Sofa Chat: In Conversation with Nebihe Cihan - post image background.

Sofa Chat: In Conversation with Nebihe Cihan

In the sixth of the series of Sofa Chats, top interior designer Nebihe Cihan talks about why she loves working with us, using Minotti pieces in her projects and the timeless designs of the Minotti furniture.

Born in Adana, Turkey, Nebihe was educated from an early age in the US, with a graduate degree in Interior Design, from the renowned Parsons School of Design – The New School.

Initially, she concentrated on high-end retail design, working for Catherine Malandrino in New York, followed by Michael Kors, where she worked for many years, as a senior designer for the Store Design and Development department globally.

In 2016, Nebihe founded the eponymous, London based, Nebihe Cihan Studio, specialising in retail and high-end residential in iconic cityscapes.

Hit the play button below to watch the full conversation, or read the full transcript below:

Nebihe Cihan: I think the reason why I love Minotti and using Minotti furniture in my projects is because Minotti relies on very clean lines. And I think my design aesthetic is also all about clean and crisp lines and obviously Minotti’s known for their timeless designs.

I was kind of actually, since I started my studio in London, it’s been five years and the majority of my projects have been all destination homes. And you have to be very clever about designing a destination home because you have to pick the right furniture, which is going to stay timeless since it’s a destination home.

I’ve been leaning towards Minotti and I’ve been using a lot of Minotti furniture in my projects because the timelessness in designs really fits within my projects. One of the other reasons why I like working with Minotti furniture is I think it just fits into any surrounding architecture.

I’ve used Minotti in my project in LA where it was a super contemporary architecture. I’ve used it in a more traditional setting in London. However, by using the right fabric, I was able to give Minotti furniture that more modern classical look than the contemporary aesthetic that it’s known with. And I’ve also used Minotti in a Parisian, more Haussmannian setting where it fit perfectly.

So I think I love Minotti because it just fits within any surrounding architecture.

Anke Summerhill: And so how do you introduce Minotti to your clients?

Nebihe: First of all, I love bringing my clients to this showroom. I think one of the reasons also why I love working with Minotti is like the whole service, because you’re not just buying a timeless, comfortable, functional and sculptural piece, but you’re also buying a service. So from basically the moment that you are engaging with the sales at Minotti, especially Minotti London, till the door to door delivery to the installation, you get a seamless, flawless service.

It’s a premium VIP service, I should say. And I love bringing my clients here because the showroom is obviously super big and then you get to see a lot of pieces on display, which is not really the case in London and with majority of the showrooms. They get to obviously sit on the products, feel, touch, and then look at the furniture.

I think when I’m introducing them to the brands, especially when I’m bringing them to the showroom, I introduce the brand as timeless and functional at the same time, sculptural. My clientele is super international and majority of my clientele have homes all around the world. And when I was telling you that I’ve been designing destination homes literally since I launched my studio in London, it’s been just destination homes.

I was very careful about finding and picking the right furniture because they could be visiting their London home once a year and they might not be coming the year after, but then on the third year they come back after the refurbishment, they’re still coming back to a timeless design and timeless furniture. They’re not tired of seeing it. So I think it’s super important that the furniture shouldn’t really age.

Anke: Beautifully understated.

Nebihe: Exactly. Yes. That’s the right word, actually.

Anke: So do you have a favourite model? And this is a really difficult question.

Nebihe: I’ve used many Minotti pieces in my projects to date. I think my favourites are the sofas and the outdoor furniture. And what I want to mention is the outdoor furniture, I’m obsessed about outdoor furniture personally and not everyone knows about the outdoor furniture that Minotti makes.

Quadrado seating arrangement by studio mk27 design

I think Minotti does such a great job in curating the whole collection where you can buy the sofa, the tables, the side tables, the dining tables for outdoors that you actually when you go to another company, they don’t really give you the full package of like putting everything together.

They might have an amazing sofa, but then they don’t really have the best coffee table to go with it. So I think it’s an amazing destination, Minotti’s an amazing destination for outdoor furniture. But personally, I love your sofas. That’s my favourite.

Anke: So basically you feel you get the full package here.

Nebihe: Exactly.

Anke: Yeah. I think the beauty with the in and the outdoor is that they so seamlessly one moves over into the other so in and outdoor become, they look like one, even though some is outdoor, some is indoor. If you look outside, it is as if your living room carries on out onto the terrace.

Nebihe: Exactly. I completed a project in Los Angeles in Bel Air about three years ago. And exactly we had this concept of indoor and outdoor living. And obviously the indoor was super sophisticated. It was designed in a very sophisticated way, and it really transitioned into the outdoor space.

So when I was sourcing for outdoor furniture, obviously Minotti was my number one to go, because I think it’s one of the rare brands that give you that sophisticated look, but still suitable and durable for outdoors that you don’t really find in many other brands.

Anke: And then I have to bring this up because I know you love the colour green.

Nebihe: Yes.

Anke: And I know that a few of the furniture we’ve sold to you, you’ve put some beautiful green colour on it. Was that your influence on the client or did the client ask you for this or because it’s your favourite colour, you try to introduce it to as many interiors as you can?

Nebihe: So actually that’s funny that you ask that. Both. Green is my favourite colour, but then I’ve been super lucky that every client that I had so far, their favourite colour is also green. I have this amazing lovely client and basically her favourite colour was green and when she came to me and her brief was immediately that she wanted a green sectional sofa. I said, great.

And I had to use the Alexander sofa and then I basically finished it with a velvet emerald green fabric, but it was not easy because I think we went through maybe 80 shades of green fabrics.

Minotti London Alexander Sofa in green velvet fabric

Anke: It’s amazing how many shades there are when you start looking.

Nebihe: From other suppliers. And in the end, we ended up going with a Minotti fabric because not everyone realises, but I think Minotti has an amazing textile collection.

Anke: It does.

Nebihe: And it’s just so rich you don’t really have to go out to other suppliers to find the right fabric because Minotti already has this option for you. In the end, we actually did the sofa, the Alexander sofa in the Minotti green velvet. And I think it came out really great.

Anke: Yes. Now the project looks amazing. I love also the entrance with that beautiful I think it’s gold wallpaper.

Nebihe: Yes.

Anke: And then the lovely lights. I really adored it. I love the use of colour in that project. Nebihe, it’s lovely, lovely to have you here. Thank you so much.

Nebihe: Thank you so much for having me Anke. Always a pleasure to see you.


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