An interview series that highlights our favorite creatives & their homes.
Raya, Thank you so much for not only taking the time to tell us about you and your business, Reliquia, but also for curating such a beautiful collection for Guest House and our customers. I originally found you on Tiktok, and was immediately drawn to your unique style, especially your jewelry. It’s always so exciting to find someone who is as passionate about curating vintage as we are.
Your brand, Reliquia, is beautiful. Have you always been interested in jewelry or is this something you grew passionate about later on? How did you come up with the name Reliquia?
I’ve always been interested in jewelry on a personal level, and curating and collecting vintage in general is something I’ve done since I was a teenager. On top of that, I grew up as a Catholic Latina in Miami so I was surrounded by and always very drawn to religious iconography. I think Reliquia is a really interesting intersection of a lot of different aspects of my life.
Like many Spanish words, Reliquia has a loose meaning and is one that can differ depending on dialect. It directly translates to relic, but can also be used for antique, remnant, heirloom, etc. It often has religious connotations as well, so it felt so very fitting for the brand.
Your home is absolutely stunning, and it resembles your personal style really well. What made you drawn to it?
It’s funny because I wasn’t even looking to buy a home. I was casually looking through real estate listings of vintage homes just for fun, as I think many of us do. But when I saw the house I felt so drawn to it. It’s technically in the French Normandy style, which isn’t particularly something I’d seen much of or explored but I got actual butterflies walking through it. The Batchelder tiled fireplace, the original wood floors, the built-in bookshelves, the smoking garden in the bathroom; it just had so much character. The backyard had these stunning concrete statues everywhere of goddesses and cherubs and if you know me, you know how fitting that is.
I must have really charmed the owners because they called my agent immediately after we left and told him that they felt the house was meant for me and that if I put in an offer at ask, they’d decline all other offers (even the ones upwards of six figures over listing price) and accept mine immediately. It was the only house I ever toured, my offer was accepted the same day, and 25 days later I was moving in. If fate is real, that’s enough proof for me. They even threw in the statues, if you can believe it.
Aside from vintage clothes and accessories, I’m sure you have a love for vintage furniture as well. Do you have any favorite pieces in your home?
One of my first house projects was a mantle above the fireplace, and I was lucky enough to find a lumber yard nearby that specializes in vintage reclaimed wood. I found the most perfect piece that was stained and cut exactly for the space and it’s easily one of the most asked about things in the home. I’m very proud of it.
More recently, I finally found the bedframe of my dreams for our master and of course it was a Facebook Marketplace find. The owner had the most eclectic, colorful personality and we chatted for an hour during pick up. That’s one of the most fun aspects of finding pieces on Craigslist and Marketplace I think - all of the characters you meet along the way.
I also collect original posters and memorabilia of punk music as well as my favorite movies, so my fiance and I have great framed pieces all over the house. It’s a fun way to modernize the place and bring a cool factor to an otherwise very classically feeling hundred-year-old home.
As a fellow creative, I think it’s safe to say sometimes we don’t always feel like putting the work in. What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated?
Honestly, estate sales do double duty for me. Obviously they’re a great place to buy, but sometimes I’ll go to homes that don’t necessarily have items I’m interested in, but maybe the architecture is stunning or the owners seemed creative and interesting. Walking through someone’s lived-in home and seeing how they were inspired to decorate or display or collect can be so inspiring for me.
We won’t ask for your favorite thrift stores and where you find your gems, but where do you love to shop curated collections?
I’ve been loving Bohome Interiors on Instagram lately, it’s so deliciously curated. As for my wishlist, I’m in an obsessed phase with oil paintings and have been looking for the perfect large-scale piece for our guest house. The tricky part is finding something that doesn’t cost an insane amount, but that’s also the fun of the hunt I suppose.
- Tags: Interviews