Interior illumination according to Chiara. A synthetic design style, from an up to the minute Venice.
Venetian, of noble extraction, 31 years old, raised in the family palazzo on the Grand Canal, disarmingly straightforward, Chiara describes herself as shy, sporting, dynamic and enthusiastic.
She is a descendant of the Grimani family, a celebrated lineage in Venice, with several palazzos in the lagoon already in Renaissance times and 3 Doges and various merchants, diplomats and sea captains, the so-called “commanders of the sea”, among her ancestors.
And Chiara has not forsaken the sea: sailing is her passion, along with interior design, which she studied in Milan. After which, with a friend, she founded a company specializing in design for hotels, www.hceandpartners.com/.
“I’ve always been interested in the distribution of space, ever since, when I was a child and my family was moving, I would study the floor plan for hours.” And now? “Interior Decor means respecting the relationship between exterior and interior space.”
For example, take the Carnival Palace in Venice, an ancient palazzo whose traditional touches were revisited by H.C.E: modern wallpaper instead of textiles, lacquered wood to reflect more light, for a balanced style unlike minimalism and baroque, more contemporary, in Chiara’s view.
The design project for a hotel in Calabria has just been finished: immersed in Sila National Park, it is decorated as if it were itself a mountain. The ground floor is light green, lawn-colored, the main floor has a woodsy feel and coloration, then higher up total white and gray, interspersed with warm rays of light, and the topmost level like a snowfield, as if one were surrounded by a glacier.
First and foremost, light: “A fundamental aspect of every space, it is the light that defines spaces and creates moods. I’m not big on ceiling-hung chandeliers in the middle of a room: I prefer numerous points of light, either on tabletops or free standing”. Venice today: not an easy place to live. My husband and I plan out our movements to optimize the time required, which you must always be careful to calculate. For example, grocery shopping is complicated in Venice, it’s much better if you can manage to get around by boat, on the canals. Sailing: the favorite family pastime, handed down to Chiara by her father, so much so that, a few years back, Chiara put together a crew composed of “friends and family”, to participate in challenging regattas in the Mediterranean, but above all, to have fun together. All year round, the family spends weekends at various regattas, in Italian waters and abroad, with the crew composed of her father, her husband Andrea, her sister and brother-in-law. Her mother remains ashore, following their intrepid maneuvers.
Sailing and interior design both require a kind of synthetic logic - which is in fact perceptible in the style of the youngest Grimani - exemplified by untrammeled expertise, long held to be synonymous with elegance.
I feel elegant: always and only when I feel comfortable, usually in jeans and a shirt. My dream outfit: my wedding gown: it had the perfect neckline for me and was neither heavy nor cumbersome, so I was able to dance all evening! In the suitcase. Mine: jeans and sneakers, bathing suit and a blazer. Aboard a boat: a soft bag, never a trolley, 5 bathing suits/sarongs, a windbreaker, a warm sweater for the evenings, deck shoes or moccasins, flip-flops for quick forays on land, two sundresses for food shopping in seaside markets, two light dresses, shorts and t-shirts for going ashore. In Venice: two suggestions: sneakers for tours or for getting in and out of boats in the canals, moccasins for the evenings. A jacket, even in August, if you’re going to move around by boat in the evenings.
The best present ever: my father’s, teaching me to love and respect the sea. The book: “Novecento” by A. Baricco. A book about life and the sea. The film: I truly love the whole “007” series. Fears: losing my nearest and dearest. Never: get used to other people’s bad manners. Never, EVER pass judgment. Favorite app: Instagram and Spotify
My three addresses in Venice:
•   The Acqua Alta bookshop, in calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, a magical place. You have to go in person, to experience the feeling of living literally surrounded by books… the place is indescribable!
•   An aperitif on the terrace at Compagnia della Vela, my yacht club on the island of San Giorgio.
•   For a great meal, the Locanda Cipriani, on the island of Torcello, a splendid, timeless place.