Name: Andrea Carolina Parra
Current City: New York City
Hometown: I don't really know, I moved a lot. But Queens is where my heart is.
Currently reading: Frank Lloyd Wright, Selections from The Natural House (Meridian, 1954) and
Currently listening to: Nina Simone
Breakfast: Definitely not eggs.
A little about yourself, where you are from, and what you do.
I’m a 22 year old design student living in New York. I was born in Colombia, but moved to New York City at the age of 5. Moved around in Manhattan and Queens for a couple years until my mother and I settled down in Forest hills.
I had my birth chart read once by a girl I met at a birthday party and it was extremely accurate. I’m a Pisces with a Scorpio Moon sign. She explained to me that I value hard work and knowing the people around me are also achieving goals is very important to me. As for what I do… well that can all vary. I do whatever feels natural to me at the moment; whatever I can express myself best. I can try learning how to bake and I will continue to bake until I can make the perfect blueberry pie. Right now I go to Parsons School of Design at The New School for interior design. I’m constantly working on interior design projects. In my spare time I work on a personal project called “Sitting with Andrea” which I’m really excited to share with everyone, but right now I’m working on perfecting it.
Has your background played any role in your current artistic expression?
My background influences all my work but I think it was my maternal great aunt that influenced me most. As long as I can remember I’ve been seeing her practice feng shui. Her appreciation for organization and nature indoors really stuck to me.
What aspects, growing up, affected you the most in terms of how you express yourself now.
I was in pageants growing up in Colombia. They weren’t like American pageants; they were a lot more natural. It was a real cultural experience. We dressed in beautiful native dresses and went around the town in these huge floats that were replicas of door fronts of native homes in Colombia. It was a full on contest, with different things we had to do on stage. Winning was always number one for me. That experience made me really confident growing up; I was always willing to be the center of attention and I loved it. When I came to New York City I tried to model for a couple of years. At 22 years old I’m trying to embrace that part of myself again; not being embarrassed and not questioning my own taste and interests. As I got older, I realized people categorize you when you look a certain way which made me less interested in involving myself in things that focused on looks. It's one of the reasons why I became so engaged with design.
What role do you think interior design plays in relation to the rest of the world? How important is interior design to you?
I don’t think the average person realizes how interior design plays a huge role in every aspect of someone's life. People are indoors 80% of their day, from home to transportation to their work space. The environments we are exposed to impact our mood, which in turn influences the quality of our day.
Interiors can make someone's life efficient and pleasing. We all need a place to call our own, that makes us happy, that we can retreat to at the the end of the day be able to breath. I've always knew the importance of interior design, without even knowing it was a skill. I moved so much that I had no choice but to practice it in every new home I moved into.
Which interior design styles are do lean more towards? Mid Century? Scandinavian?Art Nouveau ?
Eclectic mid century modern
Take us through your process, if you had an empty room where would you start?
It’s very important to start with knowing what the room will be used for. I would then observe the the windows, noting where the sun hits the room throughout the day. Then I’d focus on the door in order to dictate the direction the furniture will face.
Who is someone you would consider a creative influence for you?
All of my friends. I’m so lucky that everyone I’m close to is a creative with great taste. We bounce ideas off of each other all day; we’re constantly trying to push and inspire one another. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who understand you creatively and support your ideas.
Oddest thing you find inspiration in?
Messy rooms, feels like a puzzle I have to solve.
Favorite subject or person to watch, read, or study?
Anthony Bourdain, I get to watch him eat and travel, both things I love to do.
Describe your style? What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?
Vintage, comfortable with some how ever I feel in the morning touch...
Oldest thing I own that matters to me is the clothing my grandfather gave to my mom when she was 20. Theres this scarf with different caramel tones and patterns. It fits so well with everything I own. I feel so lucky to be able to wear it.
Then there's the vintage clothes Ive found, that I honestly have no idea how old it is.
Which projects are you working on, or plan on working on in the future?
Sitting with Andrea has been my main focus. I can't wait to release it!