International interior designer Antonio Martins, altered the course of his life when he branched from his original degree of Hotel Management to pursue his passion at Academy of Art University and received an MFA from the School of Interior Architecture & Design
Antonio can recall the exact moment he knew he wanted a change.
“From hotel operations to event design,” Antonio said, “my eleven year career with Hyatt culminated with a position at the head office in Chicago, working in Food & Beverage Concept Development. That position gave me the possibility to work with internationally renowned interior designers. At that moment, I knew it was time to make the transition.”
Working with interior design specialists is what originally sparked a drive in Antonio that set him in motion. Since making the decision to stop in his tracks and challenge his creativity, he’s been making a splash in the professional interior design world.
After finishing his MFA degree at the Academy, Antonio solidified his dream and began designing for domestic clients in San Francisco and Chicago. He also had the opportunity to design abroad with projects such as a medical clinic in Brazil.
Antonio was recently recognized for his design on an 1891 Victorian house in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco, CA. “After selling my previous condominium in Hayes Valley, I found this great single family home in the Dogpatch. The house was in the same family since 1891 and had very little work done since the 1950s. This was the perfect canvas for my work. The moldings, floors, hardware were all in excellent condition although the overall look of the place was very poor. The objective was to bring the architectural detailing back to life, adding modern touches that would highlight the beauty of the details,” said Antonio.
When recalling some of the guidance and inspiration that contributed to his blossoming career, Academy of Art University instructor Marlene Farrell stuck out.
“Marlene Farrell was the biggest influence,” Antonio said. “She was my teacher of ‘materials’ and she embodied the style, flair, elegance and dynamism that I always admired in the profession. She had profound knowledge of the subject she taught and I was fascinated by her classes.”
Antonio recommends for prospective students, “Be curious beyond school. Design is a world and it is not enough to be searching the internet or looking at magazines or books. If you have the means, travel. However, a lot can be learned from a trip to stores in Union Square or just by walking into a good restaurant or hotel in Downtown San Francisco. Design has to be lived and experienced.”