At Home in Cartagena with Richard Mishaan

With a love and knowledge of fashion, architecture and design, Colombian born, New York based designer Richard Mishaan has, for over 25 years, created interiors that effortlessly meld timeless and contemporary design with a sophisticated flair. Every project, whether residential, commercial or hospitality expresses Richard’s worldly take on modern luxury, including art and furnishings that help tell the story of the space with personality and appropriateness. And no place is this more evident than in his stylish retreat in the charming and colorful Colombian city of Cartagena. Please join Susanna and me as we visit Richard at his updated historic home!

Having grown up in the more industrial city of Bogotá, Richard spent holidays as a child with his family in the now popular port city of Cartagena. When there on a project over a decade ago, he serendipitously bought a 16th century house located in the historic center of town. But because it sits within the UNESCO World Heritage site, the restoration of the neglected property required adherence to many architectural covenants.

Richard Mishaan home in Cartagena via QuintessenceRichard rose to the challenge, reconfiguring spaces around a central courtyard, below, yet preserving the best of the original house, including the 16th century Brazilian wood ceiling in the living/dining space, above.

Richard Mishaan Cartagena house with pool-1  Throughout the house, Richard infused the historic architecture with both references to Cartagenian tradition and unique decor elements. Below, in his entry, stained ochre plaster walls

Richard Mishaan Cartagena entrance hall via Quintessence-1echoing the colorful buildings of the city, below, meld with new black marble floors, and a pair of Gothic pews from the NYC church that became the celebrated Limelight club.

colorful Cartagena via Quintessencev

With the objective of emulating the ambiance and convenience of a boutique hotel, Richard limited both building materials and color palette throughout for a visually cohesive and stylish experience.

Richard Mishaan Cartagena home via Quintessenceall photos above by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

Inspired by his architectural training, years of design and international travel, Richard has trained his globally gleaned eye on home furnishings and accessories, including an eponymous collection for Theodore Alexander. From his Maiden sofa with its sensuous serpentine curves, below,

Richard Mishaan Maiden sofa for Theodore Alexander

Richard Mishaan Atticus Side Table for Theodore Alexanderto the Atticus Side Table crafted from textured ebonized oak veneer, above, to the Han Sideboard with its collaged chinoiserie hand painted paneled doors, below, as well as an array of dining and occasional seating offered in scrumptious velvets and leathers, the 45 piece strong collection is as versatile as it is wordly.

Richard Mishaan Han Sideboard for Theodore Alexander

For Visual Comfort, Mishaan has fashioned two table lamps that boast architectural shapes with strong graphics. The Yates Extras Large lamp, below left, with its geometric shapes in monochromatic hues could hold its own in any sized room without overpowering and the  blue and white stripes and cinched gold waist of the Tilly Large Table Lamp is equally versatile.

Richard Mishaan for Visual Comfort

So thank you Richard – we loved visiting your chic historic home and our introduction to beautiful Cartagena through your expert eyes!!


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