Natalia Miyar on how to add textural interest to your home

a living room with a fireplace
Natalia Miyar on how to add textural interestAna Lui

Born in Mexico, raised in Miami and currently based in London, Natalia Miyar studied art history and trained as an architect before making the move into interior design. It’s no surprise, then, that her contextual approach embraces the geographical, the historical and the artistic elements of locations, all of which inform her multilayered projects.

Having launched in 2016, her atelier, with its headquarters in Chelsea as well as offices in New York and Miami, now employs a 20-strong team to manage the demand for its sophisticated and liveable interiors.

natalia miyar interior designer
Natalia Miyar

‘I find inspiration everywhere, especially when I’m travelling and if I’m surrounded by art,’ says Miyar. ‘What draws me to a piece is its materiality and physicality, and I love bringing that same texture to my design work via a chunky weave, a linen with a handloomed quality, hammered metals or a deeply veined stone. It’s a thread that runs throughout all our projects; whether we’re using bold colours or the most soothing cashmere palette, texture will always be there.’

Emphasising her versatility and global appeal, Miyar also has a loyal fan-base in Ibiza. ‘I’m proud of the work we’ve done on the island, as it feels very different to what’s usually expected,’ she says. ‘Ibiza inspires me endlessly – the textural contrast of the rugged coastline, the lushness of the foliage and the Balearic Sea with its multiple shades of blue. Those greens and blues are my go-to for schemes that are vibrant but also relaxing.’

a dining room with a table and chairs
Ana Lui

What are her recent projects?

As many studios have found, creative seeds sown during challenging Covid times are now coming to fruition, and for Miyar that includes a characterful home in Notting Hill. ‘It was a charming brief, where the clients requested a city version of a country house,’ she says. ‘The building is Grade II-listed and they were keen to make it feel original and to celebrate its history. It’s very colourful, very textured and encapsulates the personality of the couple and their two little boys, so I’m really proud of it.’

natalia miyar snug pattern drenching
Ana Lui

In addition, a real breakthrough for the atelier has been The Twenty Two, a hotel and private members’ club in London’s Mayfair. This 31-bedroom Edwardian property, which opened its doors in April 2022, was the start, says Miyar, of a great shift. ‘Up until that point we’d always been a boutique firm, and the elegance and discretion of keeping residential projects quieter was something I was committed to. But the hotel proved to be an opportunity to explore something new.’ Doused in saturated shades and dressed in velvet, fringing and decadent wallpapers, the spaces are also peppered with vintage artworks, furniture and objects found at Parisian flea markets. ‘Everything is held together by vibrant colours and just a touch of whimsy,’ continues Miyar. ‘Working on it opened the doors to hospitality, which in turn has expanded our audience.’

a bathroom with a mirror
Nicole Franzen

What is she working on next?

Looking ahead, her packed international schedule includes creating a family house in Marbella and another in Vail, Colorado, both of which are third projects for satisfied clients. Also in the pipeline is a second hotel, this time in Mexico. ‘I can’t disclose where, but it’s a beachy setting and I’m designing some bespoke pieces, which are inspired by traditional Mexican craft,’ says Miyar. ‘These are the kind of things I grew up with, so it feels a little bit like a homecoming.’

She says: ‘I love to get deep into the heartbeat of art, a craft, a material, a design legacy or the context of a place. My degree in art history was very much about the exploration and the visual narrative so, for me, that’s always the foundation.’

Expert advice

Natalia Miyar on how to use texture to add interest to your home

Use at least three different textures in each space. For example, I love pairing a boucle sofa with a linen armchair and a textured wallpaper, such as raffia. This will create interest and depth in a room.

Remember that texture can also be visual. A favourite example of this is the powder room in my Miami home. I used amazonite stone with a strong vein that gives the illusion of texture alongside a woven wallpaper. Vintage abstract Murano wall lights add yet another layer of contrast.

a bedroom with a red bed

Pattern can also play its part. I love to create juxtaposition with scale, for example using a small or soft pattern on a headboard and then a large, heavier pattern on a cushion. This can give any scheme a sense of playfulness and encourage people to touch and feel.

Effective lighting enhances surfaces. Clever illumination can exaggerate contrast and highlight tactile elements while also adding softness and warmth. When the lighting is right, textures really come alive.