March 21, 2023

Interior designer Jeffrey Fisher and his partner, artist Juan Carlos Collada, reduce a putting pair. Jeffrey is boyish and buoyant with strands of gray hair Juan Carlos has darkish, expressive eyes and a chiseled jawline. The two are in the midst of renovating their two-bed, two-bathtub 1970s house. With 1,200 square toes to get the job done with and two lifetimes of artwork and gathered objects, there are quite a few decisions to make. But, considering that artwork and design are their shared language, the renovation is additional of a collaborative innovative project amongst the two. “It’s the early days,” Jeffrey says, noting the electricity few aims to finish their Naples bungalow by late summer. “We’re playing in the design sandbox extremely well together. Look at back in September and see if we built a castle, or if anyone stomped off with their pail and shovel.” 

On any presented day, Jeffrey can be identified working his Naples-based mostly inside style company, Jeffrey Fisher Residence, the place he tailors luxe finishes to the needs of his nicely-heeled clientele. Juan Carlos performs complete-time as an artist, building paintings, minimalist sculptures and his in-demand from customers butterfly assemblages. Frequently, the pair finds themselves operating jointly, with several of Juan Carlos’ pieces adorning the houses Jeffrey patterns. “We learned early on that we’re not intended to go into company together,” Jeffrey states. “Rather, we’re meant to operate on picked assignments with each other.” 

The duo met as a result of pals in 2013, when Jeffrey was on vacation in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Juan Carlos lived. On a whim, Jeffrey questioned Juan Carlos to sign up for him on an excursion to glimpse for a rug for a shopper in nearby Large Point’s renowned residence furnishings industry. In a rom-com-worthy satisfy cute that would make Nora Ephron happy, the two creatives invested a day perusing textiles and recognized it wasn’t just their sharply honed feeling for aesthetics that was properly-suited. “I was in my late 30s,” Juan Carlos remembers. “I was pleased to be one I adored my mates I had a lifetime. Then, in arrives Jeffrey on getaway.” Just after expending the entire working day with each other, they understood they ended up fated to be alongside one another. “And so it is been at any time because,” Jeffrey adds.   

Jeffrey’s occupation started in New York Metropolis in the late 1990s, when the  Canadian émigré redesigned silver display legend Diahann Carroll’s residing area in her Higher West Aspect apartment. Jeffrey, who researched manner design at Ryerson College and apprenticed for eveningwear designer Wayne Clark (whom he describes as Canada’s Oscar de la Renta), met Diahann though functioning as a costumer for headed-to-Broadway musicals. The two achieved on established for a Canadian generation of Sunset Boulevard in 1995, which led to her hiring Jeffrey as her individual dresser, stylist and, ultimately, redecorator. “We had the walls upholstered in the lightest apricot moire,” he recalls, referring to the textile regarded for its wavy, undulating weave. “Miss Carroll informed me women appear best dining in rooms with lighting that casts a faint pink tone upon their skin.” 

By 1999, he’d started off an eponymous atelier with his sister, Deborah, manufacturing luxury bedding and linens. The collections captivated major buzz in North American style marketplaces and assisted him get forged as a host on Canadian inside makeover clearly show Arresting Structure, for which he filmed 65 episodes between 2003 and 2005. “It encompassed all my skills,” he claims of the exhibit. “During this time, I understood I required to structure interiors entire-time.”    

Meanwhile, Miami indigenous Juan Carlos was in Milan, functioning as a textile designer at Melvin Anderson Studios. From the onset, the artist showed dexterity and concentrate honed since he was a kid influenced by his father, a marble mason from Cuba.

Soon after graduating from Miami Dade University with a degree in portray and printmaking in 1987, Juan Carlos headed to Milan, followed by forays into household furniture style and design in San Francisco, lighting design in North Carolina and manner styling in Miami, moreover a stint in banking. When he satisfied Jeffrey, he’d been operating in a spa and as a waiter for six yrs, striving to assist himself as an artist. Strolling by means of showrooms with Jeffrey on their initially date in High Point, he recollects staying extra captivated by framed prints than rugs. “I felt like, why am I having difficulties? I could be carrying out this,” he remembers.   

