Meet Interior Designer Gabriel Santos
In our Interior Designers on Mallorca series, we interview local designer Gabriel Santos who talks about his love of creating clear, practical, comfortable and functional spaces and his happiness to be back living and working on Mallorca.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Mallorca (Sóller) but from a very early age, creative interests led me towards Barcelona and a few years later to Cologne in Germany.
How long have you been living on Mallorca?
After having lived for many years outside Spain, it is a luxury to be able to work and become involved in projects in these surroundings. I came back to the island six years ago but I never lost my personal or professional contact with the island.
What do you love most about living on Mallorca?
Actually the light, something I previously did not value, but after many years in central Europe, light has become important for me.
Where is your interior design space?
At the moment our studio can be found in Sóller, in the Plaza Principal next to the church and in the heart of the Sierra de Tramutana. We have reformed an old flat with a large balcony and have created a comfortable space to work.
How would you describe your décor style?
I really value the influences of the setting, the light and the materials… To create clear, practical, comfortable and functional spaces. Consistency applied in the context and uses thoroughly studied. Each project must have its own soul transmitting positive feelings, improving the quality of life of the people who live in it. We don’t follow concrete styles or fashion trends. Fashion changes, design doesn’t.
Give me a profile of your typical client.
A sensitive person who values the help of professionals. Someone who knows how to transmit their desires and needs, as well as being open to new suggestions. We have collaborated with many different clients, some with fixed budgets others with huge projects and more ambitious ideas. In general, the clients are becoming more and more demanding and this makes the work more intense, enriching the result.
What is your top interior design tip for readers?
I am impressed by the simplicity and the balance between materials, light and the surroundings that the Danish architect Jørn Utzon achieved in his two projects in Mallorca. Striving for something always attracts me. The quality of simplicity. A subtle dialogue with the essence of Mallorca.
What would be your dream project?
It is almost imposible to give only one example. But something like being able to transform spaces with traditional functionalities into something completely different always attracts me. We have fantastic examples: convents turned into hotels or churches into public libraries, always respecting the personality of the building and with enriching results. It is important to be able to break outlines and give new ideas.
Which is the most interesting project you have ever done and why?
Without doubt it is the 4-star Hotel Barceló Hamburg, due to the different challenges and objectives of the project. Here we had to work intensely on each individual space, we found challenges in each space of the building, but we achieved a well-balanced result. I was satisfied by being able to read the positive comments from the clients.