“I can’t imagine my life without design.”
Inés Benavides may have a passion for architecture, art and aesthetics, but her talents go way beyond that of an artist. The talented Spaniard not only runs her own interior design business, she also speaks four languages and trained as a mining engineer.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Inés Benavides, a Spanish designer, married with a 17 year old daughter. I am crazy about architecture, art and design. I have directed numerous interior design projects in Spain and abroad, specializing in urban residential projects, offices and commercial property. I also design and create furniture. These pieces have been shown at international contemporary art fairs, art galleries and public institutions.
Tell us about your education.
I studied in French schools in different countries of Europe and America. After school I decided to pursue a solid academic background and trained as a mining engineer in Madrid and Paris.
Why did you choose to train as a mining engineer?
I was a good student at school, especially in physics and mathematics. I thought if I studied a strong degree, it would be a good start for my career and a good way to have the best education.
How and when did you discover your love for aesthetics and design?
I come from a family with great artistic interests and from a young age I discovered my passion for aesthetics. My parents used to take my sisters and I to museums and art galleries and I started designing and making small pieces of jewellery when I was 15 years old.
When did you decide to start your own design studio? How was it at the beginning and what challenges did you face at the start-up stage?
In 2002 I decided to pursue my true passion and set up an interior design studio. At the beginning I started designing and selling furniture, which was difficult because nobody knew me. After a few years I had quite a name as a furniture designer and that gave me the opportunity to start as an interior designer.
Can you remember your first design project?
The first project was, of course, my own house. It was a good way to show my abilities to other potential clients.
How would you describe your design style? How varied are your designs? Do you have a signature touch with your designs?
My style is eclectic, cosmopolitan, cheerful and modern. I love modern designs but in my projects I also include antique pieces that give spaces a special touch. My signature is this mix of modern and antique.
What do you love about being a designer? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Design has been my hobby since I was a kid. It´s my way of living, my passion. I can´t imagine my life without design. My inspiration comes from everything I see around me; my travels, the museums, a beautiful space, etc.
What are some of your most popular designs/projects? Tell us a bit about some of them and what you love about them. What’s your favourite and why?
It is difficult to choose. In terms of furniture, the most popular is the CUBB, a piece that can be used as a table or stool. My preferred interior design project is always the last one. I put so much energy, work and enthusiasm into my projects, they become my little babies!
Is there anything exciting you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
I have several projects now, but I am very excited about working on a luxury furniture collection in bronze.
What is your philosophy on design and life?
My best achievement has been being able to make a living from my big passion – design. When you really love what you do, you become really good at it. And, of course, you have a lot of fun.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
Sometimes projects take a long time and you have to be very patient to see the final result. The most rewarding moment is when my clients come into their house for the first time and they are really happy with the result and very grateful to the team for making it possible.
Tell us something unusual that happened in your career.
I become very close with some of my clients because, through their houses, I enter their lives. When you enter someone else´s family, there are often unusual situations. Sorry, but I have to be discreet about the details!
We have heard that you have lived in many different countries and also speak different languages.
My father was an ambassador so I have lived in 7 countries and speak 4 languages. My life in large European and American cities allowed me to learn about different ways of life, cultures and aesthetics.
What is your favourite way to spend your weekend?
I love being with my husband and daughter. Anything around them is the best plan.
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
Be very honest with yourself when you design or when you work on a project. The project will be good only if your stick with your own style.
Your message for us at CP magazine:
Thanks to CP Magazine for the chance of having my work known in the Middle East. I love your magazine!