Magali Elali – MEET THE MAKER

In the first of our new series: Meet The Makers, we celebrate women makers inspired by botanicals. From gardeners, textile artists to writers and embroiders, today we talk fashion, inspirations and designers with Magali Elali, writer and stylist of Greenterior.

AA: We love COFFEEKLATCH – how did you get the idea to start the project?
I first collaborated with my partner and photographer Bart Kiggen when I was working as a Fashion Editor for an online magazine. Together, we did a series on the graduates of the Royal Fashion Academy in Antwerp, where we interviewed them in their ateliers. We really liked the idea and working in duo, we decided to translate the formula and shape it into something of our own. That’s where the idea of an informal chitchat over coffee, the concept for Coffeeklatch came from.

Magali Elali & Bart Kiggen

AA: Describe the book in three words.
Plants. Homes. Inspiration.
AA: How did you get the inspiration for Greenterior?
During our Coffeeklatch interviews, we noticed a lot of people had plant-filled homes. And quite often during our chats I was offered plant cuttings and told amazing plant stories. This was the spark, which led us to the book idea and got us writing. We traveled all over the globe, from Antwerp to New York, looking for creative people with plant-filled homes.

Greenterior – Magali Elali

AA: What got you hooked onto plants and botanicals?
Bart and I have always been surrounded by plants and nature. Plant love is just something you take for granted. Since we both live in the city, we developed a fierce longing for more greenery. We soon found out we were not alone. Plants make your life happier, prettier and healthier. It is good to regularly treat yourself with new plants and flowers.
“We traveled all over the globe, from Antwerp to New York, looking for creative people with plant-filled homes”. 
AA: Do you have a favourite creative home you love?
We love the city dwelling of garden architects of Bart and Pieter in Antwerp. They are the best at what they do and they love sharing their passion and knowledge. The combination of white walls, industrial windows, exotic textile and terracotta pots is hugely inspiring. We also fell in love with the New York loft of Shabd Simon-Alexander. She adopted a great collection of big houseplants from the famous sculptor Hanna Eshel who moved to a retirement home.
AA: Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere, especially when you don’t look for it. It can be a space, a photo, an exhibition, a park, a book, or even a talk we have with random strangers. Often people invite us over for Cava and cake because they know we love a good story or they think we have similar taste.

Shabd Simon-Alexander – New York loft

AA: What is your favourite plant?
Philodendron with Monstera, delicious. It grows big, it has dark green leaves and brown hanging roots. I love the monstrosity of the plant. Philodendrons are great because they have the ability to instantly transform your home into a jungle.
AA: How important is it to have plants in your home?
Plants are crucial, they are as important as furniture and worth the investment. There are plants for every type of interior: leafy romantic ones and stark cacti that look like sculptures.
AA: What is coming up next?
We are moving to a new home and studio space, which is really exciting. We are currently in the process of renovating it. We are also working on a new book which will launch next year around spring.
“Plants are crucial, they are as important as furniture and worth the investment”.
AA: Lastly, what is the one piece of advice you wish someone told you…
Don’t water cacti during the winter season. Cause if you don’t, they’ll bloom in spring.
Get your hands all over Magali Elali’s, Greenterior and get your green-fingers tingling: @magali_coffeeklatch

Greenterior – Magali Elali

Back to blog