Designer Natalia Miyar, with a background in architecture and a passion for art history helped inform her design approach. She works intuitively and approaches every project as a brand new design challenge – taking inspiration from the quirks and nuances that each new person and project brings. She has high regard for individuality and through thorough investigation with the client creates homes which are uniquely suited to them, reflecting their lifestyle and personality. Having lived in multiple countries, presently based in London and Miami, Natalia takes inspiration for color palettes and forms from the natural environments she’s resided within. We spoke to Natalie about her design style and celebrating the holidays when you have two places to call home.
Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?
I would say an elegant blend of comfort and glamour. I believe that creativity and personality should be at the center of everything that I do. I like to create something of a unique identity.
What do you love about using antiques in your designs?
I love the decorative detail that antiques bring to spaces. I find when antiques are used in interiors alongside contemporary designs it adds a sense of depth and brings a wonderful contrast to what might be an otherwise stark feel. I love antique bronze mirrors and as you can find pieces in such immaculate condition now they add a glamorous feel. The tones and textures that older pieces bring and the wonderful coppers and bronzes can bring so much in the right space. Sometimes there is this misconception that antiques are old fashioned but I find that using them alongside modern pieces can really bring a room to life.
What inspires you?
The worlds of art, music, fashion, and design are inspiration treasure troves. Nature has always been an important influence on my work and continues to inform the concepts and palettes of my projects.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the holidays?
The holidays are time to spend with my family and friends over the Christmas break. Just celebrating the time I have with them and enjoying good food, wine and catching up. As the year is so busy I find Christmas is an ideal time to wind down and I like to be at home in Miami. As I am based mainly in London, I love the switch back to the heat and have quite an alternative Christmas some days spent on the beach, but as London is so cold I maximise the festivities before I leave for the sunshine.
What are some details of your signature style?
I like to think I have a relaxed but glamorous aesthetic but just in that, I love to fulfill a client’s brief rather than a company agenda. It is infinitely more interesting to have a design challenge and work with different ideas as opposed to prescribing a template design aesthetic. In doing so, I am constantly exposed to different mindsets and concepts that surprise and intrigue me. A home is a place to showcase a personal narrative and should reinforce the owner’s personality. Therefore I champion spaces and styles that express individuality.
How would you decorate your table if you were hosting a holiday dinner?
For high glamour, I find a combination of candlelight and beautiful crystal is hard to beat. I received a Martha Stewart Christmas book when I was 14 and became enamored by the centerpiece of gilded objects and I just loved golden objects from then on. So I would add a bronze tone/metallic tablecloth to and include rich colors through greenery and berries, I also like to have gold sprayed pine cones and personalized little gifts at each of my place settings, a little box of honeyed nuts perhaps or something small that adds a bit of fun to the setting.
I think this punch ladle is an elegant yet fun addition to have at a dinner. As it is important to enjoy the holiday events, with this I would make a big batch of mulled wine or spiced wine and serve it is a beautiful silver pot/china pot and serve it with a Georg Jensen punch ladle. It adds an element of glamour and fun.
These champagne glasses would look wonderful on my table, I would just need a few more. I like the colored variety that they would bring
I love to juxtapose natural shapes with glamor, this candelabra looks like an outdoor winter branch that will come to life when lit and placed on a table.
What would be included in your RubyLUX Holiday Wish List?
I love this ‘secret splendor’ bar cabinet – how fabulous. When it is shut it just looks like a great cabinet and then opens to reveal a bar selection. Feels sort of Prohibition-era as if the art of cocktail making has a sense of secrecy which I think is so fun.
The brass end table – this would be perfect to serve martinis on before dinner and have nibbles displayed on beautifully decorated and individual plates on it,
This serving spoon would make a classic and elegant addition to my dining table.
I never go out without a fabulous cocktail ring and this one is perfect.
This dramatic obelisk would look incredible in the corner of a room.
These earrings would be top of my wishlist, the ultimate gift, they are delicate yet stand-out and make a statement.
Natalia Miyar began her professional career as an architect working with notable architectural firms in Miami. During eight years of study and six years in practice, she developed a true love of materiality, space and proportion which led naturally into the design of the interiors. Several years on, her eponymous interior atelier, launched Spring 2016, shows a capacity for original, exciting design with the professional skill of a leading practice.
The atelier does not have a house style, rather it helps clients find their own decorative identity.
The result is designs that vary greatly in terms of style but are bound together by a confident understanding of pattern and texture in a luscious interplay of luxury and comfort. Completed projects include a large villa with classical detailing featuring glamorous but relaxed interiors and a townhouse designed for an avant-garde couple who gave Natalia Miyar Atelier an open brief to create a wow-factor London residence. Another London project features a calming earthy palette to create a home of understated elegance where striking prints are layered on tactile fabrics to produce a calming effect. Current projects include a private residence in Regent’s Park, a large home in Holland Park, two penthouses in Knightsbridge and a beautiful apartment overlooking the river in Chelsea.
Natalia’s vision to create an international team that spans London to Miami is realized in three international projects nearing completion: a secluded villa in the hills of Ibiza with extensive gardens and a textured organic interior. A stylish family home in Miami for clients with a baby on the way, the vibrant residence mirrors beach life along the Miami coast in contrast to a second Miami project for a retired couple seeking refuge in calmer tones. This year, Natalia indulged her love of British craft to curate an ‘artist in residence’ programme in collaboration with the renowned retail brand, Bamford.
There are several factors at play into Natalia’s designs. Born in Mexico to Cuban American parents then relocating to Miami, travel, and culture have always been central to her life. Her cultural identity is laden with inspirations that fuel a love of texture, colour and the contrasts of the visual world.
Looking back at these experiences Natalia says “The contrasting natural landscapes of the places I’ve known resonate very strongly with me. My early years were spent in Mexico where I was exposed to incredible earth and stone tones, sienna, ochre and black. We then moved to Miami and, suddenly, my visual world expanded to comprise the bright blue shades of sea and sky, the bold, lush green of tropical plants and the pale gold of sand – a palette very similar to that of Cuba, my family’s home country. When I moved to England, the countryside greens, urban greys and authentic style influenced me in another way.”
A degree in Art and Architecture has inspired more than a lifelong interest. Natalia uses her knowledge to open up the art world to clients that do not have a collection and give a voice to what they like. With clients that have an appreciation of art they collaborate and educate each other. Natalia feels no project is complete without well chosen art to bring an interesting narrative and personality to a space. On her own walls she favours Cuban artists, some living and working in exile and portraying their cultural journey through art. Other pieces have found their way handed down through the family and have personal significance. In her bedroom hangs a vibrantly coloured painting by Chilean artist Felipe Carrion Rojas, which she received as a present from her parents on her 21st birthday.
The move to London and her submersion in a new aesthetic sensibility has been like completing the missing part of the puzzle. When she first visited London she was drawn to the history and architecture that was so different to what she knew; the relaxed design and homely interiors struck a chord and that impression has not left. She comments “There’s an effortlessness to design in the UK, which brings great contrast to the audacity and boldness found in American design. Working between the two cultures is fun. For me, they perfectly inform each other.”