One of the main qualifiers for being a Top Interior Designer in Beverly Hills is being familiar with the different culture, classic architecture, and art history around the globe. This has brought me to many countries, but I have to say that my recent travel to Havana, Cuba is among my favorites for its cultural richness and flamboyant history. Did I mention the amazing neoclassical and baroque architectural elements?

Cuban architecture and design. Havana Cathedral.

The Havana Cathedral, c.1777, is located in one of the many Plazas in Old Havana 
and stands as the best example of Cuban Baroque. The architectural detail of the
façade is fabulous and the richness of the interiors are truly inspiring. 

Cuban art and culture. Anyone for a cuban cigar?

Anyone for a Cuban Cigar? 

The Cathedral Plaza is filled with Cuban women and men, dressed in the traditional colonial-style celebrating their heritage. Just around the corner from the Cathedral was a definite highlight of mine, The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana. The museum exhibits Cuban art collections from the colonial times up to the contemporary artists of today. We had that chance to see some amazing artworks devoted to religious and political subjects, landscape, and narrative scenes of Cuban life.

Cuban art and architecture. Neoclassicism and New Construction.

The contrast of the beautiful Neoclassical elements combined with new construction
is surreal. You can especially take it in with no traffic jams.

Havana is famous for its booming tourism during the early 19th century, a time when it was known as the Paris of the Antilles. Havana’s theaters featured the most distinguished actors, dancers, and musicians of the age. Wealthy people traveled from all over the globe to experience the Cuban nightlife, culture, luxury and art scene. When visiting the city you can clearly see this history, it is filled with classic antique cars and the dilapidating buildings from a former grander time. Although I am overjoyed that Havana is working on its rehabilitation, it was refreshing to see the city as it stands today – a time warp!

Donna Livingston in Cuba. Top Interior Designer.

It’s always a thrill riding in a hot pink or baby blue American classic!

Cuban art and culture. Carriage ride with Donna Livingston.

Or Colonial horse carriages. I felt like a queen… Is this Havana or England?

Cuban architecture. Top Interior Design remodel.

This graceful design is all about the staircase and would make a great interior design remodel.

Cuban architecture. In need of DLD reupholstery.

Look at this gorgeous stained glass window, but the sofa is in desperate need of a
Donna Livingston reupholstery!

I especially love the indoor/outdoor spaces of Havana. The celebrity author Ernest Hemmingway’s home is a perfect example of that. He escaped to his Havana Oasis to write many of his works, such as The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream. Being in that element introduced a magical feeling as if time had stopped, untouched since the 1950’s.

Donna Livingston top interior designer in Hemmingway's Cuban home.

In the gardens of Hemmingway’s House and a look into the house itself.
Check out the magazine rack and wave of antlers. It was clear he
was an avid hunter, and a man beyond his time. 

The Cuban culture is enriched with amazing artists, a harmonious blend of architectural elements and movements, and beautiful people. I am ever thankful for being able to travel and see the things that I love and that inspire me in both my career and my self. I cannot wait to bring a piece of Havana into my next design project!

Cuban art and culture. Sculpture by Damian Aquiles

Individual metal wall sculptures by artist Damian Aquiles. These would be fabulous
along a curved stairway case!

Contact Donna Livingston Design today to have me incorporate some Cuban art and culture into your home!