Designer Maria Barros has opened a display space in coastal Cascais to showcase her signature. "Interior design is my life and pasion," she says. "I am always looking for the bright and the bling in life and that shows my work. It's fun, colorful, it pulses - it's alive!"
HOW DID YOU START OUT IN DESIGN?
This love of interiors started in my childhood, playing with my dolls and always concerned about the way their rooms were arranged and if they had the right furniture. I was always organizing my mum's closet, decorating my room and dragging my father to interior design stores in Lisbon to make new cushions for my bed.
I never thought I could be an interior designer until I had my first apartment when I was in my early twenties. My Aunt came over and absolutely loved all the changes I made to the place and she was the one that said: "You absolutely must do this for a living!" At that time I had studied some graphic design and had art lessons. Interior design as a profession wasn't really on the map. When you are 21 you just need some encouragement. I slowly started searching for interior design schools and four years later I went to KLC in London for one of the greatest experiences of my life.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SHOWROOM
My showroom was a very old house that was for sale for some time and I used to drive by on my way to take my kids to school. I thought that's one cute little house and one day I stopped to call. That's how it started and there was almost two years of a long reconstruction work process to make it look like it does today - beautiful and with this great white vibe. We moved in the end of summer and are absolutely in love with space.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS BEHIND CREATING A GREAT INTERIOR FOR SOMEONE?
I always have to trust my gut feeling and let the ideas flow. Don't be restrained by stereotypes and by what people expect to be normal and appropriate. In order to do something great, fun and different you have to leave all insecurities behind.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
In nature - I am always staring at the sky and at the ocean. The different hues of blues and greens are a perpetual source of inspiration. I also get inspired by traveling - looking at the world from a different perspective keeps my creative brain alive. I like to swim in the sea and lay in the sand to enjoy the sun - that's when all the ideas come to surface!
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