fbpx

Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Maneli Wilson

Maneli Wilson has nurtured a lifelong passion for limitless design. Born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in the United States, Wilson’s Eastern heritage and Western surroundings have influenced her artistic eye as well as her life experiences. She opened Maneli Wilson Interiors after studying in the U.S. and Italy, and her eclectic style – a mix of maximalism and minimalism, classic and contemporary, warmth and cool – has brought her a wide range of projects. Wilson’s first loyalty is to an aesthetic drawn from multiple cultures, histories, and landscapes; a cohesive, refined design falls into place from there. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Maneli Wilson.

In this Wall Street condo, Maneli Wilson Interiors sets one gushing modern painting beside several smaller works in ornate classical frames.

In this Wall Street condo, Maneli Wilson Interiors sets one gushing modern painting beside several smaller works in ornate classical frames.

Andrew Joseph: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Maneli Wilson: I would be invisible so that I could sneakily float into every brownstone and apartment in NYC to have a peek inside!

AJ: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Maneli: Without a doubt, that would be Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, the family home of the fictional Recchi family depicted in the film “I Am Love,” starring Tilda Swinton. It is elegance through and through. Every room is exquisitely designed, from its interior architectural details and finishes to antique furnishings. The parchment-paneled walls in the dining room are unreal – and then you have these massive Belgian tapestries hanging over them. The juxtaposition of these different styles living so harmoniously and beautifully together makes me squeal with excitement!

Wilson livens the contemporary living and dining area of this luxury apartment with pops of blue and swaths of rich, dark tones against the back wall.

Wilson livens the contemporary living and dining area of this luxury apartment with pops of blue and swaths of rich, dark tones against the back wall.

AJ: What’s your design pet peeve?
Maneli: My design pet peeve has to be when wall art, mirrors, and wall sconces are installed too high or too low, for that matter. I often see the mistake of wall art being hung too high, floating somewhere closer to the ceiling than to the floor where it should be. Many designers use rules of thumb for installing artwork, such as centered 60” from the floor and at eye level, but eye level is different for everyone! I feel there is no magic number as it all depends on the piece itself and the room’s ceiling height. It’s one of those things that I feel most comfortable “eyeing” while on-site on installation day.

AJ: What’s your biggest fear in life?
Maneli: My biggest fear is that in the future, I look back and have regrets about something that I *should* have done but didn’t. My biggest regret thus far is not having studied architecture as an undergrad, which I think about quite often. Knowing how I feel about that missed opportunity, I am very thoughtful and thorough about future goals and aspirations.

AJ: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Maneli: I used to be an avid reader, but nowadays, the only time I seem to have for reading is at bedtime. If I had one more hour in the day, I would use it to read a book! Sadly, one or two paragraphs in, and I am already sleeping away.

Monochromatic shelves, a patterned rug, and black-trimmed comforter offset the thick blue headboard and heavy purple walls and ceiling of this bedroom.

Monochromatic shelves, a patterned rug, and black-trimmed comforter offset the thick blue headboard and heavy purple walls and ceiling of this bedroom.

AJ: What’s one thing you hate admitting that you love about quarantine?
Maneli: I hate to admit that I secretly loved having zero social pressures during quarantine. There was no pressure to go out, nor fear that you were missing out on something somewhere. It was pure utter relaxation and time spent at home with family and loved ones.

AJ: Go-to quarantine read?
Maneli: My go-to quarantine reads were all of the novels written by Elena Ferrante. I started watching the HBO series “My Brilliant Friend” based on her book and became so obsessed that I read all of the books in the series and then read everything else she’s ever written! Since travel was out of the question, I think some part of me was mentally transported to the romantic Italian sea and cityscapes where her stories are set.

AJ: What were the last 3 things you panic bought on Amazon?
Maneli: Toilet paper, obviously. Nespresso pods and an oximeter which is still sitting in its original packaging and has never been used!


About The Designer | Born in Tehran, Iran, Maneli emigrated to the United States at a young age and was raised with two very distinctive cultures. She quickly learned how to authentically blend her love of highly ornate, maximalist, old-world styles with a more serene and minimalist aesthetic. Maneli’s deep respect for age-old craftsmanship and artistry was born from her Persian heritage engrained in eclecticism with influences from Eastern and Western cultures.

Maneli Wilson Interiors seamlessly integrates the influences of both the East and West and Maneli’s lifelong interests in antiques and classical architecture. Continued exposure to European antiques and the decorative arts was further reinforced by attending auctions of Italian and French 18th and 19th estates. Maneli would often explore these sales with her mother, an antique dealer and decorator herself. “I was cheerfully playing ‘furniture store’ as a young girl, “selling” absolutely anything and everything in our home to my imaginary clients.”

Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to aspire design and home magazine.

Facebook Comments

aspire design and home is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, aspire creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, aspire explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. aspire design and home is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.