A yr later on, Jeffrey established up store in Naples in 2014 following coming up with his sister’s new Southwest Florida house. “One job led to an additional,” Jeffrey suggests. He and Juan Carlos settled in Naples two several years later on and now simply call the Gulf Coast their comprehensive-time home. Clients covet Jeffrey’s penchant for deciding upon and inserting texture—rich upholstery, gleaming vases for pops of color or Moroccan-influenced mosaic backsplashes—to crack up the atmospheric neutrals he favors for walls and flooring. (Embroidered throw pillows can be swapped out a lot far more easily than travertine, just after all.) 

His purchasers appreciate that they can very easily incorporate artwork from Juan Carlos in their homes. “His butterfly assemblage pieces are so superbly relatable that I never tire of inserting them,” Jeffrey says. “I love to occur house at the finish of a working day and see his most current color combo and styles.” Regardless of his enthusiasm for his husband’s get the job done, Jeffrey’s careful not to pressure it on his clients. “As we know, art is private, and if it is not their flavor, I undoubtedly will not press it,” he clarifies. If one particular of Jeffrey’s shoppers commissions Juan Carlos, Jeffrey errs on the side of supplying customers and the artist their individual space. “Some like performing directly with Juan Carlos and others like me performing as the middle man or woman.”

They typically collaborate on initiatives, with Juan Carlos making customized performs for Jeffrey’s design and style clientele. In the living place, Juan Carlos’ Out of His League painting hangs powering a couch by Barber Osgerby and the Chauncey bronze rabbit sculpture by Jim Budish. The butterfly assemblage on the wall and sculpture on the facet table are also by Juan Carlos. (Picture by Dan Cutrona)
Butterfly assemblage
Butterfly assemblage by Juan Carlos Collada (Photo by Tina Sargeant)

Other than generating artwork to adorn Jeffrey’s models, Juan Carlos is represented by 13 galleries across North The united states he just lately hired assistants to hold up with desire. “I took a leap with the guidance of my now-partner,” he suggests. “He gave me a good deal of courage in the starting.” Locally, you may possibly see his assemblages at Naples’ Gardner Colby gallery, exactly where kaleidoscopes of butterflies, fashioned from dyed, hand-painted feathers, dance and converge in organic and natural formations on linen-wrapped panels. Often, he arranges the butterflies into stark geometric styles, like those discovered in his acrylic paintings and sculptures (ranging from stone to sleek acrylic boxes). The painstakingly executed abstractions revolve all around the color and placement of designs, revealing the affect of 20th-century minimalist artists, like Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Calder.   

“I guess it all commences with magnificence,” Juan Carlos claims. “I only see splendor, and if it is not wonderful but has probable, then I want to alter it till it’s enjoyable to me. This is why my environment are so crucial.” Doing work out of a poolside studio in the couple’s yard, he’s keenly mindful of the interiors. “Over the years, Jeffrey has recognized this and has been sort enough to make it possible for me to style and design our place, even however he is the genuine specialist,” says Juan Carlos, who, a lot to Jeffrey’s chagrin, is always rearranging the sofas. “He’s sweet that way.” 

Whether collaborating professionally or creating their have household, Jeffrey claims: “We’ve been with each other very long enough to know when to continue to be in our very own lanes and when to swerve.” 

On a late January afternoon, the power few mixes drinks in an orderly residing area peppered with jewel-toned throw pillows and Juan Carlos’ compact sculptures. Even through the cacophonous development of a new kitchen, main closet and two bathrooms, the scene is serene. As their two rescue pet dogs clamor for interest at their feet, the designer and the artist keep on brainstorming their renovation, talking about how very best to show Juan Carlos’ collection of Elsa Peretti boxes and the place to combine souvenirs from a current excursion to Africa. “We both of those enjoy perfectly-built areas,” Jeffrey states, sipping his Paper Plane cocktail. “But if left unattended, I would be extra of a maximalist than Juan Carlos.” 

Juan Carlos demurs, “I utilized to believe of Jeffrey as the ‘fancy’ designer, and I was the happy, well-designed minimalist. Lately, I’ve commenced to recognize our design and style aesthetics overlap. I imagine we have agreed on each single issue.” Their unified look is shaping up to be what Jeffrey describes as “Japanese meets midcentury satisfies minimalism meets maximalism satisfies fashionable meets …” Any other inspiration could seep in as they renovate. 

Juan Carlos demonstrates on how two creatives can curate a lifestyle together—not just by merging styles in their bungalow, but also in intertwining their tales: He thinks back to 2013, when the two of them sat on a Naples beach just months after assembly and started out dreaming of a lifetime alongside one another. “Ten yrs have handed every plan and goal we dreamed of has come to be.”