December 22,2023

2010 AD100: Juan Montoya

by David Stewart

“Interior design is considered by some to be a capricious imposition of the designer’s taste, as opposed to the discipline that it is,” observes Juan Montoya. The Colombian-born designer knows something about discipline, having attended architecture school in Bogotá before moving to New York, where he studied at Parsons. While he appreciates that “the general public is more aware of good design because it has become more accessible and affordable,” he adds that “one of the worst things that can happen is when the client interferes in every aspect of the design and doesn’t allow the project to develop.”

Montoya leans toward sparely furnished Modernist and Scandinavian spaces (Erik Gunnar Asplund’s Snellman house, near Stockholm, is a favorite), though his interiors are known less for reflecting a particular style or era than for elegantly incorporating pieces from a variety of cultures, with antiques “as focal points.” When asked to look at a residence, he is primarily concerned with “the natural light from the outside, the views and the climate.” For all of his projects, Montoya creates furnishings as well as fabrics, carpets, door hardware and even bath accessories. Having designed offices for dentists early in his career, he knows the value of paying attention to details. With his 10-person firm, he recently completed the new International Design Center near Naples, Florida, and is working on a house being built on the Indian Ocean.

Juan Montoya

330 E. 59th St.

New York, NY 10022



  • David Stewart
  • December 22,2023

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