Valéria Bessolo Llopiz, ELLE DECO International Director, opens up her home office and tells us how she’s adapted to WFH

JUN 22, 2020 | By ELLE Decoration network
Valéria prefers Asian style low seating; A view of the patio from her work spot; À Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans on her table

From starting her career with the iconic Karl Lagerfeld at Chloe to now as incharge of the ELLE and ELLE DECO global network, Valéria has experienced the best of both worlds—fashion and interior design. She loves learning from different cultures and facilitating collaborations with people from around the world, both professionally and personally. She surrounds herself with beautiful things—“not meaning expensive but rather complex in nature.” Her presiding obsession is to be sustainable in her everyday life as well as to convey the vision of a better future and create awareness worldwide.

How have you set the mood to work efficiently from home?
I like to work in silence, no music or anything, just the sounds of birds outside. Staying focused comes easily because I love what I do. I work in my living room at a very low table. I don’t sit on a chair, instead I use a seat cushion. I am extremely fond of Asian culture—I spent some time there in my 20s—and have
imbibed some of their practices at home.

Are there any hobbies that you’re indulging in while confined?
I have been sewing a lot these days! I own many old cashmere sweaters that I mistakenly shrunk in the wash, so instead of throwing them away I’m upcycling them.

Tell us about your inspirations…
All of the women involved in Women4Climate, the mentorship programme committed to saving our planet for future generations. I have been an active member and mentor for three years, and it is a deeply humbling and experience. I am also inspired by the books I have on traditional craftsmanship from around the world. I think traditional designs and fabrics carry with them such beautiful stories and rich culture that they inspire me on an exceptionally deep level.

How has WFH changed the way you and your team work?
We are becoming more efficient while working from home. I think [after this time] we will have greater skills and flexibility in the way we work as a team in the future; we will be better equipped to adjust to future challenges.

What is your most treasured possession?
My phone or my books because they both allow me quick and easy access to inspirational photos and design.

Your current favourite design object…
My Frank Gehry ‘Wiggle Side Chair’.

A book you’d happily read over and over again…
A Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans. It’s about a man who isolates himself in nature on the outskirts of Paris. The descriptions of his physical surroundings are so detailed and magnificent that it’s one of those books you need to read over and over again to absorb all the nuances of his writing.

Your all-time favorite architect…
Frank Lloyd Wright, mainly because of the way he incorporates nature into his designs. In viewing his work, you can clearly see that he has such a great respect for and sensitivity to his natural surroundings.

A promising designer to watch out for…
Interior designer Dorothee Meilichzon of CHZON, a global design agency that specialises in hospitality design. I’ve visited some of her projects and admired them before realising they were all done by the same person. The Balagan and Café Pinson in Paris, and the Henrietta Hotel in London, to name a few.

Once the travel ban is lifted, where would you first travel to?
I can’t wait to go and visit all of the ELLE DECOR and ELLE Decoration teams around the world. I am used to traveling and seeing them often. I will also go to the seaside for some fresh sea air.

Scroll below to see another picture of her home

Greens, books and beautiful homes—all of Valéria’s favourites