An Interview with Boreal Abode’s Juan Sandiego

Juan Sandiego is a Cardiff based Interior designer and founder of award winning blog Boreal Abode. Juan uses his blog to share pictures of his awesome Mid Century style home as well as sharing home decor tips, easy well-being hacks, practical how-to articles and lots more.

As well as doing all of that, he has become a supportive pillar in the design community on twitter and Instagram through his creation of @Interiorschat. I’ve taken part in a lot of these chats and they are really informative and fun. These chats have helped me to connect with many other like minded designers and bloggers and gain more design knowledge too.

So, let’s find out more about Juan.

Juan Sandie
(Image Credit: Juan Sandiego)

How did you get into interior design?

In secondary school, I tailored my subjects to study a technical degree like architecture or engineering (5-year degrees at the time). However, I thought I wasn’t good enough for those, and chose a shorter degree instead. Now, I’m studying interior design part-time because I can do it. I love the technical aspects of it, the drawings and space planning.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I have a busy job in primary care and that takes up most of my day. But there is always a spare minute here and there. I use my lunch breaks and evenings to run Boreal Abode and Interiors Chat. Days off are better suited for studying, as I can devote all my attention to the course assignments. Even though I’m an organised person, I always wish I had more time in the day!


How would you describe your interior style?

My style can be defined as contemporary with strong mid-century modern influences. I adore mid-century modern and how it revolutionised the design world. It’s forever evolving and will never be off-trend as it’s part of almost every decor style now. And in the spectrum of minimalism and maximalism, my style sits right in the middle.

Juan Sandiego from Boreal Abode's living room
(Image Credit: Juan Sandiego)


What made you want to start a blog?

When I moved into my current home it was a blank canvas. Decorating every room from scratch got my creative juices flowing. So I decided to document my newly acquired passion and share it with the world. I had been blogging since 2006 in other topics, so setting up a new blog was easy. I don’t blog often, but I craft every post with care like a love letter.


What is your favourite DIY project that you have worked on?

I have to confess: I don’t have much experience when it comes to DIY. I only held a paint roller for the first time two years ago! Even though I’ve never carried out large DIY projects, I’m very proud of how I restored the window surrounds in my bedroom. I painted a faux frame, rebuilt the sills and installed solid shutters. If you ask me, I feel I just completed the Taj Mahal.


Where do you look for interior inspiration?

Commercial interior design. From fancy hotels and cute AirBnBs to cafes and office spaces. Commercial projects are likely to try new things and experiment as they seek to stand out. Often, you find their ideas disseminate to residential interior design and finally become mainstream. My bedroom renovation was inspired by hotels in the US and Denmark.

Juan Sandiego's gorgeous mid century  bedroom
(Image Credit: Juan Sandiego)


Do you have any top tips for someone wanting to redesign their home?

I’ve been through it and I’ve made many mistakes. My biggest mistake was possibly using Pinterest in the early stages. I wanted to implement all the cool trends and popular things I kept pinning. The result? A poor copy of someone else’s home. Now, I understand the importance of finding your unique decorating style before seeking inspiration online.


What are your top trend predictions for 2020?

The shift towards organic forms, natural materials and textures is exciting. Furniture, in particular, is having a revolution with radical curves and impossible volumes. Soon, this will be an option in high street retailers. In terms of colours, warmer earthy ones are slowly replacing crisp whites and cool greys. The stigma of beige is long gone!

To find out more about Juan, please check out his website here and Instagram account here. I would like to thank Juan for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to chat with me and share his expert design tips and tricks. I suggest that you check out @InteriorsChat on twitter too – it’s a fab place to connect with other interior designers nd bloggers and chat all things interiors!

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Juan Sandiego interview graphic

Speak soon,

Eve x

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