On her walk home from school in Uberlândia, the fantastically named Brazilian city where she grew up, Luciana Borges would admire the modern homes being built around her. As she commented on their forms, her friends would roll their eyes, unable to comprehend her interest. To her, the contemporary designs proved a compelling juxtaposition against the more typical, traditional architecture. “My city is only about 250 years old and I’d watch these very new, chunky modern designs coming up,” she recalls, still a little awed.
The Auckland-based kitchen and bathroom designer, who came to New Zealand in 2003 and established her practice six years ago, has had a life full of surprises. Despite her interest in design and coming from a family with an architecture and engineering company, Luciana says she had no idea the direction she would take. “If you told me then that I would be here raising two gorgeous children away from my family, I’d say you were crazy,” she laughs.
Juggling about four high-end projects at any one time, Luciana’s main area of focus is residential projects. “The beauty of what I do is being able to work with people’s dreams and help turn them into reality. Witnessing their excitement over the outcome of their properties brings me a lot of joy,” says Luciana.
A believer in enduring style and quality, she’s not afraid to steer her clients’ choices away from passing whims. “Trends come with an expiry date,” she says. “It’s my job to make sure people’s money is well spent and that in five or 10 years’ time, they will still be happy with the choices made.”