Today we would like to introduce you to the designer behind Matrika’s first collections: Miriam Dos Santos.
Miriam was born and raised in Galicia, Spain and has had a passion for furniture and interior design since she was a young girl. This passion has grown into a successful career in furniture and fashion design. Now, as a new mother, the baby takes half her time. She admits that it’s not always easy to find the right balance but she deeply loves the work she is doing with Matrika and is happy to be able to do both. An entrepreneur at heart, having launched a number of her own business, she enjoys being involved with the Matrika project and the impact she has on helping the brand create the elegant, high-quality pieces coupling Italian heritage materials and modern design.
A Designer In The Making
What inspired you to become a designer?
«My father works in construction so I grew up building houses with him. He started to take me with him to the sites, and, by helping him, I learned a lot about the basics of construction: materials, structures, and so forth.»
Once she was old enough, at the young age of 15, her father began to introduce her to his clients so she could help them decorate their homes. He noticed Miriam’s talents and wanted to help foster her passion. She reflects on this time fondly by saying, «When girls my age were buying teen magazines, I was using my allowance to buy interior design magazines.»
One of her first independent jobs was for an interior design store in Spain where the owners gave her the opportunity to decorate several corners of their various office spaces. After this experience, she worked on many interior design projects for homes, offices and stores. Miriam then decided to pursue a full-time career in the design world by moving to Barcelona where she learned visual merchandising and window design. She loved this specific area because, while it brought her further away from interior design, it allowed her to combine her interior design experience with fashion - another strong interest of hers. This went so well that she dedicated the next 10 years of her life to building a career as a visual merchandiser.
During this decade she met Mattia, Matrika co-founder, who offered her the opportunity to go back to interior design by decorating the office of the tech company where he worked at the time. They built a great working relationship and, shortly after launching Matrika, Mattia asked her to join him as the designer for the Matrika line. Now, as part of her new role, she is constantly on the lookout for new brands and collections to serve as starting points for her design inspiration each season.
«When girls my age were buying teen magazines, I was using my allowance to buy interior design magazines.»
Miriam @ Work
What does this design process look like and how does it lead to the end result: beautiful, creative tables for Matrika?
«I start by visiting suppliers’ showrooms to see the look and feel of the tiles, myself, because it’s very different to see the design in catalogue versus in real life. For sure it’s always better in real life. To create the design, I focus on the trend for the year. I create a trend book that becomes the foundation for the collection.
From the beginning, I wanted to design an elegant, minimalist table. I wanted the legs, and overall design of the table, to have clean lines in order to showcase the tiles as the hero element. I designed a number of possible leg structures that we then tested with the manufacturer for shape and stability. Now, we are working on new leg designs to give more variety to our customers. After we test the prototypes and I’m happy with the tables, we take pictures and work with a graphic designer to prepare the images of the tables in order to put them on the Matrika website (matrika.io).
The part that I’m happy about is that working with Matrika allows me to work directly with the factories which reminds me of my childhood working with my dad. Each table is made to order for our customers and can be customised as per their requests. Also, if you have a specific tile that you like, you can contact me and I can design a special table for you.»
What makes working with and designing tile tables so special?
«My father is from Portugal which is very famous for its tile. When I was young, I was always surrounded by tiles on the facades of buildingsbuilding and in the interiors. However, I always felt that the tiled tables of the day had quite an 'old and heavy” look. I wanted to change this by creating tile tables that match new (modern) house designs and (that could serve) as more than just outdoor tables. I was really passionate about doing it differently.
Tile is special because tiles that are being made now are more than just tile. If you put it in your home, it can really be a piece of art. It is also durable and easy to clean as well as being heat resistant and waterproof. These qualities make it a very good material for a table. What more do you need?»
«From the beginning, I wanted to design an elegant, minimalist table. I wanted the legs, and overall design of the table, to have clean lines in order to showcase the tiles as the hero element.»
New Collections Insights
What is your favourite Matrika table?
«I don’t have just one favourite. In the current collections, my favourites are Ian from the Malibu collection and Andrea from the Black & White collection. Right now, as I am more into the world of tiles and am designing the new collections, I am very excited about some of the upcoming tables, especially the mosaic collection, which will be coming online very soon.»
What is your focus for the new collection?
«Marble, terrazzo, mosaic, wood and concrete. Playing a lot with the shapes and textures. Innovation through the incorporation of modern materials and trends will continue to be a cornerstone of Matrika’s design principles for each new collection.»
Do you have any design tips for people who currently own or are considering incorporatingto incorporate tile tables into their home décor?
«I think you don’t need a lot of decoration when you have a Matrika table. Best to let the table speak for itself. I am a lover of plants. If you have the table outside, I suggest having lots of plants and natural things around the Matrika table. Indoors with a tile table, it is important to make sure that there are elements that provide warmth and a homey feeling. I am always happy for people to reach out to me via the website or the Matrika social media pages for any specific design tips. Some customers have actually sent me pictures of their rooms and I am always happy to help!»
Miriam is just one part of a team of highly motivated Matrika collaborators that draw inspiration from their roots. Our teams’ passion for both family and high-quality design means that each design is built with heart. That’s why all of our furniture is made-to-order. We look forward to sharing the spotlight with and introducing more members of our team in the future.
Find a table to express your style in the collections by Matrika. Built with local, high-quality materials and handcrafted in Milan, each table has its own unique style and personality.