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James Charles – The beloved interior designer of the rich and famous.

James Charles – The beloved interior designer of the rich and famous.

James Charles, the interior designer, is a creative force destined for design greatness. With roots stemming from England and California, he currently splits his time between the vibrant cities of Los Angeles and Athens. Renowned for his work with celebrities in California such as Tina Turner, André Agassi, and Sean Connery, James has breathed new life into spaces at the Ritz Carlton, Nobu Matsuhisa, and many other iconic locations. Beginning his journey with an internship at the esteemed Roche Bobois firm in London and Paris, James catapulted his career in the United States. His firm, DESANI Architecture & Interiors, located in Vouliagmeni, caters to a diverse clientele spanning from Miami to Los Angeles to Athens and more recently the Greek islands, even reaching Dubai and beyond.

James’s architectural interior designs epitomize exquisite taste, with meticulous attention to detail. Drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources, James seamlessly integrates innovative technology and sustainability into his projects. Today, he stands tall among the world’s foremost interior designers, continuously pushing the boundaries of creativity and style.

Let’s delve deeper into his remarkable journey.

Interview: Fotini Androulaki
Architect: A. Gagliano
Photographer: Panagiotis Voumvakis
Desani Architecture & Interior Design: – [email protected]

You’ve worked with numerous high-profile clients and completed projects in diverse locations around the world. Could you share a particularly memorable project and the challenges you faced?
My most memorable project, although not the biggest, was working for Tina Turner on her substantial Kensington Home in London. She was a true delight to work with. However, the challenge I faced was that part of the home had already been designed to a very high standard and was beautifully done. I’m happy to say that I completed it to her delight!

What do you consider the most prestigious project either in Greece or abroad?

There have been several, however, the prestige of designing for the Chairman of the Ritz Carlton and their new tower on Michigan Avenue in Chicago stands out!

What are you currently working on?
We are currently designing for an international developer YPO Holdings on the Island of Paros. We are very excited as we are presently working on two spectacular villas under construction that are a true gem, with outstanding locations and sunsets on the island. Αlong with their new projects on the drawing board this is a great time to design for such an established developer.

What thing has influenced you most, design-wise?
Initially the beautiful lines and quality of classic cars! Their overall attention to detail and quality of materials. In later years, studying Frank Lloyd’s Wright designs, spending time in Talisman West, his West Coast retreat. In the creative world, you get influenced continually which adds layers to your design vocabulary.

Do you follow design principles even when the client has opposing preferences?
It’s always important to remember that we are custodians of our client’s wishes and listen to what their architectural design brief is! However, we also need to elevate their designs with our experience and personify their lifestyle to a higher level.

Sustainability and innovative technology appear to be key components of your design philosophy. Do you believe this is the most significant development in interior design in general?
Technology has always been an asset to designs, from lighting advancements to technical new fabrics that repel stains; however, sustainability has become a focal point in recent years. Wood is a fabulous material that can be used in so many applications. In a recent Villa project on the Island of Mykonos, we extensively used wood with great results.

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Have you had any surprises in your career?
Yes, several years ago I was invited to do a TV show. This led to me being on several TV shows for nearly fifteen years Including the number one Design show on the US Network HGTV.

What is the biggest eyesore in Greece or elsewhere?
A while back, I was invited to the launch of the MGM Grand Hotel! At the time, I commented, in my opinion, there was nothing “Grand” about it! Subsequently, most of the interior was redesigned within a very short period! I’m sure my comments were one of many.

Your firm, DESANI Architecture & Interiors, covers a broad spectrum of residential and commercial projects. What sets DESANI Architecture & Interiors apart from other firms in the industry?
We are a “Boutique” design studio that pays incredible attention to detail. We undertake one major project at a time. Because of this approach, we have had the honor of working with brands like Chanel, Jessica McClintock, and Boeing to name a few, and on architectural projects with other prominent architects and designers. A testament to this approach is that our last three projects have all recently been published.

Thank you very much!

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