We have a lot to thank Art History for. Not only is it a course that provides a means by which we learn to understand our past and its connection to our present, but it is also how the subjects of this week's Tete a Tat forged their relationship. Iñigo Aragón and Pablo López Navarro, Founders of Casa Josephine, met while studying at the University of Salamanca, before graduating and moving to Madrid.
In 2009, they bought their now much-loved country house in the tiny town of Sorzano in northern La Rioja. An aunt of Iñigo’s grandmother previously owned the property, and in honour of its former resident, they named the house ‘Casa Josephine’. Here, their talents could combine, and they created a home with eclecticism and charm at its heart. It evolved, and in 2012, the Casa Josephine business was officially founded.
Twice a year, they would hold a pop-up at their Madrid apartment. It's reputation grew, and buyers from all over the world would visit. The great and the good were pulled into their orbit, all wanting to capture a piece of their exquisite taste.
Their homes in La Rioja and Madrid subsequently caught the attention of the press and were featured in Elle Decor and AD. However, it was their collaboration with a communications agency in 2017 that first caught my attention. The project was featured in AD, and it was electrifying; like nothing I had seen before. At the time my taste was full trad, but this office was incredible - a modern, colourful and thrilling space. They were hired by the advertising agency, Mr Hyde, and turned an old motorcycle repair shop into a multi-functional workspace. They cleverly used tiles to create a space within a space, delivering an incredible impact which I still think about regularly today.
Since my introduction to their work, they have consistently been one of my favourite interior designers, and with each new project published, my admiration for their talent only grows. So much so that when we were in Madrid for my 33rd birthday, I dragged my long-suffering husband to their shop; I stood there as happy as a clam, stuttering as I introduced myself. It was with great delight that Pablo and Iñigo agreed to do this Tete a Tat, and I so enjoyed their answers.
C. de Sta. Ana, 15, 28005 Madrid, Spain
What is your favourite day of the week?
The museum/gallery/ exhibition that had been the biggest inspiration to you?
Iñigo: Archaeology Museum in Naples
Pablo: a Chardin exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2000.
What is your favourite Piece of Clothing?
Iñigo: Scarves, in general
Pablo: I have an off-white shirt, plain but very soft to the touch, that I have worn probably one thousand times. I wish I could clone it -it is flimsy now, almost threadbare…
Do you believe in ghosts?
Iñigo: La Venta de Moncalvillo, near our house in Rioja. The best vegetables ever!
Pablo: we’ve missed planes in Milano twice, and we’ve ended up having a wonderful dinner at a small trattoria in Segrate called Novegro 11.
Best Moment in your career so far?
Iñigo: When we finished our first decoration project and our families came to visit.
Pablo: A highlight (and a great honour) was when Sarah Jessica Parker showed up in a pop-up sale we had organized in our apartment in Madrid to do her Christmas shopping.
Iñigo: I remember one day, on holidays, waking very early and feeling that I had to walk to the beach to see the sunrise because the world looked and felt perfect.
Pablo: I have a recurring favourite day, which is when I book our holidays. I get a rush of joy every single time.
What is your best piece of advice, and who gave it to you?
Inigo: Photographer Cristobal Hara told me once, “watch out, because it is your worst creation (and not the best) that sets the bar”. I think about it carefully.
Pablo: every single time I call our accountant, Rebeca, she reminds me to take care of Inigo, and I think it is a great piece of advice. Being kind and loving to others eases all your worries.
What is a song that will always make you dance?
Pablo: “Girls & Boys” by Blur -and I simply lose it!