The Cesar Manrique Decorating Style

Today we'll tell you all about the architect Cesar Manrique and his unique style that incorporates environmental elements in a special way.
The Cesar Manrique Decorating Style

Last update: 10 December, 2018

The Cesar Manrique decorating style is not yet well-known. Manrique made his true mark in art and architecture. Cesar Manrique is internationally known not only for his artistic works but also for spreading the name of Lanzarote (his home island) around the globe.

He’s also known for his opinions on the mass tourism industry and its carelessness with the environment.

Lanzarote is where you can see many of his famous works. You’ll find them in tourist centers that he designed to completely integrate into nature, as well as on the streets.

Today we’ll talk about the unique Cesar Manrique style in terms of decorating, and how you can apply it in your home.

Who was Cesar Manrique?

Cesar Manrique was an important painter, sculptor, and architect who was born in Lanzarote in 1919. He studied in Madrid and then went to live in New York, where he dove into the world of Pop Art, American abstract expressionism, and kinetic art.

In the middle of the ’70s, Cesar Manrique returned to his home island. There he began several projects that were innovative for that time. His idea was to integrate art, architecture, and design into the natural environment.

These projects threw Lanzarote onto the world stage through works that we now know as the Centers of Art, Culture, and Tourism of Lanzarote.

Cesar Manrique’s search for harmony between art and nature and his defense of the environment won him the World Prize for Ecology and Tourism in 1978.

In 1983, the artist created the Cesar Manrique Foundation, in his former home. This was set up to spread the values related to the environment, art, and culture that he promoted during his career.

He passed away in 1992 in a car accident, leaving a legacy through the areas he designed and created to showcase the great artistic value of our natural environment.

Cesar Manrique.

What is the Cesar Manrique style?

The Cesar Manrique style is mainly characterized by the union of nature, art, and architecture. He created a new concept he called art-nature/nature-art. What makes this aesthetic special is the unique compositions he created by combining natural and unnatural elements. His home island inspired him.

Cesar Manrique's art.

The philosophy of Cesar Manrique style in decorating

The logic Manrique applied when designing interior spaces and decorating them was very simple. He simply attempted to integrate elements from nature — its colors, its force — into the room or home.

He said that when he was at home he didn’t feel like he was in a house made of cement, but rather surrounded by nature. To achieve this effect, he used natural elements – regional plants, like cacti, colors that evoke the volcanic nature of Lanzarote, and organic shapes.

His creations may remind you of the Nordic style, especially in terms of the colors.


The colors that predominate in Cesar Manrique style are:

  • Light colors like white and beige
  • Black and red (remember that Lanzarote is a volcanic island)
  • Green, although Lanzarote does not have much vegetation, it does have some plants and flowers, mainly cacti
  • Blue, evoking the sky and sea
A Cesar Manrique room.


The shapes used in the Cesar Manrique style are very simple and organic. They are not straight at all. This changes, for example, in his artistic side, which features geometric shapes.

Therefore you’ll see pools that look like blue lakes because they’re not rectangular – no right angles. The architecture of the CanaryIslandss, with their big windows and airiness, inspired Cesar Manrique’s style. His former home, now the location of his foundation, is an excellent example of this.


Cesar Manrique used natural elements: wood, jute, and volcanic rock. Also fundamental are plants, especially cacti. Another important feature of his work is light. Thus, white is the predominating color in rooms decorated by Cesar Manrique. Textured walls or landscaped areas using sand, for example, are characteristic of his style.


The Cesar Manrique decorating style is relatively easy to achieve. The hardest part is finding an environment as rich and unique as he had in Lanzarote.