In our new “meet the professionals” series, we catch up with the experts behind some of homify’s most unforgettable designs – from residential structures and renovation projects to corporate offices and interior revamps.
Up on today’s menu: Ana Salomé Branco, a seasoned interior-architectural firm located in Madrid, Spain.
The main objective of my brand is to promote and empower clients through the design of their own home / project. With each project, the various disciplines of architecture and design are discussed with the client to ensure both parties understand what the other one needs.
Working in the design/architectural industry, I understand the restlessness of people. We constantly crave change and want to better ourselves, and what better way to achieve this than by getting creative within our living / working spaces?
In addition, all of our clients are linked to the CAuSA project that we do every year. This is an annual pro-bono project that allows public or private entities to request assistance with designs and architectural spaces. Out of all the proposals that we receive and consider for projects, this is one that we always devote our full attention to.
By peeking inside the life of the client. No matter where you look, whether it’s in the client’s house, their property, or even their garden design – it tells you a lot about the client, especially what they like or don’t like.
In addition, I also indulge in an in-depth conversation with the client (very important in setting up a professional business relationship) to find out what inspires them, what are their wants and needs for their new project, their available budget, etc. After this initial meeting, a very detailed form is sent to the client to find out more about their lifestyle, how it pertains to their current living situation, how their new project/design is going to influence their lifestyle, etc.
Another important discussion with the client is the deadline of the project. This is to help us establish a timeline for the client’s project to determine when construction needs to start (and end), which suppliers and other professionals need to be contacted, who needs to be on site, etc.
All of this is to ensure the project proceeds with as little trouble as possible in order to effectively meet that deadline (which has to be practical for both the client and the professional).
Sustainability and functionality is something that we are extremely passionate about. That is why I always aim to produce a timeless style that can age well and won’t have the need to be updated too regularly. And whether it’s spaces, materials or objects, I always opt for tried-and-tested materials like stone, wood, metal and natural fabrics. These are paired with asymmetrical features, raw textures and simple designs to ensure the entire look comes together neatly and nicely for the client.
In terms of social responsibility, we are also deeply committed to our annual CAuSA pro-bono project. For the previous one, we focused on designing a new dining room for a children’s day centre located in Prosperidad, Madrid. This perfectly translates into our company’s need and desire to not only change people’s spaces and structures, but also their lives.
To make it easier, we view every project as a “challenge” presented to the client. The client requires us to relieve their “challenge” and present them with something that is going to alter and improve their mood and lifestyle. And we always aim to please.
Every project can be seen as the start of a new relationship, of mutual investigation and discovery, of taking responsibility, being open and honest, and delivering the correct results.
One of my first projects as an interior architect was for a client named César, a single lawyer who lived in his apartment in Las Rozas. He needed a style-up of his living space and required some additional touch ups, too. In one of our very first meetings at his home, he was very clear about the fact that he had no use for a dining table. Thanks to his simple routine and lifestyle, his sofa and TV (and terrace) were his most popular living spaces. After asking him about his future plans, he was quite adamant that he will never marry and that his little apartment would be his own world.
Thus, we kicked off the project and replaced his beloved sofa with some cushy oversized pillows (since he actually preferred watching TV on the floor instead of the sofa). The dining table was removed and César was gifted with a vertical garden, some reading/relaxation space, plus various shelves to fight off clutter, as well as storage space for his bicycle (his weekend hobby).
As it turns out, the client later changed his mind. According to him, his lack of dining table/space was not conducive to his future plans as a couple. Of course the client is always right, which is why we altered the design and made his interiors a bit more appropriate in case a future partner showed up.
Lo and behold, two months after we finished the new design, César met his current girlfriend.
Being confined to our house for so long has taught us (hopefully all of us) to think differently when it comes to our residential spaces. Is it really a place where you can be 24/7 and still live in total peace and comfort? Is it as functional and practical as possible for your lifestyle and your (and your family’s) daily operations?
Our opinion is that architecture will definitely continue to evolve, and we can’t help but think that more and more residential structures will be opting for more and more isolation as time goes by.
Finding your identity in your living space has nothing to do with area layout, your choice of furnishings, or the amount of accessories you have. In the end, everything needs to complement everything else and craft a practical, comfortable space for the clients and their relevant lifestyle / wants / needs.
Versatile / multi-functional houses
For the future, house designs will focus more on making every bit of space as practical and multi-functional as possible. That includes the concept of home offices, as more and more people are becoming productive from the comfort (and safety) of their own homes than ever before.
Even before COVD-19 there was already an emerging trend of combining interior- and exterior spaces. It is my opinion that, for future designs, more and more balconies and terraces will be designed and altered with the sole purpose of being part of the interiors when necessary (such as simply separating a living room and the adjoining terrace via elegant glass doors).
Whether it’s rattan, teak, bamboo or cork, there has long been a desire to include natural materials in a house’s design, whether it’s for the walls/floor/roof or just accessories and furnishings. Being very sustainable and presenting that strong link with nature, I feel the inclusion of nature and natural materials will be very much part of the future of architecture.
Inspire yourself with Secret paradise: The luxurious villa in a lush forest.