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IN CONVERSATION WITH FABIÁN ÑÍGUEZ



Fabián Ñíguez – Vatea Estudio


Fabián Ñíguez is the principal designer behind the award wining and up and coming Vatea Estudio.   An interior design studio located in Madrid, Spain.

Vateas Estudio’s designs are extremely emotional, memorable, and always with a tactile quality that make of them warm and inviting paradises.  With a clever use of materials and always a tailored-curatorial art elements like Fabián’s own brass sculptures, made of his design choices unique – Fabián spaces don’t miss anything, they don’t need anything more.  This is the result of a well thought out process that is conveyed by a clear communication with his clients, having fun during the process with them, while guide them to a stunning  end result.

A master of of all things cool, Fabián has the ability to transform any space to exude plenty of personality.  With no room for the modest, his end goal is always to wake up an emotion.  Let’s get into the conversation.


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Fabián Ñíguez- I remember having a very strong connection with creativity and design from a young age.  I remember spending many hours drawing and painting, and while I was at it; I used to create architectural forms made of cardboard.  I used paper, scissors and glue to create new spaces and unique scenes to compliment my own games.

I also remember moving all the furniture in my room, of course my mother was never a big fan of my vision – lol – I remember moving the furniture from one side to to other to create space for me to play.  So my own room got many adaptations since my elementary schooling to my grad studies.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- For me the creative part is the most fun, it is the part that keeps me going.  Letting my imagination fly while giving my clients a direction based on their needs, all this while creating a space that is unique and memorable.  The gift of the unexpected is so gratifying.  To give to the client a unique experience based on who they are.  I love sharing the process with my clients.  Like in any good relationship, a strong  synergy will create a better results.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


Iván Meade – What is the story behind Vatea Estudio your design studio?

Fabián Ñíguez- Vatea Estudio had a very natural start.  The beginnings were with a design partner.  At the present time I am the only one at the front.  I am a dreamer by nature, but also very commanding in my goals.  When I was forming as an interior architect I always knew I would have my own design studio.  The name Vatea is something I learned on one of my trips.  Vatea is an Indonesian term that translates to the father of men that knows how to take risks.   I just love the meaning of the word as it truly reflects my design philosophy.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez – I am constantly learning and as a result I live a constant creative evolution.  For me, more than breaking the rules I try to investigate rigorously to always give to my clients that unique verve.  I keep my eyes open to rediscover beauty in the darkest of places.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- This is totally true.  The clients of today understand more about design than before.  Today we have many tools that the clients can use to express what are the likes.  At the end of the day you need to translate their wishes, and adapt those wishes to the space needs while using the fundaments of design.  Also we need to guide the client to the process, so they understand our line of thought to get the results everybody expects.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez – Currently Spain is living a contemporary design revolution of some sorts.  There is a big social interest involving sustainability.  The designers of today are adapting their own mould to new parameters and new processes to create their designs.

There is a tireless investigation about all the new materials without forgiving the more traditional ones.  Also, there is a new interest in how artisans work and how we can use their knowledge in new ways to revive their craft  that sadly was ignored for many years all around Spain.

I am a firm believer that you need to know how to contextualize a process to obtain the very best of your designs.  In my opinion, I understand that my profession is framed as part of the world globalization we live today.  With this in mind you need to be very sharp in how to adapt while creating new designs.  I also believe you need to work with what is in your backyard as well what the world has to offer.  Not limiting yourself.  As mentioned before, clients are more educated than ever and this will definitely give edge to their spaces while making them not just functional, but beautiful and memorable.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


Iván Meade – What do you like and dislike about the existing design scene in Spain?

Fabián Ñíguez- Spain has lived some years where we had the democratization of design, making design affordable to the masses and making this a constant topic through the magazines and TV shows.  I consider myself to be a very respectful person with any kind of work, and more the work that is being presented in my industry.  Now-a-days people don’t worry about eating well in a restaurant, for them is to have a unique  experience in a space that is memorable and be able to share that through social media.  Madrid as many other cities in Spain is representing this movement.  Design is becoming a necessity to enhance all kinds of experiences.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- To be true to yourself and keep your eyes open to your surroundings.  Try to absorb everything around you.  You never know where the next idea is coming from, and never never forget to take risks.

To be honest, and have a good dose of self-esteem to keep believing in yourself and how far you can go.  Always designing with passion and emotion to achieve any goal you might have.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- To me design is everything.  When somebody hires me to design their space the client usually knows that I will bring an added value to the space and improve it in a way that he/she doesn’t know how to do.  I have been very fortunate that my clients truly understand that I am work with the best interest of their needs at heart and that I will improve the space to add value to their investment.  At the end, they will have a unique space that will not only represent them, a space that will be exquisite adding value to the property while improving their lifestyle.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- Always the next project.  Always looking to be motivated to do my best work not only now, but visualizing the next projects that are around the corner.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


Iván Meade – You were recently invited to collaborate in the prestigious Home Show – Casa Décor Madrid 2019 with your room entitled “Freedom Twist” – What is the inspiration behind this room and what surprises have you prepared for this project?

Fabián Ñíguez – The liberty to create and turn 180 degrees from the traditional to the contemporary was the inspiration for this project.  Currently in Madrid they are renovating many palaces like the building selected for this years edition for Casa Decor.  This was the starting point to design the space.  The challenge is to create a new space with the conveniences of today without loosing the timeliness and presence of the space.

The design team’s goal was established since the beginning, that we want to create a space that doesn’t need an introduction and can stand out in its own.  A space that invites the patrons to discover every detail.  We take care of every detail using classic materials.  We want to create a unique atmosphere that could translate in a unique universe where the visitor could have the liberty to wonder while becoming the main actor of this stage.  Our main goal is to have a unique twist to the space creating memorability.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- From my house I am very fortunate to like every aspect as my house has become a laboratory of my own creative ideas.  It is a space that evolves and changes constantly while reflecting my own personality as a creative and as a designer.



Fabían Ñíguez and one of his incredible sculptures


Iván Meade – What is the thing you cannot live without ?

Fabián Ñíguez-  I need to laugh – I can’t live a day without laughing.  I am a very optimistic and a dreamer and feeling happy is important to me.  I cannot live without friends, love having nice meals in nice restaurants and sharing this with the people I love enhances the whole experience to the next level.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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

Fabián Ñíguez- Something that truly represents the inhabitants of the space.  A house needs to be the reflection of the person who lives on that space.  A home needs to truly transmit this quality from the moment you open the door.



Fabián Ñíguez inspecting a project


Iván Meade – What is next for Vatea Estudio?

Fabián Ñíguez- Currently I am investigating and exploring new ways to bring uniqueness to my designs.  New uses of materials as well exploring my artistic side as a sculptor working with brass, copper and aluminium.  I always like to go beyond my comfort zone and discover that unique element that ever body misses and that I use in my favour.



Interiors by Vatea Estudio


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?

Fabián Ñíguez- I don’t believe in legacy.  I consider myself a person who is in constantly learning .  Now a days I have the firm idea to enjoy what I do as much as I can, always showing my passion through the work I do, waking up new emotions on my clients, if I can achieve that I consider myself happy.


I invite you to visit Vatea Estudio’s website and splendid body of work:

instagram @vateaestudio

instagram @fabianniguez