What is the best thing that I love about my work?
In a society that no longer has rituals of passage to the adult age, I guide my clients towards the maturity where from guests in a house from students pass to the owners of their own house. I create comfortable and beautiful spaces, that customers feel like their own, that express themselves and write their own story in the apartment that they live tied to the context in which they live. That they welcome rather than receive it. In the profession of Interior Designer comes to create intimacy and complicity, because you enter the daily life of the customer. It’s a fusion of aesthetics, psychology, and a hint of alchemy and that’s the most beautiful side.
What’s my idea of happiness?
Feeling like I’m exactly where I want to be.
What’s my greatest fear?
Lose the affections. The affections are my sap, my strength and source of inspiration. And resign, lose curiosity for life. In its ups and downs.
What is the trait I most deplore in myself?
It was my shyness. Even now, after all these years, I’m having trouble getting into a room full of people I don’t know. Shyness is also a blockage at times, because it pushes me to say no to things that I would rather do.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
The trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, the interior designer India Mahdavi, the Danish Norm Architects, the designer Mathieu Lehanneur, the architect Vincent Van Duysen, the Danish designers FRAMA, Catalan interior designer Lazaro Rosa Violan, the Italian interior design studio Dimorestudio, the Danish Italian duo GAMFRATESI, the American interior designer Stephen Stills and the studio atelier Laplace.
What’s my greatest extravagance?
I have a real aesthetic craze for colors that must always be well matched. Not only the furniture, also the way of dress, from the socks to the corner of T-shirt that comes out of the pullover. I feel bad if I see some bad assorted colors, sometimes I exchange the order of the pillows in the hotels secretly! And when I see that without wanting it, all the colors are good together I’m happy!
On what occasion would I lie?
When I tell the truth, I will hurt a person unnecessarily.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
When I’m not on the same wavelength with a client, for example I make him a proposal and he doesn’t like it and he makes me, in turn, a proposal that I don’t like at all and I wonder, why did he turn to me? Didn’t you see that my work and my website are very different from what you want? When a customer thinks that if he pays a professional he is his slave at his disposal every day of the week at all hours.
When the client changes his mind eleven times and I can’t advise him because he’s a prisoner of his insecurity.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
When a client told me that my work is full of poetry and that every detail has a light and unique touch. And then every time my house gets published in a magazine. Every house is like a daughter to me.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I wish I was less shy and more bossy, but then I think my homes wouldn’t have that light, poetic touch that makes me happy first.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
When they published my house in three different magazines in Japan. It’s a nation with an aesthetic sense that I really admire.
Where would I like to live most?
In the countryside, in a place full of light and scents, with the look that can wander far away. Like my house in Sicily.
What is my most treasured possession?
My family and a very small group of very fond and loyal friends. And my house in Sicily, in the middle of the countryside, my ELSEWHERE.
What is my most marked characteristic?
The curiosity. Because I am shy and more than asking questions, I observe and listen a lot and if something strikes me, I immediately try to deepen. It’s a kind of curiosity that allows me to be very open-minded. I like it because it makes me feel alive.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
I am fortunate to live in the center of Milan, one of the most exciting cities in the world. There are always stimulating situations to be experienced. I love Baroque Piazza Sant’Alessandro with its church and its ancient noble palaces.
I find Milan terribly stimulating during the Salone del Mobile. Beautiful events throughout the city and very interesting creatives from all parts of the world.
What’s my favorite place to eat and drink in my town?
From Bu:r the restaurant of the Dutch Italian Michelin star chef Eugenio Boer for an elegant evening, instead if I want to eat the typical Milanese and Tuscan cuisine I go to Le Colline Pistoiesi
What books influenced my life and how?
I’ve been a book eater since I was a kid, and every age has been marked by one book in particular. Starting back in time: Il Fu Mattia Pascal” by Luigi Pirandello, the disappearance of an individual and the ability to remake a life elsewhere; The Council of Egypt” of Leonardo Sciascia, the hypocrisy of power opposed to the ideals brought up to the extreme sacrifice; “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers, which for me is like a brother, there are so many autobiographical aspects in common;
Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the beach” for wonderful writing and the ability to lead the reader by the hand even on a journey into the absurd. “”A life like so many” of Hanyayanagihara, a great story of friendship and pain; The goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, a great story about resilience.
You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day?
Chopin’s nocturnes played by Shura Cherkassky, my all-time favorite pianist.
Who’s my hero or heroine in fiction?
Asterix and Obelix, because they helped make my childhood happy. They cannot be divided, because together they are the arm and the mind.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Nobel laureate Rita Levi Montalcini, a woman who united science to a great humanity. He had an extraordinary moral honesty combined with simplicity and curiosity. We also wrote and it was a great example for me. Saint Francis is a great rebel of extreme gentleness.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Ingmar Bergmann’s “Fanny and Alexander” is a film where family loves win over everything and where when everything seems lost everything is resolved in the best way.
What role does art play in my life and in my work?
Fundamental, a continuous inspiration, a love never extinguished. Not only for the color palettes, but because I think the artist has the ability to always “look beyond” and observing his work you understand many things about life. As if the artist had a third eye, he shows us things that we would not otherwise see. I have an almost physical need of art to live.
