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IN CONVERSATION WITH LOUIS RUÍZ



Louis Ruíz


Louis Ruíz is the principal designer behind one of the most exclusive luxury lifestyle design studios in México, the renowned Progressive Design Firm. Ruíz has developed a design formula built off of innovation, classicism and sophistication, including an extensive knowledge of textures, unique-hued palettes, and timeless design solutions, that have high-profile clients desiring to work with him.

Ruíz defines his success in the design industry to initiating and maintaining a collaborative and working relationship with his clients, contractors, artisans and art consultants. This way each project is composed with quality and integrity that aesthetically compliments the architecture and the client’s individual style.

With a firm belief that lifestyle is a reflection of carefully curated moments and beloved treasures. Ruíz translates his design ideas into what could be your first experience when you wake up every morning and how you start your day after having a wonderful night sleep under the best linens, and the most comfortable mattress.  Who doesn’t want to start a day surrounded by beauty? From the selection of that unique chair where you enjoy a cup of coffee each morning, to the antique heirloom that each generation cherishes and passes along the legend of it’s origin of your family’s history, or to any other impeccably tailored quarters that are simply, an extension of your lifestyle and personality.

Ruíz’s reputation has earn him an impressive list of exclusive clients that expect and have received tailor designs and one-of-a-kind timeless creations.

Ruíz’s studio has stunning views of “Los Cabos” emblematic arch, a golden-colored sea arch found at the tip of the Baja Peninsula – A privilege location that is just a reflection of what beauty is for him.  Ruiz’s  expertise and success have earned him satellite studios in several major cities of Mexico under Progressive Design, becoming the “It” design studio.  Often getting him media attention for the memorability and quality of work, since it’s one of the most sought after interior architecture firms in northwestern Mexico.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Louis Ruíz – My first experience with design was when I was in high school on a field trip to México City.  When I visited Las Capuchinas Convent by renowned Mexican Architect Luis Barragán, I was fascinated by the sense of rhythm of its architecture and the unexpected spaces created from the central patio that was full of gardenias, to the use of natural light, and the play of shadows in the chapel.  The furnishings in the convent, the robust pieces of wood that with their naturally tonalities created an inner dialogue with the space in their own natural environment.   People could say that Luis Barragán might not be an interior designer, as he was an architect, but he had  a unique vision and understanding of what the interiors needed to be to give dimension to the space. Isn’t that what interior design is all about?



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – What do you love the most about being an interior designer?

Louis Ruíz – I love to have the capacity to influence the way that the inhabitants of the space live and how they interact with the space.  I love the process as it is a collaborative  and personal exercise with the home owner.  For this you need to take the clients to the most stylized version of themselves while keeping the true essence of who they are, while achieving their new goals for the new lifestyle we are creating together.  At the end of this process I always ended becoming a close friend.   The relationships I create with my client are what I love the most about being an interior designer.  These incredible relationships are so special, and fun.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – When do you buck the trends and break the rules?

Louis Ruíz – More than breaking the rules of design, I am true to myself.   After designing so many projects over the years, I have been refining my own taste and this is evident on the confidence that I require to develop my designs.  If you compare my projects you will notice some differences between them, as I am actually designing for my clients.   As I mentioned before I like to maximize and explore new ideas to achieve my end goal which is to create the most stylized version of themselves.  Spaces that fit their personalities while are unique as they are.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – What is the story behind Progressive Design Firm your design studio?

Louis Ruíz –  The creation of Progressive Design Firm was a happy mistake.  Being an architect, destiny brought me important clients that where not just looking for a great project, but sophisticated interiors as well. From that moment I gave the studio a unique identity not just to design a concept but what I wanted to reflect as the end result of my projects.  The name “Progressive” makes me feel that the studio has its own evolution independently from my own name.

Iván Meade – Clients now-a-days are becoming more sophisticated and design-conscious. How has that influenced you?

Louis Ruíz –  We intent to bring substance to the taste of our clients, we always want to get the best on them and create a design that is completely personalized and showcase the extrovert side of them.  Some of our clients have exquisite taste, in this case we just need to help them to make the designs a reality.  This is the base of our services.  The clients are also an indispensable part of the team, we work together since the inception of the design concepts until the interior design implementation stage.  This is the reason every project is so unique.

