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IN CONVERSATION WITH PABLO PANIAGUA



Pablo Paniagua


You have probably seen one of his projects on Instagram without knowing that the man behind that beautiful space is none other than Spanish Designer Pablo Paniagua.   Pablo is the principal and lead designer of one of Spain’s most reputable design studios with his two brothers Gustavo (an architect) and Álavaro (who runs the financials).   

Pablo Paniagua has a Degree in Art History from the University of Málaga, a Diploma in Interior Architecture from the Polytechnic Universtity of Madrid and a Máster in Decorative Arts from the University of Sapienza in Rome, Italy.

The elegance and refinement of his projects is evident in his stunning body of work.  Every furniture piece, every art piece, and decorative object works seemingly with the architecture of the space.   Each of Pablo’s projects is a study of balance and proportion with no other goal but to seek rigour in the aesthetic and compositional criteria and quality of the final project.  Pablo’s studio has embraced projects with a variety of approaches over the years; residential, commercial or ephemeral spaces, encompassing the whole process of the technical and creative design from the architectural project through to aspects of a strictly decorative nature.

Pablo Paniagua’s work is truly inspiring,  keep reading to get in on the conversation…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Pablo Paniagua – My first experience with design in a professional setting was just after I completed my studies of Interior Design.  I got the opportunity to work on a seasonal home on the outskirts of Madrid.   It was a very exciting opportunity to have a project like that, it was a fairly large home in which you needed to mix the funcionality of today while respecting the rustic and relaxed qualities of the space.  This home was conceived for the home owners to enjoy their favourite passtime, which was their horses.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – How would you describe your design style?

Pablo Paniagua – My goal is to always be precise and to respect the first intention of every project.  I believe that in my personal case, it is always more important how the project is resolved rather than the aesthetics of it.

In any case, I have a preference for my projects to have  a solid base that is clean and orderly while respecting the character of the project. 



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – On your site, you describe how big of an influence your family has been; and that thanks to them, you have achieved a very solid place in the design world.  What has been the best lesson you have learned from your brothers, your mother and your aunts?

Pablo Paniagua – The most important lesson I learned is to contemplate things carefully and to take your time, so you can get the best results with the time you have to develop the project.  I learned to discover the beauty in the simple things, in nature, and everyday life experiences.

I have also had the privilege to work with my brothers.  Gustavo is an architect and Alvaro runs the business,  these values are always intrinsically present in our work.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Working with your brothers Alvaro and Gustavo must be a very interesting arrangement.  I believe there is no one who will take care of you, more than your brothers – What has been the experience of working with them?

Pablo Paniagua – We tackle every project as a team; every member has a very unique role to play, and the result of this combination is without a doubt, a successful project.

We are very different, but we have the same objective, and usually we coincide in the direction we want to run the project.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – You had the opportunity to do an internship with one of the most rewarded interior designers in Spain Don Pascua Ortega.  What was the best lesson you learned from him?

Pablo Paniagua – It was an incredible experience!  It is very difficult to talk about this briefly, but I could say that his best lesson is to always reach for excellence in every project.  I learned not to give up, and to be a fighter until you have the best result in your projects.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Many of our readers are design students – What would be the best advice you can give to someone who is starting a career in design?

Pablo Paniagua – First of all, you need to have an understanding that you have not learned everything, that a good designer needs to be constantly involved in the learning process, and that you need to look for inspiration in all places.  Also, I would like to share the fact that you need to excel in every project, that every space is an opportunity to create something new and to always look at the big picture and how close you can reach it with your vision and creative dreams.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Maybe you don’t know this, but your work is highly appreciated it in North America.  I have seen your projects in many blogs, and often on Instagram.  How does it feel to have so many design fans on the other side of the world through your work?

Pablo Paniagua – We designed a small hotel in Palo Alto, California, but we were not aware that our work is recognized in North America.  In any case, it is very satisfying, and we are very excited that other people enjoy the results of our work.  It makes us feel that our design language and our approach to design have a wider understanding.  This is a big motivator for us to keep doing the best work we can.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Your design studio is in a XVIII building that used to be a convent.  I remember seeing the spectacular setting of this project in Nuevo Estilo Magazine.  How was the process and the experience of this conversion?

