A trip around cities throughout the world, stopping off in the shoes of those who share Preventi´s point of view, a way of working, travelling and dreaming and a challenge: meeting them personally and letting them choose their favourite pair from the collection. Which one is yours?
Alicante, 19th of May, 2009.
The boutique owned by the Interior designer Toni Espuch is a place to discover a brand whose name says it all: Azul Tierra. Furniture with antique patinas and a natural finish fill a shop that invites passers by to just come in for a while and feel at home in the company of serenity conveyed by their natural colours, without having to worry about fragility. Soft fabrics like the sky, oriental rugs, French candles and freshly cut roses in glass vases round off a visit where the exceptional pieces of decoration brought back from trips around the world are the centre pieces.
Alicante is the second stop off in the Global Nomads Project. A journey in search of the keys to Toni Espuch´s style, a result of twenty years of team work, at times daring but always noble, capable of transforming any empty room in a home, and converting a restaurant, house or a hotel into a perfect world, different from the norm.
Preventi continues its trip to cities around the world in search of Global Nomads. After meeting Felice Limosani in Florence, Alicante is the second stop off in this big adventure that has just begun…. And how about you, how far do you want to go?
Toni Espuch in 42 words:
I adore Narwhal as a decorative piece. The House is a reflection of its occupant’s fantasies and inner world. I like the taste of red wine. Finding really original objects is very difficult these days. I never travel without my credit cards. A dream? To fly. My goal is to be able to create other worlds through interior design. A combination of colours? Blue and brown. I feel at home wherever I feel comfortable, and surrounded by beauty. Never have synthetic materials at home. Mixing is easy; it isn’t that difficult to mix properly, it just needs a strong judgment. Lanvin is one of my favourite designers. My home is somewhere I go for refuge. Love is magic. Every country has something special about it. Where would I like to go next? Madagascar. Doing things better than ever before, is our objective.
The “Toni Espuch” model is an ankle boot made in “ochre” coloured double faced split leather, with a rubber sole, machine washed, naturally dried and hand finished. Its Goodyear stitching named after the Manufacturer at the end of the XIX century who came up with a special technique to double stitch the shoe, makes it a classic, comfortable and versatile accessory.
“I like this model for its vintage touch, with such natural leather and because they don’t look as if they are “brand new”. I like shoes that age well, just like furniture. Sometimes, when you buy new shoes, when you first start wearing them it’s as though you want to “almost try and hide them”, until they get that natural touch that I like so much in clothes. What is more, they have an air of being fun and carefree, I could wear them anywhere”.
Toni Espuch and his team from Azul Tierra love magic. They perform magic tricks every time they finish setting up one of their projects, it is like a ritual for them: candles, fresh flowers, music and drinks are the finishing touches of a celebration that is only complete once the work has been shown to the client.
Espuch, who within Spain runs one boutique in Alicante and two others in Madrid and Barcelona, is a person who believes that interior design produces happiness. His haulage contractors, who are sometimes thrilled to see the delight on the clients faces, can vouch for this. And this team really enjoys creating personal worlds where the rooms actually talk to those within them, and daily life turns into an experience for all the five senses.
Preventi: Frank Miller Said “You can’t look for style; it is just a reflection of who you really are”. What does a room decorated by Azul Tierra reflect?
Toni Espuch: Naturalness. We aim to make life more pleasant using the objects that surround us. Everyone’s style undoubtedly reflects a certain way of being, that’s why we are committed to using fine materials, that age over time and get this finish from who they coexist with, which makes them special.
Preventi: In terms of interior design, do you think it is counterproductive to let yourself get carried away by the extravagance of trends?
Toni Espuch: I think that, trends, interior design and fashion are all different areas. Homes are not being changed constantly. We value objects that we acquire much more, and therefore, they are everlasting. In general, I am more in favour of evolving alongside objects. When you buy a piece of furniture or an ornament, you should think that you are going to have it for the rest of your life. You can be up to date with interior design trends, but not everything at home has to be fashionable.
Preventi: Where do you get your inspiration from when embarking on an interior design project?
Toni Espuch: Normally I trust my intuition when I first see a room. To convey something honest, I try and get to know the people who are going to live in the house: see how the family lives, what their plans are, if they own other houses, if it is just one person who is going to use the room, or if it is someone who travels a lot and is only going to be there from time to time… In this case, we like to come up with more theatrical projects that turn the room into a more special place. Otherwise, I tend to be a bit more sober and austere.
Preventi: How does the client –interior designer tandem work?
Toni Espuch: Personally, I think the client-interior designer tandem is really important. Both in terms of fashion and in decoration, styles are never forced: it is the person who wears the suit, not the suit making the person wear it. Likewise, it is not the house influencing the person but rather the other way round. Occasionally you come across someone who isn’t naturally dressed; they look as though they are in fancy dress, because they don’t know how to behave in the garment they are wearing. Something similar happens with the house: it must be a reflection of the soul of whoever is going to live there. The interior design is there to provide criterion, although in order to do a good job it is very important that there is a link between the home and its owner.
Preventi: India is one of your favourite places. What appeals to you so much about this country?
Toni Espuch: I like the fact that the people are so modest, their eyes convey a lot of peace. In general, I think that they live slightly better than we do. Many people think that India is just poverty, but I think that they have a great deal of wealth, wisdom in part and respect for their elders, which are all deeply rooted in their culture. In Europe, it seems that when we get old we are taken off the market. There, you get the impression that the older you are, the more others listen to you and respect you. Perhaps that’s it, that here in the West we just don’t know how to listen. In India in general people are poorer, but they have more time to live. When I go there, I like the fact that I always find hand crafted artefacts that are of an amazing quality. Their perspective of furniture is extremely natural; the pieces aren’t as refined as in Europe, but they are very easy to live with.
Preventi: True or False?
In interior decoration, less is more- Toni Espuch: True.
Good taste is expensive. Toni Espuch: False.
The client is always right: Toni Espuch: False. But we say they are. (laughs).
Money doesn’t produce interior design: Toni Espuch: True.