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    Cesar Giraldo

    Cesar Giraldo

    © David Christopher Lee

    César Giraldo’s design journey began in his native Colombia, where he developed an early fascination with color and form, which to date  are the foundational elements of his design. As the Founder and Principal Designer of César Giraldo Design, located in West  Hollywood, CA, he oversees a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial, and hospitality projects both nationally and internationally.  His aesthetic vision is a harmonious blend of luxurious, contemporary  designs infused with the timeless craftsmanship of the past. This juxtaposition inspires him to create interiors that are both innovative  and enduring, reflecting a unique dialogue between old and new. With a keen eye for detail and a poetic sensibility, César curates environments that exude elegance and elevate the human spirit. Each  project is approached with a deep understanding of his clients’ individuality, resulting in spaces that authentically reflect their personalities and lifestyles.  

    Beyond interiors, César’s creative vision extends to furniture and  product design, with notable collaborations including the Medellín outdoor furniture line with Tidelli; the Straight Lines Unexpected  Curves rug collection with Mehraban, and a leather collection with  LeBravo, all launched to critical acclaim. Furthermore, his recent  venture into lighting design, highlighted by the award-winning Gusto capsule collection in collaboration with Studio M Lighting, underscores his remarkable talent for creating visually striking designs.  

    César’s outstanding contributions to the design industry have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Stars of Design  Award from the Pacific Design Center in 2023. He was previously honored as one of the Top 25 designers in Los Angeles by the Los  Angeles Times in 2022 and received accolades from the CA Home +  Design Awards in 2019. He has been featured in Architectural Digest,  California Home + Design, California Homes, Casa, Casa Vogue, Design Hunter, Dwell, Elle Decor, Flaunt, Forbes Global Properties,  Interiors, Luxury Home Magazine, among others. Driven by a desire to make a positive impact, César founded the  Espiritu Santo Project Foundation in Medellín, Colombia, providing art  programs and education to at-risk youth—an initiative close to his  heart. 

    1. You are currently based in LA and you have grown up in Colombia. You are an important and vibrant part of the LA Design community and are working globally. Could you tell us how your journey into design started?

    Growing up in Colombia, I experienced both the vibrant highs and the  challenging lows of life intensely, and I found solace in creativity. From a  young age, I gravitated towards art and design, eagerly taking classes to  nurture my passion. I seized every opportunity to be creative, especially  enjoying the transformation of my family’s home interiors. Rearranging the  same pieces of furniture to give them new life was magical and fueled my  passion for design, solidifying my future career. This act of redesigning was metaphorical, reflecting my desire to bring stylish order to my life. After leaving Colombia, I moved to Iowa to study business administration  and communications. Despite my academic focus, my passion for design persisted. I continued to explore design independently, often designing the  apartments of friends. Moving to Los Angeles was a pivotal step in my  creative journey; I intuitively knew that LA would nurture and enhance my  creative path. Designing interiors and products is the only thing that truly  fulfills me vocationally, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

    2. Has there been a defining moment in your career? 

    The defining moment in my career was when I truly trusted my instincts— and started collaborating with people who share a mutual appreciation and respect for the craft and one another.

    3. Could you tell us about one of your favorite projects and what makes it special? 

    1859 Bel Air Rd remains one of my favorite projects, embodying everything I cherish about my work. From the outset, it presented a  multitude of challenges, which I thrive on. I relish finding design solutions, especially for a 20,000 square foot home like this one. 

    Moreover, this project connected me with an exceptional client who has  become a dear friend. Over the 4 1/2 years of collaboration, we shared a  vision and dedication that propelled the project forward. Witnessing my  client’s deep investment and passion for the project was incredibly  inspiring.

    I had the privilege of collaborating with luxurious brands that I deeply admire and curating an impressive portfolio of artists, such as Pierre  Bonnefille, which was a true luxury in itself. The project also served as  inspiration for my lighting collection with Studio M Lighting and a rug  collection for Mehraban Rugs. Additionally, collaborating with Ex Nihilo, a  Parisian fragrance house, to create a special scent, and where they  debuted their scent diffuser for the home, was one of the highlight’s of the  creative process. 

    I take immense pride in the outcome of 1859 Bel Air Rd—a masterpiece of  a home that exemplifies the pinnacle of modern design and luxury. 

    4. Your Gusto collection of lighting sculptures is beautiful. Could you tell us about how the idea of that collection came about? Was lighting design something you that intrigued you for a long time?

    I believe lighting is as crucial as any other design element in shaping a home. Finding the perfect lighting for my projects brings me immense satisfaction; I persist until I discover lighting that harmonizes perfectly with  each project. 

    The Gusto collection was born out of inspiration from my work on 1859  Bel Air Rd. The avant-garde architecture of that project initially sparked the  concept as I searched for the ideal lighting solutions. Consequently, I decided to create bespoke lighting pieces tailored specifically for that  project.

    5. You live and work in LA. How does the energy of this city affect you and the work you do?

    I have a profound love for LA; it has been instrumental in nurturing my creative growth, and I deeply value its vibrant design community. The energy here is incredibly inspiring. Throughout history, many creatives  

    have been drawn to Los Angeles in search of inspiration, and I understand why. It’s a city that embraces the arts and offers endless opportunities for personal and professional reinvention. Surrounded by the diverse beauty  of nature—mountains and ocean—the sensory experiences here are  incomparable.

    6. You mention how nature and especially mountains inspire you, and how your best ideas come to you when you are among mountains. Do you have a favorite mountain? And if so, what makes it special?

    I have a very special mountain that holds a dear place in my heart and soul, a place I visit daily. It’s a secret I prefer to keep, as it’s a sacred ritual of mine. I first connected with this mountain when I moved here. Everything about it fills me with inspiration—the lush landscape, the changing natural colors with each season, and the way sunlight plays  across its slopes. It’s where I find solace and clarity in life. My presence  there feels strong and natural, and I’m always greeted by birds circling above my head.

    7. What was one of the hardest learned lessons in your practice? 

    Sacrificing design over budget.

    8. Do you have a mantra that encapsulates your taste in interior design?

    Let the design process embrace the unexpected. 

    9. How do you think the interior design industry changed over the last decades? 

    I really appreciate this question, as I’m personally experiencing these  changes that reflect the industry’s response to technological advancements, and an increasing awareness of environmental and social  issues. There’s a growing emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable  design, which includes using recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting,  and sustainable sourcing practices.  

    The integration of technology in design has increased. Smart homes with automated systems for lighting, heating, and security are becoming more common.

    The importance of health and wellness in design has risen significantly. This includes creating spaces that promote well-being through natural  light, good ventilation, and the use of non-toxic materials. Lastly, there’s a stronger focus on personalized and bespoke design. Clients are looking for spaces that reflect their individual tastes and  lifestyles, leading to more customized solutions.

    10. What advice would you give to beginner designers? 

    Love what you do. Be fearless. Be kind to others.

    11. What are your 3 favorite pieces from the Philia Collection?

    12. Finally, what are your upcoming projects? Anything you’d like to share or add to the interview? 

    We are finishing a boutique hotel in Medellín, Colombia, and we are currently working on a dream project in Florida: a beautiful chateau with an amazing client. Additionally, we will be designing a penthouse in Mumbai.  We also have several exciting design collaborations in the works, including a tableware collection with Hering Berlin that I’m very excited about.

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