9 Questions For a Minimalist
“I love the National Mall,” says 32-year-old interior designer Veronica Revilla.
“Especially at night when all the monuments are illuminated and most of the tourists are gone. I like to think about the designers and builders who created these timeless structures, and admire the choice of materials and quality of craftsmanship.”
Originally from Peru, Revilla moved to Washington, DC 14 years ago. Last year, she opened up her own work space at the artist studios on 52 O Street.
Just recently, she designed the space for Take Care in Georgetown, a conscious makeup and skincare brand. We caught up with the minimalist designer for a daily dose of inspiration and tips on decluttering the inner and outer spaces we live in.
Meet The Minimalist
What does minimalism mean to you? Is it a concept or a lifestyle?
Minimalism helps us connect to what matters most to us. It reduces the noise around us and helps us focus. It’s a lifestyle that shields us from the over stimulating world we live in.
In the interior design field, minimalism emphasizes quality over quantity. In a minimal interior, each piece has its place and purpose. Every element has meaning.
You have worked with master designers. What are some of the most important lessons they've taught you about design?
I have learned that in order to achieve a successful design, a space needs to be beautiful and functional. One doesn’t have to sacrifice comfort for beauty.
It is important that the designer fully understands how the end user(s) will utilize the space. That will impact every decision from the layout to the finishes.
What inspires your work?
Nature is the most profound source of inspiration. I love using natural materials and incorporating plants in the spaces I design.
What are some of your favorite online or brick and mortar shops for home furnishings?
I can spend hours on end on 1stDibs.com but I prefer shopping in person. It's important to me to be able to interact with the pieces you are buying for the spaces you inhabit. I particularly enjoy going to Furniture from Scandinavia and Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries, both in Georgetown. They offer beautifully crafted pieces.
However, Take Care is my favorite shop in DC. They curate a beautiful collection of home accessories made in the US with natural materials. I designed the store, so that is another reason why I love it!
On Upgrading Your Space
What are a few simple things someone can do to refresh their space?
I think the first step is removing anything and everything you don’t truly like. It’s important to surround yourself with pieces that mean something to you.
A fresh coat of paint can change a space instantly. I recommend testing a few colors on your wall. It’s important to live with them for a few days before painting the whole room!
Also, having the right light is crucial. Everybody should make sure there are enough light sources in a room – general, task and decorative lighting. I also think it’s important to research light bulbs (light color, intensity, etc.). Light can make or break a space.
What's your favorite space in your home and why?
My husband and I recently moved from a small apartment in Shaw to a house on the Chesapeake Bay, so my new home is still a work in progress. However, our bedroom was the first space I focused on. It’s light and airy and offers a beautiful view of the Bay. I feel really calm when I get in bed at night and also when I wake up in the morning. I think everybody should put an extra effort in making their bedrooms a space they love, a personal sanctuary.
Which pieces are worth investing in and where should one go cheap?
It’s important to establish your priorities when you are decorating your home. Invest in the pieces you will use the most, and focus on the rooms you will spend most of your time in.
Good design should be the main deciding factor when selecting a piece. Well-designed pieces can be found at different price points.
Why is having a minimal space important to you?
Whether we are aware of it or not, the spaces we inhabit have a profound effect on our lives.
They can affect our mood, productivity levels, health, etc. By improving our spaces, we can improve our lives. I particularly love minimal spaces because they slow down time and help us clear our minds.
What does it mean to you to dwell in a space you love?
Our personalities are reflected in the spaces we inhabit. We will only feel comfortable and happy living in a place that tells the story of who we are.