Directorio Deco by Gloria Gonzalez

In Conversation: Luis Garcia Fraile

Since opening his Madrid studio in 2011, Luis Garcia Fraile has been working non-stop in both residential and commercial projects as well as one-of-a-kind events.  Halfway between traditional and contemporary, his interiors and designs never lack colour or pattern. Hard-working and equally charming, Luis has also become an ‘accidental’ influencer and his loyal Instagram followers love his interiors as much as his Sunday treats.

Discover Luis’s inspiration, favourite Madrid addresses and more in today’s conversation.

How would you describe your style?

I would say that the basis of my style is classic but with a twist. The pillars are ALWAYS classic and from there I move on, I add colour, prints and things that you may not expect to give it that twist.

Luis Garcia Fraile

Luis Garcia Fraile Interior Designer


What’s the favourite room or corner in your home?

I do not have a favourite spot at home. I actually move around my house a lot, depending on the time of the day and the light; I have my reading spot next to the fireplace. I like having breakfast on my yellow banquette in my kitchen… fills me with energy every morning and siesta in my green sofa.

luis garcia fraile madrid apartment

luis garcia fraile madrid apartment luis garcia fraile madrid apartmentThe designer’s Madrid Apartment featured in Elle Decor. Photography by Pablo Sarabia.

One of my favourite interior designers, the late Jaime Parlade, decorated your parents’ house and you met him on several occasions – did his work make any influence on your work?

I knew the late Jaime Parlade very well. As you know he decorated my parent’s house And I had the opportunity to “work” with him there… I was asked by my parents to be in charge of the project with him, when we finished my parents’ house he asked me if I wanted to do an internship with him. In the end, I decided to study for a degree in interior architecture at university. Before that, he had worked with my uncle Alfredo Fraile for many years creating the most wonderful homes for him around Spain. I can really say that it was thanks to him that now I am where I am and that I have been very influenced by his work; the way he mixed patterns and colours, the way he could pair a very expensive antique with a cheap Indian fabric…

5 Madrid favourites

Since I spend a lot of my time in Marbella ( I’m here right now ) I’m going the share my 5  key places between Madrid And Marbella ( hope you don’t mind )

Museo Del Prado in Madrid. For obvious reasons.

Hotel Alcuzcuz in Marbella. Home of the late Jaime Parlade. Although they have changed things a little you can have a glimpse of what his house looked like… it’s a very nice boutique hotel. (I wrote a blog post a few years ago about this home, you can read it here)

La fábrica de Hielo , Marbella. By far, the nicest store in Spain. Full of inspiring stuff. Jose Luis and Kitty ( the owners) together with Andres Sauceda have created the most incredible store you can imagine… You can’t miss it.

Hotel Marbella Club. Best hotel in Spain

Restaurante Horcher, Madrid. One of the oldest restaurants in Madrid. Amazing ambience, food is great and the service is top-notch.

la fabrica de hielo store marbella

la fabrica de hielo store marbellaLa Fabrica de Hielo in Marbella

Is there a common factor in all your projects?

I think that the use of vibrant colours and prints is something common in all of my projects.

.Luis Garcia Interior Designer

Luis Garcia Fraile Interior DesignerPablo Sarabia Photography.

Thank you so much, Luis!

For more information visit or

It’s a dog’s life: decorating with canine artwork

Man’s best friend has been a popular subject for artists – from hunting scenes and Baroque tableaux to commissioned portraits demonstrating wealth, status and affection for the canine companions of European High Society. In this blog post, I have rounded up some of my favourite interiors with canine paintings that prove they can be a timeless addition to any room of any kind.

robert kime dog artwork

Robert Kime Dog ArtworkRobert Kime

brooke astor dog painting

Brooke Astor dog paintingsBrooke Astor and her canine art collection via AD. Billy Cunningham photography.

‘I started collecting paintings of dogs about 15 years ago. Dogs have always been a part of my life; I don’t believe I could survive without them. Inspired by their ever-loyal friendship, I started to adorn my walls with pictures of them. I chose works from the 19th century, mostly English, with a few Spanish and French, and have stuck to that. Queen Victoria, who was as sentimentally addicted to dogs as I am, had every one of her pets painted and her courtiers quickly followed her example. Thanks to that prolific period of dog lovers, I now have 74 dog pictures in the front hall and on the staircase wall of my house in the country. I have never bought a costly dog painting—say, by Stubbs—but I have Landseers, Herrings, Ackermanns, and so on. I have pictures of dogs tearing up a newspaper with a picture of Gladstone on it; dogs obviously adoring their masters, and carrying notes or slippers or gray top hats in their mouths; dogs mourning their masters; dogs sleeping or playing; and others simply posing. The dogs are my only really large collection, and the staircase was the right place for them, although they now also fill the upstairs hall.’  Brooke Astor, AD 1982

oscar de la renta connecticut homeOscar de la Renta Connecticut Home

gstaad home by Jaime ParladeA chalet in Gstaad by Jaime Parlade. Ricardo Labougle photography

Robin Birley London bedroomRobin Birley London home via WSJ

mario buatta dog artworkMario Buatta iconic Manhattan Apartment via AD.

