Wonder Galaxy: A Retrofuturistic Pastel Palace by Patricia Bustos
There’s a sense of childlike wonder woven throughout this new set of candy-colored interiors by designer Patricia Bustos — one that invites you to reach up and touch glass orbs as if you could pop them like bubbles and sink down into satisfyingly squishy pink furnishings. Created for Casa Décor, Madrid’s annual design event now in its 54th year, Wonder Galaxy lives up to its name as it effortlessly demonstrates emerging interior design trends to assembled professionals.
Set inside a 1930s mansion in the neighborhood of Salamanca, Bustos’ installation is imagined as a retro-futuristic dressing room for a super heroine, illustrated here in a lightning bolt-shaped portrait of model Ronja Okane by Mexican illustrator Paul Fuentes. This rather David Bowie-esque element sets the mood for the entire space, which expertly blends a number of different design trends into a cohesive whole.
Iridescent colors, feminine shapes, a sense of surrealism, a little bit of Memphis-style patterning, and the look of a 1960s movie about the future come together for a result that brings minimalism into a new visual era — one that’s perhaps a little less boring and monochromatic. After all, aren’t we a little tired of seeing almost entirely featureless white spaces elevated as the pinnacle of avant-garde interior design? Wonder Galaxy reminds us of the visual elements that made us wide-eyed and awe-inspired as kids.
Bustos, who has a background in painting and fashion as well as furniture and interior design, is renowned for her ability to bring fun and irreverence into high-end spaces. The bubblegum couches featured here are a particularly evocative choice, as are the oversized “bubbles” in the bathtub, which mimic the shape of the lamps overhead.
Even as it draws from trends of the past, the installation feels fresh and exciting. Noting that adults tend to write off fantastical things as immature, Bustos visualizes a “childhood futuristic revival” where we can stop being so serious and let our imaginations take over.
She adds: “Wonder Galaxy is a journey into the future that explores the relationship between the future and the fantasy or dream world that makes us become children again…we think that a future injected with color and with a certain surrealist air can help us recover that creative energy of childhood. We started with the pink, that color that means so much to [me] and that has a magic that turns everything serious into playful, that modernizes the most classic piece or refreshes the most sober and boring atmosphere.”
“Wonder Galaxy is a risky and colorful dressing, a three-dimensional reality that reminds us of an Austin Powers movie but in which we are the protagonists. The game of arcs and asymmetric volumes gives us a feeling of infinite depth, expanding the space resulting in a perfect balance. The gradients of colors suggest a host of parallel and utopian realities in which we could live if we wanted. Put to dream…the best thing is to do without limits. Fantasy colors and soap bubbles are mixed with unusual materials such as the iridescent or the fabric of the ceiling to generate an atmosphere that transports us to another galaxy and helps us to visualize new horizons where to dream and be ourselves.”
Casa Décor’s other decorated spaces are worth checking out as well, particularly the complementary Punk Revolution lounge-bar by Miriam Alía Mateo, The Cage hotel lobby by Inmaculada Recio and Silvia Trigueros, and the Jung Dreams living room by Juan Fuentes.