F5: Elena Maresca Talks About Her Favorite Sounds, Her Dachshund + More

Elena Maresca is co-founder and head of interiors at Nenmar, an architecture and interior studio based in London. The multi-disciplinary practice, whose designs feature a mix of exotic elements of Brazilian modernism fused with the timeless elegance of Italian design, specializes in delivering meaningful architecture and interiors projects both in the UK and internationally. After having worked in several renowned London-based practices, such as Waldo Works and Russell Sage Studio, Elena decided to set up a studio with her sister Cecilia in 2016 – together they launched Maresca Interiors. And in 2021, Maresca interiors merged with GN Architecture to launch Nenmar.

Today, Elena is joining us for Friday Five!

black and white headshot of light-skinned woman with long dark hair wearing a sweater against a white background

Elena Maresca

the beach where blue water meets sand

1. Trancoso, Brazil

Thanks to my mixed heritage, coming from an Italian father and a Brazilian mother, I grew up with strong influences from both cultures. However, I am attached in a very special way to a place where my family has been holidaying for years, Trancoso! It is a magical UNESCO-protected village in Brazil where the beauty of nature plays a predominant role. A place where I feel at home and that I recommend everyone visit at least once in their life.

interior living space furnished with china cabinet, small table with two dining chairs, and an armchair

2. Antique Dealers

Since I was a child, I have spent considerable time at antique markets and dealers. I was initially forced to do so by my mother, an archaeologist and restorer, and over the years I developed a strong fascination for these extremely interesting markets. They are places where the past comes to life, telling endless stories to new generations.

a small dog standing on a path through a field of grass

3. Rocco

My dachshund and office mascot who, despite his sometimes-destructive behavior, is an integral part of my family. I share many moments of my life, making him not only a dog but also a faithful friend and one of the best adventure companions.

dark sea water splashing up against moorings

4. The Sound of the Sea + Wind

I was born in a seaside town in Italy, Genoa, a place characterized by the sounds of the sea and the wind. Even in the absolute silence of the evening, their sound was like a melody that accompanied my sleep. A sound that when I close my eyes lulled me into a combination of serenity and a sense of love for the elements of nature. A sort of connection that I still feel every time I find myself near the sea.

light-skinned woman wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses taking a selfie of herself and a dark car

5. My 1964 Fiat 500

I have always had a passion for ‘what it was’ – from furniture to movies and books, but especially cars. My grandfather was a great car lover, a passion that he passed onto his grandchildren in many ways. My passion is for all 1960s cars; the first piece of my collection was born a few years ago with my 500 Fiat from 1964 that I always use when I’m in Italy.

Work by Elena Maresca + Nenmar:

living space with white walls, light wood, and neutral furniture

Celerina Penthouse \\\ Photo: DSL Studio

living space with built-in desk and wishbone chair in front of a window

Celerina Penthouse \\\ Photo: DSL Studio

large open concept living space with wooden ceiling, a table with bar stools, and a seating area

Trancoso Pool House \\\ Photo: Marcelo Aniello

large open concept living space with wooden ceiling and a table with bar stools

Trancoso Pool House \\\ Photo: Marcelo Aniello

large open concept living space with wooden ceiling, a table with bar stools, and a seating area

Trancoso Pool House \\\ Photo: Marcelo Aniello

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.

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