Blending Interior with Style.

Interview by Elsa Soimiri

Greek Architect and Designer Marilyn Katsaris on the importance and impact of interior design.

Her mother loved painting, and Marilyn herself developed the patience not only to cultivate her creative talent but also to build a unique career in interior design. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, she worked at the multi-award-winning architectural firm of Costas Kondylis in New York and then returned to Greece. There she worked closely with Santiago Calatrava’s company as part of the 2004 Olympics’ architectural team, an intriguing experience. Soon after, she noticed that there was a gap in the Greek market for interior design. This and a personal desire to see her vision for each property fully realised, she turned to this field.

Everything inspires her, from nature to fashion. The latter was a major part of her upbringing since her mother Amalia Korasidou co-founded with her sister the Enny Monaco boutiques, which Marilyn designs now alongside private properties all over Greece, where she has chosen to live with her family.

What is the architect’s role in modern cities?

Through the constant change that the last few decades have brought to our way of life, a logical and dynamic awareness of how today’s technological progress could merge with our new environment and lifestyle is essential. In this key transitional period, architects are called upon to perform important work.

It’s not just about designing the building and its structure. You must also integrate it with the surrounding natural, urban, or suburban landscape, which doesn’t just consist of roads, trees, and plantations. There’s its sociocultural fabric, too. Architecture goes beyond combining art and science. As the famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi said: “Architecture is inhabited sculpture.”

I don’t mean, of course, that other aspects aren’t important, but our role isn’t just to create a beautiful sculpture. Incorporating the region’s societal needs in a positive way is vital, which means that the design must be people-centric in terms of human scale and form as much as usefulness to its surroundings and citizens.

What are the creative stimuli that fuel your architectural vision?

 I find inspiration through travel, reading, nature, art, and fashion.

Focusing on your work in interior architecture, what projects offer you the greatest challenge?

I find challenges in all the projects I take on, from the most complex to the simplest. My goal is to always create functional spaces with high aesthetic appeal, either through design or decoration. Each result should suit the client’s style and convey their personality as well as my own. But what’s most important is that every project evokes emotion. This in itself is the greatest challenge for me. At the same time, seeing each project completed is immensely rewarding.


Marilyn Katsaris

Do you have favourite décor items that immediately stand out when you visit a private residence?

I’d say that the decorations I notice and that always draw my gaze when visiting a house for the first time are the wallpapers, artworks, carpets, and indoor plants, of course. I think they add a touch of warmth and act as finishing touches that complete the décor.

Could you describe the ideal house on the Athenian Riviera? What would its aesthetics entail?

As a fan of 1950s-70s architecture with Brazilian influences, and because I believe that buildings must harmonize with their surrounding landscapes, the perfect home would be airy with big openings to the outdoors, blending the interior with nature.

Is there a particular project meant to shape the Athenian Riviera’s new image that you are eager to see realised and that has already impressed you with its design?

Different projects for the Athenian Riviera have stood out to me. One is the Ellinikon Experience Park. There’s also the Astir Marina, as well as the urban renewal of the Ellinikon.

Let us in on your favourite spot on the beachfront from Piraeus to Sounion.

My favourite spot on the beachfront is the Faros condominium at Kavouri, where we stay every summer, right next to the sea. It feels like you’re in a small paradise somewhere far from Athens, but you’re actually a few kilometres from its centre.

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