When you step inside of the perfect interior, how does it look? For me, it has at least once piece from Sé Collection, and I’m about to show it to you but first, do you recall a few years back when I was in Milan and I interviewed Pavlo Schtakleff from Sé Collections? (If not: LINK HERE). Last year, I returned again to see his collection and shared in on my Instagram, but this year sadly, I couldn’t go to Milan so I asked a friend to scout out Pavlo’s lastest at Rossana Orlandi’s Gallery.

The moment I saw some photos, well, FULL STOP.

I knew I’d have to share on decor8. But photos are never enough, so I scheduled an interview with Pavlo that you can relax and read below. But first, the DREAM sofa, the one that would exist in my perfect interior…

The Salon

The Salon

Isn’t it fantastic? This was my favorite corner at the Sé Collection “Maison” at RO Gallery this year for OBVIOUS reasons having to do mainly with the dreamy new Oschun sofa. I simply had to ask Pavlo about it but then I lost myself as I admired each new piece, and out spilled 100 questions more. Typical me.

Holly: Hello Pavlo, so nice to chat with you for a moment, it’s been a year since I last saw you so it’s nice to have time to talk. I’ve quite keen on your new Oshun sofa. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind it and a little about the new collection overall?

Pavlo: All the furniture presented within Maison IV forms Part II of Sé’s Collection IV by Ini Archibong (Readers: You can read a little background to the collection here) – Ini is an emerging designer with whom I felt an immediate kinship; he has an intuitive understanding of luxury and materials. 

Collection IV is entitled ‘Below the Heavens ‘ in reference to the threshold between earth and heaven: a place Archibong feels encompasses the spirit of Sé: that of sensual beauty and sensitive fragility. The Oshun Sofa is named after an ‘Orisha’ or deity, invoking the goddesses of the West African Ifá and Yoruba religions. Like a grounded cloud and befitting to an homage to a deity of love, luxury and pleasure, the Oshun Sofa offers a heavenly landing on earth.

“I think of it as a seat for reposing, thinking and fantasizing,” says Archibong, “a place for personal escape.” 

Holly: And the table?

Pavlo: The Gaea Coffee Table is part of Gaea family, all of which feature ceramic beads. Ceramic as a material is part of Sé’s heritage whilst the beads are part of Archibong’s DNA. 

Sé Collections From Milan 2019Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: I can’t forgot to ask who designed the mint rug, it’s exquisite.

Pavlo: Both rugs in Maison IV were made by artisanal producer La Manufacture Cogolin (represented in the UK by Sé through our London gallery ) who have been weaving high relief patterned rugs on original looms from a village just outside St.Tropez since 1924. The Azur Athis rug is from the Nord/Sud Collection by Stephane Parmentier.

Holly: What a beauty, I really can’t stop staring at that sofa though, and the minty rug really works so well with it. I also have to see where the sculpture came from…

Pavlo: Of course, the sculpture is by artist Alicja Podgorska Birkner, a Polish artist based in Germany. Part of Sé’s raison d’etre is to find artists who share our aesthetic and sense of craftsmanship. 

The rug is by La Manufacture Cogolin

The rug is by La Manufacture Cogolin

Holly: The lamp is also worth highlighting, it’s very unique.

Pavlo: Yes, the Moirai floor lamp is a new iteration of the large Moirai Chandelier which we launched in Milan last year, ‘a constellation of hand blown crystal clouds’. We developed several new bespoke colors for Salone including this amber crystal. 

Holly: And behind the lamp, what is on the wall, is that paper or metal? 

Pavlo: This particular piece is a wall sculpture in lacquered aluminum entitled ‘Mon Coeur’ by Studio Earle. Within Maison IV we tried to bring together several artists who share an emotional sensitivity to Sé. 

Holly: Please tell us about the chair…

Pavlo: It is part of the same family as the Oshun Sofa – it’s big enough for two people to sit intimately on. 

Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: I love the curves! In fact, your collection has always been very sculptural…

Pavlo: From the very beginning we have always tried to produce sculptural curvilinear pieces that are characterful yet still timeless and serene. The need for this type of aesthetic was one of reasons I started Sé. 

Holly: You definitely spotted a trend before its time, because today these sensual curves for interiors are everywhere. You were right that we needed more sensual curvilinear pieces in the home. Why do you think people are drawn to these pieces, that are almost each like their very own work of art?

Oschun sofa

Oschun sofa

Pavlo: I can only speak for myself, but I have always been drawn to more curvaceous, organic forms. Curved forms are naturally pleasing and tactile and allow you to create a universe which is inviting and beautiful. According to a particular theory of aesthetics the ‘line of beauty’ is curved; part of being human is to seek out beauty. 

