The Style Files: Alessandra Branca

alessandra branca

I am so excited to share today’s installment of The Style Files with you. I have admired Alessandra Branca’s beautiful work for many years and we share an affinity for all things Italian and those pertaining to la dolce vita. Born in Rome, Alessandra has had a lifelong appreciation for classical design. She founded her eponymous design firm in 1981 and has come to be known for her effortless, timeless designs. With an aesthetic rooted in an appreciation for classical principles and exquisite details, Alessandra understands that interiors are not meant to be simply beautiful, they must be beautiful to live with, meaning they must function within the architecture of the client’s lifestyle. With offices in Chicago, New York, and Rome, her clientele spans the globe and has graced the pages of top design publications including Architectural Digest, ELLE DECOR, and Veranda, as well as the New York Times and Town and Country. Alessandra’s distinctive style has lead her to create various product collections including fabric with Schumacher. In addition, her first design tome, New Classic Interiors and is currently at work on her second book.


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Alessandra Branca: Classic with a twist although that term has been so misused..


PC: Has living in Chicago influenced the way you decorate in any way?

AB: Actually I live in Chicago New York Rome and Harbour Island… Chicago gives me base and has an amazing work ethic so I find I can work wonderfully from there… New York, where we have our second office, is a city that never sleeps and as such I find it gives me a creative edge because it keeps you on your toes because of all the amazing art, culture, fashion etc .Rome , my hometown, keeps me grounded in classicism and yet comfortable to push the envelope as there is such confidence that comes from your hometown being over 2000 years old! Finally Harbour Island, which gives me the relaxed point of view and taught me the relationship between inside and outside living and how wonderfully blurred those edges can be!


PC: What does your home say about you?

AB: Comfort and family and maybe a little exuberance!


PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

AB: Everywhere…. I crave inspiration and spend all my time roaming the world or the Internet for it but most importantly it comes from keeping your eyes open. It is often right next to you!


PC: Who are your personal style icons?

AB: Renzo Mongiardino, Parish/Hadley , Henri Samuel, Billy Baldwin and John Fowler. There are so many more but these are the true maestros!


PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

AB: Having dinner with friends in a glorious setting.


PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

AB: Passion.


PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence?

AB: My competition.


PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

AB: Being home, with my family and friends in a setting that is comfortable and welcoming (and chic of course!)


PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

AB: I am working on my next book as well as many new projects among which are some fantastic commercial ones which has been so great! I love being able to design an environment that affect the lives of many people as well as working on new launches for our collections.




Go to outfit: I love navy anything mostly Prada, Celine and now a little Gucci

Style mantra: be comfortable in whatever you choose …

Scent: Chanel 19 since I was 14!

Piece of Jewelry: my South Sea pearls or fun bead bracelets

Color:  any tonality of red of course!

Flower: peony or flowering branches

Indispensable design element: Japanned lacquered anything

Era for Design: ours

Dream Project: Any project with a great client

Fabric or Textile: paisley in every form

Hostess Gift: vintage book

Meal: pasta any and every day!

Drink: Negroni or a great Brunello

Way to Unwind: great glass of Brunello with the love of my life

Hotel: il Pellicano in Porto Ercole

City:  every one I have not visited

Museum: Palazzo Altemps in Rome

Artist: Bronzino

Song that Always Puts Me in a Good Mood: September by Earth Wind and Fire

Actor or Actress: Paul Newman and Meryl Streep

Prized Possession: I actually don’t have a single one …

Risk Worth Taking: planes

Greatest Extravagance: multiple homes!

Go-to Color Palette: Prussian blue, coral and taupe

Rule to break: Break them all to move forward!

Movie Set Design: all of Auntie Mame’s interiors

I can never have too many: caftans

Paloma Signature

{All Photography Courtesy of Alessandra’s Fantastic Instagram, @abranca}

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Paloma, I have great admiration for Alessandra and her design aesthetic!
    Thank you for a wonderful feature and interview!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Alessandra is a woman to follow for style, energy and inspiration each and every day. She is the best a designer can be with a great eye but also a great insight into the world around her. As a fellow instagramer I look forward to what she shares. Thanks Paloma for your wonderful interview.
    Barbara Fina
    Fina Design
    Sleepy Hollow, New York & Delray Beach, Florida