escape to santiago

a luxury residence within a hotel has us dreaming of travels afar.

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We’re not shy on wanderlust, but luxury lodgings certainly help inspire sweet escapes. This carefully curated space, located in the W Hotel Residences in Santiago, Chile, is the stuff of dreams. We chatted with Andrea Miranda, of A.M.A. Architecture & Interior Design to learn more about this project, and the awe inspiring pieces in it. Next stop, Santiago.

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HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT? I work between NY and Santiago, Chile. I was introduced to my client socially, in NY, through mutual friends and we really connected. We kept in touch for a few years and when he needed someone to design his home he contacted me. I happened to be spending some time in Chile for other projects at that time so it fit very well.

DID YOUR CLIENT HAVE A VISION FOR THE SPACE OR DID THEY LEAVE IT ALL TO YOU? My client needed a place he could call “home”. He had fallen in love with the idea of living in a place where the majority of his immediate necessities would be taken care off, as these residences basically function as a hotel. He did have a few requirements: he wanted an open space, loft feel, fluidity, and interconnectivity either spatial or visual between the rooms. But also with a possibility of privacy. He is an avid chess player so one of the rooms needed to have his favorite chess table, chair and chess set. He was also very attached to two paintings from a well-known artist friend of his that he was bringing over from his previous home. These paintings determined the color story that would drive the design; warm tones of beiges, ochre/mustards, grays, and light blues. The other requirement was a sense of warmth and sophistication in the furnishings and materials. He wanted a contemporary space that felt welcoming, staying clear from a minimalist esthetic, which made sense with his living situation and his desires for a home. I played with the juxtaposition of hard/opaque materials that absorb light and that I felt are associated with certain degree of masculinity–like leather, dark steel, black lacquers, textured dark woods and polished marbles. And other materials that are softer and more transparent, that reflect light, like light color velvets, silks, and chenille for larger pieces like the sofa. Lucite, the lattice wall/bedroom headboard main material, rugs made from alpaca wool, and linens for the walls. I wanted all the materials to have a real “feel” to them.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT A PROJECT OF THIS KIND? What I enjoyed the most was the freedom I had to create the space I thought was most related to his vision, his absolute trust, and quick decision making. I also enjoyed the fact that I was not only the designer but took over the construction management of the place, from all the subs, millworkers, etc, up to selecting all the finishes and furniture. I custom designed some furniture as well and styled the place. All in all, was a very well rounded experience.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? The biggest challenge was schedule/timeframe. All needed to come to fruition in 4.5-5 months, which is a titanic task, especially considering the construction coordination aspects that I took over.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE ASPECT OF THIS SPACE? The interconnectivity/fluidity of all the spaces and how a space this open and spatially modern can be warm and soft at the same time. It is designed, but is not rigid.

Another interesting aspect is how this apartment is experienced; the different scales and the relationships between them; the large scale, the city view, the interior openness and the smaller scale, more intimate that translates in the direct experience with materials.

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THAT STUNNING, LATTICE-LIKE WALL, IT’S GORGEOUS! Thanks! The lattice wall is an oversize upholstered headboard that runs from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, divided in vertical panels. Since the artwork would be located in other rooms, I felt I needed to dress up the master bedroom in something with more dimension, depth and tactile feel. The thought driving this decision was how to achieve warmth in the room, a certain degree of “coziness” if you wish, but sophisticated. The fabric is from Lelievre (Callison-Ivory) a small geometric design (diamond shape) which plays with light and shade. The diamonds are made of cut and uncut matte velvet pile, over an ivory matt satin background. Even though the geometry of it might seem structured from afar the minute you close in it has a very soft feel to it.

ARE THERE DESIGN ELEMENTS IN PLACE IN THIS SPACE THAT READERS SHOULD TRY FOR THEMSELVES AT HOME? Yes! Definitely. I think any bedroom could benefit from an upholstered headboard and it doesn’t need to be floor to ceiling or wall to wall. Though this is a grand gesture and does really dress a room. But even a smaller one is a significant design gesture and if the material and color selection is right it can really “make” a room.

The other design element that could be incorporated in any home is how to deal with the room’s partitions and the desired level of privacy. In this project the partitions are basically two types: pocket doors and pivot doors. The advantage of pocket doors-especially if they are large- is that when they are open the rooms really spill into each other. The bathroom doors are pocket doors here as well and when open it feels they are part of the bedrooms. Using pivot doors on the other hand, requires more space (for when they are open or semi open) but they act as a filter of sorts, offering various degrees of privacy. And they turn into a design feature on their own.

Another design element would be fabric in the walls. In this case I used linen, and in a taupe/beige color. It added instant softness but still kept the place sharp and contemporary.