Wednesday, 1 July 2009

In Conversation with Amie de Toro

image Amie de Toro

As Seen in SNAP Victoria – July 2009

Amie de Toro has recently moved her Interior Design business to Victoria after living and working in Madrid, London, New York, Lima and Buenos Aires. She has an exquisitely refined sense of style and has been featured in Elle Décor, House and Garden as well as Metropolitan Home. Amie has also developed a stunning line of home accessories that did very well during her time in New York after graduating from the Parsons School of Design.

Amie was born and raised in Peru and I am absolutely ecstatic to have an introduce a fellow talented, Latin interior designer here on the island, someone who can speak my native language and share my passion.

Iván Meade - What is your favourite design find?

Amie de Toro My favourite design find is a Bauhaus like coffee table that I purchased many years ago in my first ever flea market venture in NYC.

Amie-de-ToroAyacucho – Buenos Aires

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván - Why is it important to you?

Amie de Toro This piece marked the beginning of an era for me and the discovery of one of my favourite pastimes of all: strolling down the jammed aisles of flea markets.


amie_067 Vignettes Oak Bay Residence – Victoria, Canada

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván - How does this item reflect upon your personal design philosophy?

Amie de Toro I like objects that are relatively simple in form yet are temperamental in spirit. This Bauhaus like table with its pure lines and clarity of shape stays within the context of function, striving for elegance and character.

amie_008 Oak Bay Residence – Victoria, Canada

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Amie de Toro - I was five years old when I first travelled abroad. My family had planned a trip to Caracas, Venezuela. I remember the moment I set my eyes in the city, I became absolutely captivated by the site of houses and buildings that seemed to be suspended on mountains of exuberant tropical vegetation. After that trip, I spent the following year obsessively drawing all but little houses of all shapes pending from an ocean of wild greenery.


amie_028amie_023 Oak Bay Residence – Victoria, Canada

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – We share a common bond with our Latin background. How have you found your heritage has influenced your style?

Amie de Toro – When I think of my heritage it comes to my mind vibrant and bold colors in the form of rich and intricate fabrics made by the natives in my country town Peru. I love color in abundance. Color has the most accessible and uplifting effect I can think of. I believe we should all indulge in color and stay away from being shy when using it.

image Woodhouse Boutique – London

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – Who or what else has influenced your style?

Amie de Toro - I cannot think of something or someone specifically. However, having lived and having been exposed to such diverse cultures and people throughout my life has certainly had an impact in my approach to design: I like layering varied and sometimes opposing elements that don't necessarily come from neither the same period of time nor the same corner of the world.

image Bulnes – Buenos Aires

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro


Olivos – Buenos Aires

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

imageAyacucho – Buenos Aires

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Amie de Toro – To me it's more about connecting different pieces that share some element and trying to find a shared quality. For example, a 18th century Moroccan hand weaved rug that has got its daintiness to it can live next to a Barcelona chair that has its own daintiness. The two share a quality and work together beautifully. I love the eclecticism of combination.


Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Amie de Toro – It is interesting to see how environmentally friendly design has become more desirable and more doable. My sense is that there has been a dramatic leap in interest in sustainability and in the knowledge of it. Through global efforts we can now attain stylish, affordable and contemporary design that is yet responsible to the environment.



amie_105 Oak Bay Residence – Victoria BC

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Amie de Toro – I believe I bring an international and broader perspective into design. Having lived and worked in different environments has given me a quick eye and a deeper understanding of what the design trends and preferences are for each particular region and groups of people. My greatness weakness? Working in pastel tones.

amie_044amie_042 Oak Bay Residence – Victoria BC

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – What do you think is missing in the style/homes of Victoria?

Amie de Toro – People are becoming more keen in quality and innovative design here in Victoria. However, it will be nice to see a bit more of boldness and confidence in the approach to design.


amie_087 Oak Bay Residence – Victoria BC

Photograph courtesy of Amie de Toro

Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Amie de Toro – Since 2001 I have been developing a line of high end home accessories that are manufactured in my hometown Peru. My aim is to introduce and sell my designs in home boutique stores along Canada. The collections embody a unique mixture of urbane, contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship. One of the most rewarding aspects of this job is the chance to help artisans in my country whose work is disappearing as a consequence of the influx of inexpensive, mass produced goods.

image imageimage Maga Sabao by Amie de Toro

I invite you to discover Amie de Toro’s work


Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011


Jeffito said...

Victoria certainly needs more bold statements in design. I agree with Amie 100%.

The interview is a nice reminder that Victoria does draw into its fold hidden gems of talent like Amie.

Good job in finding and exposing such talent Ivan.

Kathy said...

Amie's work is fantastic! Love her style.

Mirrored furniture said...

Amie de Toro is super talented! Classy interiors!

Brillante Interiors said...

I totally agree with her approach to design and to most of her statements.
Thanks Ivan for another great profile.

qerat said...

Beautiful interiors with a grand international flavour.
I also like her accessories a lot
We have come to wait for these interviews Ivan

Maria Regidor (via Facebook) said...

"wow que preciosidad, que bien presentado y que buena pinta tiene todoooooooo!!!!!!!"

Jessica B said...

The Green Dining Room with the Gracie Wallpaper is to die for.

I love the juxtaposition of traditional with contemporary elements.

Thanks! Ivan, I love your interviews.

DesignTies said...

I always enjoy reading your interviews because you introduce me to so many wonderful designers :-)

I love Amie's approach to colour :-) And the pieces you've shown of her line of home accessories are great.

I've added your studio to my post about Michelle's renderings :-)


Whitney Gray said...

very chic!

i am enamored.

Monique P said...

Amie's sensibility is so unique - I love her style.

Michelle said...

Her work is stunning...and in Victoria...lovely. Another wonderful interview Ivan!

Running with Scissors Studio - The Blog said...

We look forward to seeing Amie's line of home accessories when it becomes available. It's always a pleasure to be introduced to a designer who appreciates and supports true artisans.

Maria Killam said...

Ivan, I totally love your blog, the reason I didn't include you in my 10 was that I had already dedicated an entire post to you when I came to visit, and I was trying to just keep it at 10 (which was clearly a dumb idea) Next time I'll just keep going until I'm done to make sure all my friends are included as well!

Koo and Poppet said...

I love her bold colour choices (the marigold and magenta) in an otherwise traditional room.
great feature interview once again, Ivan!

Echito said...

She has such elegant and refined taste without looking like its from a catalogue. Stunning!