Designing Paradise is not just about beautiful interiors, it’s about knowing ‘paradise’, feeling its spirit, and celebrating it. And, Juan Montoya’s interiors epitomizes all those elements. The Colombian-born designer speaks the language of tropical design, so poignantly displayed in Designing Paradise: Tropical Interiors by Juan Montoya.
This 9.5” x 12” 256-page hardcover tome is jam-packed with 200 high resolution color images that truly puts Montoya’s interiors in stunning perspective. Indeed, his spirit resides in the tropics, it shows in his designs. He takes cues from the sun-kissed islands of the Caribbean, palm trees gently curved by the ever present sea breeze, the subtle hues of sandy beaches, the inviting blues of gentle waves.
Wendy Goodman, who wrote the foreword, touches on a key element of design that Montoya captures so brilliantly — that the aesthetic of interior spaces should serve to calm and bring balance. This is especially true of our time as we battle COVID-19. So, this book is timely, opening to the reader an environment that beckons one to meditative tropical spaces, even just in pictures. But, what beautiful images!
Showcasing some of the designer’s most celebrated work in locales such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Miami Beach, Montoya has designed each project incorporating local cultural and environmental sensibilities through his use of indigenous material, coral, stone, bamboo, and provincial talent. His seemingly in-born creativity for tropical design is remarkably evident in the relaxed functional feel of his projects, yet still exhibit a sense of luxury.
For example, a residential property in Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic (pictured on the cover), exudes a monied lifestyle but its space is also designed to bring families and friends together in a relaxed indoor-outdoor space. The fabric swivel chairs mimic the lazy waves of the sea beyond, while the thatched roof and locally woven baskets bring indigenous heritage to life. This is design at its best.
Going through this book is like wandering the halls of a never-ending design showcase. Each turn reveals something surprising, even seductive. Montoya’s affinity for sinuous motion, designs that capture calm, or walls that seem to embrace gives an air of unexpected intimacy.
Color also plays an important part in Montoya’s interiors. Seen in the shimmering shades mimicking the flickering sun on the Caribbean sea, or the orangey shades of the falling sun behind lush green landscapes, the images in this book paint these stunning views. This play of tropical ‘dance’ can be seen in many of the designer’s Florida interiors. And as we all know, Florida ‘dreams’ of being Caribbean, as it reaches out to the azure blue sea that names the region.
These magnificent spaces invite natural light in to illuminate artwork, curved archways, elegant columns, making for inviting visual retreats. So, come in and take a look. Dive into Designing Paradise and escape the trappings of today’s world for a few hours, as you take a visual walk through ‘paradise’.
Book Title: Designing Paradise: Tropical Interiors by Juan Montoya
Author: Jorge S. Arango
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
Release Date: March 2021
Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.