Interior designer Susanna Cots has been creating spaces for over 18 years, with offices in Begur and Hong Kong. She mainly works with emotion arising from detail—light and colour, texture, aroma… A range of what she calls ‘invisible elements’ that create peaceful and welcoming spaces.
Susanna, her partner Àlex and their family arrived in Empordà six years ago escaping the frenetic pace of urban life. Their desire was to renovate spaces, give more time for family and to re-connect with their purpose.
Tell us about The Eleven House, the new project you and Àlex have just started. How did you get the idea?
This project was born out of the need to share a philosophy of life, our view on art, nature, cinema, design… We felt it was the right time to start a project infused with the calm and the strength we feel here and now. A space to encourage awareness, to explore nature, to enjoy time. We want people coming to The Eleven House to feel at home.
Where does the name come from?
The Eleven House is actually number 11 on Peratallada’s main street and was built in 1700 around a twelfth century wall. Seeing the potential, we designed and restored the space to express our essence. And we chose an English name because our brand is internationally known. According to your statement of intent, being in contact with nature and the Slow philosophy are the key concepts of your project. People might think the Slow concept is about not rushing, but it’s not quite that. I have a crazy agenda like everyone else. The Slow philosophy doesn’t mean to go in a more gentle pace, rather to take the time for every little thing. We can do this interview in five minutes or in an hour while having a tea. I associate this ‘slow’ time with nature; giving time for accompaniment and regeneration. Nature is very important to our interior design as well as our personal lives. As an example, we have an office in Begur, which belongs to the 90 ‘Slow cities’ in the world. Being able to work here is a luxury.
What can we find in The Eleven House shop?
Design, art, books, textiles and homeware. All our products reflect our principles and our philosophy and we select them very carefully. There are also two very special collections: ‘Onze’ (Eleven), a ceramic tableware designed and produced in Empordà, and the fragrance ‘The Eleven House’, a range of different home scents. You can also buy them online.
Which kind of activities take place in the house?
We program activities that help us re-define our ways of relating to time. We offer occasional activities such as workshops developing creativity and fostering well-being; and also regular activities like yoga 3 days a week. Our intention is to allow time to be experienced as a luxury. For instance, there’s no mobile reception in the house because we want people being able to concentrate on the present moment and appreciate open spaces like the garden or the views to the castle, to enjoy the breakfast and lunch we offer after the activities or appreciate the reading spots. Its singular characteristics allow The Eleven House to provide the space for team building activities, photo or video shoots or creative meetings. In one way or another, sharing is always the mission.
Amongst these spaces there's one dedicated to art and literature, right?
Yes, we love both disciplines. Every 2 months we'll host an exhibition, starting on the 6th of July wit 'Nua', a collection by Conrad Roset specially created for The Eleven House. Regarding literature, we've carefully chosen a good selection of books about self-awareness, nature and design in adult and children's section. The Eleven House will welcome chats with writers, book presentations and storytelling amongst other activities.
Susanna and Àlex work hard to make The Eleven House a cultural and artistic endeavour promoting investment of time in ourselves. They would like to export the project abroad but in the meantime their focus is simply on sharing the dream in Empordà. //