Adrian Dueñas, designer Nina Magon, Marcelo Saenz, BFF Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl at the 2019 Una Notte In Italia gala (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Adrian Dueñas & Marcelo Saenz social distancing at home while still conducting business through BeDesign.
AIDS Foundation Houston World AIDS Day chairs Adrian Dueñas, Duyen Nguyen, celebrity guest Mondo Guerra, chair Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, host Ernie Manouse (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
As the coronavirus pandemic-induced stay-at-home edict becomes a way of life, many of us are growing weary of the diversions that only three weeks ago we thought so brilliant. How many times, for example, can one groove on Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” or Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy?” One more game of gin rummy, and some of us will simply surrender.
With the goal of expanding our horizons beyond Tiger King, PaperCity has queried some of our favorite friends, checking in with them on what they’re up to while sitting out the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Cocooning at Home series, in which notable, philanthropic figures share their activities during these social-distancing times, continues with the dashing Latin owners and creative forces behind contemporary furniture concern BeDesign. At the very start of the stay-at-home orders, they went online, offering their help to anyone who needed assistance with shopping and delivery. The duo was also key to the success of the AIDS Foundation Houston’s World AIDS luncheon back in December.
Adrián Dueñas & Marcelo Saenz
PaperCity: What is on your coronavirus playlist?
Adrian Dueñas: Spanish ’80s on Spotify. I guess it brings out our best time in Madrid and Spain. And SiriusXM Chill radio is the best of chill and lounge music so far.
PC: What are you binge watching?
AD: Well, Ozark third season started, but I couldn’t finish it. I guess this is not the moment for it. La Casa De Papel (in English, Money Heist), our favorite Spanish show. I’m sorry, America, but we couldn’t get past the first episode of Tiger King. And we even put English subtitles on. LOL.
PC: If your life were currently a reality series, what would it be called?
AD: For me, How To Make It in America. For Marcelo, The Amazing Rollercoaster.
PC: What productive tasks are you taking care of at home?
AD: I think the closet was the first project. We went crazy about the pantry, and now we label every shelf in case someone forgets what goes where. LOL. Being at home for so long made us realize that the black wallpaper in the living room must go.
We’re designing a new TV unit from Molteni&C (Italian contemporary furniture design), and we have decided to change the outdoor deck to something more comfortable. I guess we didn’t know it before. Also, our garden has never looked better.
PC: Are you cooking at home? What is your go-to recipe?
AD: Yes, now we have more time to do special recipes. We love Spanish and Ecuadorian food, especially shrimp ceviche. It takes a bit of time, since you marinate the shrimp in fresh orange juice overnight.
PC: Where are you ordering take-out from?
AD: From MAD. Our favorite is the rice with cigalas (Norwegian lobster) cooked with firewood. Ignacio (Torres) and Luis (Roger) are not only really good friends (we keep in touch weekly), but as you know, the food stunning. Also, ordering new wine from Avondale in Montrose, we have discovered small wineries that are amazing. [MAD and BCN have since closed down their take-out as well for the duration of the stay-at-home situation.]
PC: What would be your dream take-out, from anywhere in the world?
AD: El Celler de Can Roca. We have met the Roca brothers many times, and they made a special space for my birthday back in July in Girona, Spain. Being able to order a flawless dinner from them would for sure make us happy.
PC: If you had to be stranded anyplace else in the world, where would that be?
AD: Madrid, with no doubt.
PC: Your go-to quarantine cocktail.
AD: Aperol spritz is what we would be drinking right now in Milano as we do every April at Salone del Mobile, where we have it with our appetizer. In more stressful days, Citadelle Gin martini, dry, dirty, three olives, shaken.
PC: Games that are keeping you busy.
AD: Does translating all the SBA protection programs count? Joke aside, we got a crossword game online, and we have been trying to get to the next level. From Amazon, two puzzles arrived. Let’s see if we are brave enough to start. Our company has been still operating at, like, 80 percent, so that has kept us busy.