The world of luxurious ski chalets, yachts and private jets is a familiar one for renowned designer Alex Isaac. Having worked in some of the finest interiors across the world, his expertise stretches across all of the aforementioned, from their interiors to bespoke furnishings. Gaining a passion for yacht design at the helm of renowned design studio Bannenberg, he then enjoyed a successful tenure as Creative Director at British furniture designer LINLEY before joining Morpheus London as Head of Design.
At Morpheus, Alex has overseen several internationally renowned projects from designing beautiful residences at Six Sense Residence Courchevel to a breath-taking villa in Monte Carlo with stunning views over the Mediterranean. The LuxPad talks to Alex about his eminent career and what’s next for Morpheus London…
What skills from your previous role as Creative Director at LINLEY have helped you as Head of Design as Morpheus London?
With LINLEY and before as a yacht designer at Bannenberg, I have been heavily involved within the joinery and fitted cabinetry industry and fortunate enough to work with some of the finest master craftsmen. Manufacturing techniques, new technologies and rare materials is something I have learnt a lot about in my career and this is certainly something I share with the design team and use to inform our designs at Morpheus.
Did you always know that you wanted to work in the interior and design industry?
No, indeed I rebelled against the idea in my formative years, having grown up with two interior designers for parents. After a brief departure studying Engineering and Law, I realized it was my calling and was lucky enough to start in the yacht design industry.
What has been your career highlight to date?
It would be unfair to cite any one project in particular. Working for so long at the top end of the market, I have seen some amazing properties and yachts each of which are the highlight at the time, so in my career to date the highlight is getting to work on such a diversity of schemes.
What is your favorite type of project to work on and why?
I very much enjoy working on projects where a client is deeply involved, be that a private individual or a commercial developer. Building a relationship with a client and listening to their motivation for undertaking a project always results in a more considered end product.
What does luxury mean to you?
It is unfortunate that the word luxury has become so ubiquitous and applied so loosely these days since luxury is relative to oneself and varies so much based on one’s own personal circumstances at any given moment. For me luxury is the absence of necessity, it is a treat, something you can do without but your life is better for it.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Most likely from my parents. They taught me about the importance of restraint and not to over design. Produce a scheme and then look critically about what can and should be removed from it, over embellishment is indulgent and a distraction for the eye, the best solutions are often the simplest ones.
How would you describe your own interior style and what is your favorite room in your home and why?
I tend to live in an ever evolving space, but drawing on my formative design years in yachting I have a lot of things built-in and fitted, I like the idea of small footprint living with maximum efficiency and use of space. In style terms I am a modernist with respect for the classical rules of proportionality. Living in a contemporary apartment block my favorite room is the kitchen, living, dining space, which at the moment happens to be the most finished, at least for a while.
If you could have designed the interior for any space in the world, past or present, where would it be and why?
My aspiration would be to design the interiors for a new luxury train, along the lines of a modern Orient Express. There is something deeply evocative about travel and creating a small space with ultimate comfort, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
I am a big fan of film, so I like to watch a lot of movies. I don’t have any particular genres I prefer so will watch literally anything which can be a great source of inspiration for design. So my perfect day off would be spent with my wife in front of the big screen.
What does the rest of 2016 have in store for Morpheus London – are than any exciting projects that you can tell us about?
2016 will see the opening of 39, a private lifestyle club in Monaco for which we have produced the interior design. We also continue to work on Six Senses Residences in Courchevel for whom we have designed an exclusive range of furnishings. Domestically we have a number of private client commissions in the Belgravia area, many of which are completing this year – it is an exciting time.