Get to know some of our most admired design friends and gain insight into their inspirations and in the latest series from Ayr Barns: At Home.
Elena and Beatriz Perelli are designers, sisters, and founders of the Madrid-based Las Perelli design studio. With a unique approach to creating spaces that contribute to a client's wellbeing, the sisters are known for bringing a modern sensibility to the renovation of country houses. We caught up with Elena and Beatriz as they shared insight into their creative process, inspirations, and favourite types of projects. Read on below...
Being sisters and design partners, what led to the start of Las Perelli? Did you both grow up with a deep love for design?
We graduated in different fields of study. However, our passion for design from an early age meant that we both ended up studying interior design at different times in our lives. After many years of experience in the sector, the studio was born naturally, combining our learning over the years and starting an adventure together.
As your studio reaches almost thirteen years of thriving, what would you say has been the most rewarding part of creating beautiful spaces?
The mission of our studio from the beginning has been to improve people's lives. The arrival of the client when they see their finished project for the first time is one of our favourite moments. So far, everyone has been touched. It is very exciting to see how, thanks to a good project, we make people happier.
When it comes to both of your design styles, do you both see eye to eye consistently or do you have to compromise with one another often?
Our relationship is based on working together, we are very complementary. In a natural way, each of us dedicates more time to what we do best. In the studio, we work as a team, relying on the experience and skills of each person in the team, pooling our work.
How would you describe each other's design styles?
After so many years working together, our styles have become closer and closer until we have reached the characteristic style of our studio, based on the balance of antique and modern. We don't follow fashions in general, we think that the trend is to recover the antique. We talk about materials and ways of placing them, about pieces that have lived the passage of time and are 'unique'. The use of natural materials, of good quality, which improve their patina over the years, makes our work look modern despite the passing of the years.
With you both having various types of design projects, from hotels, restaurants, commercial spaces, new builds, and more, what would you say is your favorite type to work on and why?
Five years ago, we were fortunate to be involved in the refurbishment and interior design of some palaces in Asturias. We spent almost four years there, working almost exclusively for these clients, where we learned a lot about the detailed process of restoring and rehabilitating old buildings with a lot of history.
Thanks to this work, we developed a great ability to work with country houses. As a result, we started to specialise in them. We enjoy this type of projects very much, the use of old materials and pieces that respect their history while responding to current needs, gives them a very special identity. We are now finishing a palace house in Cáceres on which we have been working for more than two years and we are looking forward to sharing the work.
What does the art of slow living mean to both of you?
We are of the "better living" philosophy.
We believe that the spaces in which we live our lives influence the way we live. The more pleasant and practical they are, the greater the well-being.
What advice do you have for sisters and or friends that want to pursue being business partners in interior design?
We respect each other, our ideas, our opinions...
We don't try to impose our way of thinking, we work as a team to reach an idea that we agree on.
Your designs display a serene environment as they have a more minimalist approach, do you find that adds more pressure to sourcing the perfect pieces?
We try to ensure that the projects have the necessary pieces adapted to the client's needs. Each piece is designed to fulfill an aesthetic function as well as a useful one. More than the piece itself, it is the set of pieces, materials and proportions that create a serene and calm atmosphere.
What does the process of starting from scratch look like when designing a new space?
We seek, above all, the well-being of each of our clients. We study their needs in depth and always start from scratch to create the right atmosphere for each one. We take the time to understand the home, its history and its surroundings. It is very important to find a concept that responds to the needs and at the same time respects the house, which serves as a common thread so that each project has its own identity. We take inspiration from books, photos, galleries, museums, nature... Although we have a particular style, each house is different.
Within your own homes, are there any items that stay put no matter what?
We give a lot of importance to the pieces that belonged to our family. We like to feel close to our heritage, to keep the history of our lives present.
Are there particular places or designers you both look to for inspiration?
We love Belgian designers Vincent Van Duysen and Axel Vervoordt.
Discover more of Elena and Beatriz' work on the Las Perelli website and on Instagram @lasperelli
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