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Mastering the arts: Soraida Bedoya's world of interior design.

Soraida Bedoya's international background and training in fine art and art therapy makes her a natural for the upscale world of interior design. Her company, Related Arts Interior Designs, draws on 14 years of experience across two hemispheres and exposure to a variety of artistic lineages. Bedoya, an out lesbian, was born in Colombia and she has lived in Brazil, Australia, and now New York City. Her aesthetic sensibilities have been honed to perfection and yet she has a practical and down-to-earth approach to her profession. She is attuned to the fluctuations of the art world, and adept at applying aspects of it to the world of her clients, no matter who they are.

"My first question is: how do you want to feel in your space? I ask them to create a look book, with images taken from catalogues. I base the look on their lifestyle: Do they have children, do they like to entertain, is one room used only by one person? I take it in layers and try to work out what their story is."

Design is not something just for the pages of glossy magazines, fancy shop windows, or luxe mail order catalogues. It is a way to explore and enrich our surroundings. "When I come home I want a sanctuary," says Bedoya, who doesn't like clutter or overdesign. Her preferred style is contemporary with a selective if minimalist approach. Her background in sculpture gives her a unique appreciation of objects. "I ask: How do we live with objects, how do we relate to them? The objects we're attached to tell the story of us. We hang onto those cherished possessions but often, when we have the urge to redecorate, it's because we want to purge, because things are shifting in our lives."

Bedoya is well acquainted with such shifts. She sought refuge in the Long Island village of Sag Harbor to recover from a breakup, and returned to sculpture as a process of making whole again. Of all her possessions her bed is the most prized--it is a home within a home. "At the end of the day that is where we all end up," she says. And, like a bed, the objects in your space should be there to support you.

Embarking on a home redo can be exhausting, expensive, and emotional, but it can add value to your home--not to mention, your wellbeing. A service Bedoya offers clients is "Before You Begin," which sets out taste, budget, timelines, expectations, and marries them with the realities of a design project. While most of us make do pacing the aisles of Home Depot, IKEA, Crate & Barrel, and patching a "look" together, it's worth consulting a designer and asking yourself, when it comes to home, what are the values that are most important to you (and your partner). It's quite the discovery project, too. For example, what object do you think you can't live without? Which room in the house is most important to you? Where do you spend the most time?

Bedoya can lead you to these discoveries and answer other questions such as what's in vogue now, and what will be in a decade. How important is texture, shape, color, style?

Ironically, while many men don't see the value in interior design, and their wives do, it's gay men that have cornered the design market. Bedoya is that rare thing: a lesbian interior designer. And with her impeccable sense of style, I'm glad she's mastered the art. (


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Title Annotation:features/STYLE
Author:Johns, Merryn
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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