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Interview: Katarina Šauperl, interior designer

We have talked with Katarina about interior design, especially the kitchen, about the way of her work, and about kitchen sink and taps which impress even the most demanding tastes

Interview: Katarina Šauperl, interior designer

Hello Katarina,

Thank you for taking the time for this conversation with us, as we know that your schedule is filled till the last minute.

To start with, we ask you for some words about yourself and about your business path. How did you start and what are you doing today?

As a matter of fact I decided for my professional way already immediately after primary school, when I chose Secondary School for Design and Photography in Ljubljana, Department for Industrial Design.

Although I had to move to another city for the week at very young age, the decision was not difficult, as I have always enjoyed working with different materials and designing them. 

Here I first met with the production of small useful items from idea to execution and preparation for industrial production.

I gained a lot of knowledge and, above all, the guideline that I follow at my work still today, namely that less is usually more and that for a good result it is always necessary to follow certain artistic rules. 

After finished secondary school it was somehow a logical choice to study architecture. During and after study I was gathering experiences in different architectural offices.

This year it will be already 10 years since I am on my own with my company OS ARHITEKTURA.

Congratulations for your jubilee. 

How does your first meeting with a new client look?

Which questions do you ask first before you start working? What is the information that is most important and required for an excellent realization?

Usually, I try to find out during a conversation what the client's wishes are, what style he likes more, and above all, what are his habits regarding movement and use of space.

The same house may be ideal and suited somebody down to the ground but missed for another one completely.

The living area should be adapted for the one who uses it.

Therefore I try to obtain as much information as possible from a client - what he/she expects from the space and in what way he/she will use it.

One of the very important information is for example if someone likes to cook and how much time spends in a kitchen.

If I would summed up by myself, the central space in the house would be the kitchen definitely.

However, some people cook at home rarely, or not at all, and in such case a large and spacious kitchen, which is in the center of living space, is not the right choice at all.

A conversation usually flows spontaneously and I write down something every now and then so that I do not forget to consider something important at planning.

It is known that people in Slovenia adore cooking and that we spend a lot of time in kitchen. Is this also reflected at your clients? What does the kitchen mean to majority of your clients?

Well, clients are different. As a matter of fact, we have two kinds of clients. On one side are clients who prefer a large spacious kitchen that is a central part and on the other side are clients who prefer a small, almost tea kitchen.

Above all, this depends upon the lifestyle and number of people in household.

However, the first group is noticeable larger, which means that more people want larger functional kitchen with a large worktop and practical solutions.

In the most cases prevails the wish that kitchen is a part of living area and that it is not physically separated in other space as it used to be in the past.

Your work is creative. A lot of different clients, a lot of requirements, a lot of wishes etc. Where do you find inspiration at your work?

I usually find inspiration somewhere outside, in nature, when I am running ☺.   At that time I have peace and I am alone with my thoughts. It sometimes dawns on me at night when I dream or an inspiration is already the place itself when I step into it.

If you have a creative job, your thoughts are often at your work ☺. 

Almost always, except at new buildings, the planning starts with measurements and drawing of existing condition. This is the first contact with a space.

When I "familiarize" myself with the space, I start planning and I try to adapt it as much as possible to client's wishes, the way of use etc.

Sometimes the final solution is on paper at once.

However, it may happen that nothing goes together and then I put down the project for a day or two. Later the solution comes by itself. Therefore I am always happy when my client gives me enough time.

Every good project needs its time to develop.

When do you know that design is good? That this is it.

At useable objects, the design is good when it is useful and beautiful at the same time. The design of objects in use should be practical and easy to maintain.

Do you follow any special rules or principles at work?

My guideline is always the principle that space should be usable first and only after that also beautiful. But of course, both is important.

We absolutely agree with you.

Let us return to the kitchen. What do you consider when planning it?

What would you advise our readers - what are the most important guidelines that everyone should follow at planning and at kitchen equipment?

It is most important that the kitchen is functional.

This means that the one who cooks does not need to take any unnecessary steps at meal preparation. There is a logical sequence, namely refrigerator, kitchen sink, stove, etc.

The layout of individual elements should be corresponding. Everything should be as close at hand as possible and there should be enough place for storage at the same time.

In addition, I would like to emphasize two important "rules":

  • it is advisable that the kitchen sink and dishwasher are close together near, but at the same time access to the kitchen sink is not made difficult while loading into a dishwasher.  An open dishwasher should also not obstruct access to the dining table.
  • it is important that it is possible to put down the baking tray near the oven when we take it out from the oven.

I would highlight these two items, although there is a whole bunch of details, so I recommend that at planning your kitchen you consult with an architect who daily deals with kitchen planning.

How important are the kitchen sink and kitchen tap? What kind of kitchen sink and kitchen tap do you advise most often? Why?

The kitchen sink and kitchen tap are the most important elements of the kitchen, beside the stove and oven.

The kitchen sink should match with the kitchen. The shape, material, color, and size of the kitchen sink should be chosen according to the style and size of the kitchen.

It is similar with the kitchen tap. It should also be chosen according to the kitchen style but at the same time, it should also suit to appearance and size of the kitchen sink well.

I prefer choosing kitchen sinks of simple shapes with straight lines and a few grooves as possible, which are easy for cleaning and serve their purpose well at the same time.

As regards kitchen taps, I prefer choosing higher taps with straight lines which allow easy washing of larger pieces of kitchenware.

For the most demanding clients who do not make any compromises as regards the design, quality, and functionality of their kitchen sink and kitchen tap, Alveus developed the PREMIUM line (Stylux, Pure Hope, Jubilee, Stricto, Quadrix, Crystalix ...)

To which client, to which character, to which style and color of the kitchen would you recommend the individual family of kitchen sinks?

All Alveus kitchen sinks of the PREMIUM line are characterized by their straight, clean lines without any groves we are used to at classical kitchen sinks.

It is also necessary to emphasize the quality and precision of production which allows easy installation.

For individual kitchen sinks lines I would like to point out the following:

  • Stylux kitchen sinks offer a wide selection of different models that can be supplemented with accessory equipment. A wide selection of accessory equipment allows us to install a large kitchen sink also into a smaller kitchen as the kitchen sink may quickly and easily become also a worktop.
  • For the most demanding tastes and needs the line of kitchen sinks Pure Up is certainly suitable too, as it is additionally equipped with a very practical and sophisticated Push Pop-Up drainage system which enables easy opening and closing of the drain. 
  • Kitchen sink Jubilee is more playful with its outer edge and is suitable for people who like to be different. I can imagine it in a colorful kitchen with slightly atypical kitchen design.
  •  When we talk about functional and high-quality kitchen sinks with perfect design, we should not forget to mention the line of Stricto kitchen sinks. The peculiarity and the main advantage of Stricto kitchen sink is the installation of kitchen tap on the side which is especially suitable for kitchen sinks installed on the kitchen islands.
  • Sideways installed kitchen tap allows using the kitchen sink from both sides of the island. 
  • Quadrix is the kitchen sink that is completely unobtrusive. It is installed under the worktop and  is easy to combine different sizes of kitchen sinks. It will perfectly match with almost every kitchen style and it is the right choice for all those who put a lot on cleanness.
  • Crystalix is the kitchen sink that allows unlimited possibilities and fulfills the wishes of the most demanding clients.

The advantage of all the above-mentioned kitchen sinks is in their appearances which is simple and elegant at the same time. Additionally, they are also very functional and they do not dictate a specific kitchen style with their appearance. They are suitable for installation in all types, shapes, and colors of kitchens.

As I already mentioned, it is also necessary to choose the kitchen tap that fits to the kitchen sink.

I immediately see the playful kitchen tap Eden in combination with the kitchen sink Jubillee.

It is very practical at larger kitchen sinks, when the kitchen tap is pulled-out, as it allows easy use and cleaning of the entire kitchen sink. Therefore, at larger kitchen sinks I would choose kitchen tap Romi or kitchen taps Nerina and Lyra which can be pulled-out and provide also a shower besides this.

If the kitchen sink is placed under the window, I would definitely choose the kitchen tap Norma which can be sunk to the bottom and thus allows the window to open without any trouble.

In case that you want a quality, simple and elegant kitchen tap for a favourable price, the kitchen tap Oz is definitely a great choice.

What is your opinion about glass kitchen sinks? Alves offers the possibility of a completely unique glass kitchen sink, in desired colour and pattern.

What would you advise to buyers who decide for the glass kitchen sink? What should they pay attention to when choosing the colour and pattern?

Well, glass kitchen sinks definitely offer new possibilities in colour and pattern. The option to choose any colour and pattern is what gives endless possibilities. The buyers who decide for kitchen sink with pattern should take into consideration my advice that a patterned kitchen sink shall take on the role of a permanent decoration and emphasis in the space. The colour or pattern should be harmonized with the entire appearance of the kitchen and/or the wider living space where the kitchen sink is placed.

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