Massive thanks to the wonderful Spain-based interior designer Esther Rico for agreeing to answer some questions about interior design for us here on the BBHSL blog! Please do let us know what you think in the comments!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get into Interior Design? What is it that drew you toward this industry?
After working in Multinational companies based in Barcelona, as business analyst, I felt I had to take a step further, and use all the potential I had. Not only my capacity in analytics but also my creativity. I decided to leave my comfort zone and explore my ability to imagine new spaces, where people could only see walls; so I studied Interior design, an gave a twist to my professional career.
2. What’s the first memory you have of when the interior of a building really struck you as being something special?
I remember going to the trade fairs with my parents, they had a decoration shop, and I was stroke how an ephemeral space could become anything you could dream of. I remember a stand where they recreated Versailles’s gardens.
3. What interior designs style/trend do you hate?
I hate standardized interior design. I will explain myself: I believe each interior should tell us the story of who is living, shopping, and using that space. It doesn’t make much sense that all should look the same, since each person has its own singularities, and it can also apply to brands, since they have their own values.
4. If you could only ask a new client one question before putting together some preliminary designs for them, what would it be?
What would you like to feel when you go into that space we are projecting?
5. What approach to interior design do you take? Why?
My approach is Mediterranean: to listen to the client, define their needs, then I work a concept board to show them, using cosmopolitan references and intuition to search the good ingredients; then if we agree we are in the good directions, start to work a proposal: distribution, lights, colors, materials, look & feel… As I said once I provide the structure: the bones, tissues, muscles of the space so that the client puts its own personal print, living, breathing the space.
6. Are there any other designers you often draw inspiration from? If so, what’s so special about these designers, and if not, where do you get your inspiration?
I usually take my inspiration by searching for new trends, products in internet, going to international trade fairs, but also I love looking at international and national design &decoration magazines where projects from other colleagues are shown. I get inspired also by visiting some outstanding hotels, shops, bar, restaurants in Barcelona, and writing about them in my blog, referring to those great designers who have created them. But I guess the big difference is made by learning from my roots, from this great Mediterranean nature mixed up with cosmopolitan strokes, from my trips, living abroad.
7. In a couple of paragraphs, can you describe your ideal bedroom?
My ideal bedroom is where I can feel connected with my inner essence, which means I need it to be quiet, well isolated, soft artificial lighting, but also natural light; those elements would provide a cozy environment. The sense of the skin takes advantage of the sight, I would use warm textiles. The room should only contain the bed and a sofa or a place to relax, read. I like open spaces, but with defined areas, so wardrobe, clothes, and bath in a different space; may be connected, but with visual references that help identify them. Using color, lights, and sliding doors.
8. What design trends did you enjoy in 2013, and which trends do you think will be popular in 2014?
We will be still seeing some last year’s trends, as using design from the 60’s,70’s and 80´s, because there are some classics that will always be trendy; but I believe 2014 is going to be full of organic materials: wool, wicker, rattan, back to roots, handmade, bright color in spots, lighting us up, combined though with relaxed ambiances.
9. What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to redecorate a Mediterranean holiday apartment?
First I would recommend them that before buying it they take in account the location, and sun orientation. We have great weather, but in order to enjoy it, the living area should be south oriented, preferable, east/west, so you have sun all day in winter/spring/autumn, but a shade should be provided in summer. Also if it could have a backyard, north oriented, so that in the hot season, they could rest and enjoy being outside. And if we talk about products, that they try Spanish designers, they will be surprised about how much creativity, quality, and functionality we have in furniture, textiles; all that is needed to dress your Mediterranean home.
10. Which details are most often overlooked in the interior of a hotel?
Lighting, usually is the last thing that is thought and I believe should be one of the first ones. And also a comfortable bed and great textiles dressing it. I have been in great hostels where I felt better than four/five hotels that needed a renovation. But also enjoyed some great boutique hotels, where they took care of details, and made me feel great.
Once again, thanks to Esther for taking the time out to answer these questions. If you want to find out more, take a look here: