Monday, March 9, 2015

the interior design puzzle - one piece at the time

As a professional designer I know what I like; sharing a home with a life partner teaches the art of compromising, and it helps to discover new things to like.
  Articulating a design style when you move in with your lover is not easy, it becomes a process of understanding each others taste and accepting a long process of editing, and selecting one piece at the time.

Furniture, materials, textures, colours, and lighting are some of the fundamental elements of interior design; it is all like a puzzle, each element needing to find the right place to consolidate and compliment the whole. 

1000 SF Downtown Toronto, lofty open space with exposed concrete walls, and 10' ceilings. The result, an eclectic selection of furniture, combining modern pieces with some antiques; several original Eames chairs by HermanMiller Collection, timeless TON chairs (1861 Thonet Chair), Mapp table by Air Division, Slepper couch by BENSEN, Kalpana kilim rug, desk and custom design room divider by aagency 'BOOX'; a series of boxes framed to create a spatial volume to conceal and define the open room. 

A modern kitchen warmly illuminated by a Tolomeo off-centered suspension light fixture, white lacquered cabinets, and Caesarstone counter tops, neutralizes the general canvas and balances with the eclectic flare of combining different points of view and tastes.

Time and patience results on harmony to the lovers nest.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A lesson learned

 “Life is tough. Life as an entrepreneur is tougher.”

It has been awhile since I posted on my personal Blog, and there is lots to tell and to document for future references, and maybe to help and inspire others looking to open or advance their hospitality or design business. This is a post about what I’ve learnt recently, and what I am still learning.

During the pass few months the curve went up high, I got to understand how fragile a business operation can be if you don’t look after it, almost a metaphor for life itself. Most of you know me as a designer, but I am also a restaurant owner. The complexity of a restaurant demands attention, one need to be on top, to routinely check on productivity, quality, and consistency; always looking after the clientele, and most important always understanding how the business is really doing.

An entrepreneur fuels the organization ideas to succeed. They represent the core of the business, always guiding and keeping alive the original concept; a responsible business owner accepts when things are not going so well, and when they need help.

Life is about the choices you make. There’s no such thing as “getting lucky”. Hard work, tenacity, and learning from failure determine how successful you become.

Entrepreneurs should stay focused. It is up to you if you are going to make it.

Dan Waldschmidt, business strategist explains some of the lessons every entrepreneur keep learning:
  1. Sometimes your best effort isn't good enough to land you a deal.
  2. You can’t learn if you aren’t willing to listen.
  3. The only way to get other people to care about you is to care about them first.
  4. You can’t find opportunities for success if you aren’t looking for them.
  5. Just because social media is free doesn’t mean it gets you results.
  6. You have to change the conversation before you can close the deal.
  7. The difference between success and failure is just a decision to keep trying.
  8. If you market like a “person” you have a better chance of getting people to buy.
  9. Just because all your competitors are doing it doesn’t mean you should too.
  10. You don’t have to build rapport to build trust. Chit-chat is overrated.
  11. Pretending like you never make mistakes doesn’t make it so.
  12. Working smarter is a result of hard work; not a replacement for it.
  13. Your big moment usually comes before you’re ready for it.
  14. “Apologies” and “Thank You’s” are the best way to create a conversation on your terms.
  15. You have to give a lot to get a lot.
  16. Spend less time networking and handing out business cards. Be amazing. People will find you.
  17. Once you provide the answer people stop listening. Leave clues instead.
  18. There is no easy way out for big problems; but there is always a way out.
  19. Negativity isn’t reality. Not for you. Not for your critics.
  20. You don’t need permission to start marketing to a prospect.
  21. Being “professional” is key to getting prospects to want to do business with you.
  22. Working smart will get you more applause. Working hard will get more done in the long run.
  23. Sometimes bad things happen to good people with great strategies.
  24. Just because it hasn’t worked out already doesn’t mean that it won’t ever.
  25. Anything that is easy to do isn’t going to lead to success.
  26. Ironically, the quickest way to become an expert is to defy industry experts.
  27. The number of people who believe in you doesn’t correlate to your chances of success.
  28. Being the smartest person in the room doesn’t necessarily make you rich or wise.
  29. You don’t have to be “up for the job” to finish the job.
  30. If you haven’t failed a lot, you probably aren’t going to win a lot.
  31. Experience is what you get just after you need it.

Life gives you choices and sometimes we make mistakes and let people down, but when connections are strong they will become stronger. A business is almost like a friendship.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sarah Lewis: Creativity and Privacy Go Hand in Hand

Much of modern creativity advice focuses on "getting your work out there" and networking with others. But great work often requires that we work in isolation. When writing her book The Rise, Sarah Lewis sent an early draft to her editor when she learned this lesson the hard way. "I wasn't ready for his critique, and it ended up costing me six months of work," she says.
In this talk, Lewis speaks to the importance of the private domain. Whether its Susan Sontag, Albert Einstein, or Maya Angelou many of the greats made sure they carved out a special time and place for their craft. "Putting something out in the world," says Lewis. "Requires a temporary removal from it."

See her talk on this link:

Sunday, September 11, 2011


elee 2004

"Design Thinking refers to the methods and processes for investigating ill-defined problems, acquiring information, analyzing knowledge, and positing solutions in the design and planning fields. As a style of thinking, it is generally considered the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context. While design thinking has become part of the popular lexicon in contemporary design and engineering practice, as well as business and management, its broader use in describing a particular style of creative thinking-in-action is having an increasing influence on twenty-first century education across disciplines. In this respect, it is similar to systems thinking in naming a particular approach to understanding and solving problems."

Five years at OCAD University guided my understanding on the meaning of thinking. The final core project to graduate represents the beginning of my design career. Inspired by Autism, the thesis spoke about a perception on today's human behaviors in the urban context. Isolation vs. socialization came to be the primary focus on the architectural exploration of design thinking.

Concept model / Thesis Core Project
OCAD University

Monday, September 5, 2011




elee 2011

The project consists in a series of boxes of different sizes, all organized rhythmically and contained within a solid frame. It creates possibilities of storage for books, tableware or other things around the household, it adapts to your needs.

The idea of showing only what you want to show, and keeping hidden those items you want to keep behind doors. It continues a dialogue on "revealing and concealing" as a concept.

The case study makes for a great storage unit for small spaces.
Make your own configuration by placing boxes as you desire.

For inquires please contact:
© 2008

Saturday, September 3, 2011

AFTER TWO YEARS, there are many stories to tell.

two years of absence from the blog, and i am back.
i was away working on the foundation of my career;
arepa café, a forty seats restaurant dedicated to sale arepas in the city of Toronto.
its mandate is to promote Venezuelan food and culture in Canada.

grilled arepas

arepa is a grilled corn meal bread, nutrional and gluten free.
it is the bread of northern South America.

the restaurant project has been a platform for the design/entrepreneurship objectives.
the process started by working a concept and creating the business plan, developing construction drawings for the interior design of arepa café. we execute the design and open for business.

we have been on Queen Street West for almost two years and had sold about forty thousand arepas, thanks to a supportive and curious community.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


dimensions cm 180L 79W 75H
entry console walnut
desk lacquered wood
small spaces

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Japanese House

Set aside a room or a certain hour of the day
Where you do not even know what is in the morning papers
And bring forth what you are, and what you might be
This is a place of creation and incubation
A sacred place that you use every day
At first you might think nothing is happening
But something will happen
And you will eventually find yourself again and again

                                                                  Joseph Campbell

A home is, above all, an opportunity for deepening our living experience. This function of the house is as relevant today as it was a thousand years ago. However, the house also serves as a stage for various other functions, which have evolved over time in response to social, economic, and technological changes. Before the Industrial Revolution, the home was a place where family produced, processed, and stored essentials like food and clothing. During the 20th century, such task started to shift into the factory and office, which replace the home as the locus of trade and business. During the current Information Age, however, the trend is partially reversing itself with the rise of telecommunications. As our lifestyles change, the way we think about our houses and the way we use them will continue to change too.

NE Aparments

Japanese architects Akiyoshi TakagiYuji Nakae and Hirofumi Ohno have collaborated on NE Apartments, a block of eight apartments for motorcycle enthusiasts in Tokyo.

The c-shaped design was a practical decision to allow the residents to access their apartments through a common alley that leads right to the center of the complex.

This 8-unit rental apartment house complex was designed to house motorcycle enthusiasts, with a built-in garage included in every unit.

The building is located on a flag-shaped plot near the apex of a triangular block, with a certain degree of open space toward the main road to the south.

On the entrance side, each floor is fitted with a continuous strip of curved windows, with a comparatively wider opening on the second level. The orientation of each room was set to avoid a direct view of the opposite apartment. Combined with a double-paned window, this setting provides a peculiar feeling of privacy.

The walls separating each apartment unit were disposed in a radial pattern, each with a gentle curve that leads them to meet the external wall at a right angle. By connecting the angles of each room, the curved walls contribute to give the impression of a more spacious environment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Caracas, Venezuela

The most recent visit to APARTAMENTO 82 reaffirmed my own principles of classic aesthetics, which are part of a way of thinking when it comes to space design.

The collection:
  • Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair. KNOLL
  • Chair by Maurice Burket for Arakana Ltd1960
  • Vico Magistretti, Selene Chair, 1969
  • Le Corbusier LC2 Sofa. CASSINA
  • Piero de Martini, La Barca Table. CASSINA, 1975
  • Leather Daybed. CAPUY
  • Jonathan Adler, Accessories

Sunday, January 11, 2009


materials:  American Walnut; Honed Statuary Marble; ABET Laminati. faucet: Arne Jacobsen, Vola Collection

...a loft renovation in the city of Toronto, Canada.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


...a series of boxes to store books and more.
books in boxes, to conceal and to reveal
IT allows to create various compositions with stackable boxes within its frame

finishes: lacquered; laminates; wood.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The process of Interior Design starts with that first conversation, all information spoken helps trigger ideas for an initial “design response”.

...while ideas incubate to develop the detail later-on in the process,
the space is explore in a 3D model. These are conceptual drawings.

At this point the an initial budget is presented,
Contractors provide rough estimates on how much the project will cost.
The design is adapted to the actual budget.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


LINEA 1 is a series of custom-made modular furniture for the modern space. Its architectural design is built by Custom Mobilia with impecable finishes ( brings beauty, comfort and organization to the house.

Storage sculpting the interior space, walnut boxes, and white lacquered credenza base.
LINEA 01 is adaptable, sturdy and neutral.

The final result:

Friday, February 15, 2008


BECO retail store, Caracas.
Graphics Image Victor Pastore at Red-Visual.
Fashion Design by Juan Carlos Vivas at noone.