Holly: When I studied Interior Design, the focus was always on creating a focal point in the room, no matter what, that was something each room we designed as part of our projects had to have. Years later, designers still stick by this rule but I believe that a room can have a focal point only more understated – it’s not screaming at you when you enter the space. I believe people are after more harmonious interiors right now because they are comforting, they welcome you in and invite you to stay, look around, and chill out. I’ve observed that lots of the interiors I see lack an obvious focus point – you really have to look for it. What are your thoughts on this?

Pavlo: Personally, it’s important that every Sé peice has a little detail that elevates it, draws your gaze and creates an emotional connection. It’s perhaps less about creating a focal point and more about surrounding yourself with pieces you love. 

Holly: What inspired this collection overall, is it just a feeling or was it a trip you took or? 

Pavlo: Ini Archibong and I took several road trips together to immerse Ini in Sé’s world and ways. We visited our European manufacturers so he could gain an insight into how we collaborate and their capabilities. And then we went to Paris; the galleries, architecture, style, culture were all very influential to me growing up (I was French educated) so I also took him to all my old haunts so he could get a feeling for where the creative idea for Sé started and be inspired from a similar place. 

The concept ‘Below the Heavens’ as well as his personality and heritage also shaped the designs; I think the result are pieces that marry together his bold style with Sé’s timeless aesethetic in a very harmonious way.

I honestly don’t follow trends; my aim to create pieces which will be just as relevant in 100 years’ time. If longevity is a trend, then that’s the one I subscribe to. 

— Pavlo Schtakleff

Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: How do you see your collection? I think of it as minimalist with a maximalist twist and very luxurious.

Pavlo: I wouldn’t consider Sé to be minimalist; the combinations of textures and materials is intended to be rich. Having said that amongst our interior design clients we see a great variety of styles and Sé designs work equally well as stand alone sculptural pieces as they do in a highly layered interior.  

Atlas Chairs

Atlas Chairs

Sé Collections From Milan 2019Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: Okay so back to some of your new pieces. Let’s talk about your the Atlas chairs, I’m not sure how I feel about them yet, so I’d love some more background to understand them better.

Pavlo: The Atlas Chairs take their inspiration from standing stones; this part of the collection is more monolithic and terrestrial reconciling the heavenly and early spheres. The chairs each feature a small gold node around which the pieces seem to balance, playing with ideas of weight and weightlessness, fragility and strength. They might not be for everyone but that is part of what I love about them; uniqueness is increasingly difficult to achieve. Each chair is made in France by a team of craftsmen; the wooden parts are solid oak in a range of new stains chosen specifically for these pieces. 

Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: Okay, now I must know more about this desk and light! Wow! In fact, tell me everything!

Pavlo: That’s a wonderful reaction! The Atlas Desk is a command centre! It is carved from Carrara marble, whilst the lacquered wooden boulder houses the drawers. While a symbol of strength, the desk also shows a material interplay between its two asymmetric supports to communicate both delicacy and power. The Moirai Desk Light is another new variation of the chandelier. The blue is one of four new crystal colours including amber, grey and purple. 

Sé Collections From Milan 2019The Circe Sofa

The Circe Sofa

Holly: Thanks for being such a good sport Pavlo with all of my questions. Next, let’s learn about the sofa, especially those little cushions all over the back…

Pavlo: The cushions on the Circe Sofa are fun and provide an opportunity to experiment with colour.  The sofa and its matching Armchairs can also be modified for the outdoors. For the upholstery we selected a high performance velvet from Perennials which is resilient but remains luxurious. Many of our clients are blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor furniture and we’ve adapted several Sé designs to work in both settings. 

Holly: Only a few more questions left Pavlo and then I’ll give you a rest. What are you proud about concerning Sé?

Pavlo: When I started Sé, my aim was always to be able to provide a platform for emerging designers, to give them an opportunity to showcase the breadth of their skill in luxury design. It may seem a risky thing to do but when you discover great talent it becomes hugely exciting. I’m proud to have been able to realise this ambition with Ini Archibong. It has been challenging at times and some of the pieces have pushed us to the limit in terms of production and sanity – but the fact that we managed to complete a very cohesive collection, and one which seems to have been well received, gives me great satisfaction. 

Sé Collections From Milan 2019Sé Collections From Milan 2019Sé Collections From Milan 2019Sé Collections From Milan 2019

Holly: Where do you see the brand in a few years, are you looking to grow or add new designers?  

Pavlo: Fast forward three years and we’ll be considering Collection V but for now we are working on some internal projects and have an exciting partnership in the pipeline which we’ll reveal in September. In addition, our focus is on growing the business internationally and finding exactly the right partners to do this with. 

Holly: What is your favorite interiors trend at the moment and why? 

Pavlo: I honestly don’t follow trends; my aim to create pieces which will be just as relevant in 100 years’ time. If longevity is a trend, then that’s the one I subscribe to. 

That’s a lovely thought to end on, what a pleasure to speak with you Pavlo and thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me on decor8 today.

Readers, if you want to follow Sé Collections on Instagram, you can do so here: @Se_collections

(Photography: With Permission from Sé Collections by Andrea Ferrari)