With an expressive approach to design, Cristina Casanas-Judd and General Judd focus on infusing their clients’ spirit into each carefully curated project.

HQ: Brooklyn, New York. Learn more at Me and General Design and @me_and_general_design.

We sat down with the married design couple to discuss colour as magic, hear about the SWICK Board 2.0—their speaker-meets-surfboard invention—and much more.

What is the design for Me and General?

General: Our backgrounds provided the focus of what our combined design vision is: Shape lifestyles rather than just set the scene.

As a former Blue Man (yes, from the Blue Man Group), I bring a passion for both rhythm and soul–which translates into interpreting the individual client’s inner life–what makes them happy, relaxed, energized. Cristina, with her background as a film set decorator, speaks directly to the flow, activity, balance and harmony, and visual engagement of a well-designed space. The essence of our work is grounded on our consciously designing interior environments that elevate the human spirit.

City views seen from floor-to-ceiling windows in a contemporary city apartment with modern furnishings and a deep blue accent wall.

What shapes the design ethos of Me and General Design?

Cristina: Our diverse origins—I’m from Chile, and General is from North Carolina—combine to create a design ethos rooted in minimal essentialism, layered with hues and rich textures, offset with moments of contrasting bold pattern and/or colour through curated and custom pieces. Our overarching goal is to make the client reveal a personal expression—one that is experienced and lived in.

Are there design rules to which you adhere?

General: For us, there are no rules. The joy of design is to have no rules. For both Cristina and me—and our team at Me and General Design—the journey is definitely the destination, and it really begins with the trust that we establish with our client, starting with colour. Colour always plays a big role. For us, colour changes everything and it's the most impactful way to transition a room and somebody's mood.

A light-filled sitting area with off-white walls, gray leather tufted bench, fireplace, and modern leather chair.

Your work references “minimal essentialism.” How do you define that concept?

Cristina: Minimal doesn't have to mean just less, it means essential. What is really needed, what refines and defines and best determines how one lives, enjoys, and navigates a well-designed space.

As we all know, this past year gave everyone a chance to look at their world and their lives, and how they wanted to live—and we did that across the work in our studio.

Do you have any preferred, go-to colour palettes?

Cristina: Colour is such magic. At Me and General Design we are inclined to go with serene colour palettes, including soothing natural hues, countered and coupled with bold colours that are not only for the walls, but can creep up onto the ceiling, even may find their way onto furniture, and gradually the space transforms into a sea of colour. It actually defines our aesthetic entirely, the minimal essentialism with bursts of colour.

Who or what is your biggest design influence on your work?

Cristina & General: Every creative that has come before us, designer, artist, and musician alike, all have influenced and paved the way for Me and General. Life also plays a major role either from our own experiences to the shared stories told to us from our clients. Lastly, neighbourhood and history of a space has a huge impact on influencing our work.

Is there a primary inspiration that kick-starts and informs each of your projects?

Cristina & General: What kick-starts our direction and inspires us on the onset of a project is finding that one unique aspect. For instance, in a private residence, it may come from their art collection which informs the initial direction and from there we work out. The story then unfolds and flows through colour, texture and the functionality of the space.

Is there one design element or direction that you are really keen on using for a future project?

Cristina & General: The one genuinely unique design element we have created is our own custom patented product, the SWICK Board 2.0. It is a full size upcycled surfboard infused with speakers powered by a SONOS amp that can be used as a canvas for artist collaborations. It provokes all 5 senses as a functional art installation, and it speaks to everyone personally. The name is a combination of sweet and sick. So it's SWICK. We are currently designing the very first SWICK Hotel. More to come on that soon!

How do you leverage the attributes of paint in the design process?

Cristina & General: As we know paint is a mood enhancer and can be used so freely to change the overall experience of an environment. Paint and colour are truly magic. For us at Me and General Design colour scheme always comes first in the design process.


 - Cristina Casanas-Judd,
      Co-Founder, Me and General

All of the photos in the Design P.O.V. series are courtesy of the interior designers featured. You can find paint colours like the ones pictured at
your local Benjamin Moore retailer.

What role does technology play in your design?

Cristina & General: We love the use of technology to enhance our designs in both classic and modern environments alike. Apart from using our own SWICK Board 2.0 we geek out on all the new innovative products that come out each year and how we can incorporate these items within our projects, ultimately adding to the ease and joy of living through design.

What do you do to relax and clear your mind?

Cristina & General: Travel! It is the number one equalizer and totally transports us from our everyday life to the magic of somewhere new. We always come back re-booted and ready to go again. A major plus is that no matter where we go, we bring back a piece of our experience that works its way into our designs.

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