Originally from the Canary Islands, Margarita Lorenzo is currently a London-based textile/graphic/interior designer. I discovered her on flickr and after a quick perusal of her work, asked if I could feature her home(s). The interiors shown here are actually Margarita’s own London flat and that of her boyfriend on Gran Canaria (which he very graciously lets her style).
I particularly wanted to show you Margarita’s spaces because they very nicely demonstrate the thesis of this entire blog: be yourself and the rest will follow. Peppered with vintage accents, memorabilia from her childhood and travels, as well as her own numerous creations for Chocolate Creative, Margarita’s homes are deeply personal. Margarita herself describes her aesthetic thus, “my decor and style are very eclectic. I do not follow trends or rules, just fill my house with things I like and have collected over my years in London and traveling.”
Another aspect of Margarita’s decorative style that appeals to me is how daring and experimental she is. Combinations like a black wall and a red couch are bold and unexpected and definitely have an impact. Margarita’s interiors are also never static. She herself notes how much she loves to change her house, treating it “like a playground” rearranging it to suit different moods, new experiences. Finally, I love the way Margarita can sometimes be undeniably feminine and at other times decidedly masculine. Done well, this kind of paradoxical play always adds complexity and intrigue.
All this is great, but it also sounds like a lot going on all at once. So how is Margarita able to marry so many styles and elements, textures and motifs without ending up with a design cacophony? In a word: palette. It is in this arena alone that Margarita exercises regular restraint. While elements may be motley, the colors are not. Limited to just one or two hues per room, these select few are then deftly employed to balance her compositions and unify the space. Indeed it is the careful consideration of color that gives Margarita greater freedom to play elsewhere.
I love Margarita’s dining room with its eclectic mix of English country, mid-century modern and industrial relics. There’s even an antique French gilt mirror. Here, no two things match. Yet, despite the assortment, Margarita achieves a uniform feel through her limited palette – mostly black and white, and a consistency of textures – rich woods, clean whites, and steely metallics. Despite the many vintage elements, the austere palette keeps the room looking clean, crisp and modern. While touches of warm wood and gilding keep it from being too cool. The overall result is that everywhere the individual pieces add character and interest while still being part of the whole.
Above and below: the living room
Margarita’s black, white and red living room. Again disparate elements and textures are brought together by a deliberate use of color. The vintage Chesterfield sofa in bold red was acquired for practically nothing at a second hand shop. On the walls is an array of treasures: modern prints, vintage paintings and curious objects, all strikingly offset by the black wall. Note how the red is echoed in a balanced manner along the entire wall.
Another corner of the living room with Margarita’s own pillows
One other note about Margarita’s place: it’s almost all either hand made or found in flea markets or even off the street! Good design does not have to be expensive.
Here again Margarita has created a consistent feel from myriad elements with her consistent palette. The prints on the walls are her own as are the pillows. Together with her collection of vintage tea cups, they make for a very homey spot.
Above and below: his and hers desks.
Here Margarita also demonstrates her ability to play with gender, without being too obvious or cliche. Heavy, metallic and dark, his 1950′s industrial desk is dramatic and decidedly masculine. Yet the little, white rabbit and “love” mug (Margarita’s own design) suggest a more sensitive side. Of warmer wood, her desk is a little more welcoming and feminine. But it also has more masculine and industrial components such as the antique, French, cinema spotlight. Here again blacks and whites unify not only each desktop, but also the two desks as a whole.
A touch of romance, details including Margarita’s Chocolate Creative pillow and an old dolly.
A detail from the boyfriend’s pad
Graphic posters that Margarita relishes for their bold simplicity are stunning next to primitive Brazilian ceramics and a modern ribbon lamp from Habitat. Again the animals, though still masculine, soften the whole feel just enough to make it interesting.
Corners of the bedroom show Margarita’s eclectic mix of vintage romantic, mid-century modern and ethnic features.