Pablo Paniagua – This is correct, our studio is located on the Convent of the Trinitarias Nunnery in Madrid, and this is also the place where you can find the resting place of Miguel de Cervantes, the writer of Don Quixote. 

The opportunity to conceive the studio came about after we participated in a design show for Decor-Accion in the church of the convent, where we had met the nuns and they offered us one of the buildings that was empty and not in use.  That space was one of the convent towers… you couldn’t say no this opportunity!



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – I wonder if your designs are more spiritual because of this 🙂

Pablo Paniagua – Good question! Who knows… sometimes some of the projects end up being diabolically cursed (ha ha!).  Other projects turn to be a lot of fun, exciting and even radical…



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – The selection of your furniture pieces is always exquisite – What inspires you to include pieces in your projects that are no longer commonly used in today’s homes?

Pablo Paniagua – Thank you so much for the kind words! We try really hard to make every project unique, that every piece, and every fabric is authentic and an opportunity to feed all the senses. This way, the clients can see all of the effort it took to get to that point in the design and development of their project.  We are interested in pieces from all of the periods and styles, but we want every piece that we select to have a unique story to tell.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Your projects are extremely elegant and sophisticated.  I believe this is because you are a master in constraint, but this is also due to the sense of rhythm you create with the repetition of the architectural elements and proportion.  How do you achieve this while maintaining your signature style?

Pablo Paniagua – To fully understand the interior of a space, it is impossible to separate the architecture and its relationship with the furnishings.  We work on this with a very well planned architectural strategy that gives us the space to develop the next tier of the project – the interiors.   We look to resolve this with a natural sense of flow with a unique reason as to why that piece of furniture fits that particular space, that the piece is in proportion with the architecture, and that we can add a specific gesture with the proposed art. 

Sometimes we have worked the other way around: from the art or the existing pieces of furniture and have adapted to them with the function of the space, we also want to maintain a unique resonance with the architecture, so everything works seamlessly.  Other times, we have to find pieces with a unique character to create tension and add visual interest to the space.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Another aspect that I find very interesting in your projects is the fact that the art is extremely well selected.  I know that you have a degree in Art History, and that this must be an important aspect for your projects. Do you work around the clients’s collection or do you suggest specific art to your clients?

Pablo Paniagua – This is correct, the art is a fundamental part of our projects and we always include an artistic interpretation.  Sometimes we find pieces that are part of the clients collection and we need to work around them.  Other times, we suggest pieces; but it is important that the pieces are not just beautiful, but that they also evoke an emotion for the client.  In any case, it is always important to have an understanding of Art History, the style periods and what is happening right now.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – You often say that for you, “even a millimeter is important”.  Could you elaborate?

Pablo Paniagua – This is part of our philosophy – to always reach the best results and to give every project exactly what it needs.

This idea also talks about the dedicated study of proportions, or the materials being adequate for the space, even carefully studying the colour needed for every space.  These few words are the expertise in how we approach a project.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – What has been your favourite project so far, and what would be your dream project?

Pablo Paniagua – All of the projects we take under our wing are important and exciting for us.  This is the only way you can really get involved with the project and get excited about it, so the end result is for you to give your best.

An ideal project would be the one that presents positive challenges, the one that shows you new situations, new languages and the one that suddenly becomes in an adventure.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – What is next for Pablo Paniagua?

Pablo Paniagua – Right now we are working on several projects, some are in the city, others are weekend homes and some others are outside of Spain entirely.  We are currently  developing a new line of Object d’Art using artisanal techniques that we hope we can launch in the near future.



Interiors by Pablo Paniagua


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Pablo Paniagua – You need to work a lot, and do it right to leave a legacy. For now, I like the idea that our work awakens new emotions with the passing of time.


I invite you to visit Pablo Paniagua’s website and stunning body of work: