Cover The living room features a custom sofa and coffee table by Natalia Miyar Atelier, a stool by Venezuelan artist Reinaldo Sanguino, and a Sinclair Till rug

Pink hues can be used quite elegantly, too—here's how interior designer Natalia Miyar’s love of art and blush pink tones livens up her cosy abode in London

Any visitor to Natalia Miyar’s London abode will be immediately struck by the interior designer’s passion for art. A colourful array of paintings by Cuban artists holds court in her 1,800sqft apartment in Battersea, some of which were specially commissioned by Miyar; these works also reference the personal heritage of the Mexican-born, Cuban-American talent.

“I studied history of art and architecture at Brown University and was hoping to become a professor of art history, but then my love of architecture and interiors took over,” says Miyar candidly. “Art plays a huge part in my work. I like to have art around me; I have a growing collection and this is the first time I have showcased it properly in my home. The art selection is personal and a nice foil to the soft furnishings and materials.”

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The two-bedroom apartment overlooks Battersea Park, and has a double-height living room and mezzanine that Miyar found architecturally intriguing; it’s also conveniently located across the river from her Chelsea studio.

The neighbourhood has recently witnessed a wave of urban rejuvenation projects, including the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, which has transformed a vicinity once known for its industrial roots into a lively district.

“Everything I need is within a square mile, it’s like village life within the city,” she says. “I spend many of my weekends throughout the year in the park meeting friends, walking my dog, and enjoying the neighbourhood.”

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While pink may not be the first shade that comes to mind for most homeowners, Miyar saw much creative potential in the soft hue, which she frequently uses as an accent colour in her projects. Her apartment became the perfect canvas for her creative experiments. 

“This is the first time I have used pink as a dominant colour; I haven’t found a client so far that would let me experiment in this way, so I took the opportunity to do something deeply personal and a bit more adventurous,” she says. “Pink has many associations, but is not typically used for ‘grown-up’ spaces. I wanted to show how it could be used differently to create something sophisticated and glamorous.”

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And she succeeded, as her elegant living room would attest. The pale pink tones and textured textiles of the soft furnishings create a cosy atmosphere, while the high ceiling and large windows bring an abundance of natural light into her home; it’s easily Miyar’s favourite space in her abode.

Most of the furnishings in the home are custom-made—these include the sofa and coffee table that Miyar designed for her living room, mixed with vintage pieces sourced by the interior designer. A side cabinet with a multi-tone finish by Matthew Bray & Matthew Collins in the living room is another notable bespoke piece. 

Custom furnishings such as the sofa are also upholstered in the soft shade to match the pink tones of the wall-hung artworks, which include a stunning sunset painting of Cuban capital Havana by Gustavo Acosta.

“The pink Havana skyline creates a beautiful accent in this room and brings together the colour scheme,” says Miyar. “This (painting) influenced the hues I chose, and I love the architectural style of Acosta’s work. His art embodies my own passions—architecture and colour—and is a strong synthesis of these in art.”

It was important to Miyar that she use durable fabrics; useful for any parent of a furkid, and equally valued for a fuss-free aesthetic.

“If I can find an upholstery fabric that has a high rub-test and can be cleaned easily, I would absolutely use it over something difficult to wash that is going to mark and fade,” she declares. “For me, a home is for enjoyment and should not feel like a showcase; I don’t want to be worrying about the furnishings when I am entertaining.”

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The feeling of lightness was what Miyar aimed to capture and celebrate in her lofty apartment, in which she lives with her pet dog Oscar. “It was a blank canvas when I moved in, but I felt it had its own character and generous wall space, which allowed me to display my emerging art collection,” she says. “The scheme I created is relaxed and comfortable, but also luxurious.”

Miyar, who spent her childhood years in Mexico, has gradually grown her collection of art over the years. “All of the artworks in this space are originals, mostly from Cuban talents, and almost all bought directly from the artist; it is important to me to cultivate direct relationships as this deepens my connection with the pieces,” she says.

Some artworks, such as the lithograph by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo in her study, carry tremendous sentimental value for Miyar. “My father bought one for me and one for my sister when we were little girls but only gave it to me a couple years ago; it is very special (to me),” she says. The bronze dinosaur sculpture on her desk is another work with personal value; it was made by Miyar’s friend and frequent collaborator Tyson Bennison of British studio Tyson London.

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The pale pink hues in the living area deepen into richer shades that are used on accent pieces in the other areas of her home. The master bedroom presents a dramatic tableau with its dark grey walls and teal accents. “I love how the master bedroom has turned out, it’s dark and moody with a colour scheme that goes against the grain,” she says. “The walls are almost black, which creates real drama and interest.”

In the guest room, a spectrum of fiery red, burgundy and pink tones on the headboard and accent cushions creates a decadent look, set against the Inchyra Blue paint from Farrow & Ball applied to the walls.

Such a sense of effortless elegance is not only crucial to the interiors of this abode; it also embodies the creative philosophy of Miyar’s namesake firm, Natalia Miyar Atelier. The designer was also fortunate to complete the makeover of her apartment just before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I love spending time in the apartment, friends always comment on how comfortable they feel. For me, luxury means comfort,” says Miyar. “My home absolutely represents my design philosophy. Creative expression is my profession, and this apartment represents my lifestyle and personal style. It is my very own sanctuary in the heart of London.”

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