Coffee With: Alvaro Pelaez

Alvaro Pelaez

Alvaro Pelaez

Alvaro Pelaez is an interior design student at Nassau Community College and runner-up in the Casaza Design Student Challenge. We spoke to this rising star about music, natural design, and Xanadu 2.0.

Q&A With Alvaro Pelaez

Casaza: How did you get your start?
Alvaro Pelaez:
At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I tried to do many things, and then I fell in love with music and art. I wanted to do more with my new found love and share the emotions that music and art conveyed in me. I decided I would become an interior designer which would allow me to place that emotion within people at their homes.

C: How would you describe your style?
AP:
My style is free and open to limitless possibilities. I don’t want to limit myself to a specific style; I want to create something special every time.

C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
AP:
Inspiration is all around us, it’s a matter of looking at something from different perspectives. Often I don’t even realize it, and I’m already taking a photo. I’m just very curious and love to take a closer look at something that I haven’t seen before.

C: Favorite room in the house?
AP:
It would have to be the bedroom. The bedroom is where the day starts and where it ends. It’s a place of intimacy. It’s a special place where you can relax, be yourself, and enjoy time the way you deserve to.

C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
AP:
I like to think of design as having no rules. It’s a blank canvas waiting for someone to put life into it. Design should be special every time and that wouldn’t be possible if it were bound by rules.

C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
AP:
I love to keep things warm, bright, and happy so it would have to be bright or vivid colors. I want something to always pop out at you and say, “Here I am.” It’s that element of surprise in a sense that keeps things interesting.

C: What is “good design” to you?
AP:
When making a design I have to make sure that when someone stands within that space that they can feel welcomed and comfortable. I want people to enjoy their new space and to fall in love with it. If my design reaches an emotional connection with that person than I have made a “good design.”

Bill Gates' home Xanadu 2.0
Bill Gates’ Xanadu 2.0 | Courtesy of TheStreet

C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
AP:
It may sound shocking but I’m not very familiar with celebrities and in that sense the homes they own. There is one property though that has always taken my interest: Bill Gates’ mansion, Xanadu 2.0. It’s a modern design incorporating as much technology as possible and yet it still takes in nature rather than completely overtaking it. Just the architecture itself if beautiful to look at; it’s like taking a step into a whole new world.

C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
AP:
It should never get quiet, the party must go on all night. The music must be right and hype people up so they can enjoy themselves. Music is important… But you can’t forget about the drinks and snacks!

C: Best advice for DIYers?
AP:
I myself have tried some DIYs and let me tell you, you need time and patience. Chances are that you won’t get it right the first time and if you do, more power to you. Be careful with some DIYs as they may require knowledge that you may not be familiar with. If it’s a big project I suggest you seek professional help, especially if you are risking damage to your property in attempting the project.

C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
AP:
You have to do your research, and do not settle for the first person you see. Talk to various people. Most of the times they won’t charge you for a quote or general information you may need. Check reviews or ask for personal references and images of previous work they have done. The more informed you are, the better off you are!

C: What is one design trend are you most excited about this season?
AP:
There are so many trends to look at right now that I just want to talk about all of them. The one that I personally feel attached to is bringing nature indoors. I’m fascinated by nature and to be able to implement it into our homes is just thrilling. From large windows allowing wonderful views outdoors to using various woods within spaces to either complement or contrast the overall look and feel of the space.

Natural stone materials are also paired with the wood to provide a unique and authentic look to your home. Natural woods and materials have all distinct textures that allow for a very beautiful contrast to a simplistic space. Nature indoors can also be combined with other trends to emphasize the design or to add visual impact. It is a truly beautiful trend and designers are making movements towards more environmentally friendly designs.

C: How do you take your coffee?
AP
: Cream and sugar, please! I love my coffee to be nice and sweet to start of the bright day the right way.

Bringing Nature Indoors | Design by T. Archer Design

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