NEW YORK - Juan Carretero, was born in Mexico City in 1975. He holds credentials in real estate investment, architecture and interior design from institutions in Australia, Mexico and the United States.
His experience through his firm, Capital C Interiors based in New York since 2004, includes a wide range of residential and commercial projects tailored and curated individually for a loyal base of international clients.
His trademark is an eclectic approach to spaces that combine the old and the new, casually and elegantly, but always with a dash of humor. His rooms usually evoke a collected, bohemian yet refined aura inspired by his own background. Having worked in different countries and cultures has given him a deep appreciation for local craftsmanship and tradition.
Juan J. Carretero is an International Member of the American Institute of Architects, he is currently completing a Diplomatic Villa in Washington DC and has been published in books, magazines and media outlets around the world.
INTERIOR DESIGNER JUAN CARRETERO. PHOTO BY JACOB SADRAK.
Why did you transition from architecture to interior design?
I would define myself as an architect of interiors. Inevitably both worlds merge in our work on a daily basis. Without good bones, good architecture, good proportions, there is little hope for interiors. I like to design from the inside out.
What inspired your exhibition design for the Latin American sales?
We imagined moments or rooms that would reflect the environments in which some of the works would have been originally conceived. For the amazing selection of Fernando Botero paintings and sculptures we thought about conceptualizing the green luscious landscapes of Colombia as a background to his graceful characters. As an homage to Luis Barragan and his collaborations with Mathias Goeritz we used the powerful colors and heavy walls that characterized the masterpieces of the late Mexican architect.
Who are some of the Latin American artists who have inspired you?
So many to choose from! The great Mexican muralists marked an era; Lucio Fontana and Mathias Goeritz with their minimalist work are incredible. Gabriel Orozco and Adriana Varejao are groundbreaking. The work of all these artists is deeply driven by their exploration of Latin culture and their own identity. Olga de Amaral for example integrates craft, art and design into extraordinary beauty. These are all elements that we strive for in our interiors.
PHOTO BY JACOB SADRAK.
What are your favorite pieces in the Latin American Modern and Contemporary Art auctions?
This is an outstanding collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces so it’s hard to pick favorites but pretty much every piece from Jesus Rafael Soto is special to me. The impact of these large-scale, geometric works creates very interesting optical dynamics. Also close to my heart are the two surrealist works by Leonora Carrington, for which we built a very intimate mystical chapel as a background to display them.
What distinguishes Latin American decorative sensibilities?
Our spirited personalities translate into more sensual environments full of joy and color.
PHOTO BY YANNIS MALEVITIS.
What insights do you have about incorporating artwork into an interior?
Scale is the most important matter to assess. I don’t believe in matching art to interiors but they should definitely complement each other. Whenever possible it is best to start a project knowing the artwork, but it is usually the other way around. Lighting design is particularly important to our projects. You can achieve a lot of different moods by having art that is well placed and lit. We usually work with our clients in finding the pieces that speak to them while also making sure they work with their rooms
Describe your design philosophy.
Every project is different. I don’t have any rules except to respect the environment as much as possible. We tend our design towards the use of elements that enhance the architecture. We do not like “decorating” for the sake of it. Editing is crucial. Comfort is equivalent with client satisfaction in the long run. High and low; old and new; antiques and contemporary art; I love this mix. It is interesting and it gives you a sense of timelessness and personality. Slapping each room in the face a little with something unexpected and witty creates tension, drama and beauty.