas—and sometimes a container of antiques. And Tel Aviv for the food! Not only is it the freshest, most flavorful produce I’ve ever tasted, it’s also bright with color. Colors more spectacular than you can imagine and all natural from the earth. I love this.