Date
January 22, 2020
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Masquespacio combines interior design and marketing making headway in creating unique brand identities through a distinctive interior style of bright and bold colors, geometrical aesthetics and Valencian inspired details. 

Whether it’s a five-star hotel, a multinational office, a retail shop, a small deli or a Michelin starred restaurant, interior design plays a crucial role in the identity of a brand. As for the interior designer, one has to visualize a selection of just a few out of a vast jungle of available materials in a given space. 

Masquespacio is an award-winning creative consultancy, specializing in building the identity of a brand, primarily through interior design, based in Spain.

In this interview with the founders of Masquespacio, Ana and Christophe tell us how they met, the birth of the agency, the creation and innovative design processes and much more.

The founders of Masquespacio from Spain
Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse – Founders of Masquespacio

Who are Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse?

Christophe Penasse: “Ana is from Bógota, Colombia and Christophe is from Brussels, Belgium. She arrived in Valencia at around 18 years old to study interior design, while Christophe after studying marketing in his country arrived at Valencia in love of the Spanish sun and culture. 

While I was studying Spanish, I met Ana on a night in a bar where she was working to cover her education expenses. After finishing her studies we decided to found Masquespacio.”

Playful and interactive interiors by Masquespacio in Valencia, Spain
Playful and interactive interiors of Cuadernos Rubio store by Masquespacio in Valencia, Spain

Why Masquespacio, why interior design? 

Christophe Penasse: “When Ana finished her studies, we were in the middle of a financial crisis and there were not a lot of opportunities for interior designers in Valencia. The only few jobs that were available focused only on the technical part, while Ana wanted to create her own projects. As I always had been wanting to found my own company, together we decided to found Masquespacio in 2010. 

In the beginning, we started with a studio only focused on interior design for houses, but after designing the first one we felt we were really limited to develop a strong creative design language for which we started to focus quickly fast on the design of other spaces like restaurants, offices, and shops. During the initial years, we also started to do branding, art direction, and consulting projects, although after a few years of doing a lot of different types of projects we decided to focus on what we feel we really are passionate about, interior and product design. 

From this point on we started to develop a much more profound vision on every project we developed and are developing. Our goal is clear every time, to develop a unique project for every client in search of the wow-effect that surprises each of their customers.

Masquespacio from Spain designed the Solera store in Cologne, Germany
Masquespacio designed the Solera store in Cologne, Germany with bold colors and geometrical style

Tell us about your first interior client, how did you get it and what was the project about?

Christophe Penasse: “When we started Masquespacio we didn’t have any relations that could be interested in our services, so the first thing we needed to do is make herself visible. We started to develop a strategy for our social media and got on the streets to fill the mailboxes of Valencia’s most relevant neighborhoods with a promotional flyer we designed. 

A person that was living temporarily in the same apartment building than us because he was refurbishing his apartment, saw our flyer at the entrance of the building and contacted us to design his apartment. It took us two years to finish the project completely and although it was a great experience after this we decided to focus on other projects like shops, offices, and restaurants. 

Nowadays our first client is a good friend of ours and we have done several projects with us. Amongst them the office for his agency Lexington Avenue, the 2Day Languages school and the Kento venues.”

Piada is gastronomy designed by Masquespacio
Piada is gastronomy designed by Masquespacio inspired by Italian piadinerias in Lyon, France

Interior projects are always puzzling in terms of details, choice of materials and maintaining style as per client requirements. What is your approach towards this complicated process? 

Christophe Penasse: “For us, it is a process where we need to guide the client and he needs to guide us. We first of all need to understand who he is and what he wants to do. For this reason, we really feel our clients and their stories are our main inspiration source. We do a few workshops with them in the beginning and once we feel we are on the same line we start to develop the project. 

It is important to create this relationship of trust in each other and make the client part of the decisions of the layout proposal, the material choice and approach toward the project itself.”

The Valencia Lounge Hostel in Spain, by Masquespacio
For the Valencia Lounge Hostel in Spain, Masquespacio interpreted its colorful interior style in a minimalistic way comprising detailed decors

What would be the desired interior project for Masquespacio to work on without any budget constraints or resources?

Christophe Penasse: “A boutique hotel in New York!”

Masquespacio from Spain
Masquespacio retail design
Masquespacio's unique style of interiors