Interview: Silvana Daddazio

Five minutes with...

Say hello to Silvana Daddazio, her portfolio includes high-end rural retreats, upscale urban interiors and exotic vacation destinations in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. Each project, regardless of its complexity, receives Silvana’s unbridled attention to detail.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the industry.

As a child I didn’t have much exposure to the design industry but loved all things creative, crafts, drawing and arts. I think my first exposure to design was a cousin who lived in a big old house in downtown Toronto. She’d have me over and I was always in awe of the architectural details, large trim, tall ceilings, plaster crown mouldings. I also paid close attention to how she hung her art, her antique furniture and the colours on her walls... Everything we didn’t do or have in our suburban bungalow. I’d go home after spending a weekend there and much to my parent’s dismay, I’d have them buy me a can of paint so I could paint my room, move furniture around, and buy lamps, trying to recreate the feeling I had from her house. I later went to design school, and worked for two other designers before I started my own business. This was key for me as that experience and the connections allowed me to evolve into the person and designer that I am today. I feel lucky that I do what I love.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I love my spaces to feel collected, layered with colour and textures. I respect classical details and proportions when I’m designing a space but won't be limited by it. I love mixing old and new and never feel restrained by designing for a certain time period. I feel that this translates into not only an interesting space, but a welcoming and comfortable house, something all of my clients want for their home. At the end of the day I am designing for my client. I try and take their lead as to what they want for their home but they’ve hired me to make it work and make it beautiful.

What has been your most exciting project to date?

A cottage in Muskoka, it was a big cottage with great bones. The client had a sensibility similar to ours, old world, a little exotic and very casual and comfortable. We got to furnish the entire cottage as well as restain and paint all the walls. The final product was one that both myself and the client were we thrilled with.

And what has been your most challenging?

When we work with clients who don’t really give you direction at the beginning of a project, yet have very strong opinions. We did a private lounge in a jewellery store and the initial concept we had for it was completely different then what they wanted. In the end, we did end up understanding each other and the final product was gorgeous. It’s great when a challenging project pushes us to do something unique.

Where do typically draw inspiration from?

I love finding inspiration from classical architecture, the beautiful patterns and colours of the tiles in the Blue Mosque, or in the simplicity of a crumbling church on a small remote island. I’m also inspired by artisans creating and sculpting unique pieces whether it’s lighting, furniture or accessories. I always try and incorporate things like that in my interiors, I love my clients to have those special items in their homes.

What would be your best advice to anyone wanting to enter the industry?

Educate your clients on what you’re trying to give them and at the same time really listen to what they want. More often than not it will be a compromise and that’s ok because there is always something to be learned from the combination of ideas.

What is your favourite fabric from Chase Erwin?

My favourite fabric from Chase Erwin has to be the Alessio Dusk. It has all the attributes you want in a velvet… sexy and soft with the perfect sheen, yet durable enough to upholster a sofa in.

What will be the next Chase Erwin fabric you specify?

Peruzzi, it has beautiful colour ways, soft muted pastels, with a simple zig zag pattern and just the right amount of sparkle!