Q & A with Diana Tozzi

Diana Tozzi

Diana Tozzi is a New York City based designer who creates unique high-end rugs, carpets and home textile, which are masterfully displayed in her art gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Diana has a substantial body of experience in the luxury rug industry and a professional background in both interior design and architecture. Since 1996 year to now Diana has been creating uniquely entrancing and hand-made creations that have captivated a variety of international clients from art connoisseurs.

How and why did you get into the rug business?

At first I had an interior design business. I would take on interior decorating projects because I liked the process of taking a single idea to a fully finished product. At some point I realized that specifically rugs, could make or break a room. I believe rugs are the focal point of any interior, which is why later on I switched to the Luxury Carpet and Rug business. Rugs are very fluid creations; in a minimalist setting, a rug can be the single highlight of a room, a rug can also tie together a crowded interior, ultimately a rug compliments its’ surroundings. There was also the ongoing problem of where I could get the best rug that would perfectly match my client’s interior to the dot and finally I realized that I was only going to get that if I designed them myself.

What is your favorite part of the process?

My favorite part of the process is the initial interview with the client. Feeling their energy and their preferences, then subsequently giving them ideas that truly represent them. Idea they may not have thought of themselves yet. Of course as an artist I also love the sketching part of the process. That is when I feel free to let my creativity loose and show the clients the different ways in which their idea can be interpreted.

And to add to that, collaborating with my clients is a very important and rewarding process as well. We get to know our clients in-depth and create something that will remain in their home for possibly their entire life, so my favorite part of the process is helping ensure that their idea will be brought to life in a beautiful, unique fashion.

What is the most difficult part?

Once the design is finalized, it is a scrupulous task to transition the initial design into a graphic. It every important to lay out the colors with all the proper color swatches and we must give our manufacturing team very exact directions. There is not room for error so that is definitely the most nerve-wrecking, laborious part of the process

What experience do you have in this industry?

I have a background in interior design and architecture. This makes it easier for me to work which other architects, designers or interior designers because I speak their language. It also helps me understand and work through all possible technical challenges that might arise. However if clients wish to come to me without the use of a decorator then my background permits me to advise them on their interior and which rug will best compliment their home. I also have a lot of experience on the international level. I know the market well and I am in constant communications with clients and professionals from world industries.

How would you describe the type of clients you usually cater to?

At first I only had a couture line. The couture line is elite, luxurious and made from the best possible materials and with the best possible techniques available. This line mainly caters to connoisseurs, art collectors or client who otherwise understand the importance of investing in artwork. It was a big decision for me to split up the Gallery into two categories and I did this so that I could cater to two very different groups of people. Our secondary line, DITOZZI Collection, caters to more modern individuals with innovative tastes and an appreciation for crisp geometrical designs.

I find both categories very interesting and I draw inspiration from both modern art and antiques so I enjoy catering to both sides of the spectrum.

What is your own preferred style?

An interior decorator must maintain a degree of neutrality. That is part of the professionalism. I can appreciate many art forms but what it comes down to in the end is seeing which specific style fits the current project and client. My own home has a healthy mix from both of my lines and features an eclectic combination of modern and couture.

What is the hardest project you have ever done?

I designed a project for a few government buildings in Russia. It’s a lot of responsibility, many important people see them and foreign politicians see those interiors on a daily basis, so in some ways they contribute to the first impression made by my country. There are also many boundaries within such a project. Functional designs meant for office spaces should not be too luxurious or too eclectic. They have to adhere to certain conservative and strict standards but also appropriately represent the level of government.

What inspires you?

World architecture and the surrounding elements of nature. When I travel I observe the individual design styles of each country and the different geometrical interpretations of beauty that exist around the world and that truly inspires me. I am also very inspired by Italian renaissance painters and historical artifacts.

Do you take international orders?

Yes, we have many clients abroad and representatives located all over the world. We are based in New York City, a cultural epicenter, so we get many international clients that are just passing through or that have numerous homes around the world and we easily cater to them by either flying out to their home country, meeting them in New York or setting them up with a local representative.

How do you like to conduct the brainstorming process with your clients?

Everything comes from making them feel comfortable in those few initial conversations. I get to know them, and possibly their family, and I make sure that everyone in the client’s surrounding will enjoy the rug. It’s important to visit their interior at some point so that I may design something that goes perfectly with their everyday life, style, family and preexisting decor.

Do you follow trends in the interior design world?

I attend trade shows all over the world and I work with many prominent professionals so I am constantly submerged in the interior design scene. I’ve collaborated with some of the biggest world brands.

Why do you think your rugs are of interest for Art collectors and connoisseurs?

These people appreciate handmade creations, and they know that these only become more prestigious with time. When an artwork is created based on a client’s individual tastes then it has even more value. The fact that our designs are unique and original makes them of interest to art collectors, the added bonus that they are made with the finest fibers and manufacturing techniques makes them appealing to connoisseurs. Collectors also appreciate a chance to collaborate and create an item for their art collection, which they partially designed themselves.

Some people refer to your rugs as “future antiques,” do you agree?

Most definitely, we often collaborate with artists, which means that on an aesthetics level our creations are art. We can also reproduce history relics or other famous artworks. One of the designs displayed in our gallery, Lillie’s of the Valley, is a representation of Russian Empress Maria’s fan, which is on display in the Hermitage Museum. All of our designs have a unique story behind them, and the fact that they are hand-knotted with 100% New Zealand wool guarantee’s them a long life. These are all the makings of a future antiques.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Q&A with our designer Diana Tozzi. If you have any other questions you would like to see answered in the future please drop us a line at info@ditozzi.com

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