Rue Magazine - Diego Rincon Spotlight

Diego Rincon Makes a Splash in South Beach

For interior designer Diego Rincon, an appreciation for beautiful buildings runs deep–in fact, it’s in his blood.

“I was born and raised in Santa Marta, a city along the Caribbean coast of Colombia,” he says. “It’s the second–oldest city in South America, and the first Spanish settlement in Colombia. My grandparents had the most beautiful house in the city. My grandfather designed it himself, down to the smallest detail. That–along with the city’s old colonial charm—inspired me to study architecture.”

A few years (and an architecture degree) later, Diego’s deeply–rooted reverence for design has carried him far. He’s now the head of his own company, Diego Alejandro Interior Design, with offices in both Manhattan and Miami; the latter provides the backdrop to one of the designer’s favorite projects to date. It’s a two–story loft that serves as a warm–weather getaway for a New York City advertising executive, and it’s a project, Diego says, that combines the warmth of South Beach with the cool sophistication of New York.

“I tried to make this a space where he could truly feel at home,” he reflects. “I wanted it to feel casual, but I also wanted to step away from anything that could be considered a beach theme. Most of the time, my inspirations come from the places I’ve lived, and in this case, I wanted to create a variation on New York City style.”

True to the designer’s vision, the space is chic and soothing, outfitted mostly in neutrals, with bursts of color throughout. “I kept a stark white background with blocks of color in selected focal points,” he says. Emerald silk wallpaper in the master bedroom, for example, offsets a black–and–white print by Colombian photographer Leo Matíz. In the living room, a multihued work by New York artist Jody Morlock hangs over a slate–gray sofa accented in pops of punchy magenta. In the entryway, postcards from an HIV/AIDS fundraising event greet visitors in sleek white frames.

“Overall, this space tells a story of creativity,” Diego says. “What’s more, every piece in the house has its own narrative, having come from places all over the world—from Provincetown to Colombia to New York City.” In the end, he says, “The space reflects the stories of my client’s life—where he’s been, what he’s done, what he’s seen.”

Achieving this, he says, is a designer’s dream. “I love when someone asks me to design a space that’s personal and uniquely them,” he muses. “When I hear that, I always respond, ‘that’s what I love to do most!’”

What else excites the designer as he prepares to start a new project? Surprisingly, it’s a stage of the design process that occurs before furniture and floor plans—and long before color becomes a part of the conversation. “I love building a look from scratch,” he says. “I love starting with a white canvas.”

Source: Rue Magazine, March 2014