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Interior Designer

Cigal Kaplan is an award-winning designer and founder of London-based design studio Cigal Kaplan Interiors, who carefully combine function and form to create captivating spaces for their clients. Here, Cigal discusses a Mexican architectural hero who inspires her work and passion for design.

My design process has always been inspired by the work of Luis Barragan. A Mexican legend of architecture. Barragan is one of the most creative designers of the 20th century. Born in Guadalajara. Barragan travelled widely in Europe, which inspired him and informed his designs.

His legacy includes notable works such as Fuente de los Amantes, the equestrian-inspired pink fountain northwest of Mexico City, and Torres de Satelite, the eye-catching, colourful sculptures in Naucalpan. But for me, my favourite design has to be the Luis Barragan House and Studio. It’s an autobiographical house, a masterpiece that transformed over time.

One reason why Barragan stands out to me so much is his seamless fusing of modern and traditional elements in his design. I’ve tried to take this approach forward and pay homage to his unique use of bold hues, artistic flair and interesting materials.

Luis Barragan strove for emotional architecture. His belief was that a home should not just look great. but should be a place for serenity. He used raw materials like metal, wood and stone, while of course his use of light, both natural and artificial, was all part of his way to create homes that represented life.

It was important to him to keep in mind the intimacy and refinement of design when using natural shapes and contrasting textures. His design was simple, welcoming and homely.

I too believe that a house should be a home. It should represent the family or the person that lives in it. The house you create and design is a home that will and should last. Trends come and go. but I aim to create an enduring home that will stand the test of time, and that my clients will still adore and feel at home in years into the future.

In an age where neutral tones are more popular than ever. I look to Barragan‘s eclectic design colour palette and feel newly inspired every time. I too use colour as a touch of magic that adds warmth and character. Like Barragan. I believe that mixing textures, materials and shapes adds depth and personality to a home.

My recent Heritage St John‘s Wood project embodied the many qualities I admire in Barragan‘s work: unexpected colour palettes, the fusing of the contemporary with the traditional and the use of natural materials where possible. For example, I contrasted a huge, eye-catching graffiti-style artwork with more traditional, muted furniture for the living room, while elsewhere in the home, modern, red- hued accessories such as cushions, rugs and side tables sat alongside traditional herringbone wood flooring and neutral—toned window dressings.

I feel that I understand my clients wholeheartedly and I am able to design what they need in order to fully represent them in their home. Mixing textures, natural materials and listening to the way they live enables me to design a home that will last a lifetime. Barragan’s vision and bravery in design has inspired me to create homes, not just houses. for my clients that they’ll feel comfortable in — and, of course, excited by – for years to come.

IG: @cigalkaplaninteriors

Interior Designer January 2024