The Secret To Throwing A Great Party, According To Lisbon’s Coolest Design Duo
In a social-media landscape saturated with drool-worthy tablescapes and party decor inspiration, Lisbon-based design studio CENTÁ stands out in the crowd. Founded by Lera and Viktor Komskii in 2020, the multidisciplinary studio is a pioneer in creative and artistic direction with a distinct Postmodern aesthetic.
Lera is CENTÁ’s creative director, while Viktor is the head designer. Their projects range from event curation to interior decorating and food styling for clients including Loewe and Zara. Their props and centrepieces are tastefully absurd, often rivalling the work one might find in contemporary art museums. For example, the decorative pieces they designed for Lisbon’s Palácio do Grilo restaurant featured a combination of fresh roses and braids of hair. “We blend flowers with other items, combining seemingly incompatible elements at first glance,” Lera explains. “I’m inspired by routine and everyday life – reimagining ordinary objects.”
One of CENTÁ’s most notable projects was the 2023 wedding of fashion designer Sandy Liang. Images of CENTÁ’s tablescapes for the event – featuring satin bow towers and seashell glassware – went viral. “Inspiration, for me, is life, and life is inspiration,” says Lera, whose childhood visits to flower markets in Russia inspired her use of ribbons.
Viktor crafted the now-trending minimalistic seashells for a photoshoot in 2021. The design is elegantly straightforward: a shell perched atop a wine stem. There’s now no shortage of reproductions being sold online, not to mention TikTok DIY tutorials imitating the design. “There was a previous fashion for seashells in old architecture, paintings, and so on,” Viktor explains. “And now, a new wave has come – we’re all part of one creative flow.”
CENTÁ has mastered the art of throwing a good party. The duo’s elaborately themed festivities – complete with hyper-specific dress codes and renowned DJs – are among the hottest tickets in Lisbon. Their most recent party was in honour of their studio’s birthday, where they requested guests to dress in ‘festive attire with hints of Renaissance and Rococo’ and Kirill Shapovalov was on DJ duty. “The secret lies in the details,” they say. “Many overlook crucial elements when organising a party. It’s not just about the DJ or the lighting,” they emphasise. “It’s a puzzle where everything needs to be in harmony – from the music to the menu font.”
“If we come up with an idea and haven’t implemented it yet, someone else will,” adds Lera. “Inspiration without a team remains just an idea. Finding your people is essential.” CENTÁ’s work often prompts the question: why didn’t I think of that? And while none of the duo’s projects are inherently complex, their refined and unfussy approach to design makes their work seem effortlessly cool. When asked which artists he admires, Viktor, without skipping a beat, answers: “Lera.” CENTÁ is a creative match made in heaven.
Lera and Viktor Komskii’s 5 Must-Visit Spots In Lisbon:
- Sintra – the coastal town [30km north of Lisbon] that gives a feeling of freedom, allowing you to experience the greatness of nature.
- Museo Nacional De Arte Antiga – a huge museum with incredible exhibits and beautiful items from around the world, including cultural Portuguese artefacts.
- Gulbenkian Park – there, you can discover gardens, a museum, and a theatre.
- Palácio Nacional da Ajuda – another amazing museum and building.
Jamison Kent is a freelance arts and culture writer based in London