Antonio Fuente is a designer and interior decorator who came to interior design and décor after several years in the world of corporate identity, design and illustration. Together with Gerardo Bezanilla, Fuente founded BEUSUAL in 2001 and since then has been adapting to all the disciplines related to interior design. He is an artisan at heart, experimenting with different materials to produce objects and furniture.
What are the values you identify with?
I always try to distinguish my work from the latest fashions or current trends. I like to think that each project is different from the previous one and meets the needs of the client. I begin with the function and design, very much considering the construction process, to avoid unnecessary costs.
What tools are indispensable for your work?
Before sitting in front of the computer to design the project, I imagine the style, layout and lighting required by the space. Work in 3D is very important to communicate to the client, with a minimum of explanations, how the space will be after the project.
The longest project and the project that marked a before and after
The longest project, without a doubt, is my house, a small flat I bought in the centre of Santander. Over the years I have been transforming it into something entirely personal. The project that has marked a before and after is, without a doubt, a project I have been working on for the last 7 years for Palibex, a logistics company located in Madrid.
The sheer variety of the different spaces and their different uses has given me the opportunity to develop and expand my imagination.
What would you do differently if you had to start over?
I suppose each and every one of the projects I have done in my life. Uses change, evolve and there are always new materials to work with, new ideas and different solutions.
How do you understand design?
Design has been a part of my life since I was a kid. I have always drawn, and I think, in my case, this is the basis of my work. Constant curiosity for materials and technology is very enriching for me. Each and every object that exists has been designed, better or worse, and this makes my work something that is very basic and primary.
Is décor a natural or acquired talent?
When I was a teenager I used to change my room constantly; I transformed or threw away the furniture my parents bought, and I built myself others that were far from usual for a kid my age. I tried out different colours, drew on the walls and it went on from there to other spaces: the terrace, the storage room, etc. Having a mother with an open mind and a lot of patience made me who I am today.
What current trends atract you most?
I don’t usually follow the trends, I browse magazines, pick up ideas in social networks but I generally flee from the latest fashions. I like to let my intuition guide me and I suppose, unconsciously, I end up mixing all of these things together.
One material, one colour and one form.
The material without a doubt is wood. I have a small workshop under my house and I make tests, build furniture and I am slowly learning to be a carpenter. All the traditional materials are perfect for me: iron, stone, leather, wood, glass…
What are the challenges in renovating a space?
The first step for any project is to decide on the ideal layout. I think a lot about the use that will be given to the space. I contrast this and analyse it together with the future users of the space. If it is for work, I try to optimise the use the space. Illumination is the second and possibly the most important element. Each type of use needs an amount of light and a different colour temperature, a space changes completely with two different types of lighting.
You have worked with Hisbalit in the past. What does its range of designs contribute to your work?
Apart from the high quality of the tiles and the textures that the installed material provides, its small format is perfect for creating figures and this offers infinite possibilities.