A Day In The Life Of C’est Ici Founder Monica Arango

9 min read
C'est Ici Founder Monica Arango

The founder of C’est Ici, Dubai-based interior designer Monica Arango’s life is as stylish as the homes she curates

I wake up at… 6am, and I kick off with my morning lemon tea and a workout session. By the time I’m back, the kids are up and we have breakfast as a family. It’s then time for school drop-offs, which I alternate with my husband.

My morning routine normally consists of… getting to the office around 9am, where I will manage my work via a calendar and a to-do list with highlighters. I’m pretty old-school about this. I won’t schedule meetings until after 10:30am, though, so I can respond to emails and instruct my team for the day.

My typical day… is hectic! I wish I had more hours. I usually have around two or three client meetings in the office, and we kick off projects and do final selections at our sample lab for all things bespoke. I usually meet with my team once a day to engage in urgent matters and hiccups too. I have lunch in the office, and the afternoon is often all about design and brainstorming. My day varies throughout the week, but mostly is in our office unless we have some site visits.

My go-to working wardrobe consists of… I dress pretty much the same as our interior aesthetic, which means a neutral palette, casual and elegant. I love the touch of branded and unique pieces along with market finds, not forgetting my favourite Colombian brands, such as Johana Ortiz, Silvia Schemassi, and Leal Dacaret. The final touch is my XL earrings – they are my trademark.

My go-to beauty looks for the 9-5 are… I’m really into clean products and taking care of my skin. I have Hydra facials every three weeks, and I always wear sun protection. Currently, I’m loving Jessica Alba’s Honest range, serum and eye treatment from Kiehl’s, as well as Tata Harper products. My favourite make-up brands are YSL, Dior, Chanel and Becca, and I do like to glam up most days.

For lunch I eat… something healthy but filling, as my dinner is petite. I love the salads from Wild and the Moon, and I’m obsessed with Golden Latte – I brought it from the US and make it at home. Whenever I have a craving for dark chocolate, I have it – just not every day.

What I love most about my job is… I would say everything. I feel very blessed to do what I truly love, and the process of building something out of nothing is definitely a high. That said, the highlight of my days is when I sit and create, turning a white canvas into something very unique and fitted for each family.

And what I enjoy the least is… delays in projects. We have hiccups like everyone, and things don’t always go to plan, but the key is to be able to solve and look forward. No matter how much you try, there are going to be days that you feel you could be a better mother or a better boss. You just need to accept the days that need more work than others, and manage expectations from all angles.

When I get home… I spend time with my boys and hubby. This is one of the reasons that C’est Ici was founded – I wanted to work, but have that family time. I also have a little Westie dog named Mimosa, so we have daily afternoon walks. My husband doesn’t get home too late, so the evening is definitively family time. We often squeeze in a walk or a date night if we can.

When I feel stressed… I go to Shimis. Yoga is key for my soul and mind. I also have my lovely friends, who I meet with once a week and talk all things girls.

If I wasn’t in my current position… I would potentially work within the design industry. Creativity is at the heart of everything I do.

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