When planning your home’s interior design, you might want something that reflects where you come from, what influences you, and what you love. Depending on your background, that might mean that you’re interested in both Latinx-owned décor brands and interior design studios. As for the latter, those working in the industry boast a wide range of influences and styles that have evolved over the years and continue to do so. At the same time, there are some common goals and motivations behind those working in — and the work coming out of — Latinx interior design studios.
"In Latin America, we are bombarded by a longing to belong to our countries and simultaneously be cosmopolitan and international," Jorge Rivas Pérez, a Venezuelan architect, designer, and critic, told The New York Times. "That desire to be local and at the same time be part of the global scene has been happening in Latin America since the 1940s, when designers tried to use the vocabulary of modernism then in vogue, but also recognized a need to adapt it to local materials and to systems of production based on local techniques and traditions."
Indeed, that’s why so many designers who identify as Latinx can achieve styles that take an ideal level of inspiration from the past and turn it into something that will please contemporary tastes. With that in mind, you’ll surely be interested to check out the following Latinx-owned interior design studios that should definitely be on your radar right now.
Rodrigo Bravo is the interior designer behind Bravo, a studio found in Santiago, Chile. Introduced back in 2005, the work that comes from Bravo — both the studio and the designer — explores various mediums and materials while also experimenting with modern methods, according to Matter. For instance, Bravo’s "Monolith Series" is a collection of 80 vessels such as vases, cups, bowls, and boxes that were shown at the 2018 Sight Unseen Offsite exhibition during the NYCxDesign festival, per Dezeen. Each item used Chilean volcanic rock to create pieces of home décor that took full advantage of the stone’s natural beauty.
"Given the versatility in the natural composition of the stone, each piece designed varies in its veins, textures, and colors, therefore, is completely unique and unrepeatable," Bravo explained while discussing his work, according to Dezeen. He later went on to say, "[T]he series suggest a paradigm shift by changing and reducing the sculptural scale, commonly associated to architecture and public space, to a domestic and object level."
If that has piqued your interest, then you’ll definitely want to check out the alluringly minimalistic yet incredibly stylish Fintual headquarters space, which was designed by Bravo. You’ll surely also want to take a peek at the interior design project that the studio tackled in Puerto Varas as well as the fabulous open kitchen and workspace that was done for the Neruda family office. That’s not to mention the WeWork collaboration.
If you adore chic interior design that’s also incredibly sleek, then you’ll likely fall in love with Estudio Persona. Emiliana Gonzalez and Jessie Young are two creative professionals who come from Uruguay; however, they only connected after they each made their way to Los Angeles. In time, they met and began to collaborate. Now, they’re known for their seemingly simple yet striking designs.
"What seduces us about minimalism is its subversive quality; the idea of something looking remarkably simple but being incredibly complex to make. In a lot of cases, a minimal product requires more study in its construction than an ornamented piece," the pair told Ignant during a joint interview in 2021. They went on to say, "Ornamental design may speak volumes in this era. We come from a small country and we don’t feel comfortable being loud; we savor the idea of an object warming a space, without being flashy — an object that questions perspectives in a subtle and timid way."
Opting for unique shapes and distinctive lines as well as adding arguably unexpected accents to something with an otherwise uncomplicated look, they use natural materials and traditional techniques without putting boundaries on their creations. You can see their talents and intentions at work in the H Bench at CDMX Design house 2022 as well as the black UNA counter stools, which can be seen during their Studio Fauve project.
If you love rooms that combine classic pieces with hints of traditional styles and natural accents, then you’ll definitely want to check out the work of Abigail Marcelo Horace, who is an American interior designer with Dominican and Panamanian parents, according to Madame Architect. Growing up in a home where her family spoke Spanish, she now runs Casa Marcelo.
"I get inspired by artisans — the people who do things with their hands, weavers. The Mola is a woven art by an indigenous group to Panama, the Guna tribe, and they are known for their hand-woven objects," she told Madame Architect when asked if her background influences her approach to interior design. She added, "I appreciate custom work and people who make things with their hands because I feel like it’s an underappreciated art."
With a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the New York Institute of Technology and considerable professional experience, Horace started her own studio in 2018. Responsible for everything from moody modern looks to styles that add natural touches to a contemporary interior, Casa Marcelo creates spaces that are often colorful, comfortable, and chic. Horace explains on her website, "As a busy businesswoman, wife, and mother, I understand the impact of a peaceful and well-designed environment … As experts in the field, we are equipped to design spaces that nurture our clients’ passions and create a safe escape from daily life."
Blooming Home Society
A professional who has worked in both prestigious residential homes and on impressive commercial gigs, Ju DePaula has also earned countless fans due to her appearance on the BBC and Netflix show, "Interior Design Masters," as well as through her popular Instagram presence. Calling England her home these days, per her website, DePaula explains both her background and her take on interior design by saying, "Brazilian-born with ‘a thing’ for flowers, colour, and feel-good spaces. I believe that your home has a huge impact on your well-being and it’s the best place for you to relax, express yourself, and just be YOU!"
The creative force behind the Blooming Home Society design studio, DePaula’s creatively focused entrepreneurial endeavors also include a design school. Offering classes online, anyone can sign up and learn to create their own stylish spaces that are filled with unique ideas and pleasing touches.
To get an idea of what that might look like, just consider the vibrant office space that DePaula shared on social media that features bold floral wallpaper and a pretty pink rug as well as an oversized yellow and white ombré curtain. Of course, she’s also shown off a lively living room that boasts just as many bright shades thanks to accents like the throw pillows and wall art. Beyond that, you’ll find just as many colors — as well as black-and-white contrast — in the cozy guest room.
Another interior design duo (and this time, a married couple), Agnes Studio is where you’ll find Estefania de Ros, who has studied both interior and furniture design, as well as Gustavo Quintana-Kennedy, whose background is in architecture and design founderism, per their website. Both from Guatemala, the pair launched their business in 2017, and in the time since, have focused on concepts that look to the world around them and the future for inspiration, which has always been a part of de Ros’ life.
"I always knew what I wanted to do: create. I’ve loved painting since I was little, and my mom and aunt had a textile factory where they collaborated with different local artisans," de Ros told Latinness. She also recalled, "Looking back now, I also remember wanting to be a photographer. It was what I really liked, but since there was no photography school in Guatemala, I studied interior design and that’s how I started."
Exploring potential existences and attempting to bring that into our current reality, de Ros and Quintana-Kennedy see where they can take traditional influences by working with unrestrained techniques. Agnes Studio’s take on design, which has a strong artistic side, has resulted in a stunning wood-filled space that boasts the team’s own Lana Chair as well as the Códice Side Table. That’s not to mention the light and bright atmosphere in their own space that features a fantastic combination of natural materials, comfortable furniture, and modern accents.