Interiors with depth – our Q&A with Carlos Garcia

We talk to top interior designer Carlos Garcia, who has an amazing ability to create interiors with depth, character and a sense of history…

Born in Spain, Carlos Sánchez-García studied Interior Design at Chelsea College of Art and went on to graduate with distinction at The University of Arts London in Spatial and Interior Design. He spent a decade working in respected design practices before setting up Carlos Garcia Interiors. Now Carlos divides his time between London and Norfolk, and has created stunning interiors for projects as diverse as rural Georgian rectories and modern metropolitan penthouses. His Instagram account - which has over 11k followers – showcases his beautiful work. We love the way his rooms have a real sense of place and history, thanks to a technique he calls ‘generational layering’ - the clever mixing and matching of old and new materials and objects (including a few Pooky lamps!). Here’s our Q&A with Carlos…

Sitting room at Carlos' Norfolk manor farmhouse. Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

How would you describe your interior design style?

I like giving rooms a lived-in feel. I call it “generational layering”. This is more apparent in the country, where family heirlooms and antiques can be incorporated to the scheme, and becomes softer in towns. It adds personality and makes the client feel at home.

What is the style in your own home? Do you have a favourite room?

In town I live in a loft apartment surrounded by concrete ceilings, clear lines, natural materials (vellum, wood, leather) and a good dose of soft velvets and silks. My house in the country is a quintessentially 17th century English Manor Farmhouse with a calm colour backdrop for rooms that host a mix of antique furniture from different periods and textiles with heavy Eastern influences, adding pattern and texture.

Country house sitting room. Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Country house dining room. Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Other than books on historic decoration and the work of great designers such as John Fowler and Jean Michel Frank, nature is a constant source of inspiration. It is remarkable how simply observing the landscape can give you a full colour scheme for a room! Country houses are another. Particularly those private houses that have been in the hands of the same family for generations and have been in a constant restrained evolution. The comfort and ‘lived-in feel’, although maybe unattainable, is a constant aim in my own designs.

London Study featuring Josef Frank furniture, Jean-Michel Frank influences and the Pooky Galore floor lamp. Photos: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

London penthouse featuring a pair of Pooky's Bobboli resin table lamps. Photos: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

How does lighting play a part in your interiors?

It’s been said many times before, but lighting is essential to create the right mood. I tend to favour indirect, low level lighting. It adds comfort, makes big spaces cosy and we all look much prettier under a soft light!

We believe mixing and matching colour and pattern can make for some stunning results – do you have any top tips on how to do this in the home?

When Nancy Reagan first saw Robert Kime's transformation of the Lloyd Webbers' duplex in the Trump Tower in New York, she said: "It's madly clever. Nothing matches”. Throwing things together however doesn’t necessarily work, there needs to be an imperceptible thread that binds all the elements together. Confidence to modify and mix things comes from a willingness to move things around and see how they go together. Be brave, be bold.

Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Photo: Carlos Garcia Interiors.

Finally we’ve got to ask you, what is your favourite Pooky light and why?

So many to choose from! The beautiful proportions and mix of materials on the Wexford (below), the impossibly chic Miami, the wonderfully sleek Galore

Wexford wood and brass table lamp - Unfortunately the Wexford is no longer available, but please take a look at our extensive range of table lamps here

You can view Carlos' amazing portfolio on his website, and follow him Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. For more exclusive interviews with top designers, check out our lighting and interiors blog.