It's time for a new Rethink Stories. This time we look inside the showroom of Elayne and Marilia, the designers and founders of Mel Interiors. The two architects with Brazilian roots met in Amsterdam about eight years ago. They tell us about the origins of Mel Interiors, their signature style and their dreams for the future.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Marilia and Elayne were born in Brazil and both studied architecture. Call it faith or coincidence that they also share their birthday. After her studies, Marilia opted for a master's degree in Interior Design in Milan. Marilia: "I came to the Netherlands in 2014 and worked as a technical architect in a commercial organisation for many years." Elayne came to the Netherlands three years earlier. Elayne: "After my studies I worked for an interior design studio in Brazil and then did a Masters in Sustainable Architecture in Madrid. Before we started Mel Interiors, a friend assigned me a big interior design project. I decided to ask Marilia to help me out and see whether we would be a good match. That is how Mel Interiors was born. We now have our own showroom and office in Amsterdam."
Marilia: "Mel is a combination of our names. Clients come to us for advice when it comes to styling, renovations and materials. Our style is a blend of contemporary, Scandinavian and Japandi. We take current trends into account, but at the same time we always use a soft and timeless colour palette.” Elayne: "The style of Mel Interiors is a reflection of our own interiors. My house is filled with a bit more colour and plants than Marilia’s.”
Marilia: "For me, home is about the memories. The design choices I make also make me feel at home. Our interior is a mix of furniture from favourite designers, materials and colours that give our family a sense of peace and warmth. I like materials that change over time. For example, leather darkens over the years and marble and wood get stained. These traces of use tell a story about our lives." Elayne: “To me, a home is somewhere everyone feels comfortable and at ease. We have two children, so it is important to me that they truly get to be children. My family members sometimes feel a bit like clients too. I design our interior not only for myself, but also for them. Everyone should feel part of the house."
“Format is flexible and they are real team players. It was a match right from the start.”
Collaboration with Format
Marilia: "We found Format through Instagram and immediately loved their work. Communicating with them has always been straightforward and clear. They are flexible and real team players. It was a match right from the start.” Elayne: "We always send designs for kitchens and other large designs that we create to Format. Just like Mel Interiors, they stand for high-end and quality."
Marilia: "We designed a large cabinet that is unique in itself. It consists of compartments with different heights and has a double function as it also shields the kitchen space." Elayne: "It was important to us that all kinds of different products fit in the cabinet, both large and small. Format excels in the field of custom interior design and furniture. The cabinet turned out exactly as we had envisioned."
And looking at the future - what does it look like and what plans do you have?
Marilia: "We would love to expand our showroom to be able to exhibit all of our favorite brands. Another dream is to release our own collection.” Elayne: "We always dream together. A project abroad is at the top of our wishlist. Running a company involves a lot of peripheral matters. In the future, we hope to expand our team so that we can fully focus on design and styling, but our biggest dream has already come true: opening our own showroom.”