In Conversation


At Plácido y Grata, we believe that friendliness and personal attention are essential to make any experience more human.
Plácido y Grata

That’s why we have been introducing the people behind our team through a series of interviews, with which you can get to know them more closely. Today, it’s the turn of the designers of the Plácido y Grata Hotel.

Marta Santana and Carlota Ruiz are Your Living Space, the interior design studio responsible for the renovation of the Plácido y Grata Hotel. Along with Kiran Vasani, they have created a design haven, combining the historical architecture of a 19th century villa with a minimalist design of Nordic inspiration, right in the heart of Seville.

Marta studied Architecture in the Canary Islands and Seville, where she grew up after her family settled there when she was 5. She later went to Barcelona to study a master’s degree in Interior Design and ended up putting down roots there. On the other hand, Carlota, who was born in Badalona (Barcelona), studied Industrial Design Engineering, specialising with a master’s degree in Furniture Design for the Habitat.

We joined them for a conversation to know their experience with the exciting renovation project and design of Plácido y Grata Hotel.

Let’s start by tracing the beginnings of Your Living Space. How did you two meet, and how did the project come about?
We met in 2016 in Barcelona while working at the warehouse and showroom of a design furniture store. Carlota came in a few months later than Marta. In the first meeting with the boss, when he asked if someone had any suggestions, she said she wanted a coffee machine. Everyone else drank tea there, so I liked her because of that. We spent hours together organising, drinking coffee and daydreaming about any new arrival. We have very similar tastes and love making plans together, so we clicked instantly.

The project was born two years later, when we had the opportunity to work on Plácido y Grata, an experience that inspired us to start our own studio and continue working with the brands we knew from before.

What sort of services do you offer at Your Living Space and what kind of work do you do?
Your Living Space is an architecture and interior design studio. We have a showroom in the beautiful Gràcia neighbourhood, in Barcelona, where we sell furniture and home accessories. We like that our customers feel inspired when they come in, and we offer a selection of brands that we love and with which we feel aligned. We also offer home staging and furniture rental services.

Inside Plácido y Grata’s interiors, classic and current designs coexist with historical architecture. How did you combine these elements to achieve such a harmonious result?
The truth is that it was quite a challenge. This was a historic mansion from the late 19th century, which conveyed calm and lots of peace. We don’t really follow any trends, but rather go for classic designs. Either pieces that are timeless for being all about functionality and have been very well designed, or current design pieces with the same characteristics. We take great care of the lighting and conveying serenity and calm through colours and textures. We think that in a hotel, it’s very important to feel at ease, as you’re away from home.

We can find an interesting selection of design pieces at Plácido y Grata. What inspired you in the making of the interiors and the selection of furniture and accessories?
We get a lot of inspiration when we travel to the Scandinavian countries; we usually visit them every year. They have quite a unique way of living in their homes. Due to the climate and scarce daylight, they spend lots of time at home and take care of every detail to feel comfortable in them.

And not only in their homes; when visiting cafés, restaurants, there is a certain feeling, with fair lighting, noble materials, candles…

Despite being in Seville, where the climate is completely different, we wanted to channel that essence in the hotel; combining the Scandinavian way of life with the joy and good weather from the South.

Seville is known for being a traditional city, yet there is an intense activity around art, design and culture. What impact is Plácido y Grata having on Seville’s scene?
It has been much appreciated, despite Seville being a very traditional city. Our local clientele was really hoping for a project like this. The specialty coffee shop, the inner courtyard and the shop are the spaces where tourists and locals get together, enriching the experience of our guests.

What is the most satisfying aspect about your profession, according to each of you?
Marta: I love designing any room in the house, the meetings with clients in which we create together the space where we spend most hours of the day, and that first visit, when they always get excited and thank you for understanding their needs.

Carlota: As for me, I feel lucky about the versatile nature of what we do. As every project is different, it always feels like starting over again. All the while, I like to share my taste for a specific lamp with our customers, that chair they have been waiting for a long time, or preparing an online order just like we would like to receive it ourselves.

Do you have any ongoing projects you would like to tell us about?
We just finished renovating Marta’s home, a flat from the 1900s in the Eixample district of Barcelona. It was a complete renovation; we literally tore everything down to create brighter and more spacious rooms. We demolished false ceilings and recovered the brick vault. We will show you the result very soon!

Tell us a little about the other side of Your Living Space, the store in Barcelona.
After the pandemic we would say that more than a store, this is a studio, since we don’t really have opening hours but rather arrange appointments with our customers. We have many visitors from outside, and we believe this way we can better assist our customers.

At the studio, we sell Scandinavian brands, such as Ferm LIVING, Audo, String, Skagerak… and national brands, such as Santa & Cole, Treku or Marset.

We are pleased to have successfully established the studio. We receive, prepare the shipments and advise customers ourselves. Even though we have many competitors in Barcelona, we could say that what makes us different is having great control over the orders. We prepare them just like we would like to receive them, and attempt to foster a close relationship with our customers, so they are happy and want to visit us again.

If you enjoyed the interview with Marta Santana y Carlota Ruiz from Your Living Space, delve into the exquisite universe they have created at the Plácido y Grata Hotel. Read the articles about the design project and experience it by yourself with a magical stay in Seville. And if you happen to end up falling for any of the carefully picked pieces adorning the hotel interiors, check the website from Your Living Space Store to make your design dreams come true.

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