Style Talk: Sandra Espinet

Sandra Espinet

A few weeks ago I got on the phone with luxury interior designer Sandra Espinet.  Sandra is an absolutely fantastic interior designer, and a sweet and genuine person who I’ve loved getting to know over the past few months.  She has the absolute dream job of living and working in Cabo San Lucas, a small island off the coast of Mexico with just 40,000 inhabitants.  She also just started a brand new blog bringing all of us into her world of luxury interior design.  I am excited to bring you today’s Style Talk interview with such an accomplished designer (Sandra was named Designer of the Year by California Home & Design Magazine in 2010!) who has  a unique perspective living and working in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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You are a real citizen of the world. Born in Trinidad, raised in Colombia, and educated in Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.  How have these different environments influenced you?

I have definitely taken things from the places I’ve lived to influence my design aesthetic. I have a mass amount of experience packing up, and getting ready to move. Editing and getting rid of stuff and making those decisions quickly comes as second nature to me.  I also have a passion for learning about local design. I like to use things that I find while traveling, items that are local. What the locals do, where and how they make their pieces is interesting to me.

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Living and working in Cabo sounds like a dream. What is that experience like?

I think life chooses what you need for you. My first design firm was at a resort in Florida. It was a coincidence that i started my second design firm at a resort in Cabo. I love our seasonal design, working in a resort. I have 6 months of intense work with clients, and then 6 months of implementation while clients are away at their second home.

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Your work is all about luxurious, sophisticated spaces. What tips do you have for readers looking to bring sophistication to their home?

The word “sophisticated” can be described in numerous ways. Everyone is going to conceive the answer differently. For Californians it might mean spaces that are more casual. For New Yorkers it may mean black tie. In Cabo, we tend to go out in flip flops and take our shoes off. It’s very fabulous, but not formal. People want to reflect that feel in their interiors. My designs are about marble floors that you can walk on barefoot. It’s not about being ostentatious and so expensive that things can’t be used. People want to be able to sit in their home and enjoy it. I love unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces that are sophisticated, accessible, and that people can relate to.

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You’ve gone from sharing your design knowledge and aesthetic one room at a time to sharing it weekly on your new blog.  What has the experience been like? 

My blog is not really a how to. It is not going to Martha Stewart you through anything. But it shows what I as a luxury designer am seeing. I love to show things like the most expensive house in the world. Those are the kinds of things that i’m going to write about. It’s a lens into my view as a luxury designer, simplified in a blog format.

{Images furnished by Sandra Espinet}

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