ASPIRE Archetype Juan Montoya Talks Juxtaposition In Design

Juan Montoya is one of the most acclaimed and prolific interior designers in the world. A truly original thinker, Montoya is not wedded to a style or period. His careful placement of objects, reflecting his interest in a variety of cultures, enhances the qualities of a room or an entire home.

For the ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME fall issue, we talked to Montoya about examples of juxtaposition in his work, and his favorite fireplace accessories, as we close in on cool autumn months.


Juan Montoya’s Parisian apartment is a study in contrasts. Pale-toned walls are bookended by rich ebony beamed ceilings and wide plank wood floors. His collection of textured cane chairs with curving silhouettes juxtapose nicely against linear tables. Crisp white couch slipcovers are softened by the blurred edges of a circular painting hung above.

Even accent pieces like the sharply pointed geometric stars and freeform sculpture perched atop an armoire show how Montoya employed juxtaposition with outstanding results. His global mix of Art Deco, Swedish and Japanese aesthetics enhanced this graceful pied-à-terre in one of the world’s most romantic cities.

“The structure, the space itself, called for doing something special,” he said. “I created it for myself. It’s a little jewel box that sits on one of the best streets in Paris.”


Marie Suri Luna Andirons | “Geometry has always been an inspiration in my design. These are the perfect andirons because of the way they play with geometry.”

Decorative European Ceramic Fireplace | “I am enamored by the attention-to-detail and curvaceous structure.”

Ironwork Fireplace Insert | “The iron work on this piece is extraordinary. The elaborate tracery reminds me of specific details from the Gothic period.”

Geometric Brass Fireplace Tools | “I love the juxtaposition of the different color brass and the details on the turned handles.”

Be sure to check out insights from our other fall archetypes, Jeffrey Dungan and Kiki Dennis.

Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Magazine.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.