A rustic folly by McWhirter Morris Interior Design

twin bedroom by katie ridder with dog artworkKatie Ridder client’s framed dog portraits create a mural-like effect on the walls of this country guest room. Eric Piasecki photography.

louise townsend home The charming home of Louise Townsend

Dog artwork staircaseRichard Keith Langham Trel Brok Photography

le jonchet givenchy

le jonchet givenchyLe Jonchet, Hubert de Givenchy’s country home


dog gallery wallBrian Woodcock

San Patrignano

At the beginning of the year, I had a phone call with Luca Giunta and Sandro Pieri from San Patrignano. I was planning to visit their community in Spring but as it has happened to most of 2020 plans, it was cancelled (I should say postponed as I’m still very keen on visiting them!). However, I didn’t want to wait longer to share the amazing work they do.

Located in the hills of Rimini, Italy, San Patrignano is the biggest and most successful rehab community in Europe. Free of charge for all the residents who go there to recover from drug, alcohol or gambling abuse, San Patrignano doesn’t have any government funds for support. It is 50% to 60% self-sufficient and gets the rest of its support from donors who believe in its social mission.

Hosting people from all over the world, San Patrignano’s program is based on education and rehabilitation over a minimum period of 3 years and is tailored to each resident varying depending on the characteristics and needs of the individual. They offer over 40 life and training sectors, many of which have been set up thanks to the commitment of artisans, craftsmen and industry professionals: from winemaking to dairy production to fabric and wallpaper design. Is the latter of  San Patrignano’s departments that I’m most familiar with, the Design Lab, and the one where Luca and Sandro work closely with.

Luca Giunta is in charge of the artisanal workshops, developing projects with companies in the field of interiors and fashion. Sandro Pieri is Wallpaper Sanpatrignano soul and the mentor of all the people in the program. In Luca’s words, ‘he is a father, an older brother, a friend, a strict teacher, a motivator’. Sandro was one of the people who arrived at San Patrignano looking for help 30 years ago and he never left. He discovered his passion for design while working with Renzo Mongiardino and decided to share with others what he learnt. He still does to this day.

san patrignano

The original image for ‘Casa d’Arte’ , now known as San Patrignano Design Lab.

When the community was just starting, in the early 1980s, Renzo Mongiardino brought in his valued craftsmen to teach San Patrignano residents forgotten skills, such as stencilling and waxing paper to look like parquet; artisans who fear that their knowledge will die with them continue to donate teaching time.

renzo mogiardino wallpaper san patrignano renzo mogiardino wallpaper san patrignano

renzo mongiardino san patrignano

Projects by Renzo Mongiardino including decorative work by San Patrignano.

Over the last three decades, San Patrignano has been working with renowned interior designers and brands around the world.  It was through the collaboration they did with Paolo Moschino that I discovered their incredible work. They were doing a demonstration at the Chelsea Harbour during London Design Week and I was blown away by their skills and how passionate they were about what they do (special thanks to Gemma Miller from the Nicholas Haslam – Paolo Moschino team who kindly introduced me to them that day).

San Patrignano Paolo Moschino Nicholas HaslamPaolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen with Sandro Pietri and Gianluca Ceregioli from Wallpaper San Patrignano.

wallpaper san patrignano for Nicholas Haslam Paolo Moschino

wallpaper san patrignano for Nicholas Haslam for Paolo Moschino

The Boiserie Collection. a selection of Wallpapers and borders by Wallpaper San Patrignano for Nicholas Haslam-Paolo Moschino, inspired by Renzo Mongiardino’s work.

Lady de Rothschild's Ascott House, Buckinghamshire

Lady de Rothschild’s Ascott House in Buckinghamshire with wallpaper by San Patrignano. Photography by Simon Upton via Tatler Magazine.

A couple of weeks ago they launched their latest collaboration, Solesempre. Last March, during lockdown, they were looking for a market place and through Instagram, they got in touch with Marco Credendino, Artemest’s CEO, who was keen to support them and create a collection were 100% of the profits would go to San Patrignano.  Then they brought on board Giovanna Bianco, or Gina as they call her. She is a New York-based visionary, designer and textile conservator, who for the last 5 years has been working with San Patrignano Design Lab most exclusive projects. She was enthusiastic to collaborate and gave an intellectual donation of skills, knowledge and passion. After having Gina and Marco’s help, there was one more thing they needed- budget for the materials. Cariaggi Lanificio offered to donate all the yarn for the realization of the textiles (mostly cashmere and silk.) Four months later the joyful collection was released. Buying the products from the Solesempre collection you are helping directly the amazing San Patrignano community.

the solesempre collection by wallpaper san patrignano for artemest the solesempre collection by wallpaper san patrignano for artemest

solesempre san patrignano artemest

the solesempre collection by wallpaper san patrignano for artemest

the solesempre collection by wallpaper san patrignano for artemest

The Solesempre collection, available to buy through Artemest.

I’m still looking forward to visiting them and tell you more about their mission, workshops and residents but in the meantime, if you are looking for a special wallpaper for your next project or a unique fabric, please do not hesitate to get in touch with them. You will not only get an exceptional piece of craftsmanship but you will also be helping people to rebuild their lives.