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Growing up in a small town in Venezuela, sisters Margarita and Maria Bravo caught the design bug early. Their mother and grandmother were accomplished seamstresses who sewed the girls’ dresses, and their grandfather, a builder, handcrafted their Barbie furniture. “We had all these wonderful design influences in our lives from a very early age,” Margarita says. “As little girls, we were always drawing houses and squiggles of furniture.”
As an adult, after five years working in the finance industry, Margarita made the leap to design. She launched Margarita Bravo Interiors in 2015, shortly after building her own home with her husband in Observatory Park. A few years later, she enlisted Maria, who had been working as an engineer in California, to help with construction elements, including architectural elevations and renderings, for the firm.
In 2018, the duo started seriously talking about designing furniture—again. Armed with little more than gumption, the sisters packed up their families and moved to Barcelona to enroll in a two-month furniture design and manufacturing program at the European Institute of Design. After that training, they found craftsmen in Portugal to build the furniture pieces they had prototyped. The next year, they launched their Denver-based furniture line.
Named Sorella, the Italian word for “sister,” the collection features a variety of modern-yet-organic conversation pieces, including the linear, metallic Boltini console; the curvy, walnut Tabata lounge sofa; and the structural, black-marble Ana dining table. In 2023, the Bravos will add more pieces to the collection, including the Gaudi accent table (pictured below). Although the furniture is decidedly modern, its construction is rooted in the rich history of European craftsmanship. Each heirloom-quality piece is built to order in Portugal’s furniture hub, Porto, by workers with decades of experience. “My design inspiration comes from my upbringing in Venezuela,” Margarita says, “and all my time spent in Europe, where history, architecture, and design constantly sparked my creativity.” These influences are evident in each unique design. “Our pieces are clean, architectural, and sculptural,” Margarita continues. “They’re more like art pieces than furniture.”