& IS AN INTERIOR DESIGN company set up by Paz Caradonti and her two sisters. They work from each other’s homes in central Buenos Aires.
At high school Paz was interested in creative pursuits, loved painting and drawing and decorating with furniture and flowers. After school, she travelled for a year before studying interior design at a Buenos Aires academy.
While studying she decorated the homes of friends, their friends and their friends again. The catering company at which her sister worked asked her to decorate at their events and so began her wedding decoration and interior design career.
Paz started out with a friend who worked in television production and together they held events and designed TV sets. When her friend left to pursue TV production, Paz called on the two creatives she knew best – her sisters – to work with her. And so, in 2004 the company grew to three – “Lola & Agus & me” and & was born.
How did you get started?
& started with small events and work offers from people who knew us. In 2004, event decoration was still a fairly new concept in Buenos Aires, but it was an industry beginning to grow and a good time for us to start out. We started decorating weddings and the brides who liked our taste in design, would ask us to decorate their home.
What services does & offer?
Wedding and event decoration and home and retail interior design. We also offer a garden design service and work with landscape designers to complete the look of a home or other space. We have also completed several TV and video clip set designs in the past.
Who have been some of your more interesting clients and projects?
Designing the shop space for a new Argentinean women’s clothing brand, THEM was a real challenge. Our first commercial decorating job was for Pehache a cloth, furniture and home furnishings store. We also assisted the team at Pehache with the selection of suppliers to their store. In one year we had to decorate the VIP tents for the Davis Cup tennis tournament four times. Each time, with very little notice, we had to pull together a new theme for the many tents frequented by the tennis players, their management, sponsors and the press.
How do you find working with your sisters?
It’s very good and terrible at the same time. I am completely confident in their abilities, which means we can rely on each other. Decorating can be very stressful though and we do fight in a manner you would never do with anyone but your sisters.
What interior design style is your favorite?
Anything eclectic. I like mixing French styles with that of Asian and modern Italian; and mixing modern and ancient styles.
How would you describe Argentinean style?
It’s a mixture of Italian, Spanish, French and country. A lot of young people are introducing Scandinavian style into the mix. We come from different cultures and that diversity is reflected in our style.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Dealing with brides and their anxiety!
Is this the career you envisaged for yourself?
I always saw myself as an interior designer. My mother has influenced me in many ways. She is a very stylish person, who loves design and has excellent taste. She was always changing our house around and receiving people, putting flowers out and focusing on the smallest details. I was always there to help her and absorbed her personal style. My real style is my mother’s – Mary Helen’s. I always saw myself with a shop of objects and furniture and this is something that’s still a dream and will hopefully eventuate in the coming years. & has begun to design furniture in acrylic and we’ll continue experimenting with this.