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Beyond the Surface with Cristian Pinedo of Susurrus

Beyond the Surface with Cristian Pinedo of Susurrus

As Featured in Luxury Guide 2024 print edition

Exploring the Journey of SUSURRUS Founder and Design Maestro, Cristian Pinedo
A Visionary Architect Shaping the World of Luxury Design

Lighthouse Lounge


Cristian Pinedo, an acclaimed interior architect, stands as a beacon of inspiration in the world of design. He is the visionary founder of SUSURRUS, a prestigious international hospitality design firm. With a career that has spanned vibrant cities such as Madrid, Singapore, London, and Miami, Cristian has left an indelible mark on renowned brands like Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis Hotels. His design expertise has graced the landscapes of cities including New York, Miami, Shanghai, Ibiza, and Kyoto, among others.

Cristian’s journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his craft. He embarked on his path by earning a degree in Architecture from Madrid’s esteemed High Technical School of Architecture, a global leader in the field. Remarkably, at the tender age of twenty-five, he secured his first competition victory and ventured into entrepreneurship, establishing his own design studio, where he served as Principal for several successful years. His unrelenting passion for design led him to a pivotal role at Hirsch-Bedner, an award-winning interdisciplinary hospitality design firm, where he honed his expertise in luxury hotel design.

Cristian’s dedication and exceptional talent have garnered him numerous accolades, including prestigious Hospitality Design and Gold Key awards. His expertise has also earned him the honor of serving as a jury member for the renowned AHEAD Awards, a celebration of design in all its forms and the guest experiences it shapes, in both 2017 and 2018. In 2021, Cristian took a visionary step by founding SUSURRUS, a platform dedicated to providing luxury design consultation services in the United States and the Caribbean.

We invite you to join us on an enlightening journey through Cristian’s illustrious career. In this exclusive ‘Beyond the Surface’ interview, we’ll gain profound insights into the world of luxury design and explore his visionary outlook for the future. Cristian Pinedo’s story is a testament to the transformative power of design, and we are thrilled to share it with you.



How do you keep up current design trends? 
As a visionary and creator, I deliberately steer clear of trends. My preference is to set the trends rather than follow them.

How would you describe your design style? 
I prioritize listening to my clients and understanding the brand’s identity. It’s about responding to what the market demands in each unique location. Some projects may lean towards a contemporary aesthetic, while others may require a different approach. I believe in custom tailoring my design for every project, recognizing that a one-size-fits-all style approach doesn’t work in the diverse world of design.

Can you walk me through your creative process, from concept ideation to final implementation?  
Unlike many conventional approaches that begin with brainstorming during the initial phase and then proceed to design development, documentation, and production, I advocate for a holistic integration of design right from the project’s inception through to construction. I believe that every detail, no matter how seemingly mundane, should be infused with design thinking and innovative ideas as the project evolves. This continuous involvement ensures that the original concept remains intact and vibrant throughout the various phases of development. In contrast to traditional methods where different teams manage distinct phases, our approach aims to eliminate potential miscommunications and maintain a seamless design thread that runs from start to finish.


How does someone determine their design-style? 
Embrace the art of seeing the world through a fresh perspective, one that differs from your usual vantage point. Inspiration is a constant presence in your surroundings. What captivates you externally can equally inspire your interior design journey, often drawing from unexpected sources. Pay keen attention to the elements that stir your emotions—whether found in a movie, a conversation, or the world outside, like a tree that unexpectedly becomes the muse for crafting a table.

Abstract concepts can metamorphose into tangible design elements. It’s not a straightforward process, but as you learn to view your surroundings with greater openness, inspiration will immerse you. For instance, a serene Sunday morning bathed in sunlight can offer insights into elements such as vibrant colors and tranquil spaces, which can be artfully translated into various rooms within your space.

When it comes to selecting materials, what do you suggest? 

