Kim Mupangilaï is a true renaissance woman. Whether it be architecture, furniture or graphic design, Kim is a talented visionary of all things design. We’re so excited about her latest venture, A La Mesa, a collection of beautifully curated vintage homeware. She has brought many notable projects to life including The Barn, Spacious and one the cutest most vibrant bars in Brooklyn, Ponyboy. We’re so excited about the shoot she did with her equally talented beau, Gabriel Flores. Not only are these two adorable together but we’re so excited to see them collaborate as visual artists.
Maya Dress, Sand
Where is home for you?
Home for me is not so much a physical space, such as a house but more so a feeling. Home is a feeling of belonging, where my heart feels comfortable with all its surroundings. A space where I feel safe and secure and where I experience emotional warmth and the freedom to express myself, because my ideas and attitudes are in sync with those who I share ‘space’ with.
The images are beautiful, what was your inspiration?
I definitely drew my inspiration from both my partners (Mexican/Spanish/Italian) and my heritage (Dutch/Congolese). I wanted our bedroom to feel familiar in a sense, to feel connected to our ancestry but also to nature. I chose colors and materials that feel grounding and serene so that we would feel at ease and revitalized at the same time when we would spend time in the bedroom.
You are definitely a multidisiplinary creative. How does one creative area feed the others?
I’ve always had a love for interiors, furniture and architecture but I first studied Graphic Design for 4 years to then transition into another 4 years of Interior Architecture. Eight years later I had Bachelors in Graphic Design and a Masters in Interior architecture. I always felt that Graphic Design ought to be complementary to Interior Architecture, as it teaches you about composition, color and material, words that are imperative in architecture and design. For some people both professions could be seen as complete opposites, but in my eyes they benefit each other in the best possible way, especially when presenting design proposals to clients. It’s all about the layout and how everything is positioned, aligned or not aligned and the color palette.
The Object En La Mésá vintage store started with the pandemic. Spending so much time at home and realizing how many beautiful vintage pieces I had collected over the years, made me curious about curating a little vintage online store and so I tried it out and I really enjoyed making people happy with these pieces.
Chalk Linen Duvet, Chalk Linen Fitted Sheet, Chalk Linen Pillow Cases
You have such an amazing eye for design. What influences have shaped your style?
Mostly culture, not only foreign cultures but also my own and my partners. It’s hard to explain but I just understand the language of composition, material and color and so I would say I'm more drawn to certain pieces instead of having one particular style. However, most of my furniture is vintage and I tend to lean the most towards French, Brazilian and Japanese design.
span style="color: #404040;">How does your environment inspire you?
Through the small and grand things in life. It can be as simple as seeing a certain composition created by shadow play on a walk with my partner to traveling to a different country and experiencing a different culture. Overall, I believe most of my inspiration comes from experiences in my daily life and not so much from books or the internet/social media. The beauty of inspiration is that it is everywhere around us and we don’t always have to google it.
You are working together with your partner photographer Gabriel Flores on an upcoming project E N L A M É S Á, can you tell us more ..
It all started with our curiosity towards our own as well as each other's cultures. We were brainstorming on ideas and the word ‘mésá’ came to mind. Coincidentally ‘mésá’ holds the same translation in Spanish as it does in Linguala (a native Congolese language), meaning ‘table’.
Later ‘En La Mésá’ was formed, We wanted ‘At the table’ to reflect a literal, physical feeling of open conversation through story telling of culture and all that it encompasses. The idea behind this concept is to make space for people past and present and the stories they hold through all mediums.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Mindful Intuitive Driven
What's on your bedside table?
Currently still sourcing bedside tables
What advice would you give your younger self? And what is the best piece of advice you’ve received and would like to impart with us?
Advice to give: To be resilient and to not be afraid of failure when you are trying something new or when you are just working towards your dream. There will always be things that don’t meet our expectations along the way. When we see other people “got it right” the first time, it’s most likely preceded by mistakes that we don’t see. Because failure is more certain than success, standing up after a failure is a much more important skill to learn than preventing the failure itself.
Advice received: Be devoted in doing what you love and stay true to yourself. If you have ambition and you know where you want to see yourself in life, there is no giving up. There’s only embracing what is coming towards you, moving through it and growing stronger from each and every single experience within that journey.
What are you dreaming of?
My own furniture pieces (which I hope to release next year)