Have you ever seen a picture of someone and knew you wanted to talk to them? Such was the case with Katie and Ruben Gutierrez of Errez Design Studio. As soon as we saw their personality filled photos we knew we needed to reach out to them for an interview. Based in South Florida, this husband and wife design team aim to make every project fun. They work closely with their clients, and want to tell your story through design, which is certainly an idea we can get behind. After making it through their busy season, Katie and Ruben finally got a chance to take a bit of a breather and answer some questions for us.
How would you describe your approach to design?
We love stories and we love celebrating the lives of our clients. We’ve developed an approach to design which we call Biographical Design. It’s an approach wherein we write our clients biography through the things that fill their rooms. The process always starts with a Biographical Discovery Meeting. It’s a ‘get to love you’ meeting where we ask them all sorts of fun questions in order to get to know them: where did you grow up? What one person has inspired your life the most? Tell us about the hardest you ever laughed. Questions like that. Then we play a fun game called “this or that” where they have to answer ’this or that’ questions really fast – velvet or cotton? Wood or metal? Geometrics or florals? It’s a really fun “date” where we get to know our clients really well.
What’s your favorite type of space to design for?
We love designing kid’s play rooms. It’s a great space to have a lot of fun with design and get playful! We also love interviewing kids – their creativity and big thinking inspires us and the parents! It often opens our clients minds to do bigger ideas around the house.
How much of an influence does Miami/South Florida have on your aesthetic?
A lot! Miami is such a global city so we have people from all over the world living here which means our clients come from all over the world. It has given us the opportunity to really get good at Biographical Design because the people here have such interesting biographies. We have clients that are from Haiti, Jerusalem, Puerto Rico, Colombia, London… Getting to know all of these different types of people is what makes us thrive. We love celebrating their uniqueness through the design of their homes!
What’s your favorite color palette to work with?
Our favorite color palettes come from the earth so we love greens and golds and colors from the sunset or the beach. There’s no better designer than God so we take his lead on what colors look best together.
What’s it like being business partners with your spouse?
We love it and we couldn’t imagine it any other way. It’s like always getting to hang out with your best friend. We’re very good at being partners at home (chores, etc.) as well as at work. We understand that to be successful in all areas of our lives we need to function as a team, so we do. We respect each other and we talk A LOT! The key to our success is putting the other person before ourselves and knowing each other so well that we allow each others strengths to shine and we have grace where there are weaknesses.
Do you hope your son becomes interested in design too?
We’re desperate for our son to be in tune to his calling, whatever that is. But, if he does want to be a designer, he’ll have a pretty paved path. We’re dedicated to giving him whatever he needs to be the best grown up he can be, including our entire business.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Our favorite part of our job is the biographical discovery meeting. We love getting to know people and hearing all the stories and laughing with people and sharing a meal with people. It’s is our favorite thing to do. Secondly, we love presenting the design to our clients for the first time. Since the design is based on their biography and celebrates who they are, clients are always so happy and seeing their smiles is what drives us.
What do you think the future of design looks like?
We’re dedicated to promoting the concept of Biographical Design. We hopeful that the future of design looks like one that celebrates people and their individuality rather than one that focuses on style trends.
What one thing do you think every room needs?
Velvet! It’s so important for a room to feel inviting, like you can melt right in. Velvet is such a warm way to bring comfort into a room. We love using velvet. We have two velvet sofas in our own home and their always the place where people love to snuggle up.
Any advice for aspiring interior designers or architects?
The one thing we can attribute our success to is being in tune to our true selves. When we started out, we were so focused on looking professional that we had a brand that didn’t really represent who we were. It was more focused on who we thought we should be rather than who we really were. Even our pictures of ourselves were black and white when we started. Now, they’re colorful, playful, and whimsical – us in dress clothes on a construction site – fun. The more we were true to ourselves the more people were attracted to what we had to offer. Now, we unapologetically stand for who we are at our core.
Thanks again Katie and Ruben, for taking the time to chat with us! To see more of what Errez Design Studio has to offer check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and stunning interiors. We can’t wait to see what you have in store next!