At Home with Mariella Cruzado of Splendor Styling: Big Style and a Touch of Glamour
“I believe everyone deserves a bit of luxury in their lives; and to feel elevated by their own space.” This is how the super talented self-taught interior decorator and stylist, Mariella Cruzado of the Washington, DC-based firm Splendor Styling, describes her design philosophy.
Prior to starting her design studio in 2014, Mariella, who is originally from Lima, Peru, had a career in international development as a violence prevention and gender specialist. Doing good for the world felt good of course, but an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for interior design soon led Mariella to leave her career in politics to peruse her love for interiors and become her own boss! In 2013 she started her Splendor in Spanglish blog as a way to share her projects and thoughts on interior design, decoration and stylish living. Within six months Mariella realized there was a demand for her décor services and Splendor Styling was born!
With an eye for all things chic and glamorous, Mariella describes her style as being influenced by her travels and Peruvian heritage. The designer grew up surrounded by a mix of ornamental pieces in gold and silver, and elaborate architectural works from the Spanish colonial era. She uses her signature style when called for, but most importantly she aims to help her clients create spaces that bring them joy. When asked by The Luxe Blog if she had any interior design tips she wanted to share, Mariella replied, “I always tell my clients: If you fall in love with a piece, buy it! We’ll find a way to incorporate it in the decor. Some people are afraid of buying just one piece without taking into account the rest of the house, however I believe you should surround yourself with things your truly love. The style of a room can always be inspired by that single piece if it makes you happy.” A great piece of advice!
In addition to interior decorating, Mariella loves photography styling which can clearly be seen in the fabulous shots of her work that make up her quickly growing portfolio.
While emailing with Mariella after meeting her at the BOLD Summit in Chicago she shared with me her favorite project to date, her own home located in the Historic District of Shaw in Washington, DC. As designers we love when we get to do our own spaces because it is the one time we get to do just what we want! Well almost only what we want, in Mariella’s case she was also designing for her husband, but lucky for her they both love to live a luxurious lifestyle and have a passion for all things gold!
The Historic Shaw DC Project in Mariella’s Words:
“I believe that all small spaces deserve big style and a touch of glamour! Young couples and millennials are leaning towards staying in the city and investing in small properties. Still, they demand – and deserve – access to a luxurious lifestyle which forces designers to be extra creative. I transformed a 920 sq. ft DC condo into a chic home with tons of fabulous details and functional ideas to maximize the use of space.
Our style is chic and glamorous. My husband and I come from different cultures that embrace rich patterns, textures and adorned accents – I’m Peruvian and he’s Persian, our home is obviously filled with gold!”
“Living in a small space with an open floor plan obliged us to take advantage of every single corner. I used bold trellis wallpaper to dress up the entrance and give the sensation of a small entryway; and contrasting black and white walls that help defining different spaces.”
“A small nook next to the dining table became our bar and it doubles as a great serving area when we have people over for dinner. In the living room, a bright rug in cream shades makes the space look more open. To add some drama, I painted part of the ceiling gold and hanged charcoal linen curtains that dress up the beautiful bay windows. This is my favorite corner to drink coffee in the mornings, meditate or read a book.”
“The master bedroom is small but full of details. We were not willing to compromise the size of our bed so I made it the center of the room with an upholstered headboard in gray; and added simple nightstands with tall lamps on each side.”
“The black & white palette flows over the master bedroom and expands to the home office where a stenciled wall with floating shelves creates a library look, and dark walls add some extra character to the space.”
“A modern lucite chandelier got converted into a plug-in and installed on top of the desk. Metallic accents, glass-top tables and mirrors are everywhere to reflect light and give the illusion of bigger rooms.”
“Finally, a rope and chains installation in the dining room looks like an exclusive piece of art and adds a lot of sexy to the home. Small spaces deserve to be glamorous and feel luxurious!”
As a self-taught designer Mariella told the marketing firm Ringlet she has found much strength and inspiration to pursue her dreams from other women – women power! Her go-getter attitude has surely led her to where she is today and will most definitely take her to the top – wherever she wants that to be!!
For more inspirational interiors and profiles on the talents that created them visit our Interiors page!