Let us know if you need a minute to pick your jaw up from off the floor! Erick Millan’s design studio, Casablanca, located in Guadalajara, Mexico is a jungalicious, creative space with stunning architectural details that are drool worthy! We need to sit down to take in these arches y’all!
Phew! Ok, now that we’ve had a second to catch our breath, let’s get to know Erick and learn more about Casablanca – shall we? Erick is an internationally-inspired interior designer, architect and self-proclaimed tree hugger. He invokes elements from the natural world to create vibrant, generative, and uniquely uplifting spaces. When he’s not listening to gangster rap, he is working out or applying his signature design technique, “exteriorism” (bringing the outdoors in – which you know we are very into!) to his clients’ homes and spaces. Before founding Casablanca Design, Erick studied architecture and interior design in both the United States and Japan. He shares, “I had the opportunity to gain a rich experience in spiritual design and sustainable architecture, as well as experience in graphic design, brand positioning and project management. My goal is to create balance and imagination while allowing the design to create history with nature while still maintaining the space’s main purpose.” Erick describes his aesthetic as “eclectic maximalism.”
Erick chose Guadalajara as the location of his design studio because “there are plenty of talented carpenters, artisans here and the weather is nice – it rains a lot which means that my plants will always be green!” You’re not kidding, Erick! Those ARE some happy plants!! Erick wants people to feel relaxed, like they are walking into a tree house, when they are visiting Casablanca.
We asked Erick what inspired him to become an interior designer and he shared that he used to be the creative director of a company called Cesars Way Inc., where he worked with his brother, Cesar Millan. Erick’s brother was going through a difficult time in his life and attempted suicide. Erick decided to help Cesar find a new place to live, so while Erick searched for a new apartment for his brother, he also sourced furniture, decor accessories, and all kinds of things that would help to create a healing space for Cesar. That turning point in Erick (and his brother’s life) is such a testament to the power of how intentional design can comfort, uplift, and heal us. Erick’s brother is doing great now, btw!
Erick was recently in Los Angeles for a special event – seeing Beyonce in concert with her hubby. We asked him tell us all about it and here’s what he had to say: “Yes! Ma gurl! Beyonce! It was beyond amazing, my neck still hurts from pretending having a pony tail during the concert. :(” Erick, we feel your pain – who doesn’t have a Bey dance injury?!
Erick shares his secret for bringing the good vibes into any space: bright, fun colors, crystals, and plants (if the conditions are right) and he burns sage or copal through the whole space before the clients enter.
All photos by Cesar Bejar