Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Juliette Calaf

With over 20 years of designing commercial and residential interiors in her back pocket, Juliette Calaf has spread her suave style, consisting of soft tones and bold colors, to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Since creating her namesake firm in 2018, Juliette Calaf Interiors has been designing tropical homes that perfectly reflect the environment they are situated in. Now, continuing her warm climate and Atlantic Ocean design trends, Calaf will be launching a Miami-based annex to continue to showcase her design in homes and varying establishments. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Juliette Calaf.

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Electric colors spark joy all over this living area! Accompanied by a handsome young Clint Eastwood pop-art piece, Juliette’s use of color and negative space are to be admired. Photography by Mark Roskams.

Andrew Joseph: What’s your design pet peeve?
Juliette Calaf: When you walk into a space and everything is new, or worse yet, purchased from the same vendor.

Andrew: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Juliette: I would call my design style ‘collected’. Not to be confused with eclectic or boho. For me, collected is a good mix of a client’s special pieces that can be both old and new. I love layering these throughout a space making the home unique and personal to each client.

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Minimal lines, neutral colors, and varying textures are shared within this decorative breakfast nook. The fresh and non-invasive furnishings leave room for the client’s art collection to take center stage. Photography by Mark Roskams.

Andrew: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
Juliette: Oh god, no! My family can attest to that. But there is one thing I can actually make really really well — braised short ribs with creamy polenta.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way? Dogs or cats?
Juliette: I’m definitely a pet person. You name it, we’ve had it: horses, guinea pigs, hamsters, a baby duck, a baby chick, fish, cats, dogs, I’m sure I’m missing someone…

Andrew: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Juliette: Hard work.

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Juliette created this bedroom to be an escape. The soft tones and muted colors come together cohesively, allowing the integrated fixtures to give a nod to the surrounding contemporary architecture throughout the home. Photography by Mark Roskams.

Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Juliette: Can anybody have just one? Living and working in South Florida and Puerto Rico, I have a few staples that I can’t live without — great-fitting jeans and really nice t-shirts; lots and lots of jackets in every style but especially tailored ones; and to pull it all together, really cool statement jewelry.

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Juliette: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If it makes you happy, then that’s it!


blankAbout The Designer | A native of Puerto Rico, Juliette Calaf launched her eponymous Juliette Calaf Interiors in 2018. A graduate of Boston University where she studied advertising, Juliette was always drawn to the world of design, taking a variety of design and graphics classes that further inspired her ultimate career choice. Ultimately Juliette chose to study interior design at Parsons to refine her technique and add further dimension to her design acumen.

It was when Juliette and her husband moved back to Puerto Rico in early 2000, that Juliette began her work recreating environments – both commercial and residential – for family and friends. Her business grew organically through word of mouth and soon Juliette and her team became the ‘go-to’ firm in San Juan for interior design.

Juliette has proven herself to be an expert in designing and creating the ultimate spaces for tropical climates – simplicity mixed with splashes of color, pattern and texture, furniture that blends seamlessly into spaces while always allowing the eye to be drawn to the outside. In 2021, Juliette will also launch her Miami based annex of Juliette Calaf Interiors, working on a number of residential projects in Southeast Florida.