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  • Victoria Hood, Founder

IN THE STUDIO WITH CAROLA PIMENTEL

Updated: Apr 17

How the Founder of Miami Based Assure Interiors Takes a Practical Approach to

Art, Design, and Tropical Modernism

Portrait of Carola Pimentel by Tiffany Sage


I was immediately drawn to Carola Pimentel’s work when I was approached by a mutual friend to help with social media and public relations. Carola’s careful use of natural light, neutral color palettes, and layering of statement art and vintage finds from Europe reminded me of my time spent in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a teenager. What I didn’t realize then was that the homes and restaurants I would visit blended a certain modernism (perfect for the Brazilian climate) with a layering of European history from Portugal, Italy, and Holland (brought by years of immigration). The look I am referring to is Midcentury Brazilian design, and Carola is closely inspired by its cousin, Tropical Modernism. To dig deeper into what defines these two similar styles, I sat with the Caribbean raised and Miami based designer to discuss her careful and thoughtful approach to creating a home.


Full renovation of a house dating from 1925 in a family compound. Assure was involved in the project from the beginning working with CMA Design Studio Inc. on the preservation, modernization, and addition of new spaces.

Photography: Mark Roskams


Growing up in the Caribbean, what inspired you to pursue your studies and career in interior design?

My parents, contemporary and Latin American art collectors, introduced me to the world of architecture and décor when they took me to see a hotel they were developing together. They always tried to incorporate interesting art into their projects. I was very young, perhaps 7 or 8-years old, but I remember loving every minute of watching them create, alongside architects and builders, wonderful spaces. By high school, I knew I didn’t want to be an architect or engineer, but I wanted to somehow be a part of building and design. During a college fair I luckily learned of the opportunity to pursue my studies in Interior Design at Ringling College in Florida. You could say that an enjoyment of art-filled homes, as well as my parents’ involvement in the interiors and hospitality industries, prepared me for my career.


Assure Interiors completed a renovation and addition to a 1990s property on a large plot in Stonegate for a new family who required more space.

Photography: Mark Roskams


Your heroes include Oscar Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi, and Luis Barragan – all key examples of Latin American modernist architects. What do you love about their approach to planning, layout, and décor?

First and foremost, I live in a tropical climate and design for clients who often have homes in various tropical locations. It is therefore a practical choice to favor a clean aesthetic and distinctive structure that lets in plenty of ventilation and light. To clarify, I don’t design with tropical patterns and colors like a palm tree printed wallpaper. Instead, I design with durable materials, such as rich woods, cool stones, and warm leathers. I also pay a lot of attention to the surrounding geography and nature as they inform my choices in paint tones, wallpaper patterns, texture of fabrics, etc.


This Bal Harbour apartment was a collaboration with a long-standing client who was downsizing from a large penthouse to create a new home for her, as well as a setting for an important collection of twentieth century art and design.

Photography: Mark Roskams


I understand that you collect contemporary art. How do your favorite artists, their styles, and their works inform your approach to color, texture, and form?

Yes, I love art and I get a lot of inspiration from my own collection of contemporary Latin American and European works. Some of my favorite artists include Uruguay’s Pablo Atchugarry and Carlos Capelán, as well as Brazil's Ernesto Neto, to name a few… I am particularly drawn to small scale sculpture and wall mounted installations, and attracted by the 3D quality and impact the pieces create in the context of a room. For me, art is a very important element of an interior as it gives a room character.


Assure Interiors was commissioned by a young and social art collecting family to create serene, light-filled and functional interiors. Assure was also asked to incorporate a collection of European antiques, French, Italian, Spanish 1950’s to 1970’s furniture, decorative art, and family heirlooms.

Photography: Mark Roskams


You have developed Assure’s aesthetic and style. Could you elaborate on the studio’s sensibility and point of view?

Since the beginning, I founded my studio in 2000, my priority has always been my clients. Delivering interiors where they always feel like home. I have been very lucky to learn from my own curiosity as well as my client’s passion for art and collecting. We often incorporate vintage elements found on sourcing trips to Europe and Latin America and mix these with exciting designs from galleries such as Ralph Pucci and Cristina Grajales (among others). We design rooms that acknowledge and respect these beautiful and unique objects, and then choose lighting, furniture and fabrics that beautifully complement them. The interiors that we create for our clients are modern, practical, functional, and elegant.


The client did not want to sacrifice lifestyle or comfort while living in this Coconut Grove apartment temporarily in between houses. Assure Interiors, therefore, was asked to incorporate existing furniture and create a stylish base for the family.

Photography: Mark Roskams


Looking to the future, what projects are you most excited about that will be completed soon?

We have several interesting residences across Florida and the Bahamas that will be ready in the next few months. However, what excites me the most about being an interior designer is the opportunity to start from the very beginning and to work alongside the architects on designing and planning the layout of a brand-new home. I love every minute of it from start to finish, including details like plumbing, lighting, and finishes. At Assure Interiors we are incredibly hands on and creates highly nuanced, timeless and livable homes.


Assure Interiors renovated and extended a recently purchased house in Cocoplum for repeat clients (an international couple and their three children).

Photography: Mark Roskams


About Assure Interiors

Assure Interiors is a Miami-based practice specializing in residential projects across the US and the Caribbean region. Established by Carola Pimentel, the studio bridges modern and timeless design delivering highly personal interiors. Assure‘s visual language expressed through well-considered interior architecture, natural materials and subtle color schemes incorporates bespoke elements with contemporary art and collectible design.


The studio’s international clientele includes many repeat clients and often younger generations of one family. Clients who come mostly via word of mouth, appreciate Assure’s discretion and cultural sensitivity.


Assure’s approach to design often channels the lifestyle of places such as Florida, California and especially Rio, Sao Paolo and Angra dos Reis in Brazil subtly blending indoors and outdoors. Structured planning, considered lighting, and special finishes create a finely detailed envelope for decoration. Known for their fresh and respectful approach to historical buildings the practice is regularly commissioned to create comfortable and clearly resolved interiors in buildings by some of the world’s top architects ranging from Rem Koolhaas and OMA to Foster + Partners.


Signature materials include white oak, walnut, natural stone, porcelain tiles and terrazzo selected to add warmth and visual interest. Great consideration is given to climate and appropriateness in response to each client’s needs.


Assure gravitates towards calming hues and an earthy palette of sky and ocean blues, emerald and apple greens, and neutrals in stone and sand. Great thought goes into the influence of color on mood and well-being. The studio in partnership with clients customizes colors for different rooms to enhance usage, enjoyment, and function.


The principal and her associates, source furniture and accessories from across the US and internationally with Spanish, French, and Japanese dealers and up-and-coming Miami, New York and California galleries a particular focus. Bespoke elements including custom upholstery and cabinetry as well one-of-a-kind pieces in acrylic are key in achieving a unique vision for clients.


Known for their confident design approach imbued with a spirit of collaboration and fun Assure creates distinct homes that meet each client’s unique vision.


Call: +1.305.571.5100


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