An exclusive interview with ELLE DECOR’S Young Talents: Ana Hernández & Christophe Penasse!
Recognized as the rising stars of design by Elle Decoration and Architectural Digest Spain, Masquespacio designers are the thinkers behind Essential Home’s new furniture collection, called Hollywood Glamour. Christophe and Ana took us through an inspiring journey of their work, and, as a bonus, the young talents unveiled some exclusive details of their vision for their new collection for the mid-century modern brand.
Masquespacio is an award-winning creative consultancy created in 2010 by Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse. Combining the 2 disciplines of their founders, interior design and marketing, the Spanish design agency creates custom-made branding and interior projects through a unique approach that results in fresh and innovative concepts.
Ana Milena Hernández Palacios, an interior designer, and Christophe Penasse, a marketer, decided to combine their different industry backgrounds to make an agency where branding, product design, art direction and space design would come as one.
“In 2010 when Ana had recently finished her studies in interior design we found ourselves in a very tough financial crisis in Spain with few job opportunities. The few available jobs were looking for people who wanted to develop the technical part of the projects more, while Ana was more interested in developing her creativity. Therefore we decided together to found our own studio. At first, we were focused on decorating houses, but we realized very quickly that we wanted to design custom projects, so we quickly refocused on the commercial sector. We started by building a store and office to evolve into restaurant design. As an intermediate step, we also began to offer to brand and consulting services for furniture and lighting brands. We began to develop the strategies and artistic director of various brands. At this time we were already making custom products in our interior design projects, but we had not yet designed a product for a brand. We really wanted to design some pieces and after thinking about it a lot, we jumped into the pool there in 2015. The reception was a success and we were hooked on developing more collections.”
Ana Milena Hernández is the founder and creative director of Masquespacio. She is passionate about design and everything that has to do with it. For her design is much more than employment, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that makes her take care of every detail in her projects, looking for the optimal solution for every client, without losing the focus on distinguishing their brands from their competitors with fresh and innovative concepts.
Christophe Penasse is co-founder and actually marketing director of Masquespacio. As a marketeer he loves creating new concepts for his clients, giving greater importance to the design and identity of each brand. He likes everything to do with marketing, besides being passionate about design. At present, in addition to his job in Masquespacio, he is working as a chief editor for Blog del Diseño, a media specialized in design founded by Masquespacio.
“I (Christophe) had always had an entrepreneurial streak and when I saw that Ana couldn’t find a job in what she liked, I convinced her to set up our studio. We had been together for a couple of years at the time and she didn’t think much of it. The truth, however, is that neither of us came from families related to interior design and product design, nor architecture, so although we developed a business plan the first years we had a bit of finding our way, however, we were very clear that we had to offer something different to compete with the existing studios. Little by little, we began to develop our own vision. Especially because we realized right away that we were not satisfied with simply doing a project. We had to do something different, more innovative, and come up with a surprising result. We are people who like to progress, see the world differently, and try to face new challenges that help us in this evolution. As we were doing more projects we were able to start talking about our vision and we think that it is what makes us stand out today with our projects. As for our origins in Belgium and Colombia, they are highly reflected in our projects and our way of working. Maybe not so much in terms of style but in the Latin passion that Ana has in the projects and the Belgian methodology/structure of mine.”
“We create emotional projects, full of details and textures that surprise users, whether in an interior design project or in a product design. We also speak many times of our universe in which we mix colors, materials, and textures in search of innovative proposals for each client.”
Every time Masquespacio announces a fresh collection or design project we wait with bated breath to get a glimpse of each beautiful, artisan-crafted piece and décor! Hollywood Glamour is the new collection of the Spanish Design duo and for them, Essential Home is “first of all, of course, a mid-century inspired design. Secondly, a high-quality production that gets away from the timeless neutral creations we have seen a lot through Scandinavian brands, bringing an aesthetic that seeks more to present emotions and unique forms.”
“We were attracted by the brand already a few years ago. We felt that they were more into creating a unique aesthetic with a highly emotionally factor traduced in furniture collections full of surprising details. When Essential Home contacted us, since the beginning we were excited to develop some designs for them. For us, it is important that we feel connected with the brand that wants us to develop some items for them and this was the case with Essential Home. Thus, we offered a wide range of products from chairs and tables to barstools and even some lighting features. All the designs are divided into 2/3 main collections with each a different aesthetic and concept.”
The final result of the partnership between Masquespacio and mid-century brand Essential Home is a unique collection, just like in the movies, called “Hollywood Glamour”: A unique mid-century modern collection inspired by three of the most popular movie styles in that era, from passionate love affairs to fun burlesque environments. The idea is to connect the past and the present by reviving the bright side of old Hollywood glam.
“The collections are inspired by different actors and actresses from the past and the present and connect together or just can stand out separately. From the romantic movie ”An Affair to Remember”, to the burlesque world from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Charlie’s Angels.”
There is a significant move towards rounded shapes in interiors, particularly furniture like this cocooning chair. There are no hard edges and the round shapes are kinder and more welcoming.
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