I believe that the fundaments and elements of design are universal and that you can apply them independently of the location of the project.   Not only topics like colour or form, I am talking more like the elements of design such as rhythm, repetition, scale, etc.  I believe that more than adapting myself I am more loyal to the rules of design as I have a deep knowledge of them and this is what allows me to explore this to the max.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – As a Mexican I have to ask this question, what are your thoughts about the Mexican design aesthetic of today – What you like and what you dislike about the current Mexican Design Style – Do your international clients ask you for something with a Mexican vibe, or what type of design you get your requested?

Louis Ruíz – I believe Méxican style can influence and can contribute to good design.  Good design is becoming more accessible to the masses while reaching a larger market.  I believe my compromise as somebody in this industry is to educate what quality design is and how to bring it to the masses.  This is an important moment as we need to establish that good design is, and also quality design.  This means that the quality needs to improve in different areas, from conception, materials, production, delivery times, etc. Mexican design has the originality and potential to become a sophisticated and well perceived, even luxurious style and can be implemented
in  other parts of the world.

Quality has been an issue for me, as many new emergent design studios, create good design, but the quality standards are very  low. They use inexpensive furniture reproductions or they copy design elements, in the end everything is just average; in both quality and uniqueness.  These designs don’t last, they don’t become timeless.  Good design should be timeless!  That is the reason why our Mexican design products and furnishings hardly every make it to the international markets like Maison et Objet or Salon del Mobile.

It is my goal to always include something Mexican in all my designs, and this is clearly reflected in all the work produced by my studio.  A good example is when we designed the Artisan shop at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. We had materials and furnishings from all around the world, as well selected pieces from Oaxaca an Chiapas, México.  That was my way to showcase good Mexican design. These pieces showcased an authentic Mexican design in which the best materials were used while preserving a true Mexican vibe.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


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

Louis Ruíz – The best advice is to never forget that you are designing the lifestyle of your clients, how they live in their surroundings and how they inhabit the space, even the smallest detail should reflect this.   While designing, I am considering what is going to be the first thing my clients are going to see when they wake up, how they are going to create their family history and live their lives.  It is not just about the design, it is about life and how you live.  How to refine and polish the experience and create the best stage to showcase their life under the best light. Good taste is a cultural product, this is the reason I love to travel, not just as a tourist, but to immerse yourself in the cities you visit, how they live, how they move, what they read, how they talk, what they talk about.  This will open your horizon.


Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – For you, what is the value of design, how do you explain this to clients?

Louis Ruíz – I believe I have a great advantage,  most of my clients already have a good understanding and knowledge of what good design is.  I don’t sell design as it is already sold by my experience and portfolio.  When somebody hires me as an interior designer,  they are hiring someone who can not only design the space, but potentialize their lifestyle through their personal experiences to reflect their authentic personality.  When I gave my last talk at The Palacio de Hierro store in México City, I mentioned an anecdote when I designed the restaurant  “Las Ventanas al Paraiso” for the Rosewood Hotel.  At the time when designing the restaurant we wanted the create not just a beautiful space, but to create an experience.  We wanted to maximize the use of all the senses, starting with the sense of taste, not only throughout the amazing food that was being served, but to make the other senses more alive while creating a unique experience.  What you touch, the textures you feel around you, what do you see, what do you smell, and what you hear.  A true design experience has to evolve every sense.  That is what I call good design, otherwise is an attempt to create just cheap design.

Iván Meade – What has been your most fulfilling project so far?

Louis Ruíz – Always the next one!!!



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – Describe what you like most about your own home?

Louis Ruíz – What I love the most about my home is that it truly reflect my aesthetic as a designer. It is an evolving space, a laboratory of sorts that over time is getting better and better. Since my time as a student, as an architect, and as an inhabitant of my own space, I am always learning with everything I do, and I do only my very best.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


Iván Meade – Five things you cannot live without?

Louis Ruíz – Five? Too many I’ll give you three: my partner, my books and a nice table setting.

Iván Meade – What do you think that every house should have?

Louis Ruíz – A stunning entry hallway.  The first impression is always the most important as it is the introduction into your life and a Curriculum Vitae of your life collections.

Iván Meade – What is next for Louis Ruíz?

Louis Ruíz – I am currently involve in a series of projects where the fundamental pieces and lineaments are about good design.  Not specifically in architecture or interior.  I have a dream to take the Mexican design sensibility to the next level and explore other avenues of design.



Interiors by Louis Ruíz


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?

Louis Ruíz – It could sound a bit arrogant to say that I am leaving a legacy.  What I love is to leave emotions, a change in perspective of how my clients live in their spaces, what are the memories that they create in them, an unforgettable way of living.


I invite you to visit Louis Ruiz’s website and learn more about his incredible work: