Designers & Artists

The Mediterranean Magic of Mermelada Estudio

One of our longest-running design relationships shows no signs of slowing down

As much as we love sourcing and scouting new talent, there’s something to be said for tried and true. A relationship that has grown and evolved over the years; one truly based on trust and mutual understanding—like the work we’ve done with Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio for more than a decade.

Mermelada Estudio was founded by Laura Blasco, Juanmi Juárez and Alex Estévez. Each designer has trained in different creative fields in major cities across Europe such as Milan and London. That European influence is evident in their work, which Mermelada describes as having an “elegant and carefree character.” Indeed, their studio is a small two-story house located in Gràcia, a central Barcelona neighborhood dotted with architectural landmarks, art house cinemas, galleries, boutiques, bistros and wine bars. The technical work happens on the second level, while the ground floor is home to a large table for brainstorming and a patio for chatting, coffee or simply enjoying a sunny day.

We are surrounded by the sea, history and modernism. It is a way of looking at life.

“Our greatest source of inspiration is our way of life. We live in a Mediterranean city, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Whenever a neighbor pays us a surprise visit at the studio, even if we have a lot of work, it is impossible for us not to stop and have a chat with them over coffee. All this permeates and leaves its mark on our designs,” says Mermelada. “We are surrounded by the sea, history and modernism. It is a way of looking at life.”

The Mediterranean Magic of Mermelada Estudio

The Mediterranean Magic of Mermelada Estudio

The Mediterranean Magic of Mermelada Estudio

Every year our relationship has come closer and closer to the point where we understand each other without words.

Even the way we began working together has a bit of European flair to it. “We met ten years ago at the Salone Satellite in the Milan Fair when we were introducing our first designs internationally,” explains Mermelada. “The CB2 team saw our work and asked if we wanted to collaborate. A few months later we received the first briefs. After some nerves and many, many drawings, our first two products came into being: a bed and a coat rack.”

Those first products, like much of what CB2 was selling a decade ago, were more fresh and youthful. Over time, both Mermelada’s designs and CB2’s brand have grown up a bit, as it were, evolving to a more elegant and sophisticated place—but always with that creative edge. Or, as the Mermelada designers say, “The personality is the result of a dialogue and balance between shapes, finishes and details.”

The personality of a Mermelada Estudio design is also informed by the creative inputs of three designers and the individual interests, inspirations and points of view each brings with them. The initial stage of a design is the most important part of the process for the team, as they describe: “It is where the essence is. We share inspirations, concepts, drawings and details before gathering everything together. We then select and debate until we find the best proposals. Once this more creative part of the process has been defined, we divide up the more technical tasks and an essential dialogue with the CB2 team begins. Just like in a game of table tennis, the proposals go back and forth until we reach a result we are all satisfied with. Every year our relationship has come closer and closer to the point where we understand each other without words.”

Quick Fire

  • Work in silence or with background noise: J_ Music
  • Soundtrack of your life: A_ The Strokes
  • Coffee order: J_ espresso
  • Cocktail order: A_ Bloody Mary
  • We’ll never catch you without: L_ pencils, notebooks …
  • Guilty pleasure: J_ motorbikes
  • Airport reads: A_ Barbarian days: a surfing life
  • Style icons: L_ Annie Hall
  • Favorite designer: A_ Nana Dietzel
  • Favorite place to travel: J_ Mallorca
  • Where you’d most like to live: L_ Any city as long as it is by the Mediterranean Sea
  • Your greatest extravagance: A_ I only eat red M&Ms
  • Most treasured possession: L_ My daughter Emilia’s first sketches
  • Most overused word or phrase: A_ you know?
  • Tea or coffee: L_ Always coffee
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