Washington, DC-based interior designer Bernardo Longueira has been interested in the feel of spaces since childhood, when he would rearrange his bedroom furniture on a regular basis, get involved in decorating at Christmas and painting walls at home. His 3D rendering skills have become an increasingly important tool in translating his vision to his clients since traditional house visits have become less commonplace.
Who and where are your clients? My clients are from everywhere and each is unique, they have their own taste, their own lifestyle, their own vision towards interior design. It’s awesome to connect to people from around the world. I have done projects in Mexico, US, India, the UK and here in the US.
How do you interpret lifestyles and create suitable spaces? The first thing is to find what motivates a client, what hobbies they have, their likes and dislikes, their intended use of space. As soon as you enter a home, it tells you so much about the person that lives there. If they are organised, if they like colour or not, if they read books, what kind of music they listen to. A lifestyle questionnaire is given to each client. We collate inspirational pictures before a meeting to establish the project. Often people might like something but they don’t know why, so it’s my job to explain how the space can work, the psychology of colour, etc. It’s all about energy, what kind of mood you want to transmit and communicate with the people that use the space. It’s a philosophy, it’s telling a story.
How do you go about incorporating rugs into your projects? Rugs are in charge of anchoring each piece of furniture in the space. Shoes complete an outfit and in some cases will outshine what you’re wearing; it’s the same for rugs. I use rugs as the foundation—the starting point of a gorgeous space. For customers that really know what they want, custom rugs are great. Rugs have become works of art in their own right. They not only provide a decorative element, but are also great on walls, something which is trending right now. They create a cohesive look, inject character and personality and are a great way to introduce pattern to neutral spaces. They also add an extra dimension with texture. Rugs can be a gamechanger as to how a room looks and feels.
Which rug brands do you favour and why? The Rug Company, Restoration Hardware and Eskayel. They create exquisite high-end handknotted and handwoven artisan products.
Can you explain how your e-design service was developed and how it is being used? Before the pandemic I used the traditional method of visiting clients’ homes to connect with them. During lockdown, I couldn’t connect with clients physically, so I started creating 3D visualisations in order to project my vision. I’ve had to adapt but it’s opened up doors. More people are considering interior design and it’s very easy to expose your work on social media. It has become a significant part of my business. I had a client who wanted me to design a master bedroom and kitchen—he provided the floorplan from the real estate agency and from that I was able to complete the project. Currently 50 percent of my business is e-design and 3D rendering services.