Interview | Restaurant

Designer spotlight: Rocío García Prieto

**This spotlight is on designer Rocío García Prieto. She specialises in commercial design combining them with residential projects. She likes minimalistic spaces where you combine them with a touch of colours, natural textures, patterns and art influences. We can't wait to ask her some questions!

2 Image: A restaurant Rocio designed with Natalie Weavers Interiors

Most of all I love creating spaces where people feel unique. My strength is to understand people’s needs and transforming them into their dream’s spaces**

1. What drew you to become an interior designer?

My path into design began with art. I remember falling in love with all things related to art at high school. I suddenly thought this is exactly what I want to do. At university I enjoyed the subject "contemporary design" where they showed us all the greatest design icons from Bauhaus to the latest industrial design. That completely opened my eyes to interior design. I was so impressed and started thinking about how beautifully you can link art and design.

A few years after moving to London I thought about trying something new and different. I decided to study a course in Chelsea, Pimlico and haven't looked back since! Today I work for a small commercial design practice called Natalie Weavers while freelancing for Homewings doing residential design projects. It simply makes me happy. It gives me freedom when designing a space and allows me to be myself. I think that is the reason why I love what I do.


2. How would you decorate your home for your Christmas party?

The theme for the decorations at my party would be natural and calm. The most important part of any party I throw is to feel comfortable with your favourite people around! The decoration has to reflect that cozy, friendly atmosphere I want to create. The materials used would be timber, natural green and bronze to give it a sophisticated touch.

I think it's very important to create a warm welcome, making people feel completely at home at once. I would focus on the hall with seasonal plants and candles, not too much, we don’t want to overwhelm people at first sight. The living room would be my next focus area. I would have a christmas tree with some modern accessories such as crates, baskets and presents wrapped with fun paper.I would have gentle fairy lights to brighten the tree, however I would always keep it simple, "less is more" as Van der Rohe well said.All of this combined with a nice meal and good music to create the perfect Christmas party.

3 Image: A restaurant Rocio designed with Natalie Weavers Interiors

3. What final design details pack the biggest punch?

I would say that great lighting always makes the biggest difference. It can transform a space from looking quite disappointing to really magical. Art and small decorations make the space look completed and lived in. Coming back to my Christmas party, I think the beautiful candle holders in this image perfectly combines lighting and special decorations which together makes a room shine.

4 Image: Mint urban suite apartment

4. What are the most common interior design myths?

There are many myths about colours and decorating in general. It is not bad to follow some overall rules but the truth is that colours make everyone feel different, so use what works for you. I always think your home should reflect you and people who lives in it, so if you love a specific colour - use it! Style and decoration goes hand in hand with this, choose the things you love and don't worry about other peoples' rules. As long as the whole space flows well, feel brave to choose what's right for you.

Another myth is that interior designers are providing an unnecessary service. Well, you can do it yourself of course, but an interior designer will offer fresh and innovative ideas. We are surrounded by all things interiors - going to showrooms, being introduced to new products, trends and styles. Not to mention that we do this every day, we are good at solving a variety of problems and have a lot of experience with different situations that will make the interior design process run more smoothly.

5 Image: Mint urban suite apartment

5. Where in the world would you like to design a space and who 
would you collaborate with?

I would love to design a place anywhere in South America or Africa. Even though they are so far apart I find the style and energy very similar. I just love the way they understand colours and textures. Their patterns are so alive, you just don't grow tired of it. I have a special attraction with Africa, the peoples innate connection to nature is reflected in their culture and way of understanding design. If I could collaborate with anyone on this project it would be architect John Pawson, I love the simplicity and elegance of his design. He is able to play with the light and volumes in such a beautiful way.

2 Image: A restaurant Rocio designed with Natalie Weavers Interiors

6. Describe a project that was most rewarding and why?

The project that comes to mind is a pizza restaurant that I worked on with Natalie Weavers Interiors in Mile End. It was a big space where we could try a lot of interesting options, we had to get over a lot of hurdles but the result was gorgeous. I couldn’t be happier! That is the whole point of our job, that satisfaction when you can see the whole process from beginning to end and you feel proud of all the hard work you and the whole team have done for months.

3 Image: A restaurant Rocio designed with Natalie Weavers

7. If you have to pick up an era to live and design in, what would it be?

I don’t need to think twice, I would choose the Bauhaus times. I love their way of understanding and appreciating art and design, and would have loved to participate in the design process when Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona Pavillion for the International Exhibition in 1929. I have loved that building ever since discovering it, and think it's such an emblematic work of the Modern Movement!

1 Image: A restaurant Rocio designed with Natalie Weavers

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