No stranger to the Jungalow fam, head designer at Casablanca Design – Erick Millan is sharing his Dia De Los Muertos inspired tablescape with us and we’re living for it. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Erick studied architecture and interior design all around the world. Focusing on elegance and functionality, Erick’s goal is to increase the efficiency of a space by integrating balance, culture, nature, and imagination. We sat down with Erick to chat about his design and the meaning behind it:
We love how color can evoke a feeling. Tell us about the colors you used in décor? Do they have specific meaning to you/the holiday?
The color palette for this table (is) really very basic and specific for this holiday, the principal colors are the orange and pink and purple because (these) are the typical flowers that represent this guide for the dead visitors we honor during this day.
Do you celebrate Day of the Dead? If so, what’s your most cherished tradition or memory associated with this holiday? How did you tie that into the design?
One of my most cherished moments (is) when I made the very first altar in my house, it was the first year that I spent without my grandparents because it was really personal, we cooked their favorite food, put some coke and cigarettes that they used to love, the music, some old clothes or accessories we kept after they passed. It was a really big mix of feelings, memories and we spent a good time as a family sharing stories about them. The design part of this festivity I think is really easy, it’s a mix of the traditional way to set all the elements but also the freedom of play with everything, trying to make it perfect for this “party”. For me in this day, it’s all about the feelings.
Your use of texture here is divine! Which textures did you choose and what was your thought process behind pairing them together?
The selection of each piece was easy and difficult at the same time. It was easy because the color palette is basically the same since always, and a lot of the materials and textures are present in the altar it was just a reinterpretation of each element: like instead of gold in jewelry, apply it in the forks, the wood for the fire put it as the table, and with the other element as the ceramic, the glass and the petals we give them the same use but with the design element making them more attractive while choosing pieces that were unique and show the Mexican crafts.
Plants/flowers play a big part of this set up. How did incorporating natural elements/plants/flowers help you execute your vision?
The vision was clear, the reinterpretation of a very traditional Mexican altar, but placing each element in a dinner table. As a plant and nature lover, this place was perfect for me and one of the things that help(ed) me during the process was think(ing) about what would be my perfect altar if I was dead, how I would like that my family honor me during this holiday, I mean I would be so happy to come back and dinner in this table around all these plants and flowers full of color.
Tell us about the location – how did you find it, where is it, any fun facts to include?
The location its actually part of my working space. It’s the backyard of my studio so you can tell that it make(s) everything more easy because as I told you, one of the inspiration points for this table was think(ing) about how I would like my altar look like if I were dead.
When hosting guests/friends, how do you want them to feel when they see your table top designs?
I want them to feel at home and in the comfort of a safe and relaxed place, because with this feeling you can be sure that it doesn’t matter if the food is not perfect, its all about the experience and being in company of the people you care about.
What are your top 3 ideas/tips for styling/designing a tabletop? What are 3 words that describe your style? Are there any elements included in this set up that represents your signature style?
My top 3 tips for designing a table top are:
Choose a color palette and make it all around that,
Add colors because it makes it more fun and even helps the food to look more delicious and you don’t need to spend a lot of money, use elements in your own house as decoration.
And the 3 words that I think describe my style are: Colorful, borroco (baroque) and fun
What are you most proud of about this design/set up?
That I get to show a really beautiful Mexican tradition and make my own interpretation of it, at the end its celebration for our loved ones.
Table décor by @erickmillandesign
Photography by @clement.chevelt
Location in @le.casablanca
Chairs by @mexadesign
Plates by @rabiclay
Sculptures by @omibos
Flowers by @corazondevioleta