Working in Peru is a special experience for an interior designer. The country has so many skilled artisans, producing such a wide range of crafts, that it seems there is nothing that they can’t create. Once you have found the right person (that’s the hard part!) it’s almost as if you only have to wave your hand and they make the most extraordinary piece.
For Palacio Nazarenas, almost everything is being sourced here in Peru. Whether it’s carved wooden furniture with gold and silver detailing, Pima cotton fabrics or exquisite embroidery, everything is possible here. I’m working with a community of weavers in the village of Chinchero just outside Cuzco to produce textiles and rugs. A specialist in historic wood carving is creating an exceptional desk for the reception area that will take six months to produce.
I’d describe the Palacio Nazarenas style as criollo – a mix of historic and contemporary design that creates a rich and spicy textural experience of Peru. Focusing on the positive aspects of the arrival of the Spanish in the Inca empire, we are going back to the roots of this palace-turned-convent to bring it to life.
The 1500s in Peru saw a renaissance of art and creativity, melding European and indigenous design. We are tapping into this vital force in as many ways as we can. Various special pieces associated with the hotel’s history will be part of what will essentially be a contemporary approach. For instance, it is customary in Peru to dress religious statues, and I am planning to clothe a series of statues belonging to the convent’s collection in pure white muslin woven by craftswomen in the north of Peru.