How To Design A Space In 6 Simple Steps

The curator behind @ettoresottsass, Raquel Cayre, breaks it down.

How To Design A Space In 6 Simple Steps
Courtesy of @ettoresottsass, Designed by Guilherme Torres.

Raquel Cayre just opened her very first NYC house — a dream house, to be specific. The curator has an eye for unique, artistic pieces, which she's collected over years of travel and discovery. In her newly opened home, she brings color, geometric shapes, and works from various artists (and of diverse tastes) together into one single room. And somehow, it all works. 

If you follow the expert's Instagram account of dreamy spaces, @ettoresottsass, you know just how good Cayre is. Raquel's Dream House is a product of her vision paired with artists and galleries who worked together to contribute countless works to the month-long SoHo showcase. The final result is is a well-designed, sophisticated, and downright fun (and shoppable!) spectacle. So, we had to ask Cayre, what are the core pillars of curating a space, be it an apartment, house, or single room? What does one need to know in order to not mess up a space? Here's what Cayre had to say.  

How To Design A Space In 6 Simple Steps
Raquel's Dream House, Courtesy of Raquel Cayre.

1. "The number one rule, is that it is all about the architecture and the space you're working with — where you are. Look at your surroundings and take them into consideration before curating. Otherwise, the space just becomes another home without meaning or context. If you're home is on the shore, take that landscape into consideration. If you're in the city, let that play a role in your decisions. Architecture and surroundings are so important."

2. "Finishings. People take this for granted. Rushing to get a building finished is never a great route, because the moldings, paint jobs, utilities play such an important role in the design and functionality of the home. Take your time with the finishings before bringing furniture and other things into the space." 

How To Design A Space In 6 Simple Steps
Raquel's Dream House, Courtesy of Raquel Cayre.

3. "Get a functional sofa. Too often, people will go to one showroom and pick out everything without testing it out. Then, the home just looks like a showroom. Try everything out and envision its use and functionality in your home before getting it."  

4. "I love white walls. They really are a canvas for the perfect home, because they leave room for design and furniture changes over the years. Paint your walls white." 

How To Design A Space In 6 Simple Steps
Courtesy of @ettoresottsass.

5. "After finding a functional sofa, fill the collection with some iconic chairs and accessories or objects. Allow yourself time (months, even years!) to collect these objects. You want them to have meaning!" 

6. "Leave it unfinished. Don't do everything from A-Z, because then the space feels too trendy, or not personable. And, there's no room to add anything else! All of the things I collect came from my travels. There is a story behind each piece in my apartment. Allow yourself space to fully own the home you live in, which means leaving it unfinished so that the home can evolve with you." 

Raquel's Dream House is open to the public from May 3 to May 31. Check out the SoHo home at 79 Greene Street on weekdays between 11am and 7pm, or on the weekend between 12pm and 6pm. 

To learn more about curating the perfect home, check out 25 Myths About Decorating Your Mother Told You

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