Nordic and Mexican design with a Japanese philosophy: the perfect combination

Nordic and Mexican design with a Japanese philosophy: the perfect combination

A few steps from Plaza Río de Janeiro in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma, is a space where minimalism, clean lines, and soothing colors in Nordic design blend perfectly with wall textures, daily use crafts and textiles, and Mexican nature; everything arranged according to the practical wisdom, so characteristic of Japan.

This place, which opened its doors only a few months ago, is called Studio IMA and we are introduced to it by Bettina, its owner and creator, Mexican-born and a Communication professional, who after studying and living in Los Angeles and London, had the idea of bringing to Mexico the “Apartment by the line” commercial concept, meaning, a perfectly furnished and decorated apartment where everything is for sale.

What is Studio IMA?

It is a design gallery, established in an inhabited apartment where everything is for sale, even the finish on the walls. Our purpose is to offer affordable and high quality design items by designers who are known (or not necessarily), which can only be found in this space; we wish for the visit and tour of this place to be worthy, since what we offer is not a retail experience, but an art one.

The space is constantly changing, since new pieces arrive and the distribution is modified according to new items and the utility that is given to the gallery; we also organize events, concerts, and dinners, and everything is adapted to the needs of each moment. We want our customers to find something new every time they visit.

Also, we are exclusive representatives of FRAMA, Danish furniture brand, and we complete our offer with several artists and workshops like La Metropolitana and ceramist Perla Valtierra, who create special pieces or limited editions just for us.

Why the name IMA?

It is a concept that fully describes this project and there are basically two reasons:

One: IMA is a Japanese word that means now. We believe in the importance of living in the present, something that becomes harder with so much technology around.

And two: IMA is an acronym for “In My Apartment” and it is literally that, I live here. This is why people need an appointment in order to visit us.

What makes it special?

The exclusivity in the designs, everything you see here can only be found here. And also, of course, the experience of someone opening the doors of their home to you with this general aesthetics in the space, which is different to what we are used to, since it is a combination between Nordic and Japanese design with pre-Hispanic touches and pieces from La Lagunilla.

This place started with Nordic furniture, through which we intended to provide the serenity of a Japanese garden, but I felt something was missing during the process, and so I completed it with Mexican and Latin elements, which is what gives it a warmer touch and attracts the attention of our clients.

On the other hand, we offer a home or a place to many artists, so they can show their work in the country; there are people creating amazing things and we want to promote them. For example, we are about to receive a group of Uruguayan designers who work in Los Angeles, but are unknown to many people. In conclusion, this is a place for experimenting and discovering things others don’t have.

How do you choose the pieces to be exhibited and sold?

We take good care of the aesthetics, we want for all of it to make sense, to go with this space and IMA’s values, which is also taking care of not becoming too commercial. This is the reason why we work with FRAMA, because this has created a very good balance between sales growth and not becoming mainstream.

We also work in the curatorship along with art galleries like Peana, who send us pieces from different places, yet all of them in accordance with this aesthetic.

Which is the studio’s roadmap?

We want to get involved with interior design by carrying out comprehensive projects, placing our finish on walls, our furniture, tableware and art pieces so everything makes sense; always maintaining our aesthetics in natural materials and fabrics like linen, with a neutral color palette.

We will be attending Zona MACO in February and after that we will be getting new furniture, we will launch our new Home collection and host more dinners and mini concerts. We wish to become a cultural space that promotes contact and conversation among a community with an interest for design and art.

And with this we say goodbye to Bettina and to this space of timeless beauty, where minimalism and simplicity provide us a combination of serenity and inspiration that fills us with creative energy.

All photos by Studio IMA