I find that introducing diverse elements into a room is essential. Layering various finishes is the essence of luxury. It could entail incorporating wood in one area, and as you transition through space, integrating stone and hints of metal throughout, not keeping everything the same.

What are your tips for choosing paint colors? 
Achieving balance is essential, but the ultimate choice depends on the ambiance you want to create in each space. For instance, bedrooms and bathrooms may benefit from softer colors that promote tranquility, while an office might thrive with vibrant, energizing hues to enhance productivity. However, it’s important to note that personal preferences can vary; some individuals may prefer invigorating bathroom colors to kickstart their day and peaceful office shades. Additionally, don’t overlook the potential for your wall colors and textures to draw inspiration from external sources, such as the view of a tree or garden outside a window, harmonizing with the room’s overall aesthetic. For instance, in the bedroom, softer hues like pastels can promote a peaceful atmosphere conducive to sleep. In contrast, for an office, bolder colors might help maintain alertness. However,

What are your suggestions regarding lighting? 
I’m a fan of adding a touch of drama to lighting design. This way, as you navigate through space, you can fully appreciate the unique ambiance of each room as you enter it.

How can someone instantly enhance the look and feel of a space? 
One of the quickest ways to achieve a dramatic transformation is by focusing on the exterior elements of the space. This includes addressing aspects such as lighting, walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as incorporating elements like drapery, rugs, and paint. Adding greenery and plants can introduce a sense of softness to the environment. These natural elements contribute to a warm and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the overall appeal of the space.


When did your interest in Interior Design begin? 
My passion for Interior Design ignited in my youth. Frequent travels throughout Europe, visits to renowned museums in cities like Madrid and Paris, and my mom’s diverse magazine collection nurtured my design sensibilities from an early age. This exposure to various styles and aesthetics profoundly shaped my design perspective.

Who are your mentors? 
I’ve been fortunate to have mentors who guided me in different aspects of life. One standout figure is Mariano Bayon, a nationally recognized architecture award winner in Spain. After earning my master’s degree, I had the privilege of working alongside his exceptional skills. I have many, but to name a couple; Mairea Villa by Alvar Aalto: This exquisite residence, created in 1939 for his beloved, serves as a resounding testament to Alvar Aalto’s architectural brilliance and the Pantheon in Rome: This iconic structure holds a special place in my heart, and I deeply admire its profound historical significance.

When it comes to the meaning of success, how do you define it? 
Success, for me, translates into happy clients. As service providers, we’re problem solvers, and achieving client satisfaction is our goal.

Reflecting on your journey, what accomplishment are you most proud of? 
The greatest sense of pride is the opportunity to have fully immersed myself in the hospitality industry across various countries. This immersive experience not only deepened my appreciation for diverse architectural styles but also provided valuable insights into different ways of life and cultural traditions.

Looking ahead, is there one legacy you’d like to leave behind? 
I aspire to be remembered for my dedication to thoroughness, attention to detail, and my ability to think outside the box in design, resisting the urge to simply follow trends.


If you hadn’t pursued a career in Design, what would have been your other dream job? 
Gastronomy-the art and science of food and cooking fascinate me, or I would have liked to direct movies.

What’s something that surprises most people to learn about you?
That I have a shy side, as I’m frequently engaged in presentations and public speaking they might not think I do.

When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing? 
Cooking is a passion of mine, and I tend to get hooked on different culinary pursuits. Currently, I’m experimenting with various bread recipes, and before that, I delved into the world of Thai cuisine.

What’s your favorite activity or hobby? 
Boating and fishing.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be? 
Le Corbusier, the famous architect and pioneer of modern architecture.


Artist: Fernando Zobel from the Philippines, known for his abstract informalism paintings.
APP: Chat GPT.
Wine: Albariño, a crisp white – especially when paired with seafood.
Fashion Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Hidden gem: My home in Key Biscayne, a serene escape that feels far removed from the bustling energy of Miami.