The cradle of design, Italy always has design candies in its pockets,...
As interior designers, we are always on the lookout for fresh, aesthetically superior furniture. Design shows, gorgeous finds by fellow designers and magazines, Pinterest and Google search… we all have our routines to make sure we stay up to date on the hottest furniture design. But how many of us remember to check Etsy for furniture?
Habitables is a brainchild of Manuel Barrera who stands behind brand’s design, marketing and customer service. His unique furniture is a brilliant blend of mid-century style and the contemporary look. Like many successful businesses, this one also comes with an inspiring story to tell.
Back in 2013, Barrera moved to a new house with his family, and the struggle for finding the right furniture to fit their new home pushed him to make a decision that will eventually change his life from its roots. He got a crazy idea to design the furniture himself, and he went for it.
To be honest, he didn’t actually start from scratch. He had some knowledge of Photoshop, 3-D and CAD which helped him tremendously in turning his vision into detailed drawings. However, he wasn’t in the furniture design business, so everything else was entirely new for him.
The sketches were just the first step. He was yet to find a reliable workshop that would turn his wishes into reality at an affordable price. Many meetings failed before he was able to find what he was looking for.
The public quickly recognized his talent, and he was able to quit his former job and devote himself fully to Habitables just a year after he opened the shop. Today, he runs a home studio in Madrid, Spain and works only with local artisans with an intent to re-enable the local craftsman. In Barrera’s words “I believe the future is in the hands of “manutailers” – manufacturers that become retailers and sell directly to the public.” In the era of internet, this kind of business strategy is more than sustainable. Demand for a personal approach is high, and with the internet, wherever you may be, you can still get a personalized experience that was once reserved only for local services.
One-on-one conversations with clients and creating custom furniture is what keeps Barrera’s passion running. He even set a photo studio to help him style his products for marketing purposes. Yes, these shots were taken by the designer himself, and they prove once again Barrera’s love for details and impeccable style.
And he shouldn’t. His modern, mid-century inspired pieces are built to last. Their sleek designs, top-notch materials and production bring more value for the given price, than any mass produced items could ever do.
Barrera’s furniture and passion inspired us to write this article. The feature is in no way sponsored or endorsed.