Chit chat with Klemenza

Meet James St’s newest resident

We’ve been getting to know James St’s newest resident Klemenza by chatting with Director and Interior Designer Sophia Ghanem. You may spot Sophia getting her morning caffeine hit at Cantinho or a Thai-inspired dinner at sAme sAme (it’s her go-to). Klemenza is more than just an interior design store – it offers interior design services and custom furnishing manufacturing too. Sophia’s rich cultural background influences the wide range of products that Klemenza ranges, so too her commitment to continually introducing an evolving edit of new brands to the store. Read on to find out more about the designer mind behind the street’s newest design gem.

How and when was Klemenza born?
After working in the industry for a number of years, it felt like the right time to start something of my own after I had my first son in 2018. At first, I was assisting private clients with their homes and opened Klemenza not long after in Paddington November 2019. I love all facets of interior desig,n but it has always been my dream to have a little store filled with beautiful things.

Did you consider any other career paths apart from interior design?
I did consider Fashion but felt the pull towards Interior Design was stronger because of my background. My parents were hoteliers and my sister and I were lucky enough to experience living in 9 counties and 11 cities growing up. It exposed me to different cultures and so many beautiful interiors which developed my love for design and an appreciation for how a space can make you feel.

Tell us more about the interior design services that Klemenza offers?
We offer tailored design services that are customised to each project. So typically, this means furniture and decor concepts and selections, but we have also done new builds and are excited to take on more of these full-service design projects in the future.

How would you describe your interior design style?
My style is timeless and refined with an injection of the unexpected. I like to juxtapose elegant lines with interesting, sculptural pieces that have unique forms and fabrications.

What is the most memorable project you have worked on? If you have images, please do share.
At the moment, we are working on an exceptional home that we’ve been a part of since the beginning. It’s in its final stages now and then we’ll shoot it so we can show you what we’ve been up to.

I’m proud of this project because it embodies what we value. It has strong architectural features, quality materials and finishes as well as contemporary furniture selections.

Our wonderful clients have been so open and have patiently waited for the right pieces to arrive from amazing Australian and international designers. We cannot wait to share this one with you very soon.

Klemenza has recently relocated from Paddington to right here in our district. What sparked this move?
We loved our little Queenslander in Paddington and it wasn’t an easy decision, but we felt we wanted to be amongst the action in James Street. It has great energy here and we love being surrounded by our peers and suppliers.

Can you give us an insight into some of the exclusive brands that Klemenza stocks and why you are so proud to present them?
We really wanted to offer something different and have brought in many new, exclusive brands to Klemenza all of which we are thrilled to present because of their unique viewpoints and dedication to design and craft.

‘Curionoir’ heralds from New Zealand and makes hand blown glass candles and extrait de parfums in deeply beautiful, complex scents. You’ll find them surrounding the bowl of orchids in the centre of our boutique. 

Also in perfume we have the prettiest French brand ‘Bienaime’ with the most delicate, art deco inspired perfume and body products which feel every bit Parisian, while ‘Regime Des Fleurs’ from New York has a cult following for its renegade approach to perfumery, housed in gorgeous, colourful bottles. 

In incense, we have ‘Cinnamon Projects’ from New York, which I think feels apt when you see their sleek packaging and innovative incense holders in brass and stone. The scents are also not what you’d expect, they are a very fresh and sophisticated take. 

In homewares we have Copenhagen brand ‘Hein Studios’ with their showpiece, sculptural vessels as well as a curious, and at times, cheeky collection of homewares and jewellery from namesake London brand ‘Annise Kermiche’. We also have exciting, avant garde jewellery and homewares from the forward New York brand ‘Completed Works’.

To round out our jewellery and special object offerings we’re really happy to have Australian jewellery box brand ‘Trove’ join us with their antique inspired, curved and colourful designs. 

In furniture, lighting and homewares we still have our old favourites Audo Copenhagen and Tom Dixon showcased alongside our own designs. Soon we will also be receiving pieces from Rachel Donath’s fashion-forward furniture collection, which we are looking forward to.

We will continue to introduce an evolving edit of new brands, with our sites set on textiles next, as well as developing our new furniture collection.

What is your favourite item in store? Is this like asking if you have a favourite child…?!
It is a bit like that because I do love them all…though if I had to choose just one, I would say our signature Trunk Bar in Orange leather because I never get tired of it.

In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
Pieces that resonate with you, are personal and have character.

What is one little luxury that everyone should have in their home?
A beautiful candle. I’m very visual and tactile but I also feel scent is very important. When you walk through your front door, you want the feeling of coming home to wash over all of your senses.

Currently, what is your favourite colour palette? Are we still in the beige era?
Thankfully I think we can say we’re out of the all beige era! Though I do love my warm, neutrals, I feel an injection of bold colour is always needed. Right now my favourites are orange and green.

What is a timeless trend that we should all be across?
I tend to shy away from trends for the most part though I have enjoyed mixing materials like wood and leather with rattan as well as curved forms against clean straight lines. Our Klemenza furniture collection is quite heavy on these elements at the moment and I’m finding people are enjoying the mix. 

Posted on

March 11, 2024