Brought up in Madrid, Bustamante is passionate about art, beauty and decorative arts. After studying Fine Art at the University Complutense in Madrid, he made a few solo exhibition with his own sculptures. In 1990, at the age of 32, prompted by friends who admired his way of decorating, he changed the direction and announced to another friend, the Barcelona-based interior designer, Rosa Rosselló, that, starting the next day, he too would be an interior designer. “In that case,” answered Rosello, “you will be the most interesting interior designer I know.”
“You will be the most interesting interior designer i know”
Bustamante’s first work came from the famed Catalan artist Antoni Tapies, who asked him to create the interior of the Antoni Tapies Foundation in Barcelona, which opened in 1990. Tapies had known Bustamante as a sculptor – they inhabited the same social circle – and in turn Tapies was an artist Bustamante hugely admired. “It is very hard when you start out – your clients put enormous trust in you, because you have no work you can show them,” he says. “It was such a big responsibility to work for someone like Tapies, whose aesthetic I regarded so highly.”
Today it employs a large team which combines a eclectic taste that allow him to work internationally, adjusting the décor to suit each client taste without defrauding Bustamante style. “I try to translate dreams into reality,” he says, “the problem is that often people do not even know what their dreams are – it is like being on an island and hunting for treasure”. The varied styles of the projects he undertakes, from traditional country to urban modern, proves that he’s not a designer who imprints his own ego onto a house or apartment. “I design for real people, and I want my work to allow them to change and to grow within their homes,” he says.
The other defining trait of Bustamante is his pride in Spanish culture and heritage – not just art, but poetry, literature, music, history and tradition. Spanish interiors may not have the same recognizable signature as French, English or American rooms, but the handwriting is there nevertheless. Bustamante compares Spanish style to Spanish cuisine: simple, local, high-quality ingredients, mixed together with flair, to create bold and confident effects.
What is perhaps most interesting about the interiors Bustamante creates however, is that they all have a feeling of permanence from the very first moment of their creation. None of his rooms look new; rather, they seem to have evolved of their own accord. As he sees it, his aim isn’t to provide clients with houses that are so “done” that there is no room to maneuver, but instead to give them homes where they and their families can graft their own personality over the years to come. Ever thinking like an artist, he says, “I like to create a blank page on which my clients can write their future scenarios.”
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