Rosa Beltran has her own small design firm in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles where she designs locally-made, affordable custom furniture. She believes good design should not be out of reach, so she is all about helping to create spaces people truly love to live in. She shares her travels, ideas, and adventures with her adorable son Benicio on her Facebook and Instagram account, her style is fun and open, you can tell she is pretty awesome!
Interview with Rosa Beltran
Where did you grow up? I grew up in the particularly enchanted and creative hot zone of Taos, New Mexico, with ample time spent in Santa Fe where my father was an artist.
How did you start your career?
I began in design working for an Architecture firm that focused on green and environmentally sound design, and there I learned a lot about the thought processes and the approach that goes into the design build process. Once I moved to LA I opened my own design firm and also began learning the ropes of designing and manufacturing custom furniture for my clients, and the rest is history!
Have you always worked in Los Angeles? How would you characterize design in LA?
Well I grew up in New Mexico and then for the first few years of my career I lived and worked in Sun Valley, Idaho, a mountain ski town with a completely different aesthetic than LA. I was also hooked on traveling the world and covered much of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America. All of this exposure totally informs my eclectic "layered and collected" design style that I think fits right in with the global vibe of this city. California clients want comfort and ease yes, but they're also generally pretty well exposed to design and don't want anything cookie-cutter or formulaic. I say yes, why shouldn't we all have eminently livable, comfortable spaces that sacrifice nothing in creativity or style!?
Tell us about the project you’ve enjoyed the most and the most challenging project you worked on.
The beauty of this job is that I'm not just imposing my own aesthetic on my clients, I'm actually listening to their likes and desires and figuring out how to translate those in a really beautiful and cohesive way in their living spaces. It can definitely be a challenge if we start out far apart in our visions, but those are also ultimately the most satisfying projects, once I've figured out how to meld the two and express a client's vision through my own lens. So in a very real sense every project is both the most challenging AND the most rewarding.
How is your ideal room?
My ideal room would be flooded with natural light. If I'm being choosy I'd pick high ceilings too because there's nothing like working with a voluminous space like that. Bring in furniture that combines functionality and beauty, and art that touches you in some way: either makes you laugh, remember a moment in time, daydream, fantasize ... that's going to be a pretty perfect room because it's about how you FEEL vs how others feel or how you THINK you should feel.
What is your favorite color palette?
Ooh that's a hard one because I can totally get down with white walls with multi-layered neutrals like beige, black grey, ivory, plus warm cognac wood or leather tones. That's one of my faves. But colorful palettes excite me too! Blues, greens, and pinks tend to be my favorites. Check out color combos that are opposite each other on the color wheel like blue and orange ... opposites will always pair well together.
What pieces would you arrange with this artwork by Beatrice Cerocci?
The cool color palette of the piece would look great paired with warm wood tones and perhaps accents of black. Design is all about contrast, and I love how the overall muted vibe of this composition contrasts with the scattered black accents of the subjects' clothing and hair. That gives the piece a really great composition, I think.
Charles Eames said: “The details are not the details. They make the design.” What do you think?
Absolutely, in fact I've used that quote often! The details are integral to every space I design. I can curate all the big pieces like great furniture, rug, etc, but without that final layer of art and accessories it will fall completely flat. It's the details that make a room come together and truly sing.
How do you design a gallery wall? Do you combine colors, shapes, frames?
There are so many different ways to create a gallery wall! That said, here are some tips that I generally adhere to:-include at least a few pieces with really wide matts. The negative space will help let the gallery wall "breathe."
-if it's a more organic grouping of frames, vary the size and orientation, mixing vertical with horizontal and larger with smaller. The space between frames needn't be exactly the same as long as the whole composition looks somewhat balanced.
-if I'm framing many prints of similar subject matter I like creating a grid pattern where the frames are exactly equidistant and lined up with each other.
-if you're mixing frame finishes then pick 2 or 3 and be sure to balance the collection. I.e. don't just stick one gold frame in a grouping of all black frames...scatter at least 3 throughout instead.
I'd mix together different original artworks with different frames, but keep the style of the artwork similar. If you are doing a gallery wall exclusively featuring photography, then it is best to make sure that the photographs have similar tones so that they compliment each other even if the subject matter is varied.
What is your favorite design icon of all time?
How about Picasso!? Talk about the ability to reinvent his creativity again and again! From his simplest sketches to his cubist masterpieces, he never stopped pushing and experimenting, which is a quality I really admire in an artist.
What project would you like to do if you could choose any?
I would LOVE to rework a vintage home up in the Ojai Valley area. That mix of Spanish revival and old California ranch is so quintessentially SoCal, and obviously the stunning backdrop of mountains, valleys, and orange groves doesn't hurt it any.
What is the meaning of home?
It's all about feeling comfortable and at peace in your space. We live in such a fast-paced world and we've all got such full plates all the time! Home should feel like a sanctuary from all that, where you go to relax, recharge, and get inspired again.