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?
In the houses I live there are many details that tell my story. Small landscapes of my inner I scattered around the house and that remind me something of my life. I also have a real passion for anecdotal and I really like to tell the episodes that I lived or read. I’m also lucky to have a family with a rich history of anecdotes to tell.
Who’s my biggest fan, sponsor, crime partner?
My son Edward. I don’t want to sound like the classic Italian mother, but I’m lucky to have a son with whom I share many passions.
Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020?
The Italian Dimorae Studio, the Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, Atelier Laplace in Paris, the Belgian Axel Vervoordt, the Danish Oliver Gustav and Sophie Sala, HEAD DEPARTMENT Design Supermarket de La Rinascente in Milan.
Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020?
Interior designer India Mahdavi, Danish designers FRAMA, Catalan interior designer Lazaro Rosa Violan, Italian interior design Dimorestudio, designer Patricia Urquiola, architects Palomba Serafini Associati, architect Luca Bombassei, interior designer Claudia Pellizzari.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to working on?
My best friend’s apartment. She wants a project that will finally make her feel at home. And my line of fabrics created with organic cotton and linen recovering ancient illustrations of Italian plants and landscapes.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on?
The Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the economy everywhere and Italy, after China was the first to be hit in Europe. This can turn into an advantage. We will be the first to have to reinvent everything and I trust in the Italians, an apparently fragile and unreliable people who in such a difficult situation has demonstrated strength, courage, seriousness and a lot of creativity to solve problems. We could become a laboratory for rebirth and reinvention.
What do the words “passion never retires” mean to me?
Passion is my driving force in life. Without passion life is extinguished. Life constantly presents me with challenges and problems to solve and without passion I would be lost. And that thrust that makes me find the strength to get around an obstacle when I think it’s insurmountable, is that flame that keeps my heart and mind alight. It is that internal flame that makes me think that the impossible enterprises are the most feasible.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
The young and courageous gallerist Sveva D’Antonio, the artist Marinella Senatore. Ottavia Failla the Sicilian designer forerunner of Dolce and Gabbana great example of resilience, the Sicilian designer Loredana Roccasalva who brings his fashion handmade by Modica seamstresses in the world, the artist Marinella Senatore, the collector Donata Pizzi who promotes the most significant interpreters of the Italian photographic panorama, ceramic artist Stefania Pennacchio, jewelry creator Ramona Frigoli, Anna Spoto who managed to bring the great Alfred Brendel to the small Modica in Sicily, the opera singer and composer Claudia Oddo.
Photo credit: Ezio Manciucca
Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey
Are you a creative leader or creative professional looking to develop your business skills and storytelling?
Amidst today’s uncertainty, it is more important than ever to reconnect with yourself and others, develop your creative business, and build your story. Dive deep into your unique business style and areas for growth with the coaching of Peter de Kuster.
IS THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY COACHING FOR YOU?
You are a creative leader or creative professional who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.
You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. Coaching can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.
You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.
You are curious and want to engage in online learning.
You are motivated to work in-between sessions on yourself (e.g. working on homework assignments that will help you develop new storytelling, skills, and behaviors).
WHAT’S YOUR COACHING QUESTION?
The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is all about your development. To make the most out of your sessions, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with Peter. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration with Peter.
These coaching topics typically resonate with the creative leaders Peter works with:
How can i tell the most powerful story possible about myself and my creative business?
How can I handle self promotion and marketing of my creative business better?
How do can I stay authentic and with focus when having difficult conversations with potential clients?
What are my creative values and how do I align these with my business values?
How can I manage my time and energy better?
How can I radiate confidence to my clients while feeling anxious inside?
How can I steer myself towards creative excellence without becoming rigid?
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.
The Heroine’s Journey Coaching online sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is Euro 189 excluding VAT per session. The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is suitable for people at any stage in their career.
Who can sign up for The Heroine’s Journey online coaching?
Creative leaders and creative professionals who wish to improve their business story and develop their business skills and mindset.
Should I choose 1:1 coaching?
Our The Heroine’s Journey experiences in world cities allow you to learn not only from the coach but also from your peers. For the small group coaching (1 – 4 people), we have selected important, relevant topics that we find regularly come up for creative professional: purpose, storytelling, creative confidence, self promotion, time & money and resilience.
If you would prefer to work alone or on a different topic, individual coaching is a better fit for you.
What language do we speak in the coaching sessions?
Can I buy coaching for my organization?
Yes, you can! We support many organizations around the world with their coaching needs. Please contact us for more information.
Can I bring my own topics?
Yes, for individual coaching you get to choose your own topic.
Are coaching sessions confidential?
Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the coaching sessions.
Where will the coaching sessions take place?
Sessions will take place online (as per the times we live in) via an online tool like Zoom or Skype. Peter will let you know.
How do I sign up?
Send Peter a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to start booking your coaching sessions.
How do I pay?
After you send the mail, you will receive an email with a link to pay.
How do I book and reschedule sessions?
Once we’ve received your payment, Peter will contact you and book your coaching sessions. He will also support you with rescheduling sessions if needed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Individual coaching sessions can be postponed up to one week before the session.