The A List: Villalobos Desio

Villalobos Desio are known for successfully mixing new pieces, antiques, and contemporary art; their aesthetic is inspired by a wide range of cultural influences from French, African, and Pre-Columbian, to Asian and American.

Mercedes Desio and Alberto Villalobos studied at the New York School of Interior Design. After obtaining their degrees, they decided to open their design firm Villalobos Desio and their antiques boutique ETOS in New York City. 

Alberto, whose nationality is Colombian, and Mercedes who is Italian, combine the eclectic and international senses of aesthetic acquired from their diverse cultural backgrounds, travels and education. Their successful partnership was driven by the seamless integration of their uniquely different viewpoints. Villalobos Desio is an emerging firm that has been commissioned to design homes in the U.S. and Europe for a discerning, international clientele.

Dining Room in New York, Villalobos Desio
Mercedes Desio and Alberto Villalobos

We believe craftsmanship is an essential component of interior design and design in general, as it allows for specific manufacturing details and personalization, two key elements of individualism and luxury. It brings elegance and integrity by giving all at once imperfections and precision that separate special products from machine made items. It is about uniqueness.

Living Room in Coral Gables

What does Made in Italy mean to you?

When we think of Made in Italy, we think of high quality products made with the best materials and resources. We also think of highly innovative design as well as a long history of production that has gone through years of development and research, thus making it one of the most coveted and admired labels. Experience is key.

Coral Gables Foyer
Coral Gables Family Room

What has inspired the most your work and style?

We are constantly inspired by our surroundings and by learning about new materials, resources and design developments. The field of design is constantly evolving, and as a result you learn and get inspired every day. Of course, we also find inspiration through our travels, art, and even our peers, you can learn from so many different sources.

Can you tell us more about your design approach and philosophy?

We approach our design as storytellers — creating discreet luxurious environments with a fresh approach for both globetrotters as well as their New York based clientele –- all in search of a unique design experience. The essence of our firm is to help clients find inspiration by incorporating their significant memories to give a sense of personal relevance to each project. The secondary key element of our design sensibility is a deep appreciation of traditional craftsmanship along with its elegance and design integrity, striking a balance between imperfection and precision.

What is the one decor you can not imagine yourself living without?

 For us, art in any of its forms, is an essential part of any décor. Art brings beauty, history, and it allows for an individual's personality to speak in a space. We could not live without such an element.

What is your idea of the ‘ultimate luxury'?

Ultimate Luxury for us is to respect and appreciate beauty, function and form in all of its possible representations. To cherish experiences or to possess objects that truly speak of an individual's sense of self, that tell their stories and background, and to respect and learn from others as well.

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