Pepe Calderin, Lh Exclusive Designer Interview

upper east side luxury living room design by pepe calderin

When it comes to fresh, energetic, and visionary design Pepe Calderin is a master! With offices in New York and Miami, Pepe Calderin and his eponymous firm create stunning high-end residential and commercial spaces each infused with its own unique personality, warmth, and spirit. Read on to meet the man behind PCD and explore a selection of his beautiful interiors!

Lh Exclusive Interview with Pepe Calderin

Pepe Calderin

Love Happens: What first sparked your passion for design?

Pepe Calderin: I fell into design by fate. I was given a job by an architect to help the designers and architects in his firm by running miscellaneous errands. With time I learned the trade and it became a passion of mine, leading to a partnership between myself and the architect who hired me bringing to life Levine & Calderin Associates.

Lh: What led up to your decision to start Pepe Calderin Design?

Pepe: After a long partnership with my former partner, he retired and I felt that it was the perfect time for me to open my own firm. That was roughly around 12 years ago.

Lobby at the Il Villaggio Condominium by Pepe Calderin Design
Lobby at the Il Villaggio Condominium by PCD

Lh: Your design philosophy is, “Space has no boundaries, and has endless possibilities.” What is it about the boundlessness of space that attracts you? Where do you think this signature style of yours evolved from?

As I stated above, what attracts me about a space is the fact that it is boundless, and with that bringing so many different possibilities. A space can be a blank canvas, allowing you to create out of it a vision that is personal to that moment. What’s beautiful about this is that you can get 10 different designers and they will all do something different with the same space.

My signature style has evolved from years of practice and travel. There comes a point in your life after practicing Interior design that you create your own little style, your personal niche.

Four Seasons Residence by PCD
Four Seasons Residence by PCD

Lh: Your interiors have a liveliness to them that is simply stunning. What do you believe such energy brings to a space?

Pepe: Everything is made up of energy, and that energy should be positive and bring a sense of peace and joy. That is what we strive to do in Interior Design. Create spaces that people feel comfortable in, a space they enjoy to be a part of. Colors, when used in the right way, will compliment your life. Color is life.

Room Colors & Moods: How Colors Used in Interior Design Can Affect Your Mood

Lh: If you were to select a piece from KOKET to design around which piece would you pick, and why?

Pepe: Koket has countless pieces in their collection which are absolutely stunning. But if I was asked to pick only one piece to design around, it would have to be the Reptilia sofa. I love having at least one statement piece in my spaces, and this sofa is definitely a conversation starter. It stands alone and it is very versatile; a piece that is great for large spaces.

Reptilia Sofa by KOKET
Reptilia Sofa by KOKET

Lh: Many interior designers aspire to have their own product collections, do you have any interest in this? Why?

Pepe: I feel that I am more of a boutique designer and I have thought about having my own furniture line before, but never went through with it since I have felt that for me personally, it would limit me when it comes to working with different lines. Instead of having my own line, I decided to have my own retail accessory store called Casa & Estilo Miami.

Lh: After 20+ years in the industry and so many beautiful projects under your belt, what three pieces of advice would you give to a young designer looking to make it?

Pepe: There are a few things that I would advise a young designer in this day and age. 

  1. The first is to trust yourself, and always remain humble. 
  2. Always learn from those who came before you, but never be afraid to break the mold.
  3. It is very important to listen to your clients, don’t be afraid of helping them. It’s not about you, it’s about them but always remember that you were hired because of your knowledge. 
2000 Ocean Luxury Residence by Pepe Calderin Design
2000 Ocean Luxury Residence by PCD

Lh: What’s next for Pepe Calderin? Any exciting current/future projects? Other ventures?

Pepe: As I mentioned above, I have recently opened my own Retail Accessory store in Miami and currently in the process of closing a deal with a residential/commercial space in Cyprus. I am looking forward to continuing to do great work and making people happy.

A Peek Inside the Fabulous & Inspiring Mind of Pepe Calderin with the Lh Design Questionnaire

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is to have no fear, no ego, and no control. Only when we reach those things can a human find perfect happiness and harmony. 

What is your greatest extravagance?

My greatest extravagance is travelling for self development. I love finding challenges in my travels that will expand my mind & the way I see things. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievements have to be the fact that I am still alive, that I have three wonderful children, and having had the opportunity to work with Design Techo to provide a home for people in need. 

What profession does your alter ego have?

 Hahaha, I would have to say that my alter ego’s profession is a rock star. 

The project you will never forget.

This is a tough question because frankly, all the projects that I have done have a special part in my heart for one or more reasons, but if I had to pick one it would probably be Fisher Island Residence. This project was done roughly 12-13 years ago and the design we created still holds relevant today. 

Fisher Island Palazzo del Mare Residence by Pepe Calderin Design
Fisher Island Palazzo del Mare Residence by PCD

Your favorite business tool or resource.

Tracing paper, a scale and a pencil. 

The most timeless design.

Mid-century modern.

The biggest design faux pas.

I don’t really think there is a design faux pas. Who am I to judge other designers or their design choices? Every design has its time and place.

Your motto.

Peace, Love, & Light

Love happens when…

You are ready.

By Anna Beck Bimba