Our Home Tour takes you inside the homes and lives of tastemakers from all over the globe. The series focuses on the individuality and design of each home and includes interviews with the owners. Maso, a Venezuelan-born designer, lives in Stockholm and is an expert in using vibrant, expressive colors in her Happy Socks work. She also adds personality to her 590-square foot apartment with her partner. The designer combined her love for Scandinavian minimalism and her natural affinity for rich colours to transform her 140-year-old home in Sodermalm. From a checkerboard-patterned kitchen floor that she painted with her boyfriend, to a worktop repurposed from an IKEA garage workbench, her space is filled with budget-friendly hacks that satisfy the need for both function and style. And while she enjoys saturated hues, Maso has deliberately kept the walls neutral, allowing her eclectic decor – made up of auction finds, family heirlooms and framed art prints – and good-looking furniture to shine.Here, Maso shares how she draws on her heritage and background in design to elevate her interiors.
Q: How does being born in Venezuela and living in Stockholm influence your design sensibilities?
Growing up in Venezuela was the most lush visual experience you can imagine. The houses are painted in all the colors of the rainbow. Caracas is a city nestled in a tropical valley with wild trees, vegetation, and flowers. Beauty pageants are heavily influential on fashion, so sequins and high heels are welcome. Venezuelans, as I would venture to say, share the same motto as most Latin American countries, is that more is better. I then moved to the land where minimalism, functionality, and not being different. It was a stark shift that I accepted with open arms. It was so different from my previous knowledge. Stockholm is a beautiful city, with refined and sophisticated tastes. I appreciate all the things I don’t know but do enjoy. I feel that I have assimilated to the city after living here for seven years. While I will always be a strong advocate for color, I can see the appeal of the “less is More” mentality. However, my current view is that sometimes less is more.
Q: What other types of creative or design work do your plans to pursue in the future?
I would love to explore home textiles which is something that I have difficulty finding. The majority of the available options are so earthy. Dusty? Pastel? I want crazy, vibrant, geometric forms. And this is purely a fantasy because the reality would be a nightmare, but I would love to design and decorate a future restaurant for my boyfriend, who is a chef.
Q: Let’s talk about your beautiful apartment. How did it look before you renovated it?
This apartment is 55m square. It was built in 1881 on Sodermalm, Stockholm’s southern island. We fell in love with its high ceilings and original details such as the double doors and skirting. But it looked completely different from what it is now. The kitchen was outdated, uncomfortably designed and ugly. The floors were yellowed in the 1970s and had been badly scratched. We decided to paint the entire place. The only thing that people find surprising is that the entire space, except for the bedroom, is completely white. Although I love color, not all colors are my favorite. In fact, I really don’t like colored walls. Perhaps it is because many Venezuelans would paint their living rooms in shades such as acid green. It has always been a passion of mine to see art galleries with white walls that let the objects speak for themselves. This is a difficult and very emotional question. This is something my family often talks about and something I reflect on a lot. Being from an immigrant family, and also having been born in Venezuela, it is something we have always discussed. My whole family fled Venezuela 10 years ago due to political unrest and lack of food, medicine, and other basic human necessities. Like many Venezuelans, it was not a safe place to live. Since then I haven’t lived with my parents. Therefore, when I say that I’m “going back home” to visit them, it is in their new Spanish city. I don’t have any other connection to Spain. I have lived in three cities since our departure. I have lived in Sweden for seven years and bought my first apartment there. It’s not a simple word. “Home” can be a loaded one because it’s both a distant, nostalgic memory from Caracas and also my family. I have a new family in Stockholm, and I love secondhand shopping. There are a gazillion shops selling secondhand goods, from large auction houses like Bukowskis and Stockholms Auktionsverk to charity shops like Stadsmission and Myrorna to online marketplaces such as Tradera or Sellpy. Vintage items are amazing in quality and workmanship. The quality and craftsmanship of vintage items is amazing. Skultuna is another Swedish brand that I love for all things brass. This manufacturer produces objects such as candleholders, bottle openers and flower pots. The manufacturer makes objects such as candleholders, bottle openers, and flower pots. As someone who doesn’t like gallery walls, I have been longing for a large piece of art. This is the exact print I was looking for.
New Tendency shelf made of aluminum: I love New Tendency’s work and have a sidetable from their design studio. It speaks to me. I also love the combination of metal accents and colorful details. It adds strength to the mix and brings out the “cute”.
Nuage vase in green: This was on my wishlist for a while, but I cannot justify spending the money because I already have way more vases than I need. It’s so fun! Alessi Pulcina espresso maker: I find the design to be so incongruous that it is absolutely amazing. Although we already have a good Italian coffee maker, maybe someone will love me enough to read this list and tell me that Christmas